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: TEN 20, BUF 24 (Line: BUF by 3)

Players to Watch: Bad Chris Johnson vs. Good Chris Johnson

This is bound to be a messy game that could end up in a number of directions because it is bad offenses going against bad defenses and most anything could happen. The 2-4 Titans come off an upset win over the Steelers and hit the road where they are 0-3. The 3-3 Bills come off an upset in Arizona as well and are 1-1 at home. Flip a coin.

The Titans beat the Bills 23-17 last season.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA -----
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC -----
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU -----
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND -----
6 PIT 26-23 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF ----- 16 @GB -----
8 IND ----- 17 JAC -----
9 CHI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Kendall Wright 4-50

Pregame Notes: The Titans come off a nice win over the Steelers when they scored ten points in the final four minutes including a field goal as time expired. That was the first time since the Detroit win that the offense played up to expectations and the defense wasn't quite a horrible as it usually is. One question that should be answered this week is if it was just a good effort by all or that Matt Hasselbeck was the quarterback instead of Jake Locker? Hasselbeck has been named the starter again this week though Locker may return from his shoulder injury next week against the Colts.

Hasselbeck passed for 290 yards and one score against the Steelers but he only managed one score and 200 yards in Minnesota during week five. The passing offense has been assisted by the return of Kenny Britt to better health since he turned in a score on four catches for 62 yards but he still has moments of running the wrong routes and dropping passes. He has been replacing Kendall Wright for the most part even though Wright turned his eight targets into six receptions for 71 yards. Britt was thrown a team high 11 passes but only caught four.

Nate Washington quietly chugs along on the other side with right around 50 yards in every game and never more than four catches. Wright has been the primary and his 33 receptions on the year are ten more than any other player. The passing attack would do well to better integrate Wright while also spending so much time throwing incompletions to Britt.

Jared Cook is good for four or five catches per week with moderate yardage and he scored twice so far. He remains just outside of fantasy relevance in all but the largest of leagues and even then reception points help.

Last week the Titans finally scored their first rushing touchdown of the season but called in Jamie Harper for the honors just to screw every fantasy owner who already had enough injury without that insult. And HC Mike Munchak liked the move and plans on doing it again. Chris Johnson ran for 91 yards on 19 carries and credited his offensive line instead of throwing them under the bus as he usually does each week. This is a pattern of last season as well. His only two games of any note have been against the Texans and Steelers. Also the two toughest defenses. What happens is more that the defense does not worry as much about loading up against the runner plus much of what Johnson does comes later in the game. Against the Texans, he was given run draws later in the game when the Texans liked him running and chewing up the clock in the already decided game.

This is going to be an excellent test this week. The Bills are soft against the run. If Johnson can gain 90 yards on the Steelers and 141 on the Texans, then facing the Bills should be a feast. And in most cases last year, it would be the opposite. A big effort here by Johnson may signal some turnaround but that is hard to rely on when you know going in that he has four games with under 30 yards rushing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 20 30 18 5 23 21
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 32 26 26 18 19 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Zach Mettenberger, TEN @IND 0000025012 ***
Following last week's shutout of Ryan Tannehill the Colts have gone back-to-back games of holding QBs without multiple TDs for the first time this season. So it's a favorable matchup for Mettenberger; he's just not well-equipped to take advantage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN @IND 3002200000 ***
Mike Mularkey says Sankey will get more playing time this week--this after Sankey took over the Titans ground game last week following a pair of Antonio Andrews turnovers. It's a favorable matchup, but it'll take stones the size of Pluto to trot out Sankey in a Week 17 championship game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Antonio Andrews, TEN @IND 4001100000 *
Indy's run defense rallied last week, holding Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi to a shade over two yards per carry--though Miller did score. Andrews scored on the Colts earlier this year, but he may not get the 13 touches he received in that game. So there's a smidgen of fantasy upside here--which, in Week 17, may be enough.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN @IND 004700000 ***
DGB went from 113 against the Pats to a goose egg against Houston, so reliability may not be his strong suit. He scored over Vontae Davis in the earlier matchup this year, and the Colts have allowed six 90-plus yard WRs in the past month so there's undeniable upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN @IND 008901000 ***
The Colts have been pretty good against tight ends this season, but they surrendered 7-68 to Walker (and 55 yards to other Titans TEs) in the earlier meeting. And Walker has seen double-digit targets in three of the last four games, scoring three TDs and compiling 26-286 in that span. He's Tennessee's go-to pass catcher, and nothing in the Titans' current state of wideouts suggests a deviation from that plan.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN @IND 1122 ***
Has not topped ten points
Nine in earlier meeting
No fantasy help

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE -----
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE 24-14 12 @IND -----
4 NE 28-52 13 JAC -----
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL -----
6 @ARI 19-16 15 SEA -----
7 TEN ----- 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Leonard Hankerson 2-30
WR Greg Little 3-40

Pregame Notes: After getting violated by the 49ers in week five 45-3, the Bills bounced back with an upset overtime win in Arizona. While the offense was still struggling to pass, the defense showed up with a vengeance. This is a defense that allowed 97 points over the two prior weeks. Holding anyone to 16 points in their stadium made the Bills feel better for at least the one week. This week is a sort of respite with maybe the softest match-up left on the schedule and a bye week waiting on the other side.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is mirroring 2011 by starting out the year red hot. He passed for 12 touchdowns over the first 12 games but now have played two games without any scores. He has been below 200 yards in almost every game and the offense survives on what the rushing effort accomplishes. Fitzpatrick was throwing short scores early on but has been blanked and not passed for more than 153 yards since week four.

The rushing effort that started the year so well cooled off against solid rush defenses of the Patriots and 49ers but then showed up in Arizona where C.J. Spiller ran for 88 yards on 12 carries and Fred Jackson finally had a decent game with 53 rushing yards, five catches for 30 more yards and a touchdown. Jackson was stuck at 30 yard efforts until last week. Spiller too was ineffective for three straight games before bouncing back last Sunday.

The anemic passing stats in recent weeks have taken mediocre receivers and made them nearly worthless. Scott Chandler started the year with four scores in the first four weeks but hasn't scored since and only had one catch for four yards in Arizona. Stevie Johnson remains the only receiver with even a shred of fantasy relevance. After scoring in the first three games, - though with only 50 yards or so each time - he has not reached the endzone since and was being held to sub-40 yard games. In Arizona he improved with a season best 82 yards on six catches.

There will be some passing success this week but the Bills are going to kick the rushing effort into overdrive at home against the #29 ranked defense against running backs. Notch a win here and get decent of not big efforts from both Spiller and Jackson will make reaching the bye over .500 a much more relaxing week. Immediately upon returning from the bye are games at Houston and at New England so rushing success will be short lived.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 21 8 24 22 31 13
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 27 29 19 32 31 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF NYJ 0000018010 ***
Since keeping Taylor in check (158 and 1) in the earlier meeting, the Jets inexplicably let TJ Yates go for 229 and 2 and Ryan Tannehill put up 351 and 3. Then they got focused, holding the next four QBs they've faced to a total of three TDs and an average of less than 250 yards per game. Taylor has been streaky as well, with his yardage on a downward trend and a total of three TDs in the past three games--two of them against bottom-third pass defenses. He'll salvage fantasy value with rushing yardage--199 the past three games--but there's a limit to his upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Karlos Williams, BUF NYJ 5002201000 **
LeSean McCoy gouged the Jets in the earlier meeting; Williams chipped in a receiving TD in the final game of his scoring streak. He was modestly successful starting against a bottom-five Dallas run D; don't expect similar against a Jets D that's given up one RB rushing score all season and an average of less than 65 RB rushing yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mike Gillislee, BUF NYJ 3002200000 ***
Gillislee has at least a smidgen of upside as a change of pace back against a Jets defense that's given up five of its six RB touchdowns through the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF NYJ 004400000 ***
Since being locked down in back-to-back weeks by the Jets and Patriots, Watkins has averaged 5-109-1 over the past five games. Since getting Darrelle Revis back from injury, the Jets have given up one WR TD in three games and no individual game greater than 70 yards. With a healthy Revis and the Jets fighting for a playoff spot, tough to trust Watkins here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYJ 3211 ***
Hasn't seen ten points
since last time he faced the Jets
Can lightning strike twice?

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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