FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: BUF 13, ARI 34 (Line: ARI by 5)

Players to Watch: William Powell

The 2-3 Bills are on a two game losing steak and have a 1-2 road record. They are coming off a beatdown in San Francisco of epic proportions. The 4-1 Cardinals are coming off their first loss of the season and no doubt are very much looking forward to this game. The Bills have already allowed three opponents to score over 44 points.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE -----
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE 24-14 12 @IND -----
4 NE 28-52 13 JAC -----
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL -----
6 @ARI ----- 15 SEA -----
7 TEN ----- 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Fred Jackson 30 2-20
RB C.J. Spiller 30 2-30
WR T.J. Graham 3-40
WR Mike Williams 4-60
TE Scott Chandler 5-40,1
TE Tony Moeaki 1-10
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: At least in the past when the Bills would give up a ton of points, at least they would also score a respectable amount. Not so last week where a late field goal prevented a shut out. Ryan Fitzpatrick only produced 126 passing yards and no scores after posting at least two touchdowns in every other game. He still ranks #3 in the NFL with 12 touchdown passes but his yardage has been low in almost every game. Fitzpatrick had decent fantasy value because of his touchdowns but with several decent defenses on the horizon, his outlook is not nearly as good.

Painful too was the fact that the Bills rushing offense has only looked good when Fred Jackson is out, C.J. Spiller is in and, oh yes, they are facing a weak defense. Jackson still has not produced a touchdown or more than 29 rushing yards in a game despite up to 13 carries. Spiller was huge in the Jets and Chiefs game but since has not rushed for more than 33 yards. This offense seems to only run well when just one back is used and the matchup is highly favorable. Splitting the carries is ruining the fantasy value of both runners and in fairness, even their combined totals are anemic in recent weeks.

Scott Chandler is still a factor with four catches for 40 yards in San Francisco but his weekly yardage remains low enough to a problem when he does not score. He has a touchdown or two in three of five games and will be facing much more challenging defenses in the coming weeks.

The lack of passing yardage means none of the wideouts are that relevant on a fantasy team other than Steve Johnson. His last two games have been bad - 2-23 against the Patriots and 6-39 in San Francisco but he scored in the first three games of the year and was consistent around 60 yards per game. Johnson is no better than the secondary he faces but going against the Titans next week should be plenty profitable. Donald Jones has only the one long scoring play against the Patriots to lift him above complete futility for the last month. T.J. Graham is making small strides but not enough to affect a game much less a fantasy score.

The Cardinals at home are always tough and their defense this year has been outstanding. They have only allowed six offensive touchdowns over the five games this year and most end with only moderate passing yardage. They have permitted just one rushing score and no runner has produced more than 85 rushing yards against them. Splitting up the workload between Jackson and Spiller only further waters down what can happen. Another problem is that the only wideout of any note here (Johnson) gets to be limited by CB Patrick Peterson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 16 13 21 18 31 18
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 7 2 20 5 19 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB E.J. Manuel, BUF @NE 30000023012 ***
Manuel opened the season with two touchdown passes against the Patriots, and he's hoping to be healthy enough to close the season with something similar. However, even if he's good to go he's had as many DNPs as multiple touchdown games on the year and is still looking for his first 300-yard passing game as a pro. UPDATE: Manuel is listed as doubtful, with Thad Lewis in line to take his place again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 4004300000 ***
Jackson had the bigger day last week despite an even division of workload with C.J. Spiller; he also had the bigger day the last time Buffalo played the Patriots. So if you're feeling the need to play a Bills back this week against New England, trends suggest he's the safer bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3002100000 ***
The wildly inconsistent Spiller hasn't posted back-to-back double-digit fantasy games this season. However, he does seem to have a knack for scoring after it matters, with receiving touchdowns in each of the past two Week 17s. Tough to bank on him against New England this week, but as per usual there's upside if you're willing to absorb the risk of his swing-for-the-fences production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @NE 004601000 **
Goodwin continues to battle T.J. Graham for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 005700000 ***
With Stevie Johnson's availability in question, Woods steps into Buffalo's primary receiver role. Assuming he doesn't slug anybody this week, he has a puncher's chance of being productive against a New England defense that's given up two touchdowns and three 100-yard games to WR1s over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.J. Graham, BUF @NE 003300000 ***
Graham continues to battle Marquise Goodwin for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004300000 ***
Chandler had 38 yards in the season opener against New England, but he hasn't scored since Week 6 and can't be counted on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 2211 ***
Carpenter mustered just three points in his earlier meeting with the Patriots. New England is playing for something, plus they've allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to kickers. You'll want to look elsewhere for help.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL -----
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL 3-17 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF ----- 15 DET -----
7 @MIN ----- 16 CHI -----
8 SF ----- 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 240,1
WR Larry Fitzgerald 8-110,2
WR Michael Floyd 2-30
TE Rob Housler 4-40
PK Jay Feely 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The winning streak ended in St. Louis against a surprisingly good defense but back at home the Cardinals definitely have a shot at a nice win this week against the team that just lost 3-45 to the 49ers. But that will need to happen via the pass more than the run since Ryan Williams will undergo shoulder surgery and is done for the year. His career has so far been bitterly disappointing with injuries.

Since Beanie Wells is out for at least another six weeks or more, the workload will be inherited by William Powell and LaRod Stephens-Howling. There is precious little confidence that anything is going to happen out of the Cardinals backfield this year. But at least William Powell becomes a free agent darling since he'll likely take over the primary load which so far means maybe a dozen carries per game.

Kevin Kolb passed for 289 yards in St. Louis but had his first game without any touchdowns. Kolb passed for five touchdowns over the last two home games and had solid to good yardage. The run game has been so lethargic here that each game comes down to Kolb trying to outscore the opponent's offense. To his credit, he has only thrown two interception in his four starts against seven interceptions.

Tight end Rob Housler is trying to make something out of the opportunity while Todd Heap has been out with a knee sprain. Housler has been as good as five catches for 62 yards though neither he nor Heap has scored this year. Heap may be back this week, he was a game time decision against the Rams.

Kolb has relied heavily on Larry Fitzgerald who has been outstanding at least when at home this year. Fitzgerald caught eight or more passes in each of the last three games and scored in each home venue. Safe enough to assume good things with the Bills soon to show up this week. Andre Roberts was held to only 39 yards in St. Louis even though he had a season high ten targets. Roberts has three touchdowns so far but only one game with more than 55 yards when he posted 118 yards on six catches in the last home game when the Dolphins visited. Michael Floyd remains the #3 receiver though he is sharing with Early Doucet and neither produce enough for any fantasy merit.

Hard not to love a defense that has allowed 14 touchdowns to quarterbacks and three of the last four threw for 300+ yards. This should be another very nice game for Kolb who will be getting even less support from an already meager rushing effort. The Cardinals defense is a good play this week as well. If Williams Powell can go anything against anyone, it would be home versus the Bills who have allowed eight touchdowns to running backs. The last three opponents featured a running back with over 100 rushing yards when going against the Bills.

The Bills have allowed 97 over the past two weeks. Bound to be fantasy points generated in this game as well. I like a defensive score in this game as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 18 30 11 24 23 4
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 32 28 27 25 15 25

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Palmer, ARI SF 0000026021 ****
Palmer's 298 & 2 in the earlier meeting was the fourth-biggest game the Niners have allowed to a quarterback. However, he's had just one TD toss in each of the past three games, with declining yardage totals so he's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI SF 4014300000 ****
Ellington scored in Arizona's earlier meeting with the Niners, but he's still playing second fiddle to Rashard Mendenhall in the touches category which makes him a risky play at best in this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI SF 0051001000 ****
Glimmers of hope after Larry's tough game against Richard Sherman last week. For starters, Fitz scored as part of a 6-117-1 outing the last time he faced San Francisco. Factor in the Niners giving up touchdowns to WR1s in back-to-back games and Fitz is at least back on the fantasy radar here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI SF 005601000 ***
The Niners have allowed just three WR TDs in the past seven games, so while Floyd scored last week and scored in the earlier meeting with San Francisco he's still a risky fantasy play given that Larry Fitzgerald still sees most of the Cardinals' WR targets.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, ARI SF 003500000 ***
Ginn is more of a deep threat and less likely to take over Steve Smith's role as the Panthers' go-to wideout should Smith sit this one out. That puts a limit on his upside this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Housler, ARI SF 003300000 ***
If Housler weren't battling Jake Ballard and Jim Dray for looks on his own team, we'd be more optimistic about him taking advantage of a San Francisco defense that's allowed TE TDs in three straight games and a total of 228 yards to the position in that span.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jay Feely, ARI SF 1133 ***
No team has given up fewer points to kickers than the Niners, and they held Feely to just a couple PATs in the earlier meeting. Both teams are still playing for something, but with points at a premium you'll want to get your kicks elsewhere.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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