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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 NYJ 0000028020 ***
Orton's fantasy effectiveness peaked three weeks ago with four TDs against the Jets; since then he's thrown just one scoring strike while the Jets secondary has actually been not horrible. Still, should be another opportunity to start Orton here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF NYJ 2003200000 ***
Maybe some upside in Brown as a pass-catcher, but the ground game is being split three ways, it's a tough matchup, and Fred Jackson will resume at least a portion of his old duties.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF NYJ 2004200000 ***
Not much to like about this matchup: a banged-up Jackson sharing carries with two other guys against a defense that limited Buffalo to 61 yards on 30 carries the last time they met.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF NYJ 200000000 **
Dixon has kind of been the workhorse with Fred Jackson out, but a) that hasn't amounted to much and b) Jackson should be back for this tilt. If Boobie couldn't give you fantasy help with 22 touches in the earlier meeting, tough to see him giving you much this time around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF NYJ 0061201000 ***
Watkins toasted the Jets for 157 and 1 in the earlier meeting, one of three receivers in the past five games to go off for at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He's been slowed a bit the past couple of weeks but should be healthy enough to approximate those numbers at home in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF NYJ 006701000 ***
Woods scored in the previous matchup with the Jets, but he's battling Chris Hogan for secondary looks and is no lock to do the same in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF NYJ 003400000 ***
It's been two months since Williams was fantasy-relevant; unless Sammy Watkins can't go he remains a bit player at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF NYJ 003200000 ***
Chandler scored one of two Buffalo TE TDs the last time they met the Jets, but he's just not targeted enough to bank on similar production--even with such a favorable matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYJ 3322 ***
Carpenter has kicked multiple treys in three straight, including a 13-point affair against the Jets a month ago. He seems to be on a roll, no reason to bet against him 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 DET 0000026020 ***
The vaunted Detroit defense has given up multiple passing scores in each of its last two road games and three of four overall. Brady, meanwhile, has multiple scoring strikes in six straight and has no reason to fear the former top-ranked defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE DET 3004401000 ***
The Lions play right into Vereen's strengths, ranking in the top five in RB receptions, RB receiving yards, and RB receiving touchdowns. Now let's hope Bill Belichick sees it the same way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonas Gray, NE DET 501000000 **
Tough to see Gray approaching last week's monster game; the Lions have allowed only four RB rushing scores all year, and only one back has topped 60 yards on the season. Dial back the expectations and you'll be just fine.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, NE DET 005800000 ***
LaFell is the closest thing the Patriots have to a reliably productive fantasy wideout, and even he is no guarantee. On the bright side, his last two homes games have seen 24 targets, 17 catches, and two TDs so maybe that tilts the field in his favor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE DET 004500000 ***
Edelman remains a volume guy, with eight targets in seven of the past eight games--though he still hasn't posted a 100-yard game this season and has just one TD in the past two months. So there's some risk with his reward.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE DET 002300000 ***
Amendola's an afterthought in this passing game, having topped 20 yards just once all season with only one score to his credit. You could hope for a return TD, but until that week when Bill Belichick decides it's "Bring Danny Amendola to Work" Day he's a fantasy afterthought.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE DET 007801000 ****
At this point you could say that all 11 defenders will build a wall around Gronk and he'd still be one of the best fantasy plays at his position. Since such a strategy is highly unlikely, go with Gronk again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Timothy Wright, NE DET 001200000 ***
Wright's a contributor, just too inconsistent a contributor to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE DET 3333 ***
Gotskowski's run of five straight games with multiple field goals was snapped last week, but six PATs provided a soft landing. He's had at least nine points in every home game this year, so expect him to get back on track this week.

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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