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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 Stephen Hill 4-70
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 @MIA 40000020012 ***
Smith has rushing scores in two of his last three which have elevated his fantasy numbers to almost startable status. However, he threw for 29 yards--that's not a typo, just two digits, less than 90 feet of passing production--in the earlier meeting with Miami and it would take serious stones to trot him out in any self-respecting fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @MIA 10003200000 ***
Johnson rushed for 96 yards in Houston back in Week 2 and is coming off another 90-yard game last week. However, Shonn Greene also topped 90 yards on almost as many carries and also swiped a touchdown so temper your CJ?K expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @MIA 600000000 ****
Ivory has been the Jets' primary ball-carrier four straight games, resulting in one TD and a 109-yard effort last week. He should see more than the dozen carries he handled in the earlier meeting with Miami, and if he maintains the five yards per carry he averaged in that game (as well as last week) he should be a significant fantasy helper against a defense that served up 195 rushing yards to Buffalo last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @MIA 0061101000 ***
Everybody got fed the last time these squads met--Demaryius Thomas 94 yards, Decker 133 & 1, Wes Welker 84 & 1--and there's no reason to expect much difference this time around. The only difference is that with Welker out Decker has seen a little more activity--hardly a bad thing when Peyton Manning is slinging the pigskin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @MIA 004500000 ***
Kerley turned a team-high 11 targets last week into five catches for 70 yards; for the Jets passing attack, that passes for a monster game. Get your fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Cumberland, NYJ @MIA 002201000 **
The Jets have one TE TD in the past five games, and with Cumberland and Kellen Winslow splitting the looks it's impossible to bank on either for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @MIA 2211 ****
Folk was more effective earlier in the season, but over the past six games he's hit double-digits just once. That stretch included a three-point effort against Miami a month back; seems overly optimistic to look for much more this time around.

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 CLE 0000024020 ***
The Browns have allowed multiple passing scores in 10 straight games, a stretch that includes Big Ben's 217 & 2 in Week 12. Roethlsiberger's yardage has been subdued of late, but he has multiple TD tosses in five of six and will stick around as long as it takes with the Steelers' playoff hopes still clinging to life support.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT CLE 7014300000 ***
Bell rushed for 80 yards in the earlier meeting with Cleveland. Since then the Browns have softened a bit, surrendering 100-yard outings in back-to-back games. Bell rushed for 124 yards last week in Green Bay and has scored in back-to-back games; he also has a couple 50-yard receiving games in that span as well. With the Steelers still playing for something, Bell's about as good a fantasy back bet as there is this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, PIT CLE 601000000 **
Prior to last week's aberration against the Dolphins, the Bills allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers. They also served up 162 rushing yards to the Patriots in the earlier meeting this season; unfortunately, after Shane Vereen (if healthy) takes his bite off the top the leftovers will be split between Blount and Stevan Ridley--and only Bill Belichick knows who'll get the money shots.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT CLE 005801000 ***
With 92 yards and a TD in Cleveland earlier this season, Brown ain't 'fraid of no Haden. He's scored in three straight and five of six and is consistently Big Ben's favorite target so don't sweat the Iron Haden.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Lance Moore, PIT CLE 002200000 ***
Moore has to battle Kenny Stills and Robert Meachem for secondary looks behind Marques Colston in an offense that throws to the tight end and running backs more than the wideouts. That's not a recipe for fantasy success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Heath Miller, PIT CLE 003200000 ***
The Steelers have one TE TD in the past nine games, and it went to Matt Spaeth, not Miller. Heath had 5-41 in the earlier meeting with Cleveland, a game sandwiched in between outings in which the Browns gave up multiple touchdowns. So there's at least a glimmer of hope here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shaun Suisham, PIT CLE 2233 ***
Suisham tallied nine in Cleveland last month and has 20 points over the past two games. With the Steelers clinging to playoff hopes, Suisham will be pressed to put points on the board once again.

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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