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 Case Keenum, HOU BAL 0000020011 *
Brees, Rivers, Roethlisberger; those are the three quarterbacks who've had fantasy success passing on the Ravens (Andrew Luck and Andy Dalton augmented their numbers with rushing scores). Keenum is nowhere near those gentlemen and should take up a similar proximity to your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Arian Foster, HOU BAL 6016500000 *
Gutted at quarterback, all the Texans will be able to do is hand the ball to Foster and hope for the best. Unfortunately, it's a brutal matchup with a Ravens defense that hasn't allowed a back to top 68 yards all year or 59 yards in Baltimore. So while Houston will lean heavily on Foster, that doesn't mean big carry numbers will translate directly into big fantasy numbers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Damaris Johnson, HOU BAL 003500000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, HOU BAL 004500000 *
Maybe Johnson returns to action this week, but even if he does he has serious issues at quarterback dampening his fantasy impact.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU BAL 00000000 *
The Ravens have had their issues in the secondary, but they've given up just one TD in the past two games and no receiver topped 76 yards in either game. Hopkins should see plenty of targets, but coming from either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum that doesn't necessarily mean much. He's Houston's best bet for fantasy success, but he's far from a sure thing.
Update: Hopkins didn't practice at all this week as he battles an ankle injury. He's listed as questionable, but even if he goes he'll be hampered by both his injury and his quarterback situation.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU BAL 1122 *
Multiple treys are no lock for Bullock, who has turned the trick in just half of his 14 games--and only two of six at home. The Ravens might enable, however, having given up multiple field goals in four straight. Still, we're talking about two field goals and maybe a PAT so don't set the bar too high here.

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 NE 30000020011 ***
Geno hasn't been a fantasy helper all year, and with something similar to the 226 and 1 he posted on the Patriots earlier this season he's unlikely to start now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ NE 801000000 ***
The Jets are still solid against opposing running backs; they haven't allowed an RB TD since Week 9. But big backs who get carries--like Ivory himself, who put up 21-107-1 in the earlier meeting with the Jets--have tended to have success against the Jets. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ NE 5002100000 ***
CJ?K has essentially split carries with Chris Ivory over the past two weeks. New England's not a defense prone to give up much more than the minimum, but there's some opportunities for a fresh CJ?K, especially against some pretty tired-looking defenders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ NE 006701000 ***
Decker is housing all the targets, what with a hurt Harvin and really no alternative. It's a nice gig if you can get it, one that certainly helps pad a college resume.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ NE 2002200000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ NE 004300000 ***
Bottom line, with so little going on in the Jets' passing game there's no reason to look behind Decker and (when healthy) Amaro for fantasy contributions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ NE 003200000 ***
Amaro is a big target with a ton of potential, a word that means "talented but hasn't actually done anything yet." You should have better options at your disposal.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ NE 1122 ***
Only occasionally does Folk kick in a fantasy contribution, though the fact he did so with 13 against the Patriots earlier this year warrants mention. As does the fact that AFC East kickers have multiple treys in three of four against the Patriots, as opposed to just half (five of 10) of non-divisional kickers.

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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