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 LeSean McCoy 80,1 4-20
WR Leonard Hankerson 3-60,1
WR Percy Harvin 20 7-100,1
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 Tyrod Taylor, BUF NYJ 0000018010 ***
Since keeping Taylor in check (158 and 1) in the earlier meeting, the Jets inexplicably let TJ Yates go for 229 and 2 and Ryan Tannehill put up 351 and 3. Then they got focused, holding the next four QBs they've faced to a total of three TDs and an average of less than 250 yards per game. Taylor has been streaky as well, with his yardage on a downward trend and a total of three TDs in the past three games--two of them against bottom-third pass defenses. He'll salvage fantasy value with rushing yardage--199 the past three games--but there's a limit to his upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Karlos Williams, BUF NYJ 5002201000 **
LeSean McCoy gouged the Jets in the earlier meeting; Williams chipped in a receiving TD in the final game of his scoring streak. He was modestly successful starting against a bottom-five Dallas run D; don't expect similar against a Jets D that's given up one RB rushing score all season and an average of less than 65 RB rushing yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mike Gillislee, BUF NYJ 3002200000 ***
Gillislee has at least a smidgen of upside as a change of pace back against a Jets defense that's given up five of its six RB touchdowns through the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF NYJ 005600000 ***
The Jets' secondary is elite once again after getting Darrell Revis back from injury. They've given up one WR TD in three games, with no wingman game better than 53 yards. That's your upside for Hogan.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF NYJ 004400000 ***
Since being locked down in back-to-back weeks by the Jets and Patriots, Watkins has averaged 5-109-1 over the past five games. Since getting Darrelle Revis back from injury, the Jets have given up one WR TD in three games and no individual game greater than 70 yards. With a healthy Revis and the Jets fighting for a playoff spot, tough to trust Watkins here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYJ 3211 ***
Hasn't seen ten points
since last time he faced the Jets
Can lightning strike twice?

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 Dwayne Bowe 5-100,1
WR Josh Gordon 3-40
WR Brian Hartline 5-70
WR Andrew Hawkins 6-80,1

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 Austin Davis, CLE PIT 0000021011 ***
The Steelers lost to Ryan Mallett last week, so they shouldn't take Davis lightly. Fantasy owners, however, shouldn't take Davis at all.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson, CLE PIT 2004300000 ***
Maybe you can scrape together a PPR helper from Johnson, who had four catches in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh; after all, the Steelers have allowed 24-208-2 receiving to running backs over the past month and Duke is the Browns' pass-catching back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE PIT 300000000 ***
Yes, the Steelers have let a feature back rush for 75-plus yards and a score in three of their last four road games, including Javorius Allen last week. Yes, Crowell has three TDs in the past three games. But after Crowell rushed for negative five yards on six carries in the earlier meeting it's impossible to trust him with a fantasy play here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, CLE PIT 003500000 *
The Steelers have allowed two receivers to score or top 60 yards in three straight so you have to believe there's at least one fantasy helper here. And Benjamin is the best bet among Cleveland's thinning receiving corps.

Update: Benjamin was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury. You may need to check his status pre-game if you're planning to use him in your Week 17 fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE PIT 002200000 ***
While the Steelers have allowed multiple receivers to score or top 60 yards in three straight games, the last time Gabriel participated in such a game came back in Week 5. Temper expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Gary Barnidge, CLE PIT 005501000 ***
The Steelers have shut out tight ends in five straight games since allowing Barnidge to score in Week 10. He's still the Browns' top target, doing more than enough to remain a viable fantasy option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Travis Coons, CLE PIT 1111 ***
Three points last time out
against the Steelers; at least
this one's in Cleveland

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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