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: PIT 20, OAK 16 (Line: PIT by 4.5)

Players to Watch: Brandon Meyers

Player Updated: Heath Miller, Jonathan Dwyer, Sebastian Janikowski

The Steelers come off a solid win over the Jets for a 1-1 record while the Raiders remain 0-2 after being dismantled by the Dolphins. This should be a competitive game but the Raiders are not playing well enough to take advantage of the home venue.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC -----
2 NYJ 27-10 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 @ OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 260,2
RB Daryl Richardson 40 3-20
RB DeAngelo Williams 70
WR Antonio Brown 7-100,1
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 4-50

Pregame Notes: The Steelers had little trouble dispatching the Jets last week but his the road where they had problems in the season opener. This game will be a better measure since the Broncos were debuting new schemes and plays that were hard to prepare against. The Jets same struggles from the summer sunk their chances.

Ben Roethlisberger has been solid with two scores in either game and around 260 yards in each but that is a bit low side to expectations since the offense was supposed to be opened up more. Denver and the Jets have good secondaries so there is no real problem here other than he's still getting sacked about four times every week.

The rushing effort would be poor if all the rushing yards were totaled and given to just one person. For a franchise with some storied running backs in the past, watching Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer is almost painful. They have combined for only 116 yards on 44 carries over two games - a 2.6 yard per carry average. They don't even get more than about one catch per game. When Rashard Mendenhall returns, it will only be worse.

The only receivers of any note remain Antonio Brown who has 75 yards per game and has not scored. Mike Wallace has scored in both games with minimal yardage and then Heath Miller has scored in both games as well and has even less yardage. Assumedly this gets better as the offense comes together and Wallace missed most of the installation this summer. It's nice that Miller is scoring each week but he just has too little yardage to merit fantasy consideration.

The Chargers already won in Oakland with no running game at all and far lesser receivers. Troy Polamalu should be back this week as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 13 22 11 13 18 24
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 14 28 12 6 29 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @PHI 0000026011 ***
Cleveland and Chicago have been No. 1-ranked Philadelphia's opponents ... hardly a real ranking it would appear. The Steelers have the weaponry to take advantage of this system. Trust Big Ben once again, but maybe slightly less that usual in the event this defense is not a product of weak matchups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, PIT @PHI 8015400000 ***
The Eagles have given up 137 rushing, 62 receiving yards and two ground TDs. DAW is a fine play to continue his strong contributions in what should be his final start without Le'Veon Bell.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT @PHI 0061001000 ***
AB was shut down by his standards last week, which our projections accurately reflected if we may toot our own horn. The stud receiver will get back on track this week. The matchup doesn't agree on paper, but neither did Brown's history versus Cincy last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammie Coates, PIT @PHI 003700000 ***
Coates has been doing exactly what he does best -- big plays, averaging 38.5 yards per catch on just four grabs. He's an all-or-nothing type and has a place only in non-PPR leagues as a risky flex or a DFS wildcard. Philly has given up the fourth most plays of 40-plus to wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eli Rogers, PIT @PHI 004500000 **
Following a nice Week 1 debut, which was inflated by a deflected touchdown grab, Rogers disappeared in the sequel. He's back for another shot at it against this presumably fake pass defense. Don't chance it unless you have no other viable selections.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jesse James, PIT @PHI 003300000 ***
James scored in Week 1 and is a nice safety outlet for Ben Roethlisberger. Philly has been dominant against the position by holding Zach Miller and Gary Barnidge to six total catches for 42 yards. James is a wild gamble.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT @PHI 2222 ***
Safe but unspectacular production should come from Boswell's accurate leg against the No. 27 PK defense.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL -----
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO -----
3 PIT ----- 12 @CIN -----
4 @DEN ----- 13 CLE -----
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN -----
6 @ATL ----- 15 KC -----
7 JAC ----- 16 @CAR -----
8 @KC ----- 17 @SD -----
9 TB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Michael Crabtree 6-70
PK Sebastian Janikowski 3 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raiders fall to 0-2 and the schedule gets worse for the next two weeks. The absence of any rushing game has crippled the offense and the passing is not good enough to keep the Raiders in games. Jacoby Ford has landed on injured reserve to leave the wide receivers thin and special teams lacking a good returner. The schedule does improve after the week five bye but it may be ugly getting there.

Carson Palmer has thrown just two touchdowns this year but has 670 passing yards thanks to throwing nearly 50 times each game. He's been hampered by drops and wide receiver corps that is not carrying their weight. This should be a strength and instead is the biggest liability. Darrius Heyward-Bey is attracting all the secondary attention and while Denarius Moore returned last week, he only caught three of his eight passes and looked rusty. This will get better but the offense is starting out slowly.

Worse yet is the almost inexplicable struggle of Darren McFadden who has been completely ineffective as a runner. After two weeks, he only has 54 yards on 26 carries. Defenses are keying on him and the offense has been unable to get him free. In Miami, McFadden was even taken out of the game as a receiver. So far McFadden does not have even one decent run. Not one.

Brandon Meyers has been far better than expected with games of 5-65 and 6-86. He is the leading receiver for the Raiders even though the wide receivers get more passes. One or two more games with good receptions and Meyers could be reliable at least for fantasy depth.

Problem this week is that the 0-2 Raiders are facing their best defense so far.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 14 8 26 11 22 31
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 10 2 15 11 2 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK @TEN 0000028021 ***
We're looking at a tough matchup for Carr, facing a defense that has allowed only one TD to quarterbacks. While Tennessee has just one pick, they rank seventh at stopping fantasy passers. Carr has to be started with lowered expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @TEN 4005300000 ***
Murray's start has been respectable. This week, he could run into a brick wall. The Titans are the stiffest matchup for fantasy backs. No TDs allowed, only five catches, and 156 rushing yards ... Play Murray with diminished results in mind.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK @TEN 004601000 ***
Crabtree sees single coverage and is doing a great job of taking advantage of those one-on-ones. He is a WR3 in standard, a second in PPR, against this Titans defense ranking 12th vs. wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Amari Cooper, OAK @TEN 0051000000 ***
Cooper belongs in any lineup where he was drafted. He's better in PPR. Tennessee ranks 12th against fantasy receivers in this scoring format, allowing 27 receptions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Seth Roberts, OAK @TEN 003300000 ***
Roberts sees a only handful of targets and thus has no fantasy relevance at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clive Walford, OAK @TEN 005601000 ***
Tennessee has given up the 12th fewest points to the position. Walford came to life last week, so this one is really a toss up. We side with the offense.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @TEN 3222 ***
Tennessee has given up the most field goal attempts to kickers, so there's some hope here.

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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