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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: DEN 23, NE 31 (Line: NE by 7)

Players to Watch: Willis McGahee

Player Updated: Rob Gronkowski

This is like hearing your favorite song played by the wrong band.

The old Brady vs. Manning takes on an entirely new look. The 2-2 Broncos head to New England to face the 2-2 Patriots. Both are disappointed with their current standing though more so for the Pats who naturally assume to dominate the AFC East.The Patriots beat the Broncos twice last year, winning 41-23 at home in week 15 and then 45-10 in New England during the playoffs. But this game has a completely different slant on it with Peyton Manning on the Broncos.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 31-19 10 @CAR -----
2 @ATL 21-27 11 SD -----
3 HOU 25-31 12 @KC -----
4 OAK 37-6 13 TB -----
5 @NE ----- 14 @OAK -----
6 @SD ----- 15 @BAL -----
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE -----
8 NO ----- 17 KC -----
9 @CIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Emmanuel Sanders 2-30

Pregame Notes: If Manning does nothing else, at last he stomped on the Raiders in Denver and that alone justified his salary. Now comes a rough part of the schedule with two road games in New England and San Diego after the Broncos are only 0-1 away from Denver. Manning is getting more productive lately but then again he is generating more game tape on what Manning in Denver is all about. So far he has scored in every week and currently has eight touchdowns against three interceptions. All of those picks were in the one road game.

The rushing effort has been solid with Willis McGahee who fell short only against the Texans because they gave him just 12 carries. He gained over 100 yards and scored on both the Falcons and the Raiders. Notable too were the six catches he made last Sunday. McGahee can help maintain good fantasy numbers with that sort of reception work but it was only one game. Over his first three match-ups, McGahee only totaled three receptions for 17 yards. His stock goes up a tick with another game of being used out of the backfield.

Manning is making good use of his two main wideouts. Demaryius Thomas has just one off game but otherwise has been good for 100 yards and/or a touchdown. Thomas account4ed for eight receptions for 78 yards and one score in the only other road game. Eric Decker remains the possession play and he finally scored when the Raiders visited last week. Decker too has been a solid play with at least 50 yards per week. Impressive too was when the Broncos faced the Texans and Decker came through with eight receptions for 136 yards. Brandon Stokley tosses in two or three catches per week but is a fantasy nonfactor.

Jacob Tamme is the preferred tight end and gets the most targets and catches but the last two weeks have seen Joel Dreessen catch a score. That's mostly just Manning hitting the open guy.

This is only the second road game for the PMannings and the first one did not go so well. But Atlanta has a much better defense than the Patriots. Then again - the Pats are at home after their loss to the Cardinals in the only other game there. The Manning angle has to play at least a minor role here. Mostly - both teams are 2-2 and not liking it.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 13 11 7 11 16 20
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 26 17 21 30 8 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Case Keenum, DEN CLE 0000020010 ***
Even with a strong matchup, Keenum simply isn't a fantasy option. He has an unproven cast of receivers, nothing at tight end, and nothing in the way of a third-down back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Phillip Lindsay, DEN CLE 9013300000 ***
Cleveland has yielded 14 rushing scores in 13 games this year and has permitted four games of at least 28.1 PPR points since Week 5, and four times a back has gone for 30-plus points in 2018. Lindsay shouldn't have much trouble living up to this projection.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Royce Freeman, DEN CLE 300000000 ***
Freeman is of no fantasy worth at this time, regardless of the matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tim Patrick, DEN CLE 005701000 ***
Patrick was able to go for 85 yards on his seven receptions last week and figures to be a big part of the passing game again this week. The Browns cater to this style of play, having given up 184 catches for 2,334 yards on the year but only 12 touchdowns to the position. That is not to say this defense is impenetrable around the stripe, so consider Patrick a reasonable bet for a score. Don't be surprised if his final numbers look similar to last week's like, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DaeSean Hamilton, DEN CLE 004500000 ***
Hamilton scored last week in his ascension after the Emmanuel Sanders injury. The rookie did little else with his seven catches, producing a mere 47 yards. The matchup vs. Cleveland suggests he could continue a similar style of play. This is a great opponent to log receptions and yardage against but not ideal for scoring TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Courtland Sutton, DEN CLE 003400000 ***
Sutton's time to shine will come in the NFL, but he rookie just isn't polished enough to stand out against double teams on a consistent basis. The Broncos are willing to spread the ball around, and he is part of a run-happy, low-volume offensive system. Look for safer plays with more upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN CLE 2222 ***
No writeup available

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF -----
2 ARI 18-20 11 IND -----
3 @BAL 30-31 12 @NYJ -----
4 @BUF 52-28 13 @MIA -----
5 DEN ----- 14 HOU -----
6 @SEA ----- 15 SF -----
7 NYJ ----- 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL ----- 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 300,3
WR Josh Gordon 2-20
TE Dwayne Allen 2-20
TE Rob Gronkowski 8-80,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriots come off a thrashing of the Bills after losing two games and falling to 1-2. The only problem with believing in that is that the Pats beat the Bills. That is like going down the street and beating up your younger cousin for the 20th time. Yeah, what does that prove? The Pats lost in Baltimore by one point and were held off at home by the Cards. That has to motivate the Patriots but a fair question is "how did that happen in the first place?" Sure, the loss in Baltimore was on the road and against a good team. But at home against the Cardinals. The Pats need to win big here if only to make themselves feel better.

Brady is still cranking out the 300 yard games but was light on touchdowns until posting three passing scores and one rushing touchdown on the Bills last week. That gives Brady eight scores against only one interception this year.He only threw one score against the Ravens and Cardinals but those are very good defenses. All is well in the house of Brady and his fantasy owners can come back in off the ledge.

Brady passed for an insane 363 yards and six touchdowns in the playoff meeting between these teams. He threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in the home meeting with the Broncos during week 15.

The pasting of the Bills included a second big game for Stevan Ridley (22-106, 2 TDs) and also for the rookie Brandon Bolden (16-137, TD). Bolden did have the bulk of his production later in the game including the fourth-quarter touchdown but was given four runs in the first half when it was still very much an even game. Danny Woodhead had no carries in that game and may be replaced now by Bolden as the relief runner but still figures in as a receiver. With the Pats, you know when you know. Otherwise you are just guessing.

Aside from the Ravens game, Rob Gronkowski is just as deadly with a score in three games and over 60 yards in each of those. Aaron Hernandez remains out with his ankle injury but may practice this week and possibly play in week six. The Kellen Winslow experiment only lasted for one catch before he was released.

Brandon Lloyd produced 108 yards on nine catches in the Ravens tilt but then has been right at 60 yards in every other game and has just one touchdown on the year and that came in the point fest at Buffalo. Wes Welker seemed almost phased out of the offense early on in the year but has roared back with 17 catches for 271 yards in just the last two weeks. The offense is hitting top speed again and that is without Hernandez who will rejoin the starters as early as next week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 7 7 12 1 2 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 18 12 18 22 12 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE @PIT 0000032020 ***
Last year, at Pittsburgh, Brady went for 298 yards, one TD and one pick. He authored a 222-2-0 game in 2017's trip to the Steel City, finishing the Steelers' season with a 384-3-0 thumping in the conference championship game that year. The Steelers have allowed Derek Carr and Philip Rivers each 23-plus points in the last two games, giving up two touchdown throws in in four of the last five contests. TB12 will have a tough time matching last week's strong showing but belongs in lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Sony Michel, NE @PIT 5011100000 ***
The rookie could get on track with a touchdown this week but isn't likely to be a factor in the yardage department. Pittsburgh has done a good job of limiting backs all season, and Michel has been mired in a two-game scoreless slump (only one TD in the last five games). The Steelers rank sixth at holding down RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE @PIT 2007700000 ***
The only real highlight of the matchup in the stats is Pittsburgh has given up four TDs over only 49 receptions. For comparison, though, Atlanta has allowed 97 catches to RBs and a matching four scores. White has one game with more than nine PPR points in the last month, and he was useless in the Week 15 visit to the Steelers last year (2.8 points). Be cautiously optimistic.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE @PIT 0081001000 ***
Pittsburgh offers a neutral matchup for Week 15 that slightly favors reception hogs. The veteran didn't play in the Week 15 game last year as he missed the whole year with a knee injury. If it matters, in 2016, he had 17 receptions for 178 yards and a TD in two games against the Steelers. Keep him in all lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, NE @PIT 005600000 ***
Gordon has added a downfield element to this offense and faces a defense that has given up 14 TDs in 13 games. Pittsburgh has benefited from some softer WR matchups in 2018, but guys like Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, John Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Keenan Allen have torched this secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @PIT 005601000 ***
Miami gave up a big game to Gronk last week, and he now has two scores in his last three appearances. The Steelers struggled early on with the position but has evened out to a degree. TEs have scored three times in the last five games, but this is just a midrange matchup for receptions and yardage since Week 9. Last year, in Week 15, at the Steelers, Gronkowski posted a monster nine-catch, 168-yard day. He was good for a 4-93-1 line at Pittsburgh in 2016.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @PIT 1133 ***
No writeup available

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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