FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: NYJ 13, PIT 23 (Line: PIT by 6)

Players to watch: Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley

Players Updated: Jeremy Kerley, Dustin Keller, Jonathan Dwyer, Stephen Hill, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace

We need this week. Right now, there is no way of knowing who the Jets really are. After a preseason where they could not score a touchdown against players who are currently mowing your lawn, The Jets laid a smackdown on the Bills with the highest score in the league. That is the sort of turnaround that makes you dizzy. The Steelers come off a loss to the PMannings in Denver and need a home game this week to collect their thoughts and get back on track. It all seems like week one where the Jets faced a bad team and the Steelers went against a good one.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 10 @SEA -----
2 @PIT ----- 11 @STL -----
3 @MIA ----- 12 NE -----
4 SF ----- 13 ARI -----
5 HOU ----- 14 @JAC -----
6 IND ----- 15 @TEN -----
7 @NE ----- 16 SD -----
8 MIA ----- 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ @ PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 30 280,1
RB Chris Johnson 40 7-50
RB Bilal Powell 10 2-10
WR Eric Decker 7-70
WR Jeremy Kerley 2-20
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: It helps to know the Bills intimately from being division mates and playing at home. Apparently a lot. Mark Sanchez went from being the Clown Prince to throwing for 266 yards and three scores on the Bills. Chances are the New York newspapers were late on Monday morning because it took so long to digest what happened and completely change gears about the Jets for one week at least.

Sanchez had success with Santonio Holmes (4-68) but did his damage with their 2,11 draft pick Stephen Hill (5-89, 2 TD) and second year player Jeremy Kerley (4-45, TD). Hill in particular is one to watch since the 6-4, 215 lb player may be the next Plaxico Burress only faster and with fewer firearms. It was only one game and against a familiar foe, but Hill was impressive and showed chemistry with Sanchez. Hill needs to be on fantasy rosters if only to stash and see.

The game went so well that Shonn Greene gained 94 yards and scored a touchdown. He only averaged 3.5 yards per carry but that's like 6.0 to an average NFL back. Even though it was a blowout, the Jets stuck with Greene instead burning up the clock with Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight. Tim Tebow came in on a few wildcat plays but only gained 11 yards on five carries and with that made Mark Sanchez very, very happy. It also meant that there were probably a hundred people in the stands with Tebow signs who just felt silly carrying them back out to their car.

One caveat to this game. Santonio Holmes faces his old team in their stadium and would love to show up for the hometown crowd. Particularly if anyone still has his old jersey. The Steelers may scheme expressly to take him away, but this will be a big motivation kind of game for Holmes. It will be his second trip back. He had 40 yards on six catches back in week 15 of 2010.

It was a great win but now the Jets hit the road to face the Steelers defense, in Pittsburgh, coming off a loss. That means rushing yardage will be low and passing success will be a major challenge. Peyton Manning at home in an offense that had no game film only passed for 253 yards and two scores. We've seen Mark Sanchez. We've followed Mark Sanchez. You, Mr. Sanchez, are no Peyton Manning.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 5 18 4 24 8 1
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 20 10 23 24 7 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ CHI 40100020001 ***
Passing alone won't make Geno a viable fantasy helper, but he's had 17 attempts in two games and could use his ground game to be a sneaky start against a defense that let EJ Manual run one in and Colin Kaepernick run for 66 yards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ CHI 5011100000 ***
Ivory has scored in both games thus far and is proving to be the more productive member of the Jets' backfield committee. Against a Bears defense that's already allowed four different backs to rush for at least 50 yards against them, he's an good fantasy start with a little bit of upside to boot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ CHI 6004200000 ***
Johnson is getting the touches, and against a Chicago D that's allowed four backs to top 50 yards this year he should be able to turn those touches into at least fringe fantasy help. And of course any of those touches could be a home run.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ CHI 005600000 *
Decker has been exactly what the Jets paid for, a reliable WR1. This matchup, while not overly favorable, should still allow him to generate his usual low-to-mid level fantasy contribution.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ CHI 005500000 ***
Kerley's 30-yards per game average isn't going to cut it fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Cumberland, NYJ CHI 002200000 ***
The Jets' passing game doesn't produce enough for one fantasy helper at tight end, let alone the three players all battling for a share of the pie.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ CHI 3322 ***
The Jets don't mind settling for field goals, which is good, but they don't score a ton of points in general, which is bad.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC -----
2 NYJ ----- 11 BAL -----
3 @OAK ----- 12 @CLE -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL -----
5 PHI ----- 14 SD -----
6 @TEN ----- 15 @DAL -----
7 @CIN ----- 16 CIN -----
8 WAS ----- 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 10 270,1
WR Antonio Brown 5-70
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 5-60,1
WR Lance Moore 5-70
TE Heath Miller 4-40
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Close loss to the Broncos in a game that was lost when Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception with 1:58 left that was returned for a 43-yard touchdown. That and allowing that Demaryius Thomas guy to yet again score a 70+ yard touchdown.

Big Ben threw for 245 yards and two scores with only the one interception but was sacked five times. He only completed 22 of 40 passes but was able to spread the ball around to his receivers. Antonio Brown (4-74) and Emmanuel Sanders (4-55) both led the team with eight targets while Mike Wallace was kept to shorter routes and still scored once on his 37 yards on four receptions. Even Heath Miller scored once on his four catches for 50 yards. It was not a huge passing effort but it was almost enough.

What was a disappointment was the rushing effort that saw Isaac Redman only gain 20 yards on his 11 carries, Jonathan Dwyer a bit better with nine runs for 43 yards and even Chris Rainey came in for two carries. All combined there was mediocre results and split up there was no fantasy value. No reason to expect anything different even when Rashard Mendenhall returns. The new passing scheme is still a work in progress but Big Ben is getting it down.

What is a positive is that the Jets just gave up a league worst 169 rushing yards to C.J. Spiller last week so expect at least some improvement in the rushing stats. Splitting up the carries won't make any one player a less than risky start though. There is also a chance that Darrell Revis is out with a concussion which would be a huge benefit for Antonio Brown. But the Steelers have enough receivers to get the job done regardless of one cornerback.

The Steelers need this win. They should play more up to their potential while the Jets return to earth.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 15 28 15 14 18 21
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 17 27 19 20 5 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @CAR 0000023012 ***
Carolina hasn't allowed as much as a 20-point fantasy game to a visiting quarterback since Russell Wilson barely reached that mark with 320 and 1 in Week 1 of last season. They've held both Josh McCown and Matthew Stafford under that benchmark this season, and with one TD toss to his credit this year it's unlikely Big Ben cracks that mark as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT @CAR 5006500000 ***
The bad news is, Carolina hasn't allowed a RB rushing score or a back to rush for more than 54 yards this season. The good news is, Bell is contributing as a receiver as well and the Panthers have allowed a RB receiving score in each game this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT @CAR 006800000 ***
Even the mighty Megatron could muster only 83 yards without a score against the Panthers secondary, so despite Browns' hot start temper your expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Markus Wheaton, PIT @CAR 005400000 ***
Wheaton followed up his solid Week 1 showing with a down Week 2. The difficult matchup dictates Week 3 to be more like the latter than the former, which is bad fantasy news.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Lance Moore, PIT @CAR 002200000 ***
This offense usually feeds just two receivers, and against Carolina it will be lucky to provide one fantasy helper. Moore is too far down the depth chart to be banked on for production here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Heath Miller, PIT @CAR 004300000 ***
Heath has yet to produce a fantasy helper this season, and the stout Carolina defense isn't likely to change that fate.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shaun Suisham, PIT @CAR 2211 ***
The usually reliable Suisham faces a Carolina defense that has yet to allow a field goal this season. On the bright side, this is bound to be a low-scoring affair which tends to mean fewer TDs and more field goals.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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