FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 @GB 40000023012 ***
Dare we say Smith--23 of 28 for 221 and a TD, with 38 rushing yards to boot--was more Russell Wilson than Wilson was last week with 19-28-191-2 and 27 rushing yards against the Pack? Of course, that feels like a restrained line from Wilson and something approaching the high end of Geno's fantasy productivity; in other words, no need to go gettin' giddy about his fantasy prospects this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @GB 7015300000 ***
Despite reports to the contrary, CJ?K remains the lead back in Rex Ryan's committee. His 13 touches resulted in 91 yards and a touch in his Jets debut, a line that feels like it could be his usual in Gotham.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @GB 4001100000 ***
Ivory's 10-102-1 stat line is propped up by one well-blocked long TD run, but the Packers have run-stopping issues--especially in the interior, where Ivory handles the bulk of the work--so he's not a bad option if you're hunting for RB help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @GB 006701000 ***
As anticipated, Decker was Geno Smith's top target in his Jets debut. Expect that trend to continue, as he's clearly the team's best wideout, which puts him first in line for dibs on any passing game productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @GB 004500000 ***
Kerley's targets suggest he's settling into the Jets' WR2 role, though since we're not even sure there's enough productivity for one consistent fantasy receiver just yet he can't be started with any reasonable degree of certainty.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Cumberland, NYJ @GB 003200000 ***
Pedestrian tight end churning out a mediocre stat line that with no bye weeks doesn't warrant much fantasy consideration? Check.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @GB 1122 ***
Doesn't feel like the Jets consistently put up enough points for their kicker to warrant serious fantasy consideration.

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 Jake Locker, TEN DAL 10000029020 ***
If you accept the premise that Locker is an upgrade over Kirk Cousins, Matt McGloin, and Christian Ponder--the only quarterbacks in the past nine games not to throw multiple touchdowns against the Dallas secondary--then you have to like his chances of building on Week 1's 266 & 2.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shonn Greene, TEN DAL 701000000 ***
The Cowboys couldn't slow the 49ers' ground game tag team of Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde; no reason to think the Titans' version of Old Guy/Young Guy shouldn't have similar success. And since Old Guy is getting the vast majority of the carries, he's a solid fantasy bet this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, TEN DAL 005801000 ***
Consider Hunter's 3-63 on a team-high eight targets last week as an appetizer; against a Cowboys defense that's been gutted at cornerback, you may get the breakout game you drafted him for.
Update: After practicing on a limited basis Thursday, Hunter should be good to go for this weekend's tasty fantasy matchup with the Cowboys' depleted secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, TEN DAL 0081000000 ***
Wright remains the volume guy, the Mary Ann to Justin Hunter's Ginger. Hey, nothing wrong with Mary Ann--especially against a wafer-thin secondary like Dallas'.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nate Washington, TEN DAL 004500000 ***
You could go three deep against a secondary like the Cowboys, but that's better played once the bye weeks hit; until then, Washington's an unreliable fantasy third wheel.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN DAL 005501000 ****
Walker's no Vernon Davis, who scored twice against the Cowboys last week, but he managed a touchdown of his own and is involved enough in this offense to warrant regular fantasy consideration.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN DAL 1144 ***
Succop doesn't have the added bonus of revenge against his former team, but he should still enjoy the benefits of facing a struggling defense.

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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