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: HOU 31, NYJ 13 (Line: HOU by 9)

Players to Watch: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow

Players Updated: Dustin Keller, Stephen Hill, Ben Tate

The 4-0 Texans are back on the road but still have not scored less than 27 points in any game. The 2-2 Jets may be .500 but are on the verge of complete armageddon according to the media who delights in such. This could be a trap game, but it would need to happen in an alternate universe and would not be broadcasted on NFL Sunday Ticket unless you purchased the HBO/Dual Reality Package.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI -----
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC -----
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET -----
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN -----
5 @NYJ ----- 14 @NE -----
6 GB ----- 15 IND -----
7 BAL ----- 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 10 230,2
RB Arian Foster 110,2 6-40
WR Andre Johnson 6-80,1
WR Keshawn Martin 2-20

Pregame Notes: Tough game in Denver but otherwise - this has been a cakewalk so far. Three wins were by 20+ points and the Houston defense has been only let up at the end of games to allow a little trash yardage and maybe a score. The passing offense under Matt Schaub has largely been mediocre in stats simply because they were not needed but in the one close game, he threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns in Denver. Schaub is only playing up to the level he needs to and with once again a premier rushing offense, he is just rarely that productive.

Arian Foster has scored in each game and never gained fewer than 79 rushing yards. His role as a receiver has been mostly limited but he makes that up with big rushing yards and touchdowns. Ben Tate is just a relief player and his two scores in the Jacksonville win along with his 74 rushing yards were just a one-time thing. Tate has produced under 30 total yards in all but one game. Foster remains an elite back with a heavy load.

The passing may not be prolific but Owen Daniels has caught a touchdown in both of the last two games and he has always been good for around 50 yards worth of production each week.

As so often happens, the tremendous success of both the rushing effort and the defense means that the minimal passing needs affect all receivers including Andre Johnson. He has two scores on the year but he is only averaging three catches for around 50 yards per game over the last three weeks. No doubt he will come back into play in upcoming weeks with the likes of the Packers and Ravens up next. But against the Jets? Could be another low effort from a guy you have to start regardless because of his potential every week.

No other receiver matters here - ever. The fantasy value has dwindled down to only Foster, Daniels in a pinch and Johnson with your fingers crossed.

The Jets started the season by giving up 169 rush yards to C.J. Spiller and three weeks later have yielded seven rushing touchdowns and well over 100 yards to runners from every opponent other than the Steelers. With the Jets losing Darrelle Revis and now Santonio Holmes, the disarray is ripe for a bulldozer job by the Texans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 21 2 29 9 10 2
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 8 25 6 10 16 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, HOU @TEN 0000025011 ****
Fitz hasn't been fabulous, but he gets to face his old team--and a defense that's allowed three TDs to Brian Hoyer, 336 yards to Blake Bortles, and 267 to the Cousins/McCoy combo platter in just the past three weeks. Clearly, stranger things than a Fitz fantasy helper have happened to this defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Arian Foster, HOU @TEN 10014200000 ***
Foster has scored in four straight against Tennessee, and with three consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts against better defenses than the Titans there's little reason to doubt him having success again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Damaris Johnson, HOU @TEN 003401000 **
Johnson hasn't seen more than three targets in a game this season, and while he's contributed the occasional fantasy helper he can't be relied on for such an assist.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @TEN 006800000 ****
Last week was the first time in a month the Titans didn't allow multiple receivers to score and/or top 50 yards against them. The Texans have been consistently putting two receivers on the fantasy board, though from time to time Demaris Johnson bumps Hopkins or Andre Johnson aside. AJ and Hopkins are still the best bets, however, if not for fantasy greatness then at least for goodness you can plug into your lineup and bank on.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, HOU @TEN 006700000 ****
Would you believe Johnson hasn't scored on the Titans since 2010 or hit the century mark in yardage since 2009? AJ still hasn't hit the century mark this season but he did break his touchdown maiden a couple weeks back and has contributed at least 58 yards each of the past four games. That's not elite, but at least it's solid.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Garrett Graham, HOU @TEN 002200000 *****
The Titans have surrendered four TE TDs in the past four games; if only Graham were seeing enough targets on a consistent basis to warrant a fantasy play, this would be a great opportunity.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU @TEN 3322 ****
Bullock's been inconsistent, but the Titans have been consistently fantasy-friendly to opposing kickers. Upgrade Randy to a fringe fantasy option this week.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 10 @SEA -----
2 @PIT 10-27 11 @STL -----
3 @MIA 23-20 12 NE -----
4 SF 0-34 13 ARI -----
5 HOU ----- 14 @JAC -----
6 IND ----- 15 @TEN -----
7 @NE ----- 16 SD -----
8 MIA ----- 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 40 240,2
RB Chris Johnson 60 3-20
RB Bilal Powell 30 4-30
WR Eric Decker 6-80
WR T.J. Graham 2-30
WR Percy Harvin 20 7-80,1
WR Jeremy Kerley 5-60,1
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Few teams are 2-2 and have as much bad press as the Jets but then again, losing 0-34 at home to anyone is going to draw negative attention. Plus losing Santonio Holmes who was not only marginally productive, he was clearly the best weapon they had. Plus we have the obligatory "What about Tebow>" side story that only gets stronger with every bad game by Mark Sanchez.

There are even rumors that the owner is lobbying for Tim Tebow to start.

Since the season opener, Sanchez has only thrown two touchdowns and twice failed to reach 140 pass yards. That couples with a horrible rushing attack. In the meltdown against the 49ers, Sanchez only completed 13 of 29 passes for 103 yards and one interception. He had a nice throw to Holmes who crumpled untouched in pain while handing the ball to a defender who scored a touchdown. It kind of is not Sanchez fault.

He has no help.

Holmes is gone for the season with a Lis Franc injury. Stephen Hill has been nursing a hamstring strain. Patrick Turner was cut. Jeremy Kerley has scored twice this year and been as close to a productive wideout as it gets for the Jets but he is no #1 guy on any other team. Tim Tebow has one pass and that was last week when he connected with Dedrick Epps who got busted in the knee and was released on Monday. Dustin Keller has been gone since week one with a hamstring injury. Last year there were veterans like Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason and Holmes. Guys who at least once upon a time were productive. Now it is Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens as the starting receivers? Joe McKnight was changed to a cornerback last week, did poorly on his few plays and is back to being just more dead space on the running back depth chart.

It would make some sense to use Tebow in a rush heavy attack only there are no running backs on the roster that we know of. Shonn Greene may have finally wore out his welcome after four years of falling forward and trying to roll. HC Rex Ryan said he would consider other runners but then gave Greene 11 carries (34 yards) and Bilal Powell only ran four times (11 yards). There are only two real answers here.

1. Start Jonathan Grimes at running back. Yes, he comes from the HOU practice squad and will probably suck as much as Greene and Powell but we don't know that for sure yet. Or maybe Lex Hilliard who just signed.

2. Start Tebow and just let him run it every play. The wins won't likely come but at least the media finally gets what they want.

This will be an interesting week to see how the Jets respond. They are 2-2. But they look like they may be 2-14 at the end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 27 31 19 28 25 6
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 2 14 2 6 3 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ BUF 10000022010 ***
It's been more than a month since Geno's last fantasy-relevant outing. In that same time frame only Tom Brady has put up a fantasy helper on the Bills. It's a confluence that doesn't yield much in the way of fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ BUF 5002100000 ****
The Bills still haven't allowed an RB TD this year, but they did let Jerick McKinnon take them for 103 yards last week. Ivory rushed for 98 and a touch the last time he saw Buffalo, and he's handling the majority of the Jets workload so don't write him off here; just don't expect a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ BUF 3002100000 ****
The last three times Johnson saw the Bills he rushed for 195, 153, and 132 yards with multiple touchdowns in each game. Sadly, those games all came as a Titan and are all at least two years in the rear view mirror. He's not getting the touches needed to be a reliable fantasy contributor, so you'd have to be banking on him turning one of his reduced number of carries into a home run to be a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ BUF 006601000 ***
The Bills have allowed 10 WR TDs and just as many games of 60-plus yards to opposing receivers. With Decker as the top target--yes, even with Percy Harvin in town--he has a solid chance of ringing at least one and maybe both of those benchmark bells this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ BUF 003500000 *
Will the Jets find ways to get Harvin the ball and keep him happy? They haven't exactly been creative in their use of Michael Vick or Chris Johnson so don't hold your breath. That said, before Harvin has worn down his teammates with his personality maybe he'll squeeze in one fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ BUF 003400000 ***
Kerley has been a decent fantasy wingman to Eric Decker, but Percy Harvin's arrival takes a few looks off his already sparse plate and makes him even less likely to be a fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ BUF 004300000 ***
With Amaro still having to share looks with Jeff Cumberland, he can't be banked on for fantasy help--especially against a Bills defense that's allowed just two TE TDs all year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ BUF 3311 ****
The Bills have allowed multiple field goals in two straight and four of five, which bodes well for the inconsistent Folk's fantasy line.

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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t