Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: NE 30, BUF 20 (Line: NE by 3.5)

Players to Watch: BUF RB's, T.J. Graham

Players Updated: C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Tashard Choice, Rob Gronkowski

The 1-2 Patriots have a losing record for the first time in ten years and chances are that has been realized by the players and coaches. This does not bode that well for the 2-1 Bills who have beaten the Chiefs and Browns. But the Pats lost 31-34 in Buffalo during week three of last year and later won 49-21 at home. Have to like the Pats here and man - a loss would just be unthinkable. The Patriots have won nine of the last ten meetings.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF -----
2 ARI 18-20 11 IND -----
3 @BAL 30-31 12 @NYJ -----
4 @BUF ----- 13 @MIA -----
5 DEN ----- 14 HOU -----
6 @SEA ----- 15 SF -----
7 NYJ ----- 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL ----- 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 320,3
WR Danny Amendola 6-80
WR Brandon Gibson 3-40
WR Brandon LaFell 5-60
TE Scott Chandler 4-40,1
TE Rob Gronkowski 6-80,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The loss to the Cardinals was a big surprise and while the loss to the Ravens was hardly a shock, it still sends the Patriots forward with a losing record. That makes two games in a row that Tom Brady passed for healthy yardage and yet only one touchdown when the team needed more. The absence of Aaron Hernandez should not matter this much but twice now defenses have been surprisingly effective at holding the Patriots at bay.

Stevan Ridley opened the season like a stud but then has been far less successful. With Hernandez out, the Patriots have taken to using Danny Woodhead more and that will likely continue until the tight end returns. The Pats are not throwing to the backs more though and Ridley still has a role. Woodhead even took a short touchdown away from Ridley. For now, the backfield is back to a committee.

Julian Edelman has been playing more and scored last week but injured his hand and may not be available. As this is the Patriots, knowing his status will largely be a crap shoot by design. After Edelman left the game, Wes Welker finally had a game reminiscent of his previous seasons when he ended with eight catches for 142 yards. Welker has not scored this season and has been less productive. Edelman being out has helped more than anything though Hernandez absence also has sparked at least a bit more use. Brandon Lloyd is another starter who has yet to score a touchdown though he too finally had a big game when he ended with nine receptions for 108 yards.

Rob Gronkowski was held to a freakishly low 21 yards on two catches which was because the Ravens pass rush forced Gronk into more of a blocking role. That won't be a problem this week. Kellen Winslow and Michael Hoomanawanui both had one catch while not doing much to make anyone forget about Hernandez. Deion Branch is back but not busy enough to merit fantasy attention.

The Bills have the better record but anything short of a big win here will be a surprise.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 16 15 10 1 3 18
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 20 23 27 6 9 20

QB Tom Brady, NE @DAL 0000032030 ***
Brady's "Up Yours, Goodell!" tour takes its act on the road to Dallas, where he'll dazzle Greg Hardy with his wife and drop another 300-plus yard, multiple TD outing on a defense that just got taken for something similar by a lame-armed version of Drew Brees. He hasn't been to Dallas in eight years, but the last time he dropped by he left with 388 yards and five TDs. Just sayin'.
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE @DAL 701000000 ***
Blount will see the goal-line and clock-eating work--maybe not to the three-TD level he hit last week and Davonte Freeman posted on the Cowboys two weeks back, but more than enough to warrant a fantasy play.
RB Dion Lewis, NE @DAL 4005400000 ***
The Cowboys have allowed a back to amass at least 46 receiving yards in every game thus far--and two of them last week. There's your floor for Lewis, the pass-catching half of the New England backfield--though he's also seeing enough red zone work to contribute on the ground as well.
WR Julian Edelman, NE @DAL 0010901000 ***
Julio Jones is the only opposing wideout to see Edelman-level targets against the Cowboys, and he ripped them for 12-164-2. Edelman isn't Julio, obviously, but his volume will lead to another quality fantasy outing against a defense that let lesser volume slot guys Willie Snead (6-89) and Jordan Matthews (6-80-1) have solid fantasy days.
WR Danny Amendola, NE @DAL 004400000 ***
After Gronk and Edelman and Lewis and Blount all get theirs... hey, even with Tom Brady at the helm there's only so much to go around.
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @DAL 0061002000 ****
Gronk's had 94 yards or better in every game, scored four TDs already this year, and faces a Dallas defense that just let Josh Hill find the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @DAL 2244 ***
The Pats have increased their number of scoring drives each week, with 17 total in their past two games. And goody for Gosty, they've settled for field goals on seven of them. Still the most reliable fantasy kicker in the game.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE -----
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE 24-14 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 110,1 3-20
WR Percy Harvin 20 8-90
WR Denarius Moore 5-70,1
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 1 XP
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills are 2-1 thanks in no small part to playing the Chiefs and Browns but now hit a bad stretch of the schedule with facing the Pats, then hitting the road to San Francisco and Arizona. That'll knock down the 28 point average per game. Losing C.J. Spiller for this week is only going to make it harder and take away the one weapon that was actually working every week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for at least two scores each week but has been light on the yardage in part because C.J. Spiller was shredding the Jets and Chiefs. He posted 300+ yards in both meetings with the Patriots last season and scored twice in each. This week will be a new test for him since none of his receivers have gained more than 61 yards in a game so far and the running game is not going to be very effective.

C.J. Spiller avoided a broken clavicle as first feared but will still miss this week with a sprained shoulder. There is a chance that Fred Jackson plays at least a limited role this week as he returns from a knee sprain. Jackson said he thought he could return this week so I will include him in a limited fashion and update as his status gains any clarity.

The Bills receivers have been very light on the catches and yardage but Stevie Johnson has scored every week even though he is averaging just four catches for 57 yards per game. Scott Chandler once again started his season with touchdowns in the first two games but then ended with only 22 yards on two catches against the Browns. He has been held to four catches or less each week. This is just not as effective a passing offense as we saw in early 2011 and needs the running ability of Spiller or Jackson to keep the ball moving. The rookie T.J. Graham scored for the first time last week and had three catches for 24 yards. The Bills offense needs some diversification and Donald Jones is not providing much help.

Playing at home is favorable but the Patriots are 1-2 and that has be really, really focusing for them right now. The Pats are playing better defense this year and are going to be very motivated.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 12 5 18 21 31 9
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 23 17 20 25 14 2

QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF @TEN 40100022011 ***
Two TDs is the default against Tennessee--Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, and Andrew Luck each matched that mark--so if Taylor can add some rushing numbers to what should be a decent passing day he'll be a viable fantasy helper this week.
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @TEN 5001100000 ***
With LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams both hurt expect Dixon to be the lead dog in Rexy's Ground 'N' Pound. The Titans have bowed to volume before, surrendering 115 rushing yards to the Browns but holding Tampa Bay and Indy under triple digits due primarily to fewer than 20 rushes from each team. Buffalo won't make that mistake--they've been north of 20 in three of four games--and they have RB TDs in every game so Dixon's opportunity is golden.
WR Percy Harvin, BUF @TEN 006600000 ***
This game has success for Harvin written all over it. No Sammy Watkins provides the opportunity, and a Tennessee defense that's allowed fantasy success to speed receivers (Travis Benjamin 115 & 2, TY Hilton 94 yards, Philip Dorsett 43 and a TD) provides little resistance.
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @TEN 005400000 ***
Hogan continues to see snaps with Sammy Watkins hurt, but there's little fantasy value to be found here.
WR Robert Woods, BUF @TEN 004400000 ***
Strangely enough, Woods' best game this season came while Sammy Watkins was healthy and productive. Since that won't be the case this week, looks like Woods is a fantasy non-entity once again.
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @TEN 00000000 *
A healthy Watkins would be a great matchup with a Tennessee secondary that struggles with speed. But it doesn't look like we'll have a healthy Watkins this week.
TE Charles Clay, BUF @TEN 007701000 ****
Clay's targets have grown each week, as has his productivity. The Titans couldn't stop a seven-target Austin Seferian-Jenkins (5-110-2) in Week 1, so if Clay sees another Sunday of double-digit targets he could bust the meter.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @TEN 2222 ***
The Bills brought in another kicker this week, which may or may not leave Carpenter on the hot seat--or worse, out of a job. He'll be facing a Titans defense that hasn't given up a field goal attempt this season, which you can take one of two ways. Neither, however, adds a bunch of fantasy points to Carpenter's ledger.

CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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