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 Jacoby Brissett, NE HOU 0000018002 *
While Jimmy Garoppolo is a game-time decision, Brissett is expected to play. Avoid him in all formats. There's no reason to risk a rookie making his first start against a dominating defense on a short week.
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE HOU 901000000 ***
The offense will rely on Blount, but with stacked boxes, can he find enough room to run? Highly suspect. Play him with modest expectations against the sixth hardest matchup for RBs.
WR Julian Edelman, NE HOU 005500000 ***
Edelman is probably the only playable option in this offense, and that's if you're feeling brave as a PPR owner. The matchup sucks and so does the quarterback situation. You've been warned.
WR Chris Hogan, NE HOU 003500000 *
A tough matchup, and a third-string rookie passer. There isn't much to like with Hogan in Week 3.
WR Danny Amendola, NE HOU 003300000 ***
Don't chance it with Amendola in Week 3, considering the matchup and short notice for rookie Jacoby Brissett starting.
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE HOU 004500000 *
Look for the inactives to see if Gronk is available. He's a game-time call. The Texans rank fifth against TEs, and Jacoby Brissett is likely to start on a short week. Play at your own peril.
TE Martellus Bennett, NE HOU 002300000 *
Rob Gronkowski is a game-time decision, which matters a good deal for Bennett's worth. Either way, with a third-string rookie at quarterback, Bennett is a risky buy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE HOU 3311 ***
New England's entire offensive output may come off the foot of Gostkowski with a third-string QB starting.

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 SF 10000026020 ***
San Fran doesn't have the pass rush of LA, so Wilson should be able to fare a little better this week. Look for a nice rebound game to help jump-start his fantasy season. RW3 is a midrange QB1 in most formats this week.
RB Christine Michael, SEA SF 10014300000 **
Unless he finds the end zone, Michael is a fringe fantasy pick this week. The Niners have done a solid job against the position, albeit with so-so matchups, and rank as the fourth most difficult to face.

Update: Thomas Rawls is doubtful, which thrusts Michael into the primary role. He's a worthwhile RB2 and sound DFS value buy.
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA SF 006801000 **
Baldwin twisted his knee but appears closer to playing than not. He is a must-play when on the field, so check back Friday. San Fran ranks 18th against PPR wideouts.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA SF 004600000 ***
Lockett was temporarily removed from Week 2 play but came back late in the game. He's expected to play, but check the Friday injury report for reassurance. He'll see more balls if Doug Baldwin (knee) is limited. Regardless, Lockett has a minor sleeper appeal this week against the 18th-ranked WR defense.
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA SF 004501000 **
The Niners have allowed TEs to catch a line of 8-139-1 in two games, primarily at the hands of Greg Olsen. Graham isn't ready, despite being on the field. Avoid him in standard formats if you can. Doug Baldwin's injury could force Seattle to target Graham more, however, so bravely take that chance in DFS contests.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA SF 1133 ***
This one should come down to far more extra point tries than field goal kicks. At least he's safe to make what he attempts.

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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