FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: NYJ 20, JAC 17 Line (NYJ by 2.5)

Players to Watch: Greg McElroy, Montel Owens

The 5-7 Jets hit the road where they are only 2-3 and meet the 2-10 Jaguars who have only one home win. Both teams are in transition to nowhere and this game may manage to go off without any discernible fantasy value or implications.

The Jets won 32-3 when the Jaguars visited back in week two of last year.

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 19-49
4 SF 0-34 13 ARI 7-6
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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Chris Johnson 100,1 4-30
RB Bilal Powell 70,1 2-10
WR Eric Decker 5-70,1
WR Percy Harvin
WR Jeremy Kerley 4-50
TE Jeff Cumberland 5-50
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The fun in New York just never ends. As if the Tim Tebow "thing" wasn't enough, now Mark Sanchez was benched after throwing three interceptions last week and Greg McElroy came in and completed 5 of 7 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. All of them went to Jets players. Sanchez was yanked after tossing three interceptions against the visiting Cardinals and now HC Rex Ryan is finally not saying "Mark gives us our best chance to win". It took 13 games and seven losses to get there.

Ryan has not yet named a starter though most believe that McElroy will get the start because really - why not? What is the worst that will happen? Maybe the 7th round pick from 2011 has something. The one biggest rule in coaching a losing season is "look like you are still trying". In either case there won't be any fantasy starter there. Tim Tebow remains conveniently out with a rib injury.

Bilal Powell actually started last week and ran his standard 12 times for 58 yards while Shonn Greene enjoyed his second best game of the year when he gained 104 yards on 24 carries. It is six weeks since he last scored though and he's never gained more than 64 rush yards away from home. At least Powell ran in two scores in St. Louis three weeks ago.

Dustin Keller suffered an ankle sprain against the Cardinals which was initially said to be a high-ankle sprain but that was later recanted and now it is "just a sprain". Early reports have Keller missing this week. Jeff Cumberland will take his place if needed. He accounted for the lone touchdown pass thrown by McElroy last week.

All bets are off on what to expect if McElroy starts but it is more than reasonable to assume that there will be no fantasy starts from the passing game same as it has been for two months. A new quarterback often starts with a nice game since the defense has nothing to prepare against. This should be more about the run though against a weak defense. That'll benefit both Powell and Greene though not enough to create big expectations.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 30 23 24 20 28 11
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 25 28 24 8 30 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ NE 30000020011 ***
Geno hasn't been a fantasy helper all year, and with something similar to the 226 and 1 he posted on the Patriots earlier this season he's unlikely to start now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ NE 801000000 ***
The Jets are still solid against opposing running backs; they haven't allowed an RB TD since Week 9. But big backs who get carries--like Ivory himself, who put up 21-107-1 in the earlier meeting with the Jets--have tended to have success against the Jets. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ NE 5002100000 ***
CJ?K has essentially split carries with Chris Ivory over the past two weeks. New England's not a defense prone to give up much more than the minimum, but there's some opportunities for a fresh CJ?K, especially against some pretty tired-looking defenders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ NE 006701000 ***
Decker is housing all the targets, what with a hurt Harvin and really no alternative. It's a nice gig if you can get it, one that certainly helps pad a college resume.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ NE 2002200000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ NE 004300000 ***
Bottom line, with so little going on in the Jets' passing game there's no reason to look behind Decker and (when healthy) Amaro for fantasy contributions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ NE 003200000 ***
Amaro is a big target with a ton of potential, a word that means "talented but hasn't actually done anything yet." You should have better options at your disposal.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ NE 1122 ***
Only occasionally does Folk kick in a fantasy contribution, though the fact he did so with 13 against the Patriots earlier this year warrants mention. As does the fact that AFC East kickers have multiple treys in three of four against the Patriots, as opposed to just half (five of 10) of non-divisional kickers.

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 18-34
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 vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne 230,2
WR Cecil Shorts
TE Marcedes Lewis 5-70,1
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: This week is probably the final chance for a win for the Jaguars but that will likely need to wait until next year after they make their first or second overall draft pick and then start the new season. Chad Henne remains the starter and while he remains above the low bar left behind by Blaine Gabbert, he has declined each week. In Buffalo, Henne only completed 18 of 41 passes for 208 yards and a score. He did run in a touchdown to ensure that the rushing game would contain zero fantasy relevance.

Maurice Jones-Drew is not playing this week. He is "very questionable" just as he likely will be next week. Unfortunately, Rashad Jennings suffered a concussion last week and likely will miss this game. That leaves Montel Owens as the last man standing. It's all a bad situation that is only getting worse. And there is less reason to bring Jones-Drew back with every loss.

Marcedes Lewis comes off his best game of the year with 68 yards on four catches and he's consistent within the lowered expectations framework of the Jaguars offense.

But the rest of the receivers are less positive. Justin Blackmon only caught one pass for nine yards last week despite getting six targets. That's full circle back to where he started right before Henne showed up and breathed some life into the passing game. Cecil Shorts caught a touchdown last week for the fourth straight game but suffered a concussion. The expectations is that he'll pass tests this week and return since it was a very mild concussion but will be monitored. Shorts is the only consistently good wideout for the Jaguars and has become a must start player.

So this week the team is down to the 4th string running back who has become a starter, Blackmon is back to square one and Cecil Shorts has to clear his tests to play. All in all, just another day in Jacksonville this year.

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 NYJ 11 27 9 26 20 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC TEN 10000025011 ***
Bortles has but one multiple passing TD outing in his 11 NFL starts, none in his past five games. He threw for 336 and 1 in the earlier meeting with Tennessee; he's banged up and it's a short week, so that feels like the top end of his prospects here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC TEN 5012100000 ***
Gerhart will get first crack at taking advantage of one of the league's softest run defenses. If you're reaching for fantasy help, he's a guy that could pay off--probably not 100-yard help, though the Titans have already allowed seven backs to cross that threshold including five in the last seven games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Storm Johnson, JAC TEN 300000000 ***
Toby Gerhart gets first crack at the carries, leaving Storm with table scraps. It's a favorable matchup, but the Jags need to get one back to fantasy relevancy before worrying about a second.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC TEN 006800000 ***
Shorts has been the more frequently targeted Jaguar, though barely, over the past three games. Unfortunately, he has fewer catches and yardage in those games than either Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns and has failed to reach the end zone. He posted 10-103 on 16 targets in the first meeting with Tennessee, so if you're forced to start a Jaguar receiver he's your best bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC TEN 005700000 ***
Lee has come on of late, but this is still three wideouts equally splitting what amounts to a minuscule amount of passing game production so proceed with caution.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC TEN 004300000 ***
Despite Cecil Shorts getting more targets, Hurns has matched fellow rookie Marqise Lee in catches, yardage and scores over the past three games. Still, it's a one-third share of some pretty ordinary numbers from Blake Bortles, so you can likely do better fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC TEN 003501000 ***
Lewis isn't seeing consistent enough targets to warrant a fantasy start--even against a Tennessee defense that gave up 3-91-1 to Clay Harbor in the earlier meeting with Jacksonville.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC TEN 2222 ***
Scobee has come alive with three straight multiple field goal games, and no team gives up more kicker points than the Titans. Of course, the last time these two juggernauts got together Scobee managed two points so ease back on the throttle a bit.

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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