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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 EJ Manuel, BUF SD 10000021011 ***
The Bolts served up multiple TD tosses to both QBs they've faced thus far this year, but Manual hasn't thrown multiples since Week 15 of last year. That means he'll need a rushing score to salvage his fantasy day, and the Chargers haven't allowed a QB rushing TD since Week 3 of last year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF SD 5003201000 ***
Spiller is essentially sharing carries with Fred Jackson, which against a stout San Diego defense won't amount to much in the way of fantasy help. However, he's also involved in the passing game and special teams (see last week's return TD), and that's a place the Bolts are vulnerable so don't write off Spiller as a lost cause this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF SD 3003200000 ****
Only four teams have allowed fewer rushing yards this year than the Chargers... but only three teams have allowed more receiving yards to RBs. Jackson can get his work done in the passing game to salvage his fantasy day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF SD 005700000 ***
On the heels of his bustout game last week Watkins gets a San Diego defense that has for the most part kept opposing wideouts in check--with the notable exception of speed guys like Michael Floyd, who had 119 receiving yards, and Percy Harvin, who had a 51-yard TD* run. Watkins certainly has speed to burn, so if you're dipping into the Buffalo passing game for fantasy help this week he's your best bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF SD 004500000 ***
Woods' brief run as the Bills' go-to receiver lasted all of one game as he was leap-frogged last week by Sammy Watkins. No reason to think he'll get that gig back any time soon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF SD 002300000 ***
Williams has 39 yards in two games as a Bill, and the Chargers haven't been overly friendly to opposing passing games--especially secondary targets. This isn't rocket science.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF SD 002200000 ***
Mr. September's window of opportunity is slamming shut, and a Chargers' defense that's surrendered just three TE receptions on the year is likely to help hasten the process.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF SD 3311 ***
There's something to be said for tagging along on an offense that's good enough to get close but not good enough to seal the deal; that's how Carpenter has come to lead the NFL in field goals. You could do worse if you were reaching for kicking help this week.

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 OAK 0000021020 ***
Brady has been downright awful for fantasy purposes, and given the success opponents have had running the ball right down the Raiders' throats there's little reason to think Tom will have to dust off the golden days here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stevan Ridley, NE OAK 701000000 ***
The Raiders have allowed a whopping 363 RB rushing yards through two games; no reason to think the Patriots haven't taken notice and will run Ridley another 25 times this week. And at the 5.2 yards per carry Oakland is allowing, that will add up quickly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE OAK 4006300000 ***
Vereen should touch the ball enough to be effective, and there's always the possibility of a Ridley fumble or some other wrinkle that turns Vereen's share of the Patriots' backfield workload into a majority one.
Update: Vereen is listed as questionable and practiced on a limited basis all week... which is what the Patriots say about pretty much everyone on their roster with a nick, cut, or boo-boo. There has been no indication he won't be available to take his usual turn in the New England backfield, but that turn can vary from week to week so the risk is multiplied here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE OAK 006801000 ****
The closest thing to a sure thing among Patriots receivers, Edelman is consistently targeted and a solid PPR play; he's also the only New England wideout with a touchdown this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE OAK 002200000 ***
All non-Edelman Patriots wideouts have accounted for nine catches and 66 yards this season. Total. Amendola's inconsistent share of that paltry sum isn't worth a fantasy play, even against Oakland.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE OAK 004401000 ***
Even on a snap count, the prospect of a Gronk TD is too likely to have him sit on your fantasy bench. So long as he's only on the field a little over half the time, however, he's a riskier play in yardage-heavy or non-TE mandatory formats.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE OAK 2244 ***
Gosty's a lock for multiple treys and a handful of PATs; what more could you ask for in your fantasy kicker?

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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