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 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 BUF 10000022010 ***
It's been more than a month since Geno's last fantasy-relevant outing. In that same time frame only Tom Brady has put up a fantasy helper on the Bills. It's a confluence that doesn't yield much in the way of fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ BUF 5002100000 ****
The Bills still haven't allowed an RB TD this year, but they did let Jerick McKinnon take them for 103 yards last week. Ivory rushed for 98 and a touch the last time he saw Buffalo, and he's handling the majority of the Jets workload so don't write him off here; just don't expect a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ BUF 3002100000 ****
The last three times Johnson saw the Bills he rushed for 195, 153, and 132 yards with multiple touchdowns in each game. Sadly, those games all came as a Titan and are all at least two years in the rear view mirror. He's not getting the touches needed to be a reliable fantasy contributor, so you'd have to be banking on him turning one of his reduced number of carries into a home run to be a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ BUF 006601000 ***
The Bills have allowed 10 WR TDs and just as many games of 60-plus yards to opposing receivers. With Decker as the top target--yes, even with Percy Harvin in town--he has a solid chance of ringing at least one and maybe both of those benchmark bells this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ BUF 003500000 *
Will the Jets find ways to get Harvin the ball and keep him happy? They haven't exactly been creative in their use of Michael Vick or Chris Johnson so don't hold your breath. That said, before Harvin has worn down his teammates with his personality maybe he'll squeeze in one fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ BUF 003400000 ***
Kerley has been a decent fantasy wingman to Eric Decker, but Percy Harvin's arrival takes a few looks off his already sparse plate and makes him even less likely to be a fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ BUF 004300000 ***
With Amaro still having to share looks with Jeff Cumberland, he can't be banked on for fantasy help--especially against a Bills defense that's allowed just two TE TDs all year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ BUF 3311 ****
The Bills have allowed multiple field goals in two straight and four of five, which bodes well for the inconsistent Folk's fantasy line.

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
RB Brandon Bolden 30,1
RB Stevan Ridley 100,1
WR Brandon LaFell 2-20
TE Rob Gronkowski 5-60,1
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 CHI 0000030031 ***
Since his career was left for dead in Kansas City all Brady has done is averaged 304 yards and three TDs in the three subsequent games. Da Bears have given up multiple touchdowns in three of the last four and at least 255 yards in five straight, so they don't seem like the road bump to slow Brady's fantasy resurgence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE CHI 4005601000 ***
The Bears haven't allowed an opposing back to rush for more than 63 yards against them this year. However, this iteration of the Patriots doesn't look like it minds throwing the ball all over, an approach that certainly fits Vereen's skill set. He'll get the combo yards as well as most of the key carries in the Patriots backfield, a combo platter that lends itself to fantasy productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, NE CHI 004601000 ****
It's been the bigger and faster receivers who have found success against Chicago. LaFell is at least the former, and while his numbers dipped last week he's still blipping brightly on Tom Brady's radar and has definite fantasy upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE CHI 006700000 ****
Edelman is the volume guy in New England, but undersized receivers haven't been the ones having success against Chicago. Pencil him in for his usual PPR help but don't be surprised if the touchdowns go elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE CHI 006801000 ****
Gronk healthy enough for 10 targets per game. Gronk turning those targets into 90 yards per game. Bears allow three TE TDs in past three games. Gronk likely return to end zone this week. Gronk spike ball. Hard.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE CHI 3333 ****
Every kicker to face the Bears has scored seven points or better; that's a number Gostkowski has matched or bettered in six of seven this season. No worries here until at least the Week 10 bye.

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