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 Jay Cutler 10 240,1
WR Alshon Jeffery 2-20

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 Brian Hoyer, CHI @DAL 0000023011 ***
There is no reason to chance it with Hoyer in Week 3. Dallas hosts Chicago on Sunday night and is the 12th easiest matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI @DAL 5012100000 **
The offense may fall squarely on his shoulders without Jay Cutler under center. The likely added volume is nice, but stacked boxes can negate the effectiveness. Langford faces the 12th most difficult matchup for running backs and may struggle if Brandon Hoyer cannot exploit the secondary. Tread with caution, and avoid him in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, CHI @DAL 004501000 ***
Royal should see an uptick in looks with Brian Hoyer at quarterback and Dallas' weak fantasy WR defense paying mind to Alshon Jeffery. That said, playing Royal is a tough pill to swallow for traditional leaguers. PPR only, and only if you must.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI @DAL 004600000 ***
Dallas may look to double Jeffery all day long and force Brian Hoyer to take the checkdowns to backs and tight ends. The 'Boys have given up 24 catches for 316 yards and a trio of TDs to receivers this season. Jeffery is a starter but with much lower expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kevin White, CHI @DAL 004300000 ***
White is basically a late-season rookie at this point in his young NFL journey. Now a quarterback change comes into play, and it's really difficult to put much stock in White at this time. The matchup is respectable, so there's that going for him, but White isn't an quality start in any situation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, CHI @DAL 004400000 ***
Miller has been been non-existent through two games (7-47-0). That could change against the fourth easiest matchup for fantasy tight ends. Only Cleveland has given up more catches to the position. Brian Hoyer doesn't have the downfield game of Jay Cutler, something that bodes well for Miller.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, CHI @DAL 1122 ***
Brian Hoyer can do some decent things on offense, so maybe Barth gets ample chances. However, it's not worth chancing.

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 BAL 0000031020 ***
This won't be the easiest of matchups, and Bortles made his way to respectability only through garbage time last week. Baltimore shut down Tyrod Taylor in Week 1 but gave up 21 fantasy points to Josh McCown last week. On paper, only two teams have been stronger. There are cracks in this wall; Bortles can have a big enough stay to matter.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC BAL 4012200000 **
Yeldon is producing just enough to stay in the lineup conversation, although it is ugly for the most part. This matchup isn't as frightful for fantasy purposes as days gone by ... or even last year. Only a dozen teams have granted more fantasy points to the position.

Update: Chris Ivory will make his Jaguars debut, likely creating a substantial touch split. Yeldon remains a safer play in PPR leagues, and we don't know just how ready Ivory is for even a decent touch split.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, JAC BAL 3002100000 **
Ivory is still recovering from an illness and should be left on your bench until further notice. Check back later in the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson, JAC BAL 0061001000 ***
Baltimore has been a "don't bend, just break" defense versus receivers (19-227-2 through two games, but that ranks them as the fourth strongest against PPR receivers. Robinson will defy those odds and should not be sat down in traditional leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC BAL 005801000 ***
Hurns has been on the field for nearly 87 percent of the Jaguars' offensive plays this year. It has been an inauspicious start for Hurns, but he saw a team-high 10 targets last week. Baltimore is a tougher matchup, particularly for PPR types, having allowed only 19 catches in two games to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC BAL 002300000 ***
Despite a quality game in Week 2, Lee doesn't see enough looks to belong in the fantasy picture for traditional gamers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, JAC BAL 005600000 ***
Baltimore has locked it down against Charles Clay and Gary Barnidge. Meh. Neither player is Thomas. He is a solid bet for double figures fantasy points.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Myers, JAC BAL 2233 ***
Concerns over Jacksonville's offensive struggles, plus a solid defensive matchup, make Myers a quality start.

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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