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: DET 27, JAC 20 (Line: DET by 3.5)

Players Updated: Calvin Johnson

Players to Watch: Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Cecil Shorts

The 3-4 Lions come off their best win of the year and head to Jacksonville where the 1-6 Jaguars are on a four game losing streak and dealing with the loss of their franchise star running back.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN -----
2 @SF 19-27 11 GB -----
3 @TEN 41-44 12 HOU -----
4 MIN 13-20 13 IND -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @GB -----
6 @PHI 26-23 15 @ARI -----
7 @CHI 7-13 16 ATL -----
8 SEA 28-24 17 CHI -----
9 @JAC ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 10 300,2
WR Lance Moore 5-90,1
WR Golden Tate 5-70
TE Brandon Pettigrew 5-50
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Maybe it was just one of those unexplainable games but the Lions took down the Seahawks last week while Matthew Stafford had his best game of the year against one of the toughest defenses he will face. It was the first time this season that the Lions were able to rekindle some the magic of 2011. The rest of the schedule will prove fairly brutal after this week so keeping the fires burning for one more game should happen thanks to going to Jacksonville where Maurice Jones-Drew stands on the sidelines.

Stafford passed for 352 yards and three scores on the Seahawks - he even rushed in a touchdown. But he hadn't thrown more than one score in any game this year. His yardage tends to remain high against below average defenses but even then, he only throws one score. On the season, Stafford stands at eight touchdowns against seven interceptions. Apparently losing Nate Burleson was the key.

it isn't that Mikel Leshoure is a bad runner. He has averaged 4.8 yards per carry over the last three games that included trips to Philly and Chicago and then home against the Seahawks. But Leshoure is never given more than 15 carries other than in Tennessee when he gained 100 yards and scored his only touchdown. Joique Bell takes a handful of meaningless carries each week but Leshoure runs surprisingly hard and well through three very good defenses and yet doesn't get more than 15 carries.

Brandon Pettigrew remains sold with catches and yardage but has just the one score back in week two. He caught a season high seven passes last week for 74 yards. Like much of the team, he is productive in some measure but doesn't produce the points.

Calvin Johnson still only caught one touchdown though he started the season with 90+ yards in four of the first five games. These last two weeks against solid secondaries devoted to stopping him crashed his fantasy value with just 34 yards in Chicago and then 46 yards versus the Seahawks. the only encouraging part of this was that Titan Young replaced Nate Burleson and recorded a career best 100 yards and two scores on nine receptions. Ryan Broyles played in his second game and scored for the second time. This is exactly what the team needs. If defenses are going to devote too much to stopping Megatron, then the others have to make them pay. This week will be interesting to see how bounced back Johnson is.

The Jaguars play better at home but still feature less than average defense in all categories besides tight ends. This should be the place that Leshoure gets to score and Johnson gets to play.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 5 18 8 11 7 25
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 18 29 19 2 27 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @CHI 0000026020 ***
Stafford carved up the Bears for 405 and 4 in the earlier meeting, but that was at home; he's only thrown multiple scores once in six visits to Chicago. A 242 and 2 performance in Green Bay in Week 10--his last game outdoors, by the way--provides hope, as do multiple scoring strikes in five straight.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET @CHI 2006400000 ***
The Lions' pass-catching back was also their most productive in the earlier meeting with Chicago, and you have to like his chances against a defense that's given up more RB receiving scores (7) than rushing TDs (6).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET @CHI 3002200000 ***
Just when it looked like the Lions were going to test-drive their second-round pick as their feature back of the future, they stopped giving him carries: he hasn't seen double-digit totes since 13-67 against the Packers a month ago. Maybe it's the fumbles. Whatever the reason, Abdullah is fighting an uphill battle for relevancy in his own backfield, which makes his fantasy fight that much more difficult.

Update: Abdullah was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury--further dimming his fantasy prospects for this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @CHI 007701000 ***
Tate sang lead vocals for a little while but Calvin Johnson is back on the mic now, relegating Tate to leftovers. Against a secondary that's allowed only six WR TDs and one 100-yard game in the past 10 weeks, that's not a very big fantasy plate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marvin Jones, DET @CHI 004600000 ***
Jones has actually outperformed AJ Green in AJ McCarron's two starts, with more targets, catches and yardage. He went 5-94-1 in the earlier meeting with Baltimore, and they're soft enough--and he's targeted enough--for him to put up another fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @CHI 004500000 ***
Tim Wright, replacing the injured Ebron, scored in the earlier meeting with the Bears. Ebron is back in the starter's role but has just one score in the past eight games so he's a fringe fantasy helper at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @CHI 1122 ***
Three points per game less
outside than in; has not kicked
outdoors since Week 10

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND -----
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU -----
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN -----
4 CIN 10-27 13 @BUF -----
5 CHI 3-41 14 NYJ -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK 23-26 16 NE -----
8 @GB 15-24 17 @TEN -----
9 DET ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Justin Blackmon 3-40
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-40,1

Pregame Notes: What makes the Jaguars season just a little worse is that not only have they only one once, but that they have a fairly easy schedule in front of them and yet no way to take advantage. This is further worsened by the injury to Maurice Jones-Drew because it shows why he held out last summer and why he's likely to be on another team next year. When Jones-Drew returns, exactly how motivated will he be to further risk his health for a team that may be the worst in the NFL? Yeah, bet he tries really hard... to remain healthy.

Blaine Gabbert threw for an unholy 303 yards in Green Bay where the Packers were all but wearing mailman outfits and yet he still just had his traditional one touchdown. Gabbert still commands the #32 spot in rankings. He doesn't have many turnovers with three interceptions and two lost fumbles. He doesn't have much of anything other than losses.

Rashad Jennings paid off his fantasy owners who emptied their wallet at the waiver wire. He rushed for 59 yards and added six catches for 56 yards. That's 115 total yards in Green Bay and 102 total yards and a score in Oakland. Credible to be sure and even better in reception point leagues. The Jags have already ruled out Jones-Drew for this week and since he is not practicing and spent last week on crutches, he may not be back next week either.

The only interesting developments are with the wideouts. Mike Thomas was sent to the Lions in a trade which weakens the #30 set of wide receivers just that much more. Plus Cecil Shorts has emerged these last two weeks to post fantasy relevant stats. After scoring in Oakland on his four catches for 79 yards, he had a career best eight receptions for 116 yards in Green Bay. This week should give an indication if that was just something the defenses allowed not caring or if he is actually developing something with Gabbert who desperately needs someone to help him out. Justin Blackmon had a career best 67 yards on four catches in Green Bay as well but hasn't scored so far in the NFL

Playing at home helps, but this offense has been punchless when the opponents really care. This game would have been far easier to win with Jones-Drew playing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 32 25 30 32 25 31
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 11 6 11 25 26 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC @HOU 20000025022 ***
Bortles travels well, with multiple touchdowns in six straight outside of Jacksonville and 300-plus yards in four of those six. He took the Texans for 331 and 3 in the earlier meeting, and while Houston's defense has been better of late he's still a solid bet for productivity--though it might take until garbage time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, JAC @HOU 7002200000 ***
The Bills have allowed five straight backfields to rush for at least 110 yards against them, so even if Ivory's touches are compromised by Bilal Powell he should approach his 18-99 from the earlier meeting. However, the lower volume diminishes Ivory's fantasy upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Denard Robinson, JAC @HOU 3005400000 ***
Robinson should salvage value as a pass catcher--13-97 receiving in two games sans TJ Yeldon--but he's expected to lose carries to Jonas Gray so limit expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonas Gray, JAC @HOU 300000000 ***
The Jaguars have indicated they want to test-drive Gray this week, though don't expect much against a Houston defense that's given up one RB TD in the past two months and allowed just one RB to top 53 rushing yards since returning from their Week 9 bye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson, JAC @HOU 006801000 ***
Robinson has scored in five straight and scored or topped 100 yards in each of the last 11 games--a streak that includes 6-86-1 against the Texans back in Week 6. You wanna bet against him, you're on your own.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC @HOU 004501000 ***
Hurns has 100 yards and a TD in two of the last three, but he's slightly less reliable than his running mate Allen Robinson so in a tough matchup such as this one his expectations get dialed back a bit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, JAC @HOU 005400000 ***
Thomas made his first Jacksonville splash back in Week 6 with 7-78-1 against the Texans. He's scored four times since but was lightly targeted last week, enough that you need to temper expectations against a Houston defense that's allowed only two TE TDs in the nine games since they last saw Thomas.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Myers, JAC @HOU 0022 ***
Two treys last four games;
kicking PATs instead
Rather count by threes

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