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
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 @OAK 0000019011 ***
We've seen nothing from Orton of late--one multi-TD game in his last six outings--to suggest he warrants a fantasy play here, even in a reasonably compelling matchup with the Raiders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @OAK 6016500000 ***
While you can run on the Raiders, and the Bills and Jackson most certainly will, where they're particularly susceptible is to pass-catching backs. Fred has 19 catches in the four games since he returned to action; that coupled with his carries makes him a good fantasy start that elevates to great in PPR formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @OAK 2001100000 ***
Dixon's role never really materialized when the Bills were down a couple backs; now that Fred Jackson and potentially CJ Spiller are back, he's persona non grata.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF @OAK 200000000 ***
Complementary backs have done next to nothing since the return of Fred Jackson, and it will take garbage time for Brown to see enough touches to have a fantasy impact. But it's Oakland, so we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @OAK 003500000 ***
Woods has had a couple big games against the Jets, but that just puts him in the big pile of "receivers with a pulse". With Kyle Orton's subdued numbers there's likely room for just one fantasy impact player among Buffalo's receivers--and Sammy Watkins has that covered.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @OAK 004400000 ***
Two of the three 100-yard games the Raiders have given up to opposing wide receivers have gone to speed guys (Malcom Floyd, Stedman Bailey). Watkins is most certainly a speed guy, not to mention the Bills' top target--and the best bet for fantasy success in the Buffalo passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @OAK 003201000 **
The Raiders have given up five TE TDs in the past six games so don't dismiss Chandler out of hand. But he has one TD in the past six games, so he's far from a lock.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @OAK 1133 ****
Carpenter has double-digits in two of the past three and at least seven points in six of the past seven--numbers sure to be equaled or exceeded against an Oakland defense that's allowed at least seven kicker points in 13 of 14 games, and double-digit points six times already.

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 Case Keenum, HOU BAL 0000020011 *
Brees, Rivers, Roethlisberger; those are the three quarterbacks who've had fantasy success passing on the Ravens (Andrew Luck and Andy Dalton augmented their numbers with rushing scores). Keenum is nowhere near those gentlemen and should take up a similar proximity to your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Arian Foster, HOU BAL 6016500000 *
Gutted at quarterback, all the Texans will be able to do is hand the ball to Foster and hope for the best. Unfortunately, it's a brutal matchup with a Ravens defense that hasn't allowed a back to top 68 yards all year or 59 yards in Baltimore. So while Houston will lean heavily on Foster, that doesn't mean big carry numbers will translate directly into big fantasy numbers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU BAL 005601000 *
The Ravens have had their issues in the secondary, but they've given up just one TD in the past two games and no receiver topped 76 yards in either game. Hopkins should see plenty of targets, but coming from either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum that doesn't necessarily mean much. He's Houston's best bet for fantasy success, but he's far from a sure thing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, HOU BAL 004500000 *
Maybe Johnson returns to action this week, but even if he does he has serious issues at quarterback dampening his fantasy impact.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Garrett Graham, HOU BAL 003300000 *
Graham remains bothered by an ankle injury, and this is far from a favorable matchup anyway. If you must reach for a Texans tight end, Ryan Griffin is your better bet.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU BAL 1122 *
Multiple treys are no lock for Bullock, who has turned the trick in just half of his 14 games--and only two of six at home. The Ravens might enable, however, having given up multiple field goals in four straight. Still, we're talking about two field goals and maybe a PAT so don't set the bar too high here.

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