FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

Prediction: NYJ 10, NE 34 (Line: NE by 10.5)

Players Updated: Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Brandon Bolden

Players to Watch: Jonathan Grimes, Stevan Ridley

The Patriots Jets come off a huge win over the Colts while the Jets Patriots lost to the Seahawks. There is a four-way tie at 3-3 for the AFC East and this game starts to help sort that out. The Pats are 1-1 at home and the Jets are 1-1 on the road. But after losing in Seattle. the visiting Jets should be exactly what the Patriots need right now.

The Patriots swept the Jets in 2011, winning 30-21 at home and later 37-16 in New York.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 10 @SEA -----
2 @PIT 10-27 11 @STL -----
3 @MIA 23-20 12 NE -----
4 SF 0-34 13 ARI -----
5 HOU 17-23 14 @JAC -----
6 IND 35-9 15 @TEN -----
7 @NE ----- 16 SD -----
8 MIA ----- 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Mike Goodson 20 2-20
RB Chris Johnson 90,1 2-10
RB Bilal Powell
WR T.J. Graham 1-20
WR Percy Harvin 20,1 8-100
WR Jeremy Kerley 5-70,1
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jets got to pretend that everything was okay when they dismantled the visiting Colts last week in a romp that was without any precedent. At least not with the Jets on the winning side. It may give the offense some confidence and satisfy the New York media for a week but all the same problems still exist and that's going to be apparent playing in New England against a Patriots team coming off an upset loss in Seattle.

Mark Sanchez only threw 18 passes against the Colts for 82 yards and two touchdowns. It was a week where it all worked so well that Sanchez had little to do other than handoff for most of the game. But this is the same quarterback who only threw for three scores over the previous four games and with yardage that normally remains south of 200 yards. Thanks to the loss of Santonio Holmes, that is not likely to change soon.

Shonn Greene set career marks across the board when he ran 32 times for 161 yards and three touchdowns against the Colts. The same Colts who came in with a defense missing players including LB Robert Mathis. Then they lost DE Corey Redding at the start of the game and DE Dwight Freeney played injured. It was a nice set-up for the same back that only gained 103 yards and no scores over the previous four games combined. This allowed HC Rex Ryan to praise his back for the great game despite all the qualifications he forgot to mention. This was also a game where Joe McKnight gained 71 yards on three carries.

Notable here is that McKnight suffered a high ankle sprain and is out. Bilal Powell suffered a dislocated shoulder and is out. That leaves just Shonn Greene and Jonathan Grimes who they signed off the Texans practice squad a few weeks ago. That might have makes Grimes an interesting one to watch but we may not see him much. And the reality is that the next two weeks are against the Pats and Dolphins who both sport good rushing defenses.

Dustin Keller is back from the hamstring injury that forced him to miss the last five weeks but only had one catch for six yardage so he picked up right where he left off in week one. But the receivers remain in a bad shape with the loss of Santonio Holmes. Last week Jason Hill scored on his only catch in the game and Stephen Hill turned in the other touchdown with only 23 yards in the game. Jeremy Kerley remains the primary wideout here, such as it exists.

The Patriots have not allowed any runner to gain more than 41 yards in New England and the only touchdown scored by a back was Ray Rice in Baltimore. This is not likely to be a place to see Greene replicate anything from last week. The Pats would play them tough anyway and will take no mercy on their divisional opponent.

House of cards - no rushing means the passing game will be challenged to produce much even though the Patriots have allowed three or more passing touchdowns to each of their last four opponents. If Sanchez gets more than one it will be a huge success.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 29 27 22 29 27 5
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 11 29 30 5 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ @MIA 20000016001 **
How Smith kept his job after 65 yards and no TDs against the Dolphins in the earlier meeting is one of life's great mysteries. His season has been largely devoid of fantasy help; no reason to think he breaks ranks here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @MIA 5001100000 ***
When Geno Smith is your quarterback, running the ball--a lot--is the offensive game plan of choice. Ivory carried 16 times for 62 yards in the earlier meeting with Miami; he's bound to see double-digit totes again, though he may wind up playing second-fiddle to Chris Johnson like he did the last time these teams met.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @MIA 4002100000 ***
Handing the ball to CJ?K 10-plus times a game is preferable to having Geno Smith throw on those plays, so expect Johnson to see double-digit touches for the fifth straight game; he's averaging around 65 yards per game, so if that helps your fantasy bottom line go ahead and give him a spin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @MIA 005500000 ***
Jets wideouts accounted for 26 receiving yards the last time they faced Miami. Decker's actually been decent since then with games of 89 and 100 yards, but banking on the Jets' passing game for productivity is a recipe for disaster regardless of opponent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @MIA 003200000 ***
The Jets can barely keep a WR1 satiated with stats; Kerley's a WR3 who could bump up to WR2 status if Percy Harvin can't play, but neither role gets him onto your fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @MIA 002100000 ***
Jeff Cumberland has seen more action while Amaro battles injuries and adjustment to the NFL. He has the potential to be a helpful fantasy player--just not this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @MIA 3300 ***
Foles has multiple treys in three of his last four, including two in the earlier meeting with Miami. You trust Geno to get the Jets close, go ahead and rely on Folk for your fantasy squad.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  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 23-24 15 SF -----
7 NYJ ----- 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL ----- 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 290,2
QB Tim Tebow 20 20
RB LeGarrette Blount 30
RB Brandon Bolden 30,1
RB Stevan Ridley 100,1
WR Michael Jenkins 3-30
WR Donald Jones 3-40
WR Brandon LaFell 2-20
TE Rob Gronkowski 5-60,1
TE Aaron Hernandez 6-50,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: It was all going so well in Seattle when the Pats led the Seahawks 23-10 midway through the fourth quarter. And then the Patriots offense went cold and the Seahawks threw two touchdowns including a 46-yard score with only 1:27 left to play. The loss leaves the Patriots 3-3 on the season and still wondering what is happening this season? The reality is that they have problems facing great defenses. Fortunately, that no longer applies to the Jets.

Tom Brady threw a career high 58 passes in the Seattle loss and it gave him his fourth 300+ yard game of the year. He has scored in each week at least once and faces a Jets defense that has been worse both on the pass and run. The only time that Brady has failed to throw for healthy yardage was against the Broncos when they ran 50 times. There will be more rushing this week but Brady gets to face a Jets defense that is banged up and easier to exploit.

Last week the Seahawks shut down the rushing effort but Steven Ridley was coming off two straight games with at least 100 rushing yards and a score. Ridley has three big games to his credit this year and each happened against a weak run defense. Brandon Bolden is the next in line when facing a weak defense that allows more rushing attempts but Danny Woodhead and even Shane Vereen can figure in. But this remains mostly about Ridley and he is the only reliable starter from the bunch.

Aaron Hernandez returned from his ankle sprain after missing three games and while he only played about half of the snaps, he still ended with six catches for 30 yards and one touchdown. Rob Gronkowski ended with six receptions for 61 yards making it only one touchdown in the last four games. Other than the win over the Bills, Gronkowski has not exceeded 75 yards in a game and has been disappointing to every fantasy owner who spent dearly to draft him.

No matter that Hernandez is back, Wes Welker was still the primary receiver last week in Seattle where he posted 10 catches for 138 yards and one touchdown. That makes four games in a row with 8+ catches for 100+ yards. Pure vintage Welker that apparently is not going to change. Brandon Lloyd bruised his shoulder last week but is expected to play depending on practices. He'll be covered mostly by Antonio Cromartie and may have a lesser game for it. Lloyd only scored once this year and has been only marginal with weekly yardage anyway.

Pats at home after a stinging loss and the Jets show up perhaps as weak as they have been in years. The Pats are never good about showing mercy and all fantasy plays here are attractive other than Lloyd if he remains injured.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 6 4 9 1 3 12
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 6 21 2 20 22 11

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE BUF 0000020020 *
Brady's 361 and 4 in the earlier meeting with Buffalo was easily the biggest game they've allowed to an opposing QB--but, ho hum, the eight time Brady has topped 300 yards against Buffalo and the ninth time he's taken them for at least three TDs. In fact, Brady has multiple scoring strikes in 14 of his last 16 against Buffalo, with the only misses being late December games in 2013 (122 and 1 on 24 attempts) and 2009 (115 and 1 on 23 attempts). See what we're getting at here? Brady owns the Bills, but with nothing to play for don't be surprised if he doesn't take his full bite here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonas Gray, NE BUF 301000000 *
Gray made it out of Bill Belichick's doghouse last week just long enough to score a touchdown. With LeGarrette Blount likely to sit this one out it's between Gray and Brandon Bolden for carries. You call the coin toss, then Bill Belichick decides to give carries to the back you didn't pick. Good luck with that.
Update: Gray has been ruled out of this week's tilt with an ankle injury. So much for his shot at redemption.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE BUF 2002100000 ***
Running backs in general haven't done much against the Bills but especially pass-catching backs haven't done much--and that doesn't bode well for Vereen. Only three backs have topped 31 receiving yards all year against the Bills, only one of them since Week 4, and Buffalo has only allowed one flukey RB receiving score--last week to lightly-used Raider Jamize Olawale. There's also the chance of Bill Belichick turning to his JV for much of this game, so look elsewhere for running back help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, NE BUF 004601000 *
It's already tough enough figuring out which defensive flaw Bill Belichick will exploit in any given week; now factor in the possibility of New England resting regulars after getting in a couple quarters of work, and any Patriot becomes a risky fantasy play in Week 17. At least LaFell tallied a couple TDs against the Bills the last time they met, so he has a track record of production against this secondary. Still...
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE BUF 004500000 ***
No reason for the Patriots to expose Julian Edelman to further injury, which might bean another 11 targets for Amendola. He did enough with that number against a bad Jets secondary last week to at least warrant fantasy consideration here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE BUF 001100000 *
Edelman sat out last week's game due to injury, and there's no need to rush him back to the lineup in this meaningless contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE BUF 004501000 *
Gronk bash Bills. Gronk's 7-94 in earlier meeting first time Gronk no score vs. Bills... ever. Gronk score in three straight. Gronk stick around long enough to get TD vs. Bills D that's allowed only two TE TD all year? Gronk no block on extra points, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Timothy Wright, NE BUF 004500000 **
Wright scored in the earlier meeting with Buffalo, one of only two TE TDs they've allowed all year. His value here comes if (when?) the Pats pull Rob Gronkowski from the game, encase him in bubble wrap, and put him on the shelf until the playoffs start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE BUF 1133 **
Gostkowski averages a cool dozen points per game at home and had 13 in Buffalo earlier this year. Assuming the starters put some points on the board in the first half and the backups get him close in the second, it should be another robust outing.

WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

a d v e r t i s e m e n t