FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: BUF 17, SF 34 (Line: SF by 9.5)

Players to Watch: C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson

The Bills are 2-2 but their wins have been against teams that total 1-7 on the season. The 49ers return home after completely destroying the Jets in New York. This game does not bode well for the Bills who were already weak against the run.

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 24-14 12 @IND -----
4 NE 28-52 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 Reggie Bush 70,1 5-40
RB LeSean McCoy 80 4-20
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Chances are the defense still needs some work with half of the games giving up 48+ points to the opponent. The offense has been good enough to produce at least 24 points each week but as the Saints can attest - it doesn't really matter when you cannot keep up with what your defense allows. The remarkable part of this offense is that they have never scored fewer than three touchdowns in any game and yet just once posted more than 210 passing yards.

Ryan Fitzpatrick already has 12 touchdown passes to lead the NFL. While he threw for 350 yards against the Patriots, all others were far less and he did throw a total of seven interceptions in the two losses. Bottom line - Fitzpatrick has always thrown for at least two scores but his yardage usually remains lower because the running game is working. At least it used to work.

Both C.J. Spiller (8-33) and Fred Jackson (13-29) played against the Patriots and neither did much though Jackson did add 50 yards on three catches. When Jackson was out, Spiller scored in every game and twice gained more than 120 rushing yards thanks to facing the Jets and Browns. Now that both are playing their production gets split up. The next two road games against the 49ers and Cardinals are not likely to be beneficial to the rushing effort.

Scott Chandler is tied with Vernon Davis and Heath Miller with four touchdowns by a tight end. What is a little scary this week is that his two home games saw him post six catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns while the two road efforts only netted six receptions for 60 yards and one score. And this week is a much tougher defense.

To Fitzpatrick's credit, four different wideouts have scored a touchdown and really none have had a big yardage game. Donald Jones gained 90 yards on two catches against New England but otherwise no Bills receiver has more than 61 yards in a game. Stevie Johnson has scored in three games so far as the primary wideout but remains around 50 or so yards per week. Against the Pats, he had a season worst 23 yards on two catches. There are four wideouts that can all score and all will contribute something. It is a surprise that the NFL passing touchdown leader after four weeks does not have any receiver with more than 195 yards on the season.

This is likely a week where the Bills have their worst offensive showing. The 49ers have not allowed any running back touchdowns and the wideouts have just one touchdown against them. They average just over one passing score allowed per game and have already faced Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. Add in the Bills traveling across the country and this smacks of a down game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 8 8 17 14 31 11
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 10 1 10 25 4 16

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF @NE 40000016001 ***
The Pats have given up only four touchdown passes, intercepting three, to go with 21.2 fantasy points per game to the position. Taylor, on the road, possibly without his top receiver, has no business being in fantasy lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF @NE 6014300000 ***
McCoy is the best bet for touchdown hunters looking at this offense for points. It could be a rough day, though, since he may be all Bill Belichick has to game plan against if Sammy Watkins doesn't dress. New England has allowed 22.4 PPR points per game to RBs, which ranks in the middle of the pack.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 004500000 ***
Don't chance it with Woods this week. On the road, possibly facing the full defensive attention without Sammy Watkins, he hasn't enough upside.

Update: Watkins is indeed out after being placed on IR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @NE 003400000 ***
The speed demon could shake loose any given Sunday, which makes him an intriguing DFS buy, but that's about it.

Update: Given Goodwin's speed, combined with Tyrod Taylor's arm strength and Sammy Watkins being out, Goodwin is a feasible flier play in standard scoring and DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF @NE 005400000 ***
Clay may see extra targets if Sammy Watkins sits, but that's not enough to create much optimism. Last year, he caught four passes for 33 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Pats.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 2211 ***
The Pats have yielded only two field goal attempts (one made) and a half-dozen extra points. Carpenter shouldn't be a high-level consideration.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL -----
2 DET 27-19 11 CHI -----
3 @MIN 13-24 12 @NO -----
4 @NYJ 34-0 13 @STL -----
5 BUF ----- 14 MIA -----
6 NYG ----- 15 @NE -----
7 SEA ----- 16 @SEA -----
8 @ARI ----- 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SF vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 200,1
QB Christian Ponder 10 230,2
RB Shaun Draughn 10
WR Jeremy Kerley 5-60,1
WR Keshawn Martin 2-20
WR Torrey Smith 5-80,1
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Big win in New York reasserts the 49ers swagger and made some amends for the flat performance in Minnesota that resulted in their only loss. The 49ers also started using a new aspect to the offense and so far it has worked like a charm. That would be the Wildcat formation reaching the west coast a short three years after it started.

Alex Smith has been just a game manager and has yet to throw for more than 226 yards despite a plethora of receivers. But it was not until last week that Colin Kaepernick was given more than one play in the game. He ran five times for 50 yards and one touchdown that looked far too easy when he slipped in untouched. Adding that to the already sold rushing effort means the 49ers can move the ball better, will be harder to defense and can have even more ability to control the clock. How much Kaepernick plays each week may depend on game situation or just coaching whim but it appears to be a high potential aspect to the offense at least occasionally.

Frank Gore has scored in three games but he has minimal role as a receiver and was held to a season low 62 yards on 21 runs. He has been in slight decline since running for 112 yards in the season opener but that likely changes this week with the softer Bills defense coming. Kendall Hunter scored for the first time this year but has never been good for more than around 50 yards. If the 49ers get a big early lead, he may show up this week as well.

Vernon Davis comes off his only bad game of the year with two catches for 28 yards in New York and yet he still has a NFL tight end best four touchdowns shared with Scott Chandler. Davis has one off game with three top efforts. He remains the best receiver on a team that only has one touchdown thrown to any wideout this year - and that was in the season opener. For some reason, the addition of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham just meant good things for Vernon Davis. There is marginal fantasy value in Michael Crabtree and none in the others. Randy Moss never had a catch last week.

When facing the Bills , the decision has to be made how you want to score because both rushing and receiving is going to work. The passing yardage is not going to be high here because it is never high here. This is a good week to own Gore. Not that it is 1:1 by any means, but the Bills just allowed 243 rushing yards and three touchdowns to Patriot running backs last week.

I like a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 19 16 28 8 7 14
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 27 27 24 18 13 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blaine Gabbert, SF DAL 0000023011 ***
Gabbert continues to struggle but won't lose his starting job until Colin Kaepernick is physically ready. There is no reason to play Gabbert, even when facing a bottom-10 defense of quarterbacks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF DAL 9012100000 ***
Hyde should have a fine chance to contribute meaningful fantasy points to lineups this week. Dallas has been tough but not oppressive against his position, allowing 20.0 PPR points per contest. Consider mid-teens for Hyde a win.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, SF DAL 003500000 ***
Non-PPR owners may want to flex Smith out of desperation or bye-week needs. Dallas is a fairly strong defense of wideouts, giving up only three touchdowns on the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, SF DAL 004300000 ***
Super deep PPR leaguers may want to add Kerley to their flex spot. Otherwise, leave him benched against this moderately strong pass defense (13th vs. WRs).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Quinton Patton, SF DAL 003300000 ***
Dallas is the 13th hardest matchup for the position. Patton has no worth at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Garrett Celek, SF DAL 003201000 **
Vance McDonald's status is uncertain, making Celek a worthwhile fantasy gamble. Dallas has been lousy at stopping tight end. The position has generated 23 catches, 246 yards and three touchdowns -- good for the third most fantasy points.

Update: Celek and McDonald are listed as questionable and limited practice participants. Play at your own risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vance McDonald, SF DAL 002300000 *
Check back Friday to see his status report for Week 4.

Update: Garrett Celek and McDonald are listed as questionable and limited practice participants. Play at your own risk.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF DAL 3322 ***
Despite its defensive personnel shortcomings, Dallas has given up four field goals and six extra points (seven attempts) in three weeks of play, making it the eighth hardest defense for kickers to face.

WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

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