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 Golden Tate 5-70
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 0000031021 ***
Stafford went for 299 yards and two TDs in the Week 11 comeback win at Chicago. The Bears have been among the 10 strongest defenses of the position since Week 9. Detroit is home and its season is on the line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET CHI 4005401000 ***
Riddick has struggled to find success against the Bears in his career. He went for a paltry 4.9 PPR points in the Week 11 game. This defense has given up only 4.8 receptions for 35 yards in the last five games. One of the past 24 catches has scored, and one once in the last 118 carries has a running back found paydirt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET CHI 0061001000 ***
Jones went for 85 yards and a TD on four grabs in the Week 11 comeback. The veteran has emerged as a weekly lineup play and faces the No. 10 defense to exploit for Week 15. The Bears have granted receivers plenty of work between the goal lines, and the position has scored once per game over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET CHI 006700000 ***
Tate never has been much of one for the end zone, and his worth in fantasy is driven by receiving volume. The Bears allowed him three catches for 32 yards in Week 11 when Marvin Jones had a fine day. Over the last five weeks, Chicago has struggled to limit receptions (10th) and yardage (8th) per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Golladay, DET CHI 002300000 ***
The rookie continues to see a handful of targets and catches each week, making a few big plays with his downfield ability. He hasn't scored since a two-TD day in the opener. Keep him in reserve, assuming he is even owned.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET CHI 004400000 ***
Ebron posted a marvelous PPR game a week ago, but he remains inconsequential. The Bears held him to 4-49-0 in Week 11. This defense has yielded just one TD in the past 22 receptions.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET CHI 3333 ***
A lone field goal was the only miss among the 12 three-pointers and 22 total chances since Week 9. Chicago offers the seventh-best matchup for generating fantasy points.

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
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 0000030020 ***
Bortles continues to quietly string together capable fantasy efforts. The Texans have permitted quarterbacks to average 21.5 fantasy points an outing, coming mostly from 247.4 yards (15th) and a TD every 12.8 completions (15th). These teams last played in Week 1, which might as well be 75 years ago.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, JAC HOU 6012200000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC HOU 2004300000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dede Westbrook, JAC HOU 003901000 ***
In the past three games, the rookie has been targeted an average of nine times. He has caught at least five balls in each game, producing his finest game to date in Week 14 vs. Seattle (19.1 points). The Texans have allowed receivers to post modest fantasy stats of late. Westbrook has plenty of upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC HOU 006801000 ***
Lee (foot) was limited in Wednesday's session. Way back in Week 1, Lee was blanked on his four targets. The Texans offer a midrange opponent statistically. Lee has at least five catches in five of his last six, securing a trio of TDs along the way. He is no worse than a reasonable flex play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keelan Cole, JAC HOU 003500000 ***
Cole has scored the past two games and faces a midrange matchup. With the playoffs on the line, counting on him making it three straight is a leap owners shouldn't want to take.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC HOU 002300000 ***
Lewis is always a candidate for the fluke touchdown. Houston has given up TEs scores with the fifth-highest frequency, but banking on this is a crapshoot.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, JAC HOU 3333 ***
This is the top matchup for finding fantasy success, with Houston having given up a matching 2.6 field goal and extra point tries per contest since Week 9.

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

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