FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: BUF 24, CLE 20 (Line: BUF by 3)

Players to Watch: Brandon Weeden, Scott Chandler

Player Updated: Alex Smith

Here is a matchup between two teams generally hanging around their respective division cellars but the Browns have not won a game yet and the 1-1 Bills are posting good points and hoping they can outscore what they allow their opponents. Going against the Browns means there is an excellent chance.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE -----
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE ----- 12 @IND -----
4 NE ----- 13 JAC -----
5 @SF ----- 14 STL -----
6 @ARI ----- 15 SEA -----
7 TEN ----- 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Bryce Brown 10
RB C.J. Spiller 100,1 4-40
WR Mike Williams 4-40
TE Scott Chandler 5-50,1
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to believe but it is true - the Bills feature the NFL's leading rusher in C.J. Spiller (292 yards) and Ryan Fitzpatrick is tied with Matt Ryan with a league leading five touchdown passes. Granted - Fitzpatrick only has a 186 yard per game average, but he throws two or more scores in each of his first two matchups. That is highly likely to continue since the Browns have given up 310+ pass yards and at least two scores in each of their first two games.

The turn-around in C.J. Spiller almost defies all reason. He was a dud in his first year and then turned in a few good efforts late last year when Fred Jackson was out and the Bills were at home. Now that Jackson is out yet again, it is like the second coming of O.J. Simpson (the football player). it is not enough that he leads the league in rushing yardage, he only has 29 carries and is averaging around 10 yards each run. That's insane. That's also one hell of a lucky draft pick for someone in your league.

With all the rushing success, there has been only marginal passing yards despite the five passing touchdowns. Stevie Johnson has scored in both games but has yet to top 56 yards. Donald Jones has yet to eclipse 41 yards in a game. Even the tight end Scott Chandler has scored in both weeks and yet remained below 55 yards.

The offense is clicking for the Bills and they go to Cleveland at an opportune time since Joe Haden is still out.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 15 5 22 15 31 8
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 27 10 31 19 13 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kyle Orton, BUF @OAK 0000019011 ***
We've seen nothing from Orton of late--one multi-TD game in his last six outings--to suggest he warrants a fantasy play here, even in a reasonably compelling matchup with the Raiders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @OAK 6016500000 ***
While you can run on the Raiders, and the Bills and Jackson most certainly will, where they're particularly susceptible is to pass-catching backs. Fred has 19 catches in the four games since he returned to action; that coupled with his carries makes him a good fantasy start that elevates to great in PPR formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @OAK 2001100000 ***
Dixon's role never really materialized when the Bills were down a couple backs; now that Fred Jackson and potentially CJ Spiller are back, he's persona non grata.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF @OAK 200000000 ***
Complementary backs have done next to nothing since the return of Fred Jackson, and it will take garbage time for Brown to see enough touches to have a fantasy impact. But it's Oakland, so we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @OAK 003500000 ***
Woods has had a couple big games against the Jets, but that just puts him in the big pile of "receivers with a pulse". With Kyle Orton's subdued numbers there's likely room for just one fantasy impact player among Buffalo's receivers--and Sammy Watkins has that covered.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @OAK 004400000 ***
Two of the three 100-yard games the Raiders have given up to opposing wide receivers have gone to speed guys (Malcom Floyd, Stedman Bailey). Watkins is most certainly a speed guy, not to mention the Bills' top target--and the best bet for fantasy success in the Buffalo passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @OAK 003201000 **
The Raiders have given up five TE TDs in the past six games so don't dismiss Chandler out of hand. But he has one TD in the past six games, so he's far from a lock.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @OAK 1133 ****
Carpenter has double-digits in two of the past three and at least seven points in six of the past seven--numbers sure to be equaled or exceeded against an Oakland defense that's allowed at least seven kicker points in 13 of 14 games, and double-digit points six times already.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL -----
3 BUF ----- 12 PIT -----
4 @BAL ----- 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG ----- 14 KC -----
6 CIN ----- 15 WAS -----
7 @IND ----- 16 @DEN -----
8 SD ----- 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Miles Austin 6-100,1
WR Josh Gordon 3-40
WR Andrew Hawkins 6-80,1
PK Garrett Hartley 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Browns have lost both games but been competitive in both. Brandon Weeden opened his career with a historically bad effort but then bounced back against the Bengals and threw for 322 yards and two scores. That is a 204 yard improvement from the opener and is probably a record in itself. Weeden was able to complete 26 of 37 passes and threw no interceptions. That makes a difference though not quite enough in this case.

Just as notable was the breakout game by Trent Richardson who rushed for 109 yards and a score on 19 carries and added four catches for 36 yards and a second touchdown. Richardson displayed the power and moves that made him the first back drafted this year and his inclusion as a receiver makes it even more encouraging.

Despite the bigger passing effort last week, the only real beneficiaries were Mohamed Massaquoi (5-90) and Chris Ogbonnaya (6-73), Josh Gordon continues to look like just a project with a catch or two per game and Greg Little managed 57 yards and a touchdown on his five catches but was blanked in the season opener.

This week hosting the Bills should let the Browns post some good points and see success in both running and receiving. It may not be enough for a win, but this week offers what could be rare fantasy value outside of Trent Richardson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 30 10 24 30 13 2
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 26 23 27 3 18 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Johnny Manziel, CLE @CAR 30100018001 **
It can't get much worse than last week for Johnny JamBoogie, and there's not much upside to be gleaned from a matchup with a Carolina defense that's given up just two passing scores the past two weeks. If you want to find a hook to hang your fantasy title hopes on, it's that the Panthers just let Josh McCown rush for a touchdown against them. Yeah, pretty thin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @CAR 4011000000 **
The Panthers haven't given up a running back touchdown in more than a month, and with Crowell splitting the workload with Terrance West there's not much to like here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, CLE @CAR 300000000 ***
West is splitting the touches and the production with Isaiah Crowell. When there's 40 carries to split that means plenty of fantasy success to go around. When there's a dozen carries, like last week, and the threat of Johnny Manziel swiping a rushing score looms, and the matchup isn't particularly favorable... well, half of not much isn't going to help your fantasy squad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, CLE @CAR 005600000 **
Until we see proof Johnny Manziel can pass, it's tough to trust any Cleveland receiver with a fantasy start. Even Gordon. Doesn't help that Carolina's secondary has given up just one 100-yard receiving game in the past two months.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @CAR 004400000 ***
Tough to be a PPR helper when your quarterback is running for his life, running after the first couple of reads, and has yet to prove himself as an NFL passer. Oh yeah, and Josh Gordon has taken over as the top target in Cleveland as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Cameron, CLE @CAR 002200000 ***
Cameron wasn't exactly a hot target for Johnny Manziel last week, with one target on the afternoon. Carolina isn't a favorable matchup for the position, so there's no compelling reason to reach for Cameron this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Garrett Hartley, CLE @CAR 1111 ***
Hartley is still waiting for his first opportunity as a Brown, as Cleveland was blanked last week by the Bengals. Don't expect much of an uptick from the Johnny Football-led offense, nor a helping hand from a Panthers' D that's held four straight foes to only one field goal per game.

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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