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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: JAC 20, BUF 27 (Line: BUF by 6)

Players Updated: Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts, Donald Jones

Players to Watch: Chad Henne, Justin Blackmon, Rashad Jennings

The 2-9 Jaguars come off a win over the Titans that ended a seven game losing streak. That's so embarrassing for the Titans that they fired their offensive coordinator after the game. The 4-7 Bills come off a loss in Indianapolis where lead wideout openly complained about Chan Gailey calling the plays. That makes this happy setup a hard one to call because both teams are inconsistent at best and mostly bad anyway. Have to like the homebound Bills but the Jags seem to have finally realized they can get back into the race if they just have a different driver. All this time Blaine Gabbert though he was driving an automatic transmission and it was really a five-speed manual.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND 10-27
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU 37-43
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN 24-19
4 CIN 10-27 13 @BUF -----
5 CHI 3-41 14 NYJ -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK 23-26 16 NE -----
8 @GB 15-24 17 @TEN -----
9 DET 14-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
JAC @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne 260,2
WR Cecil Shorts 5-90,1
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-50
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars scored 51 points in just two games and one was in Houston. That speaks volumes to how much better the offense is running with Chad Henne at the helm. And this was all without Maurice Jones-Drew. Imagine being able to pass and run just like a real NFL team. It boggles the mind that Blaine Gabbert threw nine touchdowns over ten games and Chad Henne has six over just the last two weeks. The season is plenty lost and Jones-Drew may not even make it back this year or ever. But at least this late season revival is setting the stage for hopefully better things next year.

Henne passed for 354 yards and four scores in Houston and he still followed that up with 261 yards and two more touchdowns in the win over the Titans. The major difference is that he actually throws downfield. Gabbert threw for only 1662 yards this year and averaged only 10 yards per completion. Henne has thrown for 615 yards over the last two games and averaged 19 yards per completion. Big difference. The defense was already crowding the line because of Jones-Drew anyway, and Gabbert would not or could not throw deep completions to make them pay.

Jalen Parmele's big coming out party was short lived since he injured his leg after eight runs last week and left the game. I'll count him out for now and adjust according to what he does in practice. Rashad Jennings took over for him and ran for only 43 yards on 16 carries which is exactly why he was replaced. He did score in the game for the second time all year. Maurice Jones-Drew is still not expected back this week and his healing process may be lacking in dedication to a quick return. While he should be back before the season ends, what shape he is in or what his level of drive will be remains to be seen. We have probably already seen the best of MJD for this year to be sure.

The increased passing effort has helped Marcedes Lewis to score twice and stick around 40 to 50 yards per game. Cecil Shorts was already the lone decent receiver and he is on a three game scoring streak and topped 100 yards in three of the last five games. Justin Blackmon is said to be more dedicated in practice and finally getting a handle on the game speed in the NFL. He comes off a five catch, 62 yard game with one score on the Titans. He certainly appears to be getting it.

The Bills remain bottom ten in defense against almost all the positions and especially running back which could help Jennings produce at least marginal stats. Once again we will watch the passing effort. Third time in a row and that's a full blown trend.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 23 31 13 27 26 30
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 23 32 23 16 16 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC @SD 30000023012 ***
Bortles makes his first NFL start in San Diego, which isn't an overly favorable fantasy matchup. However, there does project to be plenty of garbage time and given Jacksonville's lack of a ground game he's looking at another high volume opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC @SD 3003200000 ***
The Bolts are giving up 61 RB rushing yards per game, and Gerhart has demonstrated nothing to suggest he's capable of topping that number. Plus, he'll be ceding a larger share of the touches to Denard Robinson.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson, JAC @SD 007700000 ***
Robinson was neck and neck with Cecil Shorts in the targets department last week, and with Marqise Lee likely out again he'll be Option #2 in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, it's not a favorable enough matchup for that to hold much fantasy cache.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC @SD 006500000 ***
If Shorts is healthy, and his presence on the field last week suggests he is, he'll be the primary target in this passing game. Targets equal opportunity, making Shorts the best fantasy play among Jacksonville's wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC @SD 002400000 ***
Hurns has become the Jaguars' big play threat, but this isn't a particularly favorable matchup and you'd be pinning your hopes on one big play as Hurns trails both Cecil Shorts and Allen Robinson in the targets department.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clay Harbor, JAC @SD 002200000 ***
Update: Harbor is slowly working his way back into snaps, and into the Jacksonville game plan. He's listed as probable this week and with no other healthy tight ends the Jags may be forced to use him more than they'd like. Whether he can translate those snaps into fantasy productivity is another matter entirely.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC @SD 1111 ***
Scobee is a steady supplier of one field goal and a PAT or two; your fantasy team can do better.

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 13-20
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 100,1 3-20
RB Fred Jackson 40,1 3-20
RB C.J. Spiller 80 4-30,1
WR Mike Williams 5-70,1
TE Scott Chandler 3-30
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills offense never much came back after their week eight bye with three of the four games posting fewer than 20 points. Stevie Johnson called publicly for HC Chan Gailey to stop calling plays which seems more like something to discuss in his offense than the newspaper. Any maybe not after a game where he was targeted 15 times and produced 106 yards for his best of the season. But his complaint is hardly new - most defenses are saying that the Bills offense is predictable and unimaginative. Throw in a bad defense and you have some problems.

Ryan Fitzpatrick seems highly inconsistent with four games of no scores in the last seven weeks and yet four games with three touchdowns. The secret to Johnson is simple - he is as good or bad as the defense allows him to be. Nothing more and nothing less. When he faces a great defense, he won't reach 200 yards or score no matter the venue. When it is a bad defense - say like the Patriots - he throw for over 300 yards and several touchdowns every time. This week the Jaguars on the road are bottom ten in defense. Fitzpatrick should do okay this week.

Now that Fred Jackson is back from his concussion, he'll be the 40% to C.J. Spillers 60% each week which means you almost have a decent fantasy start with Spiller. Jackson scored twice in New England but has been of marginal production in virtually every other game. Spiller has gained 100 total yards in each of the last six games but has just one score in the last nine games and his role as a receiver has gone down as well.

The receivers are still just about Stevie Johnson who rarely scores but does gain 70+ yards in almost every game. Scott Chandler has lost all fantasy value by now which means he may be in for a good game. Donald Jones is still a starter but is wildly inconsistent with games from literally a one yard loss on one catch up to 90 yards and a score. Fortunately the defense they face is below average which means Spiller and Johnson both are must starts this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 21 6 28 17 24 15
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 25 28 24 8 30 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB EJ Manuel, BUF @HOU 20000023010 ***
Nothing compelling on either side of this matchup. Move along.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @HOU 3005501000 ***
Volume gets it done against the Texans--14-91 for Alfred Morris, 34-176 for Rashad Jennings. Too bad the Bills split their backfield touches, with neither FJax nor CJ Spiller likely to get the volume necessary to post a big fantasy helper. At least Jackson augments his carries with help in the passing game, enough to make him the slightly better play of this duo.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @HOU 4003300000 ****
It's been power backs who have had success against the Texans, and Spiller is pretty much the opposite of that. Not saying he can't have success, but Vegas odds put him behind Fred Jackson in that race this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @HOU 006701000 ***
You could make a case for Watkins after seeing Victor Cruz and James Jones each top 100 yards against the Texans this year, but he's far from a sure thing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF @HOU 004400000 ***
Williams sits at 50 yards for the season and would need a serious uptick in looks if he were to warrant fantasy attention here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @HOU 003400000 ***
Mr. September is running out of time; his 5-74 last week against a defense that's surrendered 60-plus yards to the position two of the three wicks might actually provide an opportunity.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @HOU 1220 ***
Carp's had a couple big games followed by a quiet one, the opposite of what Houston has surrendered to opposing kickers. No reason to strongly lean one way or another with this matchup.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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