FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

Prediction: BUF 17, HOU 30 (Line: HOU by 10)

Players to Watch: Arian Foster vs. #32 Defense against RBs

Players Updated: Ben Tate

The 3-4 Bills arrive with a 2-2 road record but were waxed 3-45 by the 49ers the last time they faced a good defense on the road. The 6-1 Texans are coming off their bye week with likely the softest matchup of the year.

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 34-35 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Fred Jackson 50 4-20
RB C.J. Spiller 40 4-30,1
RB Phillip Tanner 40 1-10
WR Mike Williams 4-60,1
TE Scott Chandler 4-40
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The important thing to remember for this game is that the Bills are no better than the defense is good or bad. Meaning at home against soft defenses like Kansas City or Tennessee, the Bills slap up 34+ points on the score board. On the road versus a great defense and they only managed three points against the 49ers. Playing in Houston is going to be much more like playing in San Francisco than hosting the Titans or Chiefs.

Ryan Fitzpatrick scored 15 touchdowns so far with nine interceptions but his last two road games produced no touchdowns and fewer than 160 pass yards in each. Fitzpatrick is a mirror of the Bills - he is greatly productive against a bad defense but then is mediocre when the opponent sports a decent defense. Notable too is that he has never thrown more than 208 yards in any road game this year.

Scott Chandler is no longer a fantasy factor with no scores or ever more than 40 yards in the last three weeks. He's been decent when at home against soft defenses and really no other time.

The passing offense mainly relies on Stevie Johnson who has four touchdowns on the season but never more than 82 yards in any game and in his last two road trips versus decent defenses he was unable to score. No other wideout here has any reliable fantasy value. Donald Jones shows up only at home against bad defenses.

The offense runs through both backs who have been used as much as receivers lately as they were runners. Both backs have marginal rushing stats in games because they share carries and neither gets more than about a dozen carries in most games. C.J. Spiller is the more productive runner with four rushing scores on the year and 70+ yards in each of the last two games. Jackson has been solid with 50 or so rushing yards and he scored in Arizona as did Spiller. Jackson has been more used as a receiver lately with 13 catches for 79 yards and a score over the last two weeks. Spiller is still good there as well with ten receptions for 54 yards in those two games.

The last time the Bills went on the road to face a good defense they were destroyed in San Francisco. They catch a Texans team fresh off their bye and can only hope for enough garbage time to get in meaningful scores and yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 18 4 22 18 31 14
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 9 3 15 21 3 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kyle Orton, BUF @NYJ 0000028021 ****
The Jets have allowed multiple passing scores in every game this season, including hat tricks in three straight. Orton has sniffed 300 yards in each of his starts since taking over for EJ Manuel, averaging 296 yards per game with multiple scores in each of the past two. No reason to think Orton's unexpected run of fantasy success can't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @NYJ 3002101000 *
After a fast start the Jets run D has been significantly softer of late, serving up two 100-yard rushing efforts in the past three games. Dixon is expected to handle the bulk of the Bills' backfield workload, which puts him in line to take advantage of this opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF @NYJ 4002100000 *
Bryce should take over the CJ Spiller role in Buffalo, with Anthony Dixon handling most of Fred Jackson's workload. However, the Bills haven't even bothered to activate Brown yet this season so it would take a leap of faith to plug him into your fantasy lineup sight (and role) unseen this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NYJ 0081201000 ***
The Jets have served up four 100-plus yard receiving games this season, all to WR1s. Watkins is fast becoming a legit WR1; he's the Bill most likely to take advantage here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NYJ 005600000 ***
Hogan's 12 targets, 10 catches, 135 yards and one touchdown over the past two games have earned him a fantasy opportunity against a Jets secondary that's allowed eight WR TDs in seven games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF @NYJ 002300000 ***
Williams has some hurdles to climb to reach fantasy relevancy. Like, be active for starters. Then pull targets from Robert Woods and Chris Hogan on the run-heavy Bills. You'll find better fantasy odds elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NYJ 005601000 **
Chandler is showing some staying power past his usual productive September, and his role in this offense suggests he has fantasy upside against a Jets' defense that's allowed seven TE TDs in the past five games. It's notable as well that Chandler has scored in two of his last three meetings with Gang Green; yes, both scores came in September games, since you asked.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NYJ 2222 ***
Carp has topped five points just once in the past five games, but the Jets have allowed six or better in six straight. No need to yank him if he's in your lineup, but then again no reason to go out of your way to add him, either.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI -----
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC -----
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET -----
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN -----
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE -----
6 GB 24-42 15 IND -----
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 220,2
RB Arian Foster 120,2 4-30
WR Andre Johnson 6-90,1
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, HOU @TEN 0000025011 ****
Fitz hasn't been fabulous, but he gets to face his old team--and a defense that's allowed three TDs to Brian Hoyer, 336 yards to Blake Bortles, and 267 to the Cousins/McCoy combo platter in just the past three weeks. Clearly, stranger things than a Fitz fantasy helper have happened to this defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Arian Foster, HOU @TEN 10014200000 ***
Foster has scored in four straight against Tennessee, and with three consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts against better defenses than the Titans there's little reason to doubt him having success again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Damaris Johnson, HOU @TEN 003401000 **
Johnson hasn't seen more than three targets in a game this season, and while he's contributed the occasional fantasy helper he can't be relied on for such an assist.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @TEN 006800000 ****
Last week was the first time in a month the Titans didn't allow multiple receivers to score and/or top 50 yards against them. The Texans have been consistently putting two receivers on the fantasy board, though from time to time Demaris Johnson bumps Hopkins or Andre Johnson aside. AJ and Hopkins are still the best bets, however, if not for fantasy greatness then at least for goodness you can plug into your lineup and bank on.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, HOU @TEN 006700000 ****
Would you believe Johnson hasn't scored on the Titans since 2010 or hit the century mark in yardage since 2009? AJ still hasn't hit the century mark this season but he did break his touchdown maiden a couple weeks back and has contributed at least 58 yards each of the past four games. That's not elite, but at least it's solid.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Garrett Graham, HOU @TEN 002200000 *****
The Titans have surrendered four TE TDs in the past four games; if only Graham were seeing enough targets on a consistent basis to warrant a fantasy play, this would be a great opportunity.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU @TEN 3322 ****
Bullock's been inconsistent, but the Titans have been consistently fantasy-friendly to opposing kickers. Upgrade Randy to a fringe fantasy option this week.

Pregame Notes: The Texans come off their bye with likely their softest match-up of the year. After this will be four road games over five weeks before winding down the season with double wins over the Colts and against the Vikings. WIth a healthy lead over the rest of the division, at least the Texans will continue to play hard to ensure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

Matt Schaub still hasn't thrown a 300 yard game this year and may not with such a dominating rushing effort and a defense that keeps game scores lower. Unfortunately, his production varies greatly from game to game. He is not reliable for more than one passing score and lower 200's in passing yardage. Even less so in a home game against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league.

Arian Foster has been less prolific in yardage and only caught one pass in all but one game. But his rushing tends to produce 80+ yards and more important, he is a scoring machine that never fails to notch a touchdown this season. After seven games played, Foster scored nine rushing touchdowns and one as a receiver. Even when he had his one bad yardage game that totaled only 41 yards against the Packers he still scored twice. Ben Tate actually offered some fantasy value last year but not so for 2012. He has not turned in any real production since week two.

Andre Johnson is still good enough to merit a fantasy start every week but with only two touchdowns and never more than 86 yards since the season opener, he's just an average sort of wideout. Not the league leader of years past. What's worse is two games that produced under 25 yards. And yet that is still better than any other wideout for the Texans. Kevin Walter hangs on to the flanker spot but has no consistency or reliability.

Surprisingly, Owen Daniels has moved up to being the primary receiver for the Texans. He is the leading scorer with four receiving touchdowns and offers consistency in yardage with 50 to 70 yards in most games. Johnson still receives more targets, Daniels just catches almost all of his and scores more.

This could be fun. The best rushing offense at home facing the worst defense. You can only dream of these sort of match-ups.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 24 1 29 3 5 2
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 30 32 27 15 19 22

INSERT

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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