FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: BUF 20, IND 27 (Line: IND by 3)

Players to Watch: Fred Jackson, Delone Carter

The 4-6 Bills come off a win last Thursday but are only 2-4 on the road. The 6-4 Colts were just pummeled by the Patriots in New England but are 4-1 at home.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE 31-37
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA 19-14
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 Bryce Brown 80,1 3-20
RB Fred Jackson 50 3-20
RB C.J. Spiller 50 5-50
WR Mike Williams 4-60
TE Scott Chandler 4-40
PK Dan Carpenter 3 FG

Pregame Notes: The Bills did the unthinkable last week and somehow generated a defense that held the Dolphins to only 14 points. They still average 30 points per opponent and it was a visiting divisional rival with a struggling offense. But fortunately all the remaining games outside maybe this week will go against teams with lower scoring offenses and the defense may seem far better at the end of the year than it really is.

Last week was a very odd game that made it look like the Fins and Bills both featured great defenses which is hardly reality. Ryan Fitzpatrick only passes for 168 yards and no scores which makes it four of the last six games without any touchdowns. An improved ground game is partially to blame but the only two times that Fitzpatrick had decent games in the last month and a half were against Tennessee and in New England - both against very bad secondaries.

C.J. Spiller gained over 100 total yards in each of the last five games and that includes 70+ yards as a runner in all but one of those games. Fred Jackson was held out last week due to the concussion he received in the New England game but they are hopeful that he will be able to play. The bad part is that Jackson will eat into what Spiller could have done by himself though the speedy back for the Bills was getting winded last week and was spelled by Tashard Choice on several plays. Not a great sign that he got winded when he only took 22 carries and three catches but he was certainly getting longer gainers on many touches.

The declining passing numbers mean that Stevie Johnson only produces moderate stats in most weeks and scored only once in the last seven games. Neither Johnson nor any other Bills receiver has managed to gain more than 100 yards in a game this year. Donald Jones scored in the two easy games against the Titans and Patriots but otherwise had no fantasy value and even against the Fins only caught two passes for 11 yards. Johnson is the only decent play here and even then only for 60 or 70 yards in a good game.

Scott Chandler was able to score in New England but has fallen short of any fantasy merit since week five and usually ends up with 30 to 50 yards in most games without a touchdown.

The Colts defense is improving and always plays better at home. Last week notwithstanding, the Colts have held opponents to 20 or fewer points in four of the last five games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 20 5 26 21 26 16
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 18 19 30 2 11 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kyle Orton, BUF @NYJ 0000028021 ****
The Jets have allowed multiple passing scores in every game this season, including hat tricks in three straight. Orton has sniffed 300 yards in each of his starts since taking over for EJ Manuel, averaging 296 yards per game with multiple scores in each of the past two. No reason to think Orton's unexpected run of fantasy success can't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @NYJ 3002101000 *
After a fast start the Jets run D has been significantly softer of late, serving up two 100-yard rushing efforts in the past three games. Dixon is expected to handle the bulk of the Bills' backfield workload, which puts him in line to take advantage of this opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF @NYJ 4002100000 *
Bryce should take over the CJ Spiller role in Buffalo, with Anthony Dixon handling most of Fred Jackson's workload. However, the Bills haven't even bothered to activate Brown yet this season so it would take a leap of faith to plug him into your fantasy lineup sight (and role) unseen this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NYJ 0081201000 ***
The Jets have served up four 100-plus yard receiving games this season, all to WR1s. Watkins is fast becoming a legit WR1; he's the Bill most likely to take advantage here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NYJ 005600000 ***
Hogan's 12 targets, 10 catches, 135 yards and one touchdown over the past two games have earned him a fantasy opportunity against a Jets secondary that's allowed eight WR TDs in seven games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF @NYJ 002300000 ***
Williams has some hurdles to climb to reach fantasy relevancy. Like, be active for starters. Then pull targets from Robert Woods and Chris Hogan on the run-heavy Bills. You'll find better fantasy odds elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NYJ 005601000 **
Chandler is showing some staying power past his usual productive September, and his role in this offense suggests he has fantasy upside against a Jets' defense that's allowed seven TE TDs in the past five games. It's notable as well that Chandler has scored in two of his last three meetings with Gang Green; yes, both scores came in September games, since you asked.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NYJ 2222 ***
Carp has topped five points just once in the past five games, but the Jets have allowed six or better in six straight. No need to yank him if he's in your lineup, but then again no reason to go out of your way to add him, either.

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 24-59
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 vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 10 310,2
RB Vick Ballard 60 2-20
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 70 3-20
RB Trent Richardson 80,1 6-40
WR T.Y. Hilton 6-80,1
WR Hakeem Nicks 7-100,1
WR Reggie Wayne 7-90,1
TE Dwayne Allen 4-40
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriots made sure the upstart Colts realized their place in the NFL with a blowout "let's still throw bombs" sort of way. In the process they did allow Andrew Luck to set the new NFL rookie record with five games over 300 yards. With six left to play. Last week ended a four game winning streak and these Colts may not be Patriot good yet, but they are far better than anyone could have expected. And still in the playoff hunt.

Luck has always been very productive in home games this year and the Bills are bringing in a below average defense anyway. Luck has scored twice in every home game and usually enjoyed big yardage efforts aside from the one Cleveland tilt. He's thrown for 12 touchdowns this year and rushed in five more.

Now that everyone is healthy, the running attack is a three-headed monster with marginal fantasy implications on a good day. Donald Brown runs just enough to make sure that Vick Ballard does not have a big game and then in the rare case they end up at the goal line, Delone Carter trots in for the short touchdown. Bottom line here - Colts backs have only rushed in three touchdowns all year against five scored by Luck as a runner. No runner here gained more than 84 rushing yards in any game and they rarely account for more than one catch each.

Reggie Wayne continues to catch at least seven passes in every game since week seven but he has not topped 100 yards in the last six games and scored just once in that time. His three touchdowns all occurred while at home though and he is a lock for at least 70 yards each week. TY Hilton comes off his career best game of six catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. That pairs up with the 6-102 and a score he posted in week nine. Problem is that he was blanked in week 10 with just one pass thrown his way. Donnie Avery provides some minor possession catches but Wayne and Hilton have clearly become the top two receivers here.

Playing at home with something to prove after the spanking in New England should not only provide good stats for Luck, Wayne and Hilton, but the runners as well. The Bills have one of the worst defenses at stopping rushing scores and running backs have scored on them 16 times already.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 7 30 4 18 16 28
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 24 28 22 17 14 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND @PIT 0000031030 ****
Does it really matter what the Steelers have or haven't allowed? Luck is en fuego right now, with multiple touchdowns in every game and five straight (and six of seven) with 300-plus yards. Pep Hamilton has seen the light!
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND @PIT 5014300000 ***
Richardson continues to get most of the between-the-tackle work, and while he hasn't topped 80 yards yet he's at least found the end zone a couple times in the past month. He's not as safe a fantasy bet as Ahmad Bradshaw, but it's a favorable enough matchup to be a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND @PIT 4004201000 ****
Three backs have rushed for at least 75 yards against the Steelers in the past two games, and two backs have scored receiving touchdowns. Talk about teeing one up right in Bradshaw's wheelhouse...
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @PIT 009900000 ***
Hilton has at least 80 yards in five straight, triple-digit yardage in three of the last four, and stakes first claim to Andrew Luck's copious yardage total.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @PIT 004500000 ****
Moncrief has been seeing an uptick in playing time, and the injury to Reggie Wayne should lead to more targets as well. It's a big pie Andrew Luck is creating; you could do worse than banking on Moncrief to carve out a slice this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND @PIT 002300000 ***
Nicks remains on the fringe of relevancy, both for the Colts and fantasy wise. So long as Andrew Luck keeps churning out 300-yard games Nicks has a shot at being a fantasy helper. Reggie Wayne's possible absence this week certainly doesn't hurt Nicks' chances.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @PIT 003501000 ****
Allen is slightly more targeted and slightly more productive than his running mate at tight end. With Indy scoring at least one TE TD in every game thus far one--or both--need to be in fantasy lineups, and Allen is the slightly safer bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND @PIT 002201000 ***
While he's playing second fiddle to Dwayne Allen Fleener is still a fantasy factor in his own right with touchdowns in three of the past five games. Indy has at least one TE TD in every game, so if you're reaching for help at the position you could certainly do worse than Fleener.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @PIT 1144 ***
My Cousin Vinny is averaging better than nine points per game; opposing kickers are averaging better than nine points per game against the Steelers. Pencil Adam in for something north of nine and call it a day.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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