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 Reggie Bush 90,1 5-30
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 5-30
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 Tyrod Taylor, BUF ARI 20000020001 ***
Taylor erupted with big plays in Week 2, but this go of it won't be as easy. He takes on a Cardinals' pass defense that ranks ninth against the position, allowing only 17.7 fantasy points per game. Only daily gamers can consider him a viable option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF ARI 6014200000 ***
Don't sit your studs, but be cautious with McCoy. First of all, the matchup looks brutal on paper. Only four teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to RBs. The matchup looks much worse than it is after Doug Martin went down in Week 2. LeGarrette Blount mustered 70 yards and a TD in the opener.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF ARI 002400000 ***
The home run Goodwin clobbered in Week 2 is the only reason he is in the fantasy conversation at this point. Avoid him in all traditional setups, even though Arizona is a sound matchup. DFS only.

Update: The expected loss of Sammy Watkins this week means more looks for Goodwin, but he's largely a one-trick pony. As previously noted, DFS only.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF ARI 004400000 ***
With all of the attention on Sammy Watkins, Woods may see an increased target count. Play him if you are truly desperate or looking for a DFS gamble. The Cardinals have allowed the eighth most fantasy points per game to the position so far, and garbage-time points could be a real scenario here.

Update: Sammy Watkins (foot) is a game-time decision and not expected to go ... bump up Woods based on the sheer volume increase, but he's still a barely worthy play in most situations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Salas, BUF ARI 003400000 ***
Buffalo's slot receiver can spring up now and again, but fantasy owners shouldn't look his way due to a lack of consistency and targets.

Update: Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay are both questionable. Salas might see more looks, if it matters, although he, too, is listed as as questionable with a groin strain. Clay and Salas were limited practice participants Friday.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF ARI 004400000 ***
Arizona faced two teams with tight end issues so far, resulting in this D giving up only eight catches for 44 yards. Clay isn't involved enough to warrant consideration, but he is a big-play guy, so a TD is not a crazy expectation.

Update: Clay is questionable but practiced in a limited fashion Friday. He may be hampered, but the uncertain nature of Sammy Watkins' playing time opens the door for Clay to see more targets. Tread cautiously.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF ARI 3311 ***
Buffalo's offense is just good enough in this matchup to give Carpenter several chances from downtown.

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
RB Chris Johnson 20 2-10
WR Larry Fitzgerald 8-110,2
WR Michael Floyd 2-30
TE Jermaine Gresham 4-40

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 @BUF 0000030020 ***
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a lot of yards (374) but only one touchdown. There is no reason Palmer cannot push for 300 yards and three TD passes, but Buffalo will play better overall defense than last week. You don't get that embarrassed, fire your OC (logical, right?) and not play better on D. Only 13 teams have been stronger vs. fantasy quarterbacks so far this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB David Johnson, ARI @BUF 6014500000 ***
Matt Forte scored thrice against this defense in Week 2, and Johnson (a similar back) has all the upside in the world as he takes a crack at the Bills. As usual, start him with confidence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @BUF 007801000 ***
Never sit your studs. Fitz is the primary option in the passing game and has a refined level of chemistry with Carson Palmer. The Bills are the second best matchup for PPR wideouts, if you needed more convincing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @BUF 005801000 ***
Buffalo has given up an AVERAGE of 49.9 fantasy points per game to the position through two weeks. Denver, Seattle and Carolina have not given up more than 47 TOTAL points in that time. Floyd is usually the second or third read most plays and has the ability to get loose for a big play at any time. WR3 for safety, WR1 upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @BUF 002300000 ***
Brown hasn't enjoyed much success yet in 2016, and he'll be the benefit of matchups that stifle Larry Fitzgerald. This won't be one of them. Buffalo allowed two 100-yard receivers last week (and nearly a third).
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @BUF 2233 ***
Kickers have been a perfect 5-for-5 from both XPA and FGA ranges, making this the fifth easiest matchup.

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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