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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: NO 31, OAK 23 (Line: NO by 4.5)

Players Updated: Darren Sproles, Brandon Myers, Darrius Heyward-Bey, David Ausberry

Players to Watch: David Ausberry

The Saints are only 4-5 but won their last two games including taking down the mighty Falcons last week. They're 4-1 in their last five games and their defense may be playing slightly better. The Raiders are 3-6 and have a two game losing streak going. The Raiders allowed a combined 97 points over just their last two games. Start your Saints.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 WAS 32-40 10 ATL 31-27
2 @CAR 27-35 11 @OAK -----
3 KC 24-27 12 SF -----
4 @GB 27-28 13 @ATL -----
5 SD 31-24 14 @NYG -----
6 BYE ----- 15 TB -----
7 @TB 35-28 16 @DAL -----
8 @DEN 14-34 17 CAR -----
9 PHI 28-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 320,3
RB Travaris Cadet
RB Mark Ingram 20

Pregame Notes: The playoffs are still a pipe dream but at least the Saints are getting back on track and should scratch out at least a few more wins that could reach .500 with some luck. The defense continues to be Louisiana's gift to fantasy football and helps ensure that at least Drew Brees has a big game. Trips to Atlanta and Dallas and facing the 49ers may knock down the scoring, but otherwise it should be a nice run of fantasy points the rest of the year.

Brees still has yet to score less than twice in every game and his 25 passing touchdowns are tied with Aaron Rodgers though Brees also leads the league with 2,847 passing yards. The only thing that can get in the way is a better rushing effort which has picked up in the last two weeks with home games.

WIth Darren Sproles out, Mark Ingram gets more work though he doesn't do all that much more with it. He has not scored since week two and comes off a season high 16 runs for 67 yards versus the Falcons. Ingram only caught three passes all year. Chris Ivory scored in each of the last two games and is averaging 7.1 yards per carry on his 17 runs. This will always be a committee backfield though and with that comes risk to rely on any individual player. Just ask Pierre Thomas who was demoted to only five carries for ten yards last week. The only consistent and reliable player where is Sproles as a receiver and he's out.

Jimmy Graham is certainly back to health and offering his owners a major benefit. Last week was a season best seven catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns on the Falcons and he's scored in each of the last three weeks. Lately he is a lock for six to eight receptions for 60+ yards and a score.

Instead of a committee of wide receivers, the Saints are very settled on Marques Colston as the primary who scored seven times in the last six weeks though his last two home games were with fewer than 50 yards in each. When the Saints run better, if comes mostly out of the wideouts share of the passing since Graham will always be the first target for Brees.. Lance Moore remains the #2 and while he is solid with 60+ yards in most games, he has no touchdowns in the past five games.

The Raiders are very weak against running backs and that once again should help the Saints win but they are also below average against the pass and Brees should still get his standard 300-3.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 1 6 7 4 27 23
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 26 31 16 24 31 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Drew Brees, NO @SD 0000034020 ***
A cross-country trip to play outdoors is mildly unnerving, but Brees gets to attack his former employer -- and it doesn't hurt this group has allowed the second most aerial yards and fourth highest fantasy points total to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO @SD 6014200000 ***
San Diego has been pounded on the ground and bombarded through the air by running backs. This is the sixth strongest matchup for fantasy production, and Ingram must be in all conventional lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO @SD 0071101000 ***
Cooks is a must-play and has to be licking his chops after watching what T.Y. Hilton -- a similar receiver -- did to San Diego in Week 3. Cooks faces a Chargers defense that now ranks as the 15th toughest against his position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Coleman, NO @SD 006700000 ***
Coleman's fantasy worth is directly tied to whether Willie Snead suits up. Check back Friday.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Thomas, NO @SD 005700000 ***
Thomas has proven to know the system well and display great body control. He's a WR3 PPR weapon in all leagues. San Diego has yielded 13 WR receptions per game this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Willie Snead IV, NO @SD 00000000 *
Snead sat out last week. Check back to see if he's likely to play in Week 4.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, NO @SD 006701000 ***
No team has given up more catches to tight ends than San Diego. Fleener more than made up for his quiet start to the season with a studly performance in Week 3. Only he stands in his way of another brilliant showing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Wil Lutz, NO @SD 1133 ***
The Chargers aren't a great matchup statistically, so this one comes down to game flow. Kickers have averaged only 6.3 fantasy points on the backs of 4-for-5 FGAs and 7-for-7 XPAs.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL 20-55
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO -----
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN -----
4 @DEN 6-37 13 CLE -----
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN -----
6 @ATL 20-23 15 KC -----
7 JAC 26-23 16 @CAR -----
8 @KC 26-16 17 @SD -----
9 TB 32-42 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Taiwan Jones 20
WR Michael Crabtree 4-60,1
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raiders have not merely hit hard times. They've lost their last two games and been crushed in both by good teams but not great ones. The offense cannot hope to keep up with what a decent offense can get out of playing them. The remaining schedule is not that bad with only the Denver game against a team with an actual winning record.

Carson Palmer is taking this easier stretch of defenses and posting some gaudy passing stats at least in yardage. Over the last five weeks, all but the road game in Kansas CIty produced at least 298 passing yards and he has already thrown for over 350 yards in four different matchups. His 15 touchdowns are a bit low for so much yardage and he did turn the ball over 12 times so far. In fantasy terms, you're not getting more than one or two scores in most games and he'll throw one pick, but he's rock solid in high yardage even if much of it comes later in games.

Darren McFadden was hoped to be ready this week but he still looks likely to sit out another. He is a noted slow healer and doesn't play well injured anyway. Mike Goodson is also likely to miss this week which once again leaves Marcel Reese as the primary back. Reese rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries and added 56 more yards on seven receptions in Baltimore. That's certainly as good as what McFadden's been doing anyway. And this time he'll face one of the weakest defenses against running backs.

Brandon Myers continues to provide very consistent yardage every week though he's scored in only one game so far. Myers has gained between 44 and 62 yards in each of the last five games. He was concussed last week and that was his second of the year. He'll almost certainly miss this week which bumps the second-year tight end David Ausberry into a starting role against a weaker defense. The ex-USC Trojan only totaled nine career catches in his two seasons and has never had more than one or two passes in any game. Not much to go on other than he received some minor hype in the preseason. He's a 6-4, 258 pound wideout that was converted to tight end by the Raiders. He also ran a 4.48/40 at the NFL combine. He was drafted to be a receiver and gets at least a brief chance to show what he can do.

The increased passing stats have mostly benefited Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore. DHB scored in two of the last three games and usually ends with around 70 to 80 yards. Moore is the better scorer with touchdowns in five of the last seven games and higher yardage each week. Both receivers get to face off against the worst secondary in the NFL this week which should be a lock for at least their average and more likely one of their best games of the year. With no McFadden, it;s a lock that the Raiders are going to need to throw a lot of passes.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 9 9 16 9 7 29
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 32 29 32 23 25 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK @BAL 0000025011 ***
Baltimore rates as the fifth strongest defense of fantasy quarterbacks, actually giving up fewer touchdowns than passes intercepted. Carr could be in for a sluggish fantasy day, but he must be started by owners without a clearer path to more points.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @BAL 5011100000 **
Seven teams have been harder on RBs than Baltimore. Murray has lost touches to Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington each week. Keep him in your lineup, but he'll need to score to exceed flex expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK @BAL 006801000 ***
Crabtree was greatly undervalued on draft day in most leagues, and he emerged as a strong fantasy weapon with all of the attention paid to Amari Cooper. Baltimore has given up four scores in three games to wideouts, so there's hope for another quality game from the former 49er.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Amari Cooper, OAK @BAL 005700000 ***
Baltimore's defense as allowed four touchdowns to receivers but only 35 catches for 367 yards to rank among the 10 hardest matchups. Cooper can't buy a touchdown over his past 10 games, so keep him in PPR lineups and hope for the best. He's now a fringe play in standard scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Seth Roberts, OAK @BAL 002300000 ***
Roberts could sneak into the end zone again if Cooper and Crabtree are blanketed, but banking on it is difficult against the seventh best defense of receivers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clive Walford, OAK @BAL 003300000 ***
Baltimore hasn't allowed a touchdown to the position yet on the only 10 receptions snared by tight ends. Walford has upside and can exploit single LB and safety coverage better than most. Play him only if you must.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @BAL 1122 ***
Baltimore has been the strongest team against kickers, giving up only one field goal and five extra points.

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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