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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
WR Demaryius Thomas 6-80,1

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 Trevor Siemian, DEN @TEN 0000025021 *
Siemian is reportedly making progress and could start. Check back Friday for more info. The Titans at least offer a sweet matchup ... no team has allowed more points per game over the last five weeks.

Update: Siemian is questionable and a likely game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devontae Booker, DEN @TEN 5004300000 ***
The Titans have given up the 12th most PPR points per game since Week 8. The majority of this damage stems from giving up 149.8 combined yards, on average, over this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @TEN 0081001000 ***
A sweet matchup in Week 14 should get Thomas back on track, assuming Trevor Siemian can start. The Titans present the weakest fantasy defense of the position since Week 8.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @TEN 006701000 ***
Tennessee returns from its bye with fantasy's most generous defense of receivers over the last five weeks (four games). The position has averaged 17.3 catches a game, which is the most in football. Yardage-wise, the 219.8 allowed a game is second.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE A.J. Derby, DEN @TEN 002300000 ***
Derby has no value in Week 14. Keep him on the wire.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @TEN 3322 ***
Of the 20 combined kicking chances, 85 percent have split the uprights. The Titans have given up the 11th most points per game to kickers over the last five weeks.

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
RB Brandon Bolden 20
WR Danny Amendola 6-80,1
TE Martellus Bennett 6-70
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 BAL 0000028020 ***
Remove the one rushing touchdown scored against the Ravens since Week 8 and we have the ninth worst matchup for QBs. This one is in New England, but Brady losing both Gronk and the lesser used Danny Amendola in back-to-back games is bound to catch up at some point.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE BAL 401000000 ***
The only redeeming quality about this matchup is Baltimore gives up a lot of catches per game, but that's not Blount's thing. It' is the third hardest matchup to exploit in Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dion Lewis, NE BAL 2004300000 ***
Despite the good matchup for receiving backs, Lewis probably shouldn't be used -- at least not by owners looking for some comfort in their lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE BAL 004300000 ***
The Ravens have given up the fourth most catches to running backs, on average, over the last five weeks. White is a risky play with his touch share in the backfield, but he has some flex appeal in PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE BAL 008801000 ***
No Gronk. No Amendola. Edelman should be asked to shoulder the receiving load and gets a relatively neutral matchup against the Ravens. Start him with confidence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcolm Mitchell, NE BAL 006801000 ***
TB12 has shown trust in the rookie and hasn't been let down a whole lot. Mitchell has a decent enough matchup, as the visiting Ravens rate in the middle of the league in most notable categories against wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE BAL 004500000 ***
Baltimore has surrendered a touchdown per game to receivers over the last five weeks, giving up the 33.1 aggregate PPR points in that time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, NE BAL 003300000 ***
Over the last five weeks, tight ends have averaged 4.8 catches for 49 yards against the Ravens. Two of the 24 grabs went for touchdowns. Bennett is a sketchy play.

Update: Bennett was limited Thursday and Friday. He has until Monday night to get right, and his official status will be known Saturday.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE BAL 2233 ***
No team is more evenly negative against kickers. Baltimore ranks 31st in FGAs, XPAs and fantasy points allowed, while also rating 32nd in combined kicking chances over the last five weeks.

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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