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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: IND 23, NE 30 (Line: NE by 9)

Players Updated: Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez

Players to Watch: Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez, Andrew Luck

This should be a fun game though unlike the previous Manning vs. Brady matchups now. The 6-3 Colts are on a four game winning streak and are 2-2 in road games. The 6-3 Patriots are on a three game winning streak with a 3-1 home mark. This game favors the Patriots of course though their recent wins there have been far closer than expected.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC 27-10
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE -----
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET -----
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN -----
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU -----
7 CLE 17-13 16 @KC -----
8 @TEN 19-13 17 HOU -----
9 MIA 23-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND @ NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 300,2
RB Vick Ballard 40 2-20
RB Trent Richardson 50 4-30
WR T.Y. Hilton 3-60,1
WR Reggie Wayne 8-100,1
TE Dwayne Allen 4-40
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Chances are good you were not expecting the Colts to be 6-3 after the first nine games this year. This is a team that was 2-14 last season and had the worst record in the NFL. Apparently, they spent their #1 overall draft pick rather wisely. Andrew Luck is speeding towards a slam dunk Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Luck's thrown for ten touchdowns and added five as a runner. He's rushed in more touchdowns than all but Robert Griffin III. Over half his game feature more than one score and he's already set the all-time single game rookie record with 433 yards. The only downside to Luck so far is that when he is on the road, he's only thrown two touchdowns in four games. Luck is the real deal and a top 5 fantasy quarterback in some league scoring systems.

Donald Brown was able to play last week and gained 42 yards on 14 carries while Vick Ballard took the start and gained 48 yards on 12 runs and added two catches for 11 yards.The duo will continue to split the workload and hope that short touchdowns end up with Delone Carter. Or better yet Luck since the running backs have combined for just two rushing touchdowns.The backs have been marginally productive and split up the work anyway. The position may be something that the Colts consider next year after getting at least one more new receiver for Luck.

Coby Fleener remains out and was little used anyway. Dwayne Allen teased with 75 yards on six catches in week nine but then only turned in two catches for 31 yards in Jacksonville. Inconsistent at best and no scores by the position for the last six weeks.

Donnie Avery was able to play last Thursday and ended with 65 yards on four receptions. He hasn't scored since the season opener and rarely has more than four catches in a game. Reggie Wayne dominates the targets and receptions with around seven more more every week. The worst Wayne has done this year was 71 yards and in a reception points league he's been a major benefit with 69 catches over just nine games. T.Y. Hilton was held to no catches with Avery back in the lineup last week but he ran twice on end arounds to gain 30 yards which is a new wrinkle. Hilton remains below 40 receiving yards every week but has topped 100 yards and scored in home games against the Jaguars and Dolphins.

The Patriots have allowed at least one passing score to every opponent and average two touchdowns along with very healthy yardage. Six opponents already passed for 290+ yards on them. At home they have been very strong against the run until last week when the Bills saw more success. Whatever offense the Colts accomplish should be almost entirely from Andrew Luck and the passing game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 8 30 5 16 13 27
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 16 25 30 8 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND TEN 20000020020 ***
Has Pep Hamilton taken off the restrictor plates? Nearly 40 attempts per game, two 370-yard efforts, and multiple TD tosses in all three outings suggest he has. This will be a true test, as Luck barely mustered 200 yards in both ends of last season's series with the Titans and failed to throw a touchdown against them. Different season; dial back expectations a bit but Luck is still imminently startable.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND TEN 7005201000 ****
Bradshaw has been more productive with fewer touches than Trent Richardson, and he should remain at least the former against a Titans defense that's giving up almost 120 RB rushing yards and more than one RB TD per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND TEN 8011100000 ****
Richardson continues to pace the Colts' backfield in touches, though his productivity has been largely pedestrian. He'll get the volume again, and against the Titans that should be enough for him to be fantasy relevant in a six-team bye week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND TEN 004501000 ****
History has not been kind to Wayne in this matchup; he's hit the century mark just three times in 22 career meetings, most recently in 2010. Wayne did score the last time he faced the Titans, but he's in a muddled mix in Indy so he can't be banked on with any degree of certainty.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND TEN 006700000 ****
Hilton leads Indy wideouts in targets, but he's not definitively the WR1 and that's who has found success against the Titans--wideouts who garner the vast majority of their team's looks. He's still a home run hitter, but right now TY is in a bit of a slump.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND TEN 003300000 ***
Nicks is the least targeted, least productive of Indy's receiving trio; he's also scored both of their WR TDs this year. Tough to bank on another one here against a Tennessee secondary that's allowed only one all season, and without a touchdown Nicks' fantasy value is limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND TEN 004300000 ***
The Titans aren't giving up enough to the position to be considered a favorable matchup, and with Allen having to share looks with Coby Fleener he's a longshot at best for fantasy relevancy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND TEN 003200000 ***
Fleener dropped an 8-catch, 107-yard outing on the Titans last season but things have changed: Indy has a viable third receiver, and Dwayne Allen is healthy to usurp looks. Proceed with caution.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND TEN 4433 ***
Tennessee is giving up more than eight points per game to kickers; Vinatieri is averaging better than nine. That'll work.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF 37-31
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 IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 260,2
RB Stevan Ridley 100,1
WR Danny Amendola 8-80 1
WR Brandon LaFell 5-60
TE Rob Gronkowski 6-50,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriots have a two game lead in the AFC East with the Dolphins (4-5) as the only potential threat. The rest of the schedule only contains three road games and in the end it is all going to boil down to what happens in the two remaining games against the Fins. The only potential change this year is that the Pats may actually have to play in the wild card round. The lack of defense has been their undoing but the offense has been in high gear recently.

Tom Brady has thrown a score in every game and currently stands at 18 touchdowns on the season - plenty productive. But what should come into play this week is that Brady doesn't usually do as much in home games because the rushing effort typically does better. Brady threw for only 223, 259 and 237 yards in the last three home games. And never scored more than twice in those games. Oddly he did exceed 300 yards in each of his last four road games despite playing some very good defenses.

Stevan Ridley doesn't take a full workload in New England but he still gets plenty to make him a great fantasy start in all but the toughest matchups on the road. He already has five games with around 100 yards and he always scores at least once whenever he rushes more than 20 times in a game. Danny Woodhead scored twice last week but only ran once and caught four passes for 46 yards. Ridley is the only consistent play here and one that should benefit from the Colts defense that gave up six rushing touchdowns over their four road games and high yardage to the better backs.

Aaron Hernandez is becoming a big worry after missing week eight, resting up on their bye and then sitting out against the Bills last Sunday. He's only played in two games since week two and is going to be a risk again this week. He was not called out until Saturday night and has proven to be the worst fantasy draft pick of a tight end this year given that he almost always went #3 in the position. Rob Gronkowski comes off a down game with just three catches for 31 yards and one score. He did score eight times this year but his yardage is down notably from 2011 and that too relates to the rushing game digging into the need to pass.

Wes Welker has also dropped off with six catches in each of the last three games that never gained more than 74 yards and did not produce any scores. Welker only scored twice all year and his string of big games from week two until week six has really declined.

The Colts are weak against the running backs and top ranked against tight ends. The Pats should take this game but it may yet again be one where the rushing effort adds enough that the high passing stats just do not happen for the fourth straight home game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 6 3 15 1 2 4
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 18 19 27 1 9 11

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE @KC 0000024020 ***
It's been seven games (including playoffs) since Brady threw multiple touchdowns; while the Chiefs have allowed both Peyton Manning and Jake Locker to turn that trick this season there's no real reason to think Brady will do so here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stevan Ridley, NE @KC 7001100000 ****
The Chiefs have yet to give up a running back touchdown, but New England's MO is to ride Ridley when they're up. They're expected to be up, so Ridley gets the bulk of the touches and provides adequate yardage with the hope of a goal line shot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE @KC 3004200000 ***
KC hasn't allowed much to opposing backs via ground or air, which doesn't bode well for Vereen's contributions this week. Unless the Pats are playing from behind they tend to run Ridley and use Vereen as the change of pace, so odds are Vereen's touches--and fantasy impact--will be limited this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE @KC 008801000 ***
The death of 1,000 paper cuts, the only way Edelman racks up big yardage is through a high volume of catches. He's borderline elite in PPR leagues but just a contributor in other formats. The good news is, similar possession receivers Kendall Wright and Brian Hartline both scored against the Chiefs so Edelman could pad his stat line with a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenbrell Thompkins, NE @KC 004500000 ***
Thompkins, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson... they all take turns being fantasy irrelevant. Most weeks, in fact, all are.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @KC 005501000 ****
The Chiefs have allowed three TE TDs already this season, and with Gronk working his way into more and more snaps he's that much more likely to find the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @KC 2222 ***
Gosty's averaging double-digit points and has multiple field goals in every game this year. He's a must-start fantasy kicker... like you didn't already know that.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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