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 Matt Barkley, CHI @DET 0000024012 ***
Barkley has no place in a fantasy lineup this week. The Lions rate as the second worst matchup for quarterbacks in Week 14. This has been the stingiest defense for scoring TDs against in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI @DET 7003300000 ***
Detroit gives up a ton of catches to running backs and the 13th most offensive yards per game when using data over the last five weeks. This is a neutral-leaning matchup for non-receiving types. The Lions have allowed three touchdowns on the ground all season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cameron Meredith, CHI @DET 004501000 ***
Only two of the past 61 receptions faced have scored against Detroit. The Lions have allowed the sixth most receptions, though, so even if Meredith doesn't score, he has a decent shot at PPR production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Joshua Bellamy, CHI @DET 004600000 ***
Bellamy came to life last week with four catches for 93 yards, plus a 12-yard run. Don't get overly excited, though, as the Lions have put the clamps on wideouts. This is the least likely defense to allow a touchdown in Week 14 when using data over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, CHI @DET 004500000 ***
Thompson has no value, especially if Marquess Wilson and/or Eddie Royal suit up in Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquess Wilson, CHI @DET 00000000 *
Check back Friday for more details on Wilson's expected availability.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, CHI @DET 00000000 *
Royal's status will be more apparent with Friday's injury report.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Daniel Brown, CHI @DET 003200000 ***
The matchup is great, but the risk is, too. Start him only if you must and hope for the best. This is a conservative projection.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, CHI @DET 2211 ***
Kickers have nailed seven of eight field goal kicks since Week 8, but Detroit has allowed only six extra point chances (four of which were good). That combines for one of the lowest ratings for combined kicking tries in the NFL.

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 MIN 30100019002 ***
Minnesota has given up a TD every 12.5 completions in the last month, but that is where the fun stops for QBs. This is the sixth strongest opponent of the position, and only two teams have conceded more yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC MIN 3003200000 ***
Yeldon should be be trusted in any format against this stingy opponent. The Vikings have allowed only two rushing touchdowns by RBs in the last five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, JAC MIN 00000000 *
Ivory's status for Week 14 is unclear at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson, JAC MIN 003300000 ***
No Harrison Smith could help, but the Vikings have done a fantastic job of limited receivers. The position has averaged bottom-12 numbers in receptions, yards, points per play, and fantasy points scored over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC MIN 004300000 ***
The Vikings remain one of fantasy's toughest defenses against receivers. Since Week 8, this is the eighth worst matchup for fantasy wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC MIN 00000000 *
Hurns' status is unclear, but even if he dresses, avoid him with such a lousy matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Neal Sterling, JAC MIN 004500000 ***
Neal would see more work if Julius Thomas is once again out, but trusting him in a lineup is ill-advised.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, JAC MIN 00000000 *
The veteran tight end is uncertain for Week 14. Check back Friday for more intel.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Myers, JAC MIN 1111 ***
The Vikings have done a fine job of limiting defensive touchdowns all year, and that hasn't changed in the past five weeks. The kicker position has kicked 12 field goals to only nine extra points in this time. Jacksonville struggles to score points of any kind.

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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