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 Matt Forte 90,1 4-20
RB Bilal Powell 40 2-10
WR Eric Decker 3-40
WR Brandon Marshall 9-80,1
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
RB Matt Forte, NYJ @BUF 6013200000 *
Forte scored in the earlier meeting with Detroit, amusing 89 yards on 27 touches; he also ceded a score to Jeremy Langford. Of late it's been Ka'Deem Carey stealing the scores while Langford swipes touches, despite Forte being more productive than either. A back injury could relegate the free agent-to-be to the back burner once again, so keep an eye on the injury report.

Update: Forte is listed as questionable after participating only on a limited basis in practice this week. Do the Bears use him without regard for the future since he's a free agent this offseason? Does Forte shut himself down so he's not damaged goods on the open market? Lots of variables here making Forte a risky fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, NYJ @BUF 005801000 ***
Marshall has scored in seven of his last eight, including a touchdown in the earlier meeting with the Bills. Since that matchup the Bills have given up 9-117 to Amendola, 9-160-1 to Maclin, 5-88-1 to Hopkins, and 6-153-1 to DJax. In other words, all systems go once again for Marshall.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @BUF 007601000 ***
The league's ultimate wingman scored in the earlier meeting with Buffalo, has scored in three straight, has scored or topped 100 yards in five straight, and should once again be the best sideman since Oliver Hardy teamed with Stan Laurel against a Buffalo defense that's allowed multiple receivers to score or top 60 yards--often both--in 11 of 15 games this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Quincy Enunwa, NYJ @BUF 003500000 ***
With Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker taking big bites there often isn't enough left over for the likes of Enunwa--especially with Kenbrell Thompkins battling for a share as well. It's not as if the Bills are a shutdown secondary, but it's tough to trust tertiary guys to deliver the fantasy goods.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, NYJ @BUF 1133 ***
The Sex Pistols sang
"Never mind the Bullocks", but
doesn't apply here

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Dexter McCluster 6-50
WR Kendall Wright 4-50
TE Anthony Fasano 2-20
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 @IND 0000025012 ***
Following last week's shutout of Ryan Tannehill the Colts have gone back-to-back games of holding QBs without multiple TDs for the first time this season. So it's a favorable matchup for Mettenberger; he's just not well-equipped to take advantage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN @IND 3002200000 ***
Mike Mularkey says Sankey will get more playing time this week--this after Sankey took over the Titans ground game last week following a pair of Antonio Andrews turnovers. It's a favorable matchup, but it'll take stones the size of Pluto to trot out Sankey in a Week 17 championship game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Antonio Andrews, TEN @IND 4001100000 *
Indy's run defense rallied last week, holding Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi to a shade over two yards per carry--though Miller did score. Andrews scored on the Colts earlier this year, but he may not get the 13 touches he received in that game. So there's a smidgen of fantasy upside here--which, in Week 17, may be enough.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN @IND 004700000 ***
DGB went from 113 against the Pats to a goose egg against Houston, so reliability may not be his strong suit. He scored over Vontae Davis in the earlier matchup this year, and the Colts have allowed six 90-plus yard WRs in the past month so there's undeniable upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN @IND 008901000 ***
The Colts have been pretty good against tight ends this season, but they surrendered 7-68 to Walker (and 55 yards to other Titans TEs) in the earlier meeting. And Walker has seen double-digit targets in three of the last four games, scoring three TDs and compiling 26-286 in that span. He's Tennessee's go-to pass catcher, and nothing in the Titans' current state of wideouts suggests a deviation from that plan.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN @IND 1122 ***
Has not topped ten points
Nine in earlier meeting
No fantasy help

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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