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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

Prediction: NYJ 17, TEN 20 (Line: TEN by 1 )

Players Updated: Bilal Powell

Players to Watch: All the running backs

The 6-7 Jets have won their last two games - albeit against the Jaguars and Cardinals - and bring their 3-3 road record to face the 4-9 Titans who have lost their last three games and are just 2-4 at home. Neither team has much of an offense and this game is most likely to go off as yet another "under".

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 17-10
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 70,1 3-20
RB Bilal Powell 40 2-10
WR Eric Decker 3-40
WR Jeremy Kerley 5-80
TE Jeff Cumberland 5-50
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jets are finishing out the season and there is a chance that they could end up running the table and then ending with a respectable 9-7 record. Their final three opponents all have losing records but two will happen on the road and there is nothing about this offense that says they are getting any better. The only appropriate action by now is to wait and then as a surprise allow Tim Tebow to take the start in week 17 and then say nothing about it in the post-game interview.

Mark Sanchez has declined to the point where he has not scored in the last two games and only threw for 97 and 111 yards in them. He's scored just twice in the last five weeks while remaining safely under 200 yards in all games not facing the Patriots. The Jets won their last two games but only scored 24 combined points. It is not the offense that ticks the win column.

Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell are now splitting carries in half and at least Powell scored four times in the last four weeks while Green managed just one in jacksonville. The combination of the two is a working backfield so long as the opponents remain below average which happens in Tennessee this week. The Titans are weaker against running backs but mostly from them scoring and picking up receiving yardage as well than from just pure running yardage. Neither runner here matter much as a receiver. Only once has either caught more than two passes in a game and usually they only have one or none. The offense likes to run if only because they cannot throw.

The miniscule passing yardage of recent weeks is a testament to how bad these receivers are and the injuries have not stopped. Stephen Hill has a bum knee now and the Jets re-signed Braylon Edwards off waivers from the Seahawks. The bottom line here is that the only fantasy value left is from Greene and Powell who make modest flex players in larger leagues.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 30 23 28 20 31 11
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 24 31 17 28 29 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ BUF 10000022010 ***
It's been more than a month since Geno's last fantasy-relevant outing. In that same time frame only Tom Brady has put up a fantasy helper on the Bills. It's a confluence that doesn't yield much in the way of fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ BUF 5002100000 ****
The Bills still haven't allowed an RB TD this year, but they did let Jerick McKinnon take them for 103 yards last week. Ivory rushed for 98 and a touch the last time he saw Buffalo, and he's handling the majority of the Jets workload so don't write him off here; just don't expect a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ BUF 3002100000 ****
The last three times Johnson saw the Bills he rushed for 195, 153, and 132 yards with multiple touchdowns in each game. Sadly, those games all came as a Titan and are all at least two years in the rear view mirror. He's not getting the touches needed to be a reliable fantasy contributor, so you'd have to be banking on him turning one of his reduced number of carries into a home run to be a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ BUF 006601000 ***
The Bills have allowed 10 WR TDs and just as many games of 60-plus yards to opposing receivers. With Decker as the top target--yes, even with Percy Harvin in town--he has a solid chance of ringing at least one and maybe both of those benchmark bells this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ BUF 003500000 *
Will the Jets find ways to get Harvin the ball and keep him happy? They haven't exactly been creative in their use of Michael Vick or Chris Johnson so don't hold your breath. That said, before Harvin has worn down his teammates with his personality maybe he'll squeeze in one fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ BUF 003400000 ***
Kerley has been a decent fantasy wingman to Eric Decker, but Percy Harvin's arrival takes a few looks off his already sparse plate and makes him even less likely to be a fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ BUF 004300000 ***
With Amaro still having to share looks with Jeff Cumberland, he can't be banked on for fantasy help--especially against a Bills defense that's allowed just two TE TDs all year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ BUF 3311 ****
The Bills have allowed multiple field goals in two straight and four of five, which bodes well for the inconsistent Folk's fantasy line.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA 37-3
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC 19-24
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU 10-24
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND 23-27
6 PIT 26-23 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF 35-34 16 @GB -----
8 IND 13-19 17 JAC -----
9 CHI 20-51 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 20 240,1
RB Shonn Greene 70,1
RB Dexter McCluster 6-50
WR Kris Durham 3-40
WR Nate Washington 2-30
WR Kendall Wright 4-50
TE Craig Stevens 4-40
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans have two more chances to get a win - here and then again in the final game against the visiting Jaguars. The second season of Mike Munchak has not gone nearly as well dropping from a 9-7 record down to a 4-9 currently but then again the Colts didn't give them two freebies this year. The offense is better with Chris Johnson more back to form but the passing effort has fallen short in nearly every game and Jake Locker missing six games slowed down the development.

Locker is getting better. He has scored in every start this year and his last three efforts all topped 260 pass yards. He has only nine scores in seven games and a recent spate of turnovers has left him with nine on the year mostly thanks to the Texans. He'll face one of the best secondaries this week but the Jets always play worse on the road.

As usual, Chris Johnson will be the main weapon this week and should see 20+ carries with nice results against a defense that has already allowed 12 touchdowns to running backs. Johnson has been less effective for three weeks now and only produced 44 yards on 19 carries in Indianapolis last week. He runs better at home though and there is certainly no reason to hold him back. The Jets will make passing tough enough and success with the run will only prompt more rushing.

Jared Cook was placed on injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff and while Craig Stevens took his place, he still only had his normal single catch last week. One change is the healthy scratch of Lavelle Hawkins last week and the promotion of Michael Preston from the practice squad. He only managed to catch one pass but it serves as more evidence that losing teams are willing to try out new players at the end of the season.

Kenny Britt finally had a nice game this year when he caught eight passes for 143 yards in Indianapolis - over double his previous best of the year. That should only attract more attention from Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 21 27 18 12 20 21
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 6 26 7 23 18 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Zach Mettenberger, TEN HOU 0000024012 ***
Charlie Whitehurst hasn't been the answer; maybe Jake Locker isn't the answer, either, or maybe he's just not healthy enough to get back in the saddle. Either way, the Titans plan to roll with the rookie this week. He'll get a Texans' defense that's allowed multiple passing scores in five straight games, but it would take a leap of faith to give him a fantasy play in his first NFL start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jake Locker, TEN HOU 00000000 **
Either Locker isn't ready yet or the Titans have seen enough to know they won't be renewing his contract at the end of the season. Whatever the reason, Tennessee is giving Zach Mettenberger the start this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN HOU 6002100000 ****
Sankey should again see the bulk of the carries, but if he's losing goal line looks to Jackie Battle and passing game snaps to Dexter McCluster his upside here is limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shonn Greene, TEN HOU 200000000 **
Update: Greene is expected to return from his injury absence this week. Brace yourself for more excitement, three yards at a time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, TEN HOU 003701000 **
The receivers with monster games against Houston have been speed guys, and speed is what Hunter does best. He's wildly inconsistent, but if you're into throwing darts direct one at Hunter; he could give you the home run you're looking for.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, TEN HOU 006600000 **
Wright has been the high volume target, though it remains to be seen whom Zach Mettenberger favors. Odds are the rookie goes where the other QBs have gone, which makes Wright a solid PPR play with upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN HOU 005700000 ****
Lots of reasons not to like the usually reliable Walker this week: he's had a quiet month statistically, the Texans don't give up much to the position, and new quarterback Zach Mettenberger may not be as fond of the tight end as his predecessors. It adds up to looking for fantasy help elsewhere this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN HOU 3311 **
Succop's scored five or fewer points in five of the last six games. With Tennessee's quarterback issues, you should get your kicks elsewhere.

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

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