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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 Reggie Bush 30 1-10
RB LeSean McCoy
WR Percy Harvin 10 2-20
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 Tyrod Taylor, BUF @OAK 40000021011 ***
The Raiders have allowed the 17th most fantasy points, on average, coming off the 11th best overall matchup rating. Passers have thrown a TD every 10.6 completions while racking up only 238.6 yards per appearance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF @OAK 11012200000 ***
McCoy has scored thrice in his last three outings, and clearly even thumb surgery cannot contain him. The Raiders have given up touchdowns at the sixth highest rate to running backs on the ground and fifth with receiving scores included. The matchup is the eighth most favorable for the position since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, BUF @OAK 002201000 ***
Hunter's role is too limited to chance it in fantasy, even against an Oakland team that has given up WR touchdowns at the ninth most efficient rate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @OAK 005600000 ***
Watkins returned to play 45 percent of the snaps last week and caught three balls for 80 yards. This is a midrange matchup, but Oakland has allowed the seventh most points per catch by receivers. Look for Watkins to once again be worked in slowly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @OAK 003400000 ***
Goodwin is a home run waiting to happen ... don't hold your breath, as projecting his success is a shot in the dark. The Raiders at least present a favorable matchup, but Goodwin is best left for DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF @OAK 004300000 ***
Even when he has faced exploitable matchups, Clay has not been able to get the job done for most of the season. Injuries have taken a major toll on his ability this year. Oakland is a midrange opponent.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @OAK 2222 ***
The Raiders have allowed a mere five field goals and nine extra point tries (seven made) over the past five weeks, making this the sixth toughest matchup for kickers in Week 13.

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 Frank Gore 100,1 3-20
WR T.Y. Hilton 6-80,1
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 @NYJ 0000026021 ***
Luck is expected to return after a week off due to a concussion. The Jets boast fantasy's second toughest matchup for quarterbacks, having allowed only one aerial TD per game in the last four games. New York solidly rates in the bottom 10 of all notable fantasy passing categories, so Luck is not the best of starts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND @NYJ 5003300000 ***
Only one of every 44 attempts in the last five weeks has scored against the Jets. New York has allowed the seventh most PPR points on a per-game basis, but this is the fifth most generous from an offensive yardage allowed perspective.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @NYJ 006701000 ***
Hilton should be fine after leaving early last week. He faces a Jets defense that has given up one touchdown per contest over the last five weeks. One of every 12.5 receptions have scored, and the Jets are a negative-leaning-neutral opponent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @NYJ 005501000 ***
Moncrief is very quietly stringing together as strong of a return from his six-week injury hiatus as possible. The promising receiver has scored in four straight games and takes on a Jets team that has allowed one score per contest to receivers since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Phillip Dorsett, IND @NYJ 003300000 ***
Dorsett, a deep threat first, is a hard sell for gamers in non-DFS situations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @NYJ 002300000 ***
Allen doesn't have a large enough role on a consistent enough basis to be on a roster, let alone in a fantasy lineup. The Jets are also harsh against his position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND @NYJ 002200000 ***
New York has allowed only 13 receptions for 121 yard and a TD over its last four games to tight ends. There isn't enough upside with Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett both healthy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @NYJ 3322 ***
In the last four weeks, kickers have been afforded 11 tries (10 made). That is the second highest per-game average for the position, which has helped lead to New York being the second friendliest matchup to exploit.

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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