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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 Josh Freeman 280,2
QB Andrew Luck 300,2
RB Frank Gore 70 3-20
WR T.Y. Hilton 3-60,1
WR Andre Johnson 6-100,1
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 Josh Freeman, IND TEN 0000014002 *
Indy's starting quarterback in a must-win game will most likely be a guy who's been with the team less than a week. That didn't work so well for Freeman the last time he tried it--flaming out famously as a Viking on Monday Night Football--and there's no reason to think it will go any better here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND TEN 10903200000 *
With little in the way of QB options look for the Colts to pin their offensive hopes on Gore. He responded with 15-85-2 in a similar situation last week and had 14-86-2 in Tennessee earlier this season, so he's both a volume and matchup bet this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, IND TEN 003300000 ***
The third wheel in a passing game that's literally dragging in quarterback candidates off the street? Pass.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND TEN 003300000 *
The Titans have allowed a 100-yard receiver in five of the last six games, but with limited options at quarterback--Indy will start either a guy who's never taken a regular season snap or one of two guys they signed off the street earlier this week--the passing game can't be banked on for productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND TEN 002300000 *
It's not so much the matchup as it is the lack of a quarterback in Indy that has us worried about the potential of the passing game. Best look for options that don't have to wear name tags so their quarterback knows who they are.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND TEN 002200000 *
The last time Fleener was fantasy relevant none of the Colts' current quarterbacks were even a gleam in Indy's eye. Nothing to see here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND TEN 2200 ***
TEN gives up field goals;
can Indy QB du jour
get him close enough?

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 Steven Jackson 60,1 2-20
WR Danny Amendola 8-80 1
WR Brandon Gibson 3-50
WR Brandon LaFell 5-60
TE Scott Chandler 4-60
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 @MIA 0000027020 ***
Brady stumbled against the Jets last week, but he'll get back on his horse against a Miami defense he gouged for 356 and 4 earlier this year. That's the difference between facing a top-10 pass defense (the Jets) and a bottom-10 pass defense (the Dolphins).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE @MIA 2015401000 **
Pass catching backs have fared well against the Phins, including Dion Lewis' 6-93-1 in the earlier meeting. Four other backs have topped 50 receiving yards in the past 10 games against Miami, and White has receiving scores in two straight and three of four so he's the favorite to take advantage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Brandon Bolden, NE @MIA 4003300000 ***
Bolden saw more carries than Steven Jackson last week, but that's no guarantee the ratio stays the same for this far more favorable matchup. Good luck guessing Bill Belichick's intentions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, NE @MIA 400000000 **
The Patriots bludgeoned Miami with LeGarrette Blount in the earlier meeting; this time around expect Jackson to do the heavy lifting. Miami has already allowed six 100-yard rushers, including similar hammers like Alfred Morris and Chris Ivory. Jackson shook off the rust with seven carries last week; this week he splashes in a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keshawn Martin, NE @MIA 003400000 ***
Martin may end up being the healthiest Patriots receiver. Last week that was good for 68 yards in a tough matchup. This week, in a far more favorable matchup, he'd actually warrant fantasy attention. We'll hopefully know more about the injury stats of all of New England's receivers later in the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, NE @MIA 004400000 ***
LaFell is hurt, just like most of the rest of the Patriots. However, unlike Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman his fantasy value isn't such that he's worth waiting for.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @MIA 006801000 ***
Gronk has scored in three straight, four of five, and six of eight against the Dolphins. That includes 6-113-1 earlier this year. No reason to doubt him here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @MIA 2233 ***
Teams counting by ones
against Phins; should still be points
galore for Gosty

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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