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
RB Shonn Greene 30 1-10
WR Nate Washington 4-60
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 Jake Locker, TEN NYJ 0000023021 ***
Time for Jake to make himself some money: the Jets have allowed multiple passing scores in every road game, so it's a golden opportunity for Locker to show well and draw free agent interest in the offseason. Hey, if Bridgewater, Orton, and Smith can do it why not Locker?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN NYJ 4002100000 ***
When "the bulk" of the carries consists of 9, 10, or 11, you know it's time to look elsewhere for fantasy help. That's the deal with Sankey, with a tough matchup against Gang Green to boot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nate Washington, TEN NYJ 005701000 **
Washington had a golden opportunity sans Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, but all he could muster was three targets. A Jets secondary that allowed two Vikings WRs to top 100 yards and score last week feels like another chance for Washington to help your fantasy squad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Derek Hagan, TEN NYJ 002300000 ***
Hagan zoomed to the top of the Titans' target list last week. Facing a Jets D that stuffs the run but struggles against the pass, expect Tennessee's game plan to be heavy on passing--at least enough to push Hagan onto the fringe of fantasy relevancy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN NYJ 007801000 ***
The Jets have allowed a dozen TE TDs and a half-dozen games of 50-plus yards to the position. Mix that with the heavily targeted Walker and you have a dynamite fantasy play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN NYJ 2122 ***
The Jets have allowed at least six points to every kicker since Week 1 as well as every visiting kicker. However, Succor hasn't topped six points since Week 6, and with the Titans changing QBs there are plenty of questions about how effective their offense will be. Get your fantasy kicks elsewhere.

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
RB Fred Jackson 60,1 4-20
RB C.J. Spiller 60,1 6-40
WR Mike Williams 6-80,1
TE Scott Chandler 4-50

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 Kyle Orton, BUF GB 0000024022 ***
Orton has fallen off the fantasy pace; his only multiple passing score game in the past five weeks came against the hapless Jets secondary. He did rush for a score against Denver to salvage his fantasy line, and he'll likely be forced into a similar throwing scenario against Green Bay this week. The Pack has allowed multiple TDs in four straight overall and four straight on the road, so consider Orton a fringe option if you're scouring the depths for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF GB 4003200000 ***
There aren't many fantasy helpers among Buffalo's backfield stat lines this season, nor are there many against Green Bay since their Week 9 bye. The best bet might be some receiving yards and a goal line opportunity, making Jackson a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF GB 300000000 ***
Dixon's touches are in decline with Fred Jackson back in the mix. He wasn't doing enough with them when they were more copious and he's unlikely to reverse that trend against the Packers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF GB 006801000 **
The Packers have allowed multiple WR TDs in each of their last four games, but the receivers who tend to have the most success against them are big-bodied guys (Brandon Marshall, Jordan Matthews, Brandon LaFell, Julio Jones). Not that Watkins can't do some damage, but don't look for him to match Julio's 11-259-1 from last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF GB 002201000 **
Hogan has found the end zone each of the previous two games, though it's tough to say whether or not he's overtaken Robert Woods for wingman duties. The likely scenario is Buffalo needing to throw another 57 times to keep up with the Packers offense, which definitely opens the door for Hogan to make a fantasy splash.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF GB 005700000 ***
Woods has been an inconsistent contributor, following up 9-118-1 against the Jet with 4-71 and 3-36 the past two weeks. That's not trending the right way, and with Chris Hogan stealing touchdowns each of the past two games it's tough to bank on Woods for fantasy help--even if Kyle Orton throws another 57 passes this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF GB 003300000 ***
The Packers have kept tight ends out of the end zone in 12 of 13 games this year, so Chandler's best bet is yardage. He posted 8-81 last week, which roughly matched his combined output of the previous six games; that's nowhere near a consistency that would bump Chandler into fantasy usability.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF GB 1122 ***
You don't beat the Packers kicking field goals; only one team has attempted more than two against them all year. There are certainly scenarios where the Bills play great defense and keep this one close, but they'll need more TDs than treys so Carpenter's upside is limited.

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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