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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: NE 27, NYJ 17 (Line: NE by 6)

Players to Watch: Aaron Hernandez

This is the late game on Thanksgiving. The 7-3 Patriots head to New York where the 4-6 Jets are 2-3 and have already lost to the Patriots 26-29 just four weeks ago. Apparently that close call inspired the Patriots since they have scored at least 37 points in each of the last three games and are currently the #1 scoring team in the NFL by over 50 points.

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 59-24
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 @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 250,2
WR Danny Amendola
WR Julian Edelman 3-30
TE Martellus Bennett 3-30
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Pats are back to their "roll up the points" mode but that may take a step back now that Rob Gronkowski is out for at least four weeks and potentially longer. The talented tight end has been the central man in the passing scheme for two seasons now and his limitation in the Superbowl may have been part of the four point loss. That and the whole "Curse of Eli" thing.

Fortunately, Aaron Hernandez is expected to return from his ankle injury that has basically robbed him of his season since week two. He returned in week six and seven but then missed the last four games. Some reports have him still limited and since this is the Patriot way, we cannot really know until we know. He's been limited in practice for a few weeks. The same was true in week six when he came back and scored once on his six catches for 30 yards.

Vishanthe Shiancoe should see an increase in snaps but not necessarily receptions. Neither he nor Michael Hoomanawanui are a true replacement and whatever Hernandez does not inherit will go to Julian Edelman, Wes Welker or even running backs.

Tom Brady passed for 259 yards and two scores when the Jets visited a month ago. The Jets played a very good game defensively that week and held the Pats to no rushing scores. Stevan Ridley gained 65 yards on 17 carries with no receptions while Shane Vereen went for 49 yards on eight runs. Danny Woodhead has six runs and four receptions for a total of 46 yards in that game but was never given a touch last week in the blow out win.

This is a prime time game on national TV. Both teams know each other very well but the absence of Gronk could make a difference. But this is the exact sort of game that Brady and company loves to really put on a show. This is a pivotal week too since the Pats need to show that losing Gronk is not going to make a big difference.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 5 3 11 1 2 3
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 7 21 4 24 19 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jacoby Brissett, NE HOU 0000018002 *
While Jimmy Garoppolo is a game-time decision, Brissett is expected to play. Avoid him in all formats. There's no reason to risk a rookie making his first start against a dominating defense on a short week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE HOU 901000000 ***
The offense will rely on Blount, but with stacked boxes, can he find enough room to run? Highly suspect. Play him with modest expectations against the sixth hardest matchup for RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE HOU 005500000 ***
Edelman is probably the only playable option in this offense, and that's if you're feeling brave as a PPR owner. The matchup sucks and so does the quarterback situation. You've been warned.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE HOU 003500000 *
A tough matchup, and a third-string rookie passer. There isn't much to like with Hogan in Week 3.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE HOU 003300000 ***
Don't chance it with Amendola in Week 3, considering the matchup and short notice for rookie Jacoby Brissett starting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE HOU 004500000 *
Look for the inactives to see if Gronk is available. He's a game-time call. The Texans rank fifth against TEs, and Jacoby Brissett is likely to start on a short week. Play at your own peril.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, NE HOU 002300000 *
Rob Gronkowski is a game-time decision, which matters a good deal for Bennett's worth. Either way, with a third-string rookie at quarterback, Bennett is a risky buy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE HOU 3311 ***
New England's entire offensive output may come off the foot of Gostkowski with a third-string QB starting.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 10 @SEA 7-28
2 @PIT 10-27 11 @STL 27-13
3 @MIA 23-20 12 NE -----
4 SF 0-34 13 ARI -----
5 HOU 17-23 14 @JAC -----
6 IND 35-9 15 @TEN -----
7 @NE 26-29 16 SD -----
8 MIA 9-30 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 10 230,2
RB Matt Forte 70 5-30,1
RB Bilal Powell 30,1 3-20
WR Eric Decker 7-70,2
WR Brandon Marshall 8-110,1
TE Kellen Davis 2-20
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 2 XP
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ @KC 20000024011 ***
Fitz may rack up the yardage but struggle to put the ball into the end zone ... sound familiar? KC has permitted the eighth most fantasy points to quarterbacks through two games, sponsored by two touchdowns allowed in total.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, NYJ @KC 9013200000 ***
Forte has been a beast through two games, coming off a three-TD performance in Week 2. He's probably not 100 percent healthy, but that isn't of terrible concern. KC has given up 248 total rushing and 58 aerial yards with three combined trips to paydirt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @KC 005901000 ***
Marcus Peters probably will follow Decker around, which doesn't matter too much since Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't shy away from gambling. The Chiefs have allowed a ton of yards (392) on 28 grabs and only one score vs. WRs.

In the event Brandon Marshall doesn't play -- which appears to be the case -- Decker will see doubles and draw the best corner (Marcus Peters). Limit your expectations ... WR3-ish.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Quincy Enunwa, NYJ @KC 006700000 ***
Enunwa emerged nicely through two games and is a real talent. He may not do so well against a higher level of competition without Brandon Marshall, though. Play him as a PPR flex to err on the side of caution. KC has granted only one touchdown to WRs this season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @KC 2222 ***
Kansas City has permitted six field goals on eight kicks, ranking third among the most forgiving defenses against the position.

Pregame Notes: Winning big in St. Louis was a surprise last week since the Jets were on a three game losing streak that started against these Patriots and the next two losses were blowouts by 21 points each. If nothing else, it made the Jets look good for one week and quelled the withering fire they take from the NY media after every loss.

Mark Sanchez threw for a season best 328 yards in the last meeting with the Patriots though only one touchdown and he's scored multiple touchdowns in only two games all year. At 11 touchdowns on the year, he's been only marginally effective in any game. The Patriots have shored up their secondary in the interim as well with the addition of CB Aqib Talib who instantly became their #1 cover corner. He also returned an interception for a touchdown in his first game with the Patriots. Sanchez is less likely to see as much success passing.

Shonn Greene still slogs along with around 60 rush yards in most games and aside from his week six freak show against the Colts when he scored three times, he's been the picture of mediocrity this year. Now the Jets are taking a committee approach to the backfield and including Bilal Powell who scored his first two NFL touchdowns last week on his 11 runs for 42 yards in St. Louis. Greene rushed for 64 yards on 18 carries in that game as well. In week seven, Greene ran for 54 yards and a score on 16 runs in New England. A committee is a good thing if it finally dissuades you from giving Greene a fantasy start.

Dustin Keller caught seven passes for 93 yards and a score in New England this year but that was his only touchdown and he's settled down to much lower production. Against the Rams he caught two passes for 16 yards.

Jeremy Kerley was the best receiver in the last meeting when he gained 120 yards on seven receptions. He's failed to turn in more than 60 yards in any game since and has not scored since back in week three. None of the Jets wideouts have any reliability or fantasy value now.

This is a late game and prime time so both teams will bring their "A" games. So far that heavily favors the Patriots.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 30 24 24 24 28 9
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 16 27 31 6 1

INSERT THE PLAYER TABLE #2 HERE

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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