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: CHI 24, JAC 10 (Line: CHI by 4)

Players to Watch: Maurice Jones-Drew

The 3-1 Bears come off a huge confidence booster smacking the Cowboys on Monday night. The 1-3 Jaguars get their third chance at home to score more than one offensive touchdown. That's probably not going to happen.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU -----
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF -----
3 STL 23-6 12 MIN -----
4 @DAL 34-18 13 SEA -----
5 @JAC ----- 14 @MIN -----
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET ----- 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR ----- 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 100
WR Kendall Wright 5-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Bears put a stamp of credibility on their season with the Monday Night dismantling of the Cowboys in Dallas where they won in all facets of the game. The defense continues to play at a high level if not better each week. Jay Cutler is still somewhat all over the map in production but comes off 275 yards and two scores in Dallas against what used to be good cornerbacks. This week is a second straight road game and comes on a shorter week which could make it tougher. Plus against a weak non-conference team. That is all to say that Cutler could end up with a wide range of potential stats this week. He has been as good as 333 yards and two scores and as bad as 183 yards with no touchdowns.

The most impressive and encouraging part of the Monday night win was the offensive line that limited Cutler to only two sacks and that played noticeably better than they started the season.

Matt Forte returned from his ankle injury and gutted it out but he was clearly still in pain and required his ankle to get rewrapped after having a defender fall on it. Forte was limited to just 13 runs but gained 52 yards while Michael Bush carried ten times for 29 yards. Forte will be six days better this week but that doesn't mean he will be 100%. He is sure to spend much of the practice time resting his ankle. He did not worsen his ankle and should play this week despite the likely practice absences.

Brandon Marshall comes off his best game of the year when he posted 138 yards and one score on seven receptions despite being given the best coverage the Cowboys had to offer. Marshall had two marginal games in recent weeks but came to play in Dallas. If the offense can get more consistency in the passing game, Marshall will be a top wideout for certain. That remains to be seen with the up and down nature of Cutler's passing so far.

No other receiver really matters on this team though Devin Hester caught a rare touchdown last Monday. Alshon Jeffrey has not produced over 45 yards since the season opener. Kellen Davis (3-62) had a freakishly good game for a player that had not been above the 21 yard mark and may not again.

This week Forte gets a shot at a weak rushing defense but he will get help from Michael Bush since he still is not 100% healthy. Cutler goes against a secondary that has allowed two passing scores in the last couple of games and are average at best. WIth the great likelihood that the Jaguars are not going to score much, the Bears won't have to worry about establishing a huge lead to protect.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 25 18 18 31 9 1
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 15 28 12 12 25 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mitchell Trubisky, CHI DET 0000019010 ***
Trubisky showed a little life last week. Detroit, though, has given up only four TD passes, while intercepting as many, in the past four games. Remove two rushing TDs and this goes from being the 12th-best matchup of the week to the 12th-worst.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI DET 11011100000 ***
Howard takes on the Lions' porous rushing defense. This group has permitted 114 rushing yards (6th-most) and a rushing TD every 19.6 carries, which is the second-highest frequency. Through the air, backs have gone for 6.0 catches for 37.3 yards. None of the 24 catches since Week 5 have scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, CHI DET 1003200000 ***
Cunningham played nearly 50 percent of the snaps last week and appears to have solidly taken over for Tarik Cohen. It's somewhat interesting that Cohen's downfall began when Mitchell Trubisky took over. At any rate, Detroit is a midrange defense for receiving backs. Look elsewhere for a better reward play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, CHI DET 004401000 **
Inman showed progress the last two years with the Chargers but was the odd man out with the Mike Williams selection. He had not played since Week 4 of this year but returned to finish with six catches for 88 yards on eight targets vs. Green Bay. The Lions have surrendered 12.5 catches (9th most), 164.3 yards (11th) and a TD every 16.7 receptions (22nd).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, CHI DET 004500000 ***
Wright has seen eight targets in each of the past two contests but hasn't managed to do anything with them. Those looks have resulted in just seven catches for 69 yards. Detroit is a borderline matchup. Play him at your own risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Joshua Bellamy, CHI DET 002300000 **
Bellamy was targeted seven times last week, catching two for 57 and a score. He's a wild gamble in any format. The Lions have given up top-11 figures for yardage and catches but only three WR TDs in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tre McBride III, CHI DET 002300000 *
McBride doesn't belong on any fantasy rosters at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Adam Shaheen, CHI DET 002300000 ***
Detroit has been dominant against tight ends lately, giving up only three catches per contest since Week 5. The rookie tight end doesn't belong on anyone's radar right now.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND -----
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU -----
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN -----
4 CIN 10-27 13 @BUF -----
5 CHI ----- 14 NYJ -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK ----- 16 NE -----
8 @GB ----- 17 @TEN -----
9 DET ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-40

Pregame Notes: After the season opener, there was much optimism about the offense even though it was an overtime loss. Blaine Gabbert passed for 260 yards and two scores. There were new receivers and Maurice Jones-Drew was back after his ill-fated holdout for nothing. But then it only took one week for the Gabbert we knew to show back up. He passed for just 53 yards against the Texans. He has not topped 186 yards since the first game and is mostly grateful that Russell Wilson is the new guy with even worse yardage.

Once again, the Jaguars live and die by whatever Maurice Jones-Drew does and even then that is usually not enough. He has only one big rushing effort so far when they went to Indianapolis and last week was held to 38 yards on 13 runs. After the game, HC Mike Mularkey said they should have ran him more. The reality is they should probably run him on every play that they are not throwing to him.

Laurent Robinson has a concussion and is expected to miss this match-up. He only had one catch in the last two games combined despite being the primary receiver. Justin Blackmon caught six passes for 48 yards against the Bengals which looked huge because his career so far had only produced four receptions for 41 yards.

The only thing that ever happens in this passing offense is when every other game Cecil Shorts catches what turns into a long touchdown. And in his non-scoring weeks, he literally has no catches. Marcedes Lewis scored twice this season with minor yardage and yet his two off games were both one catch for eight or less yards. You really have to hit these receivers on the right week to avoid taking a goose egg from their fantasy score. Not that any of them have any fantasy merit.

The monumental problem this week is that the Bears defense has only allowed one touchdown all year to a running back. They are allowing only 55 rushing yards TOTAL per game and only 3.4 yards per carry. Last week they held DeMarco Murray to only 24 yards on 11 runs. Not a good situation when the entire offense revolves around Maurice Jones-Drew.

It helps to play the Bears on their second straight road game and in a short week for them. But chances are high it won't matter much to a team that has never had much offensive punch in two years.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 31 15 30 30 28 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 4 8 20 31 5 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC @CLE 0000022011 **
Bortles has a marvelous fantasy schedule down the stretch, and it begins here with Cleveland. The Browns rank 10th when rushing touchdowns have been removed, but it's still the 13th-best with them included. One out of every 10.3 completions makes it into the end zone, or two per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Leonard Fournette, JAC @CLE 4012100000 *
Cleveland ranks in the middle of the league against running backs in in basically every notable category. The position has averaged 87 rushing yards, 47.8 receiving gains, and a TD every 42.3 offensive touches.

Update: Fournette was limited Wednesday and Thursday before sitting Friday. He's a gametime call.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC @CLE 1003300000 ***
Yeldon sees some spell work and checkdowns but isn't a viable fantasy play when Leonard Fournette is alive and well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC @CLE 004501000 **
The Browns are better against wideouts than perception suggests. Since Week 5, the position has averaged only nine catches a game for 131.5 yards. This is the second-best defense to face if you're looking for a WR TD, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keelan Cole, JAC @CLE 003400000 ***
Cole isn't likely to have enough of a role to warrant fantasy lineup inclusion, even with Allen Hurns on the mend. The matchup isn't all that appealing, either, even though it is the Browns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dede Westbrook, JAC @CLE 002300000 *
Assuming he is indeed active for Week 11, all signs point to Westbrook having a bit role. Avoid him for now, but he could be worthy of stashing if Keelan Cole fails to step up with Allen Hurns out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC @CLE 004301000 ***
Cleveland has been a disaster against the position all year. This is currently the seventh-best matchup from a defense that has given up 6.3 catches a game to the position. No Allen Hurns could mean more looks for Lewis. He's a sly play in deep leagues.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, JAC @CLE 1133 ***
Fresh off of nailing the game winner vs. his former boss, Lambo draws Cleveland's top-five matchup for exploitation. Kickers have made 10 of 11 field goals and eighth of 10 PATs against the Browns.

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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