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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
RB Pierre Thomas 30
WR Marques Colston 6-90,1
TE Jimmy Graham 6-90,1
TE Benjamin Watson 2-20
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 4 XP

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 @CAR 0000032021 ***
In his career Brees has played a season's worth (16) of games against the Panthers, averaging 22 fantasy points per game in the process. He's also tossed multiple touchdowns in six straight this year and faces a reeling Carolina D that's allowed multiple TD tosses in six of eight. Enjoy the show.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO @CAR 12012100000 ****
With injuries still halving the number of backs in New Orleans' rotation Ingram should be in line for another heavy workload. That's good news, not only because of last week's standout performance but also because backs who get carries against the Panthers do well; to wit, the nine backs who received double-digit carries against Carolina have produced five touchdowns and three 100-yard games. Enjoy the run, Robinson and Thomas will be back eventually.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Travaris Cadet, NO @CAR 2004200000 ***
Cadet is an intriguing play against a Carolina defense that's given up 6- and 12-catch games to running backs as well as three RB receiving scores this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO @CAR 004601000 **
The Panthers have given up more than enough WR TDs to put every Saints wideout in play here, and with 57 yards or better in three of his last four Stills is a large enough part of the receiver rotation to warrant fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO @CAR 006700000 ****
Colston has six touchdowns in his last five meetings with the Panthers, averaging 6-87-1 over that span. He's been the top target in three of four road games, among them a pair of 100-yard efforts. That's about as good as it gets for Colston, who's still just one of a bunch of guys Drew Brees could throw to.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO @CAR 005700000 ***
Cooks is much more of a homebody than a road warrior; since his 7-77-1 NFL debut in Week 1 he's totaled 10-71 in three games away from the SuperDome. It's a favorable matchup, but if you're looking for ways to parse the Saints receivers history is not on Cooks' side.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO @CAR 008901000 ***
Graham has scored in five straight and six of seven against the Panthers, has either a TD or 100 yards in seven straight, and has double-digit fantasy points in each of those tilts. Carolina is traditionally strong against the tight end but allowed Luke Willson to beat them last week and has yet to find an answer for Graham. Oh, and Jimmy looked plenty healthy last week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO @CAR 1133 ***
Graham has three straight three-field goal games and faces a Carolina defense that's allowing an average of nine kicker points per game over the past month and a half. He's as good an option as you'll find this week.

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
OAK vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub 240,2
RB Marcel Reece 60 7-60,1
WR James Jones 3-40,1
WR Denarius Moore 6-80,1
TE David Ausberry
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 @SEA 0000017012 ****
Carr's had a couple of decent fantasy efforts during his rookie campaign; asking him to go to Seattle and pull one off... well, that's a bit too aggressive.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @SEA 4004200000 ***
McFadden is unlikely to dent the Seahawks on the ground, but he could salvage fantasy value via the air against a Seattle defense that's allowing almost 50 RB receiving yards per game over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, OAK @SEA 40130000 ***
MJD's last two game have seen him carry the ball nine times for 14 yards. Ugh.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @SEA 005600000 **
Holmes will get his targets; the key will be holding on to them. Not enough upside here to warrant a start against a secondary that could very well throttle the life out of Oakland's passing game without blinking an eye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @SEA 003400000 ***
The Seahawks haven't allowed a WR TD since Week 5 or a WR TD at home since the season opener. Oakland's cast of characters doesn't feel like the group that's going to crack that code.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenbrell Thompkins, OAK @SEA 002300000 ***
If you were wondering where Kenbrell Thompkins ended up... well, here he is. He saw eight targets last week, but given this matchup with Seattle's secondary that number--as well as what Thompkins can do with those catches--is likely to dwindle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @SEA 003201000 *
Maybe the Raiders' best hope for fantasy value this week comes in the form of Rivera, who posted 7-83 on nine targets last week. He'll have a chance to exploit the lone fantasy weakness in this defense, an inability to defend tight ends. Seattle has surrendered eight TE TDs already this season; if Oakland is to get one, Rivera's probably the best bet.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @SEA 1111 ***
Seabass has yet to hit double-digit points, and Seattle seems like an unlikely venue for him to reach that milestone.

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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