Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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: NE 24, SEA 17 (Line:NE by 3.5)

Players Updated: Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski

Players to Watch: Aaron Hernandez

The 3-2 Patriots are on a two game winning streak trying to get that sub-.500 taste out of their mouths and they have been on a scoring streak these last three weeks. The 3-2 Seahawks are 2-0 at home but are getting almost nothing from their offense.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF -----
2 ARI 18-20 11 IND -----
3 @BAL 30-31 12 @NYJ -----
4 @BUF 52-28 13 @MIA -----
5 DEN 31-21 14 HOU -----
6 @SEA ----- 15 SF -----
7 NYJ ----- 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL ----- 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 250,2
RB Brandon Bolden 20,1
TE Martellus Bennett 3-30
TE Rob Gronkowski 4-50,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Pats are generating the points but less so when they leave their own division. The early schedule has been no friend and this is the fourth road game in just the first six weeks. The schedule clears up after this week for over a month.

Tom Brady is supported by a very good rushing effort now and that makes predicting what he will do tougher. He has topped 300 pass yards in three of five games but only has eight passing touchdowns versus eight rushing touchdowns by running backs. Brady has also scored once on a short run in each of the last two games. He is still a good quarterback in fantasy terms, but is on a pace for just 25 passing touchdowns. Brady has options and that is not helping his owners who were expecting something more prolific and record setting than just "really good".

Stevan Ridley has turned it up for the last two weeks with 40 carries for 257 rushing yards and three touchdowns. His lost fumble last week is troublesome but HC Bill Belichick is not going to punish him. Ridley also gets help from Brandon Bolden though his use is far less predictable and always comes after Ridley has done his damage. Encouraging this week is that Ridley ran for over 100 yards against two of the road opponents, But the Seahawks present the toughest defense yet faced other than perhaps the Ravens who limited Ridley to only 37 yards on 13 runs in his only bad game of the year.

Rob Gronkowski is bothered by a sore hip though he did play in every offensive play last week. But his four catches for 35 yards against the Broncos was not what crafty drafters were thinking about when they nabbed him with their first or second round pick. That makes two games in the last three weeks with under 40 yards and no scores. It is as if he has turned into a tight end. Gronkowski has three scores on the year but is much less productive than 2011. Aaron Hernandez was rumored to be ready last week but was inactive as he returns from an ankle injury. There is optimism that he can play this week and getting accurate information from the Patriots is nearly impossible. Expect a likely update later in the week.

All the rushing has really depressed receiving stats for Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd but Wes Welker is chugging along at a high pace once again. He has topped 100 yards in each of the last three games while never catching less than eight passes in every game. He finally had his first touchdown of the season just last week. Welker seemed phased out in week one. Now he has roared back with a vengeance no matter what the rushing game is doing.

The Seahawks present a very stout defense and they will be at home. They allowed Tony Romo just one score and 250 yards but that is less impressive now a month later. Aaron Rodgers only threw for 223 yards and no score but again - not as shocking as it seemed at the time. This will be a big challenge for the Pats but they bring in a balanced offense that is all working and should get Hernandez back as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 8 4 12 2 3 8
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 1 5 9 4 8 21

QB Tom Brady, NE @PIT 0000033030 ***
The Steelers have faced five feeble passing attacks and a struggling Kirk Cousins in the opener. The point being, allowing only 19.6 fantasy points per game (21.2 is the NFL average) is a bit of a misnomer. Brady should have no trouble doing his thing, especially if the Landry Jones-led offense cannot sustain drives and gasses the defense.
RB James White, NE @PIT 1005601000 ***
Not to take anything away from White, but the system and quarterback make any pass-catching back look special. Ride it, especially in a meeting with Pittsburgh. This defense has allowed RBs to score every 19.9 touches. PPR backs have posted a six-game line of 37-386-2.
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE @PIT 5011100000 ***
Despite allowing only 95 rushing yards per game to the position, Blount's opponent has rolled over when it comes to keeping RBs out of the end zone. One in 20.3 carries goes for a score, and that number improves to a touchdown ever 19.9 touches when receptions are factored.
WR Julian Edelman, NE @PIT 005500000 ***
Edelman has been a train wreck for fantasy owners, even with Tom Brady back. The Steelers have allowed the second most receptions to wideouts, so he has a higher floor than in recent weeks and a good shot at getting on track.
WR Chris Hogan, NE @PIT 002400000 ***
Only one in 31 catches by receivers have found the end zone against Pittsburgh. However, the position has averaged whopping 15.5 catches for 172.3 yards per game. Hogan sees single coverage all day long, and he has some wheels, so you never know. Safely, he's a flex in non-PPR setups.
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @PIT 0071101000 ***
Gronk is back and doing his thing. The Steelers have not faced formidable opponents at the position, outside of Jordan Reed and Travis Kelce, and both of whom went over 13 fantasy points.
TE Martellus Bennett, NE @PIT 005601000 ***
Pittsburgh has surrendered only one tight end touchdown in six games -- 33 receptions worth -- and rates as a neutral matchup. Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed did some damage against them, but the Steelers have not faced decent competition at this position otherwise.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @PIT 1144 ***
This is a good matchup on paper for kickers in all varieties of offenses. Gostkowski's chances of kicking field goals don't look as appealing as him trotting out for XPA after XPA.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR 16-12 14 ARI -----
6 NE ----- 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF ----- 16 SF -----
8 @DET ----- 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 10 180,1
RB C.J. Spiller 30 2-30
WR Doug Baldwin 2-20
PK Steven Hauschka 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are about to hit a much tougher stretch of the schedule and their reliance on little more than a great defense is going to be sorely tested. No opponent has scored more than 20 points on them but then again, this offense has only once had more than 16 points. Over five weeks of playing, the offense has produced just seven touchdowns and Russell Wilson has been held to fewer than 165 passing yards in all but one game. He remains mostly because the Seahawks are winning most their games but it has never been because of him. With only five passing touchdowns and an average of just 163 yards, the wins have almost been in spite of Wilson.

Until there are a few glaring losses, Matt Flynn remains safely on the sideline holding a rather costly clipboard.

Marshawn Lynch is the motor of the offense and he never rushes for less than 85 yards if only because he always gets 20+ carries. He has almost no role as a receiver though and scored just twice this year. If a team could ever shut down Lynch, the Seahawks offense would come to a complete stop. So far - no one has.

The meager passing means no receivers have any real fantasy value. Zach Miller had a surprising 59 yards on three catches in Carolina but has otherwise been devoid of any consideration. Anthony McCoy only has seven catches on the year for just 70 yards but did catch one of the precious few touchdowns.

Golden Tate scored last week which gives him three on the season for over half of all passing scores this year. But no receiver has gained more than 68 yards and even that came on the pseudo-Hail Mary against the Packers. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Matt Flynn played because the passing offense could hardly get much less effective. The Seahawks rank 31st in quarterbacks only because Blaine Gabbert was sent to earth as a celestial gift to defensive coordinators. Chugging along at under 17 points per week is going to be a problem for the next couple of weeks at the least.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 31 19 30 25 17 22
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 15 24 30 7 3

QB Russell Wilson, SEA @ARI 0000025011 ***
Wilson come off a nail-biter to face a divisional rival with a strong pass defense. The Cardinals have been up and down in 2016, so you'll need take a leap of faith if you play Wilson -- which Arizona D will he face? Incidentally, Wilson was his own version of inconsistent facing Arizona in 2015, throwing three TDs in the finale and only one in their earlier meeting.
RB Christine Michael, SEA @ARI 6014300000 ***
Five RBs have been tougher on the position. Working in Michael's favor, aside from his strong play, is the Cardinals' weakness happens to be on the ground, where this group has surrendered four touchdowns in six games.
RB C.J. Spiller, SEA @ARI 1004200000 ***
Arizona has allowed 26 catches for 150 yards and no scores -- figures that discourage from playing Spiller in fantasy leagues ... if you needed a stats-based reason.
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @ARI 004600000 ***
Arizona hasn't exactly been kind to receivers this year, ranking as a bottom-10 matchup for the position. Baldwin caught a 7-134-1 line and a 5-46-0 (Week 17) against the Cards last year.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA @ARI 003300000 ***
Lockett entered the year as a sleeper candidate and has nodded off through six weeks. Avoid him in all formats.
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @ARI 003200000 ***
Receivers have caught 13 balls per game against the Cardinals, scoring once every 15.6 receptions. Kearse is a waiver wire player in most formats.
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA @ARI 006801000 **
In comparison to Graham, Arizona has faced a bunch of stiffs at tight end. Martellus Bennett in Week 1 aside, tight ends from TB, BUF, LA, SF and NYJ don't scare a defense. This is a rather fake matchup rating, so roll with Graham and enjoy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @ARI 2222 ***
Only five teams are harder against kickers, but things get wacky in divisional matchups. The veteran kicker will play a larger role in this one.

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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