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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: BUF 14, NE 41 (Line: NE by 11)

Players Updated: Aaron Hernandez, Stevie Johnson

Players to Watch: C.J. Spiller, Aaron Hernandez

The Bills are on a two game losing streak and are 2-3 in road games. The Patriots are on a two game winning streak and are 2-1 at home. What matters most is that the Patriots won 52-38 in Buffalo back in week four. Back when the Bills were better than they are now and the Pats were worse than they are now. Plus this plays in New England. The nice part is that the Patriots care enough to really put the wood to divisional rivals and roll up big scores when they can. The Bills won only once in the last ten meetings.

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 9-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Fred Jackson 20 5-30
RB C.J. Spiller 30 5-30
WR Mike Williams 5-70,1
TE Scott Chandler 4-40,1
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills stumble along with an offense that once again started out strongly and then has faded badly. The offense actually reached their zenith in week four when they hosted the Patriots and Fitzgerald threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns while being routed. In the four successive games, only once was he able to throw for any touchdowns. His last three road games have produced zero touchdowns and never more than 239 passing yards. Kind of feast or famine and really it's all feast to start the year and then fantasy starvation by mid-season. Again. There is almost no chance that the Bills remain with Fitzpatrick next year.

The Bills want to involve C.J. Spiller more which is a standard thing for coaches to say after getting beaten badly and they did not use their best player much. Spiller only ran six times in Houston but gained 39 yards and he did catch five passes for 63 yards. Back against the Pats, Spiller only posted 33 yards on eight runs and had two catches for five yards. So far Spiller is not that hard to call - he plays far better and usually scores if they are playing a bad team.

Fred Jackson only gained 29 yards on 13 runs in the previous meeting with the Pats and he's only managed one rushing touchdown all year along with marginal yardage in almost every game. Both he and Spiller are being used as receivers a lot in the recent weeks which helps prop up their fantasy value.

Scott Chandler had his best game of the year versus the Pats when he caught four passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. He has since never scored and averages around 30 yards per game.

Stevie Johnson suffered a bad contusion on his leg last week and his status for this game is not certain though he'll likely play. Johnson only produced 23 yards on two catches in the last meeting with the Pats and after opening the year with three big games has since only scored once and all too often ends up with less than 40 yards in most games. Donald Jones varies greatly and led the team with 90 yards and a score on two catches in week four.

This time the game is in New England who plays the run tough every week and has been improved on defense in recent weeks. If the three home games so far, the Pats held two opponents to just one passing score. This is not likely to be as close as last time and that was a blowout win.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 17 8 25 24 31 13
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 29 10 25 31 6 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kyle Orton, BUF CLE 0000023020 ***
We know Orton can have his way with the Jets; that's no surprise. But maybe, just maybe he can have his way with the Browns as well, especially considering they've allowed multiple touchdown tosses in two straight and three of four, even to relatively nondescript QBs (Mike Glennon, Ryan Mallett, Matt Ryan).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF CLE 3004300000 ***
Jackson was healthy enough for about half the workload last week, so you'd think he can add to that workload--and his fantasy production--here. At minimum he's a good fantasy start against a softish Browns' run D; given a larger share, he's even more than that.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF CLE 400000000 ***
Dixon looks to be Buffalo's goal line guy, but the Browns are more about giving up yards than scores so that puts a crimp in Dixon's fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF CLE 2001100000 ***
Brown appears to be the Bills third wheel with Fred Jackson back, so even if Buffalo carves out some fantasy value for one or two backs he's on the outside looking in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF CLE 004501000 ***
Joe Haden has been playing better, but that hasn't prevented WR1s from putting up solid fantasy games four of the past five weeks. In other words, you can exhibit concern but no need to fear a Haden/Watkins matchup this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF CLE 006600000 ***
Hogan has been creeping up on Robert Woods' targets, but all that's doing is making both tough fantasy starts as there simply isn't enough passing game production to go around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF CLE 003500000 ***
Woods exploded last week against the Jets, but this is still Sammy Watkins' passing game; reaching deeper is a risky fantasy proposition at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF CLE 003300000 ***
The Browns haven't given up much to opposing tight ends this year, and with Chandler sharing looks with two other TEs he's a difficult at best fantasy start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF CLE 3322 ***
Carp's been consistently around 10 points per game over the past month; maybe dial it back a bit due to weather, but he's still a solid fantasy option here.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF -----
2 ARI 18-20 11 IND -----
3 @BAL 30-31 12 @NYJ -----
4 @BUF 52-28 13 @MIA -----
5 DEN 31-21 14 HOU -----
6 @SEA 23-24 15 SF -----
7 NYJ 29-26 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL 45-7 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 320,3
RB Stevan Ridley 100,1
RB Shane Vereen 40,1
WR Danny Amendola 6-80,1
WR Brandon LaFell 2-20
TE Rob Gronkowski 6-100,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 5 XP

Pregame Notes: The Pats come off their bye week and start out with what should be two pretty easy games. As it works out, their remaining schedule is on the light side with the exception of weeks 14 and 15 when they face the Texans and the 49ers defenses. Those are at home though but will have an impact on player performances right in the thick of fantasy playoffs. Many of the Pats are going to help you get to the playoffs but facing the Texans and 49ers will make it tough to keep you in the playoffs.

Tom Brady scores every week and while his scoring had tended to be lower this year, he's still cranking out the 300 yard games and already posted 340 yards and three touchdowns on the Bills in Buffalo this year. Brady at home should end up with 300-3 as the worst he'll do against a bad defense in his own division.

The last time they played, the Patriots running backs went nuts. Steven Ridley ran for 106 yards and two scores on 22 rushes and Brandon Bolden gained 137 yards and a score on 16 carries. It was a classic Patriots beat down on the Bills that usually happens more in New England than in Buffalo. This is an attractive week for Ridley and Shane Vereen has assumed the Bolden role in recent weeks with Bolden out.

Brandon Lloyd caught three passes for 50 yards and a score in Buffalo but has been very quiet in almost every game since. Lloyd ended up with two scores on the Rams in London but that's probably related to Lloyd playing his most recent ex-employer. Take away the London game and Lloyd has really been a major disappointment. Wes Welker was on a streak with 10+ targets for five straight weeks that all resulted in 95+ yards but he's been limited to just six catches in each of the last two games and not exceeded 66 yards in either. Welker ended with nine receptions for 129 yards in Buffalo back in week four.

Aaron Hernandez did not play in the Buffalo game this year and while he was held out in week eight, he is expected to be back this week. They did not need him in London anyway and his ankle needed the rest. Rob Gronkowski caught five passes for 104 yards and a score in Buffalo this year.

The only fear with the Bills coming to town is that the Patriots won't bother posting a monster score in a game they know they can win. Scoring a season-best 52 points in the last meeting is very promising though.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 5 3 14 1 3 5
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 30 28 23 23 14 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE @GB 0000031030 ***
Brady is on a two-month tear, and a defense that just served up multiple touchdowns to Mark Sanchez and Teddy Bridgewater in back-to-back games isn't likely to cause much of an impediment.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE @GB 2005500000 ***
Vereen is back to being a contributor rather than a feature back. He still has plenty of value in PPR scoring systems, but he's a riskier play in TD-heavy formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE @GB 400000000 ***
100-yard games by grinders like Mark Ingram and Marshawn Lynch point towards what Bill Belichick's likely strategy will be: heavy doses of the ground game in order to keep Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines. Sure, Belichick could go back to Jonas Gray this week but odds are he sticks with Blount for 15-20 carries, more than enough to bang out another helpful fantasy stat line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, NE @GB 006801000 ***
LaFell is Tom Brady's biggest target among the wideouts, so he seems best suited to take advantage of a Packers defense that's allowed WR TDs in six straight, multiple WR TDs in four of six, and a consistent stream of fantasy helpers to WRs with size, from Jordan Matthews to Brandon Marshall to Kelvin Benjamin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE @GB 005500000 ***
Edelman is always in the mix, but unless you're in a PPR league his fantasy value is largely negligible.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @GB 0071001000 ***
Gronk is too heavily targeted not to be a major factor in this game, even against a Packers defense that's surrendered only two TE TDs all year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Timothy Wright, NE @GB 001101000 **
Wright has scored in each of the past five games in which he's had a catch. He's clearly a red zone option for Tom Brady, and while the Packers have allowed only two TE TDs all year don't let that dissuade you from giving full consideration to Wright in TD-heavy scoring systems.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @GB 1133 ***
Gostkowski has hit double digits in three of the last four and five of the last seven; no reason to think he won't get his kicks in Green Bay t

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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