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 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 CHI 40100020001 ***
Passing alone won't make Geno a viable fantasy helper, but he's had 17 attempts in two games and could use his ground game to be a sneaky start against a defense that let EJ Manual run one in and Colin Kaepernick run for 66 yards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ CHI 5011100000 ***
Ivory has scored in both games thus far and is proving to be the more productive member of the Jets' backfield committee. Against a Bears defense that's already allowed four different backs to rush for at least 50 yards against them, he's an good fantasy start with a little bit of upside to boot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ CHI 6004200000 ***
Johnson is getting the touches, and against a Chicago D that's allowed four backs to top 50 yards this year he should be able to turn those touches into at least fringe fantasy help. And of course any of those touches could be a home run.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ CHI 005600000 *
Decker has been exactly what the Jets paid for, a reliable WR1. This matchup, while not overly favorable, should still allow him to generate his usual low-to-mid level fantasy contribution.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ CHI 005500000 ***
Kerley's 30-yards per game average isn't going to cut it fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Cumberland, NYJ CHI 002200000 ***
The Jets' passing game doesn't produce enough for one fantasy helper at tight end, let alone the three players all battling for a share of the pie.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ CHI 3322 ***
The Jets don't mind settling for field goals, which is good, but they don't score a ton of points in general, which is bad.

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 OAK 0000021020 ***
Brady has been downright awful for fantasy purposes, and given the success opponents have had running the ball right down the Raiders' throats there's little reason to think Tom will have to dust off the golden days here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stevan Ridley, NE OAK 701000000 ***
The Raiders have allowed a whopping 363 RB rushing yards through two games; no reason to think the Patriots haven't taken notice and will run Ridley another 25 times this week. And at the 5.2 yards per carry Oakland is allowing, that will add up quickly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE OAK 4006300000 ***
Vereen should touch the ball enough to be effective, and there's always the possibility of a Ridley fumble or some other wrinkle that turns Vereen's share of the Patriots' backfield workload into a majority one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE OAK 006801000 ****
The closest thing to a sure thing among Patriots receivers, Edelman is consistently targeted and a solid PPR play; he's also the only New England wideout with a touchdown this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE OAK 002200000 ***
All non-Edelman Patriots wideouts have accounted for nine catches and 66 yards this season. Total. Amendola's inconsistent share of that paltry sum isn't worth a fantasy play, even against Oakland.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE OAK 004401000 ***
Even on a snap count, the prospect of a Gronk TD is too likely to have him sit on your fantasy bench. So long as he's only on the field a little over half the time, however, he's a riskier play in yardage-heavy or non-TE mandatory formats.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE OAK 2244 ***
Gosty's a lock for multiple treys and a handful of PATs; what more could you ask for in your fantasy kicker?

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

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