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
TE Scott Chandler 5-40,1
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 Kyle Orton, BUF @NE 0000025021 **
Orto threw for 299 and 2 in the earlier meeting with New England, but he'd been in a bit of a slump until last week's 329 and 3 in Oakland. He'll catch the Patriots with nothing to play for, but he's still a bit of a risky fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 2007500000 ***
Jackson has scored in three of his last four against the Patriots, and four of his last six--including a rushing TD in the earlier meeting with New England. The risk is that the Bills know what they have in Jackson so they may give CJ Spiller some extra looks--but that's just one of the many risks you run with a Week 17 title game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3003200000 ***
Spiller returned to four carries for negative four yards last week in Oakland, along with four catches for 14 yards. But he actually has a decent track record in New England, topping 100 combo yards on each of his last three visits and scoring in two of his last four trips to Gillette Stadium. If the Bills opt to give him an audition to keep his job, he has a decent shot of carving out some fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 007701000 **
With Darrelle Revis all over Sammy Watkins, Woods paced the Bills in the earlier matchup with 7-78-1. Woods also scored last week, and they're likely to be playing catchup so another solid fantasy outing wouldn't surprise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NE 004500000 ***
Hogan has the distinct advantage of not drawing Darrelle Revis. He scored in the earlier matchup and is a viable option if New England's varsity corners stick around long enough to blanket Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NE 003300000 **
Watkins was shut down by Darrelle Revis in the earlier meeting, but with New England having locked up home field advantage Revis may make an early exit. You wanna hang your fantasy hat on that, go ahead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004401000 ***
Chandler had his best game of the season, 105 yards, in the earlier meeting with New England. He scored last week and, given the strength of the Patriots' corners, is a viable alternative for Kyle Orton--and thus a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 1122 ***
New England has allowed multiple field goals in five of their last six; Carpenter has kicked multiple field goals in five of his last seven. Expect an uptick over his two point performance against the Patriots earlier this season--maybe even a big one if Bill Belichick starts playing the JV sooner rather than later.

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

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 Logan Thomas, ARI @SF 0000020011 *
If rookie Derek Carr can throw for 254 and 3 against the Niners, why not Thomas? Well, Carr was 13 games into his rookie season; Thomas has thrown nine NFL passes--and completed exactly one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI @SF 800000000 ***
Despite Williams being the more effective back the Cardinals have turned to Stepfan Taylor with Andre Ellington out of the mix. Maybe they'll need to lean on both with Logan Thomas under center, but against the 49ers there's not much fantasy value--certainly not enough to be split two ways.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stepfan Taylor, ARI @SF 3002200000 ***
Andre Ellington did minimal damage (18-62 rushing, 3-13 receiving) in the earlier matchup with San Francisco; Taylor had two yards on one carry. The ground game will need to step up in support of rookie QB Logan Thomas, but it certainly isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @SF 005601000 *
Brown scored twice in the earlier matchup with the Niners, and it's not uncommon for depth receivers to have success against San Fran: among the tertiary targets who have scored against them are Paul Richardson and Wes Welker. Plus, with Logan Thomas at the helm you can expect Bruce Arians to take some deep shots. Just know that there's a tremendous amount of risk with anything associated with the Arizona passing game with a first-time starter at quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @SF 004600000 **
Floyd's speed gave the Niners problems in the earlier matchup, and QB Logan Thomas' one NFL completion did go for 81 yards so if you're grasping at straws you could hope for a home run completion. But considering Thomas is also 1-for-9 career, there's plenty of risk of strikeout.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jaron Brown, ARI @SF 002200000 ***
Brown is better known as "The Other One" when he swipes a touchdown from erstwhile third receiver John Brown. Such a tertiary target isn't a fantasy option with a first-time driver at the wheel for the Cards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @SF 002200000 **
Fitz was an afterthought in the earlier meeting, catching just three balls for 34 yards while Arizona bombed away to John Brown and Michael Floyd. Logan Thomas might be more inclined to look at Larry as a security blanket, but considering the matchup, the quarterback, and Fitz's struggles this year you can find better fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @SF 2211 ***
The good news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have mean nine field goals for Catanzaro over the past three games. The bad news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have yielded one PAT for Catanzaro in the past five games. If you believe in Logan Thomas, making his first NFL start in San Francisco, go ahead and chase Catanzaro's threes. Maybe.

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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