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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: SEA 23, BUF 20 (Line: SEA by 5.5)

Players Updated: Sidney Rice, Scott Chandler

Players to Watch: Marshawn Lynch, C.J. Spiller

The 8-5 Seahawks are on a two game winning streak and are in the thick of trying to secure at least a wild card bid to the playoffs. They are only 2-5 away from home though and the 5-8 Bills are 3-3 when at home. The Seahawks turn inexplicably bad on the road offensively and lost to the Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Lions and Dolphins away from Seattle but at least was able to win in Chicago two weeks ago.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ 28-7
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA 21-24
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI 23-17
5 @CAR 16-12 14 ARI 58-0
6 NE 24-23 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF 6-13 16 SF -----
8 @DET 24-28 17 STL -----
9 MIN 30-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30 200,1
RB Bryce Brown 70,1 2-10
RB Marshawn Lynch 110,1 2-10
TE Jimmy Graham 7-80,1
PK Steven Hauschka 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are only a game and a half behind the 49ers with a matchup against them at home next week. The final week is also in Seattle against the Rams so a win here in their final road game coupled with a win in the finale should secure a wild card and if they can beat the 49ers - they might win the division since the 49ers are playing in New England this week. It could be easy to look past this game for next week but the Bills offense struggles to post 20+ points in any matchup and won't be much better against the Seahawks defense.

The Seahawks have been getting two scores from Russell Wilson for the last six weeks but his passing yardage is rarely much more than a very average 200 yards thanks to a great ground game. The Bills have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league anyway so there's no reason to expect a passing explosion from Wilson here or in either of the final weeks against very good defenses. The Bills are allowing just one passing score to visitors this year because they are so bad against the run.

Marshawn Lynch comes off a three touchdown game against the Cardinals that gained 128 yards on only 11 carries. He's racked up nine rushing touchdowns so far and topped 100 rush yards in eight games. He's tended to be less prolific on the road but the Bills have already allowed nine scores to running backs in in just the last five home games. Robert Turbin finally had a decent workload when he ran for 108 yards on 20 carries during the ravaging of the Cardinals last week. He still has never scored this year and normally only gets a few relief runs.

The receivers are still mostly mediocre in their production and last week Anthony McCoy led the team with 105 receiving yards even though the tight end rarely has more than one catch per game and Zach Miller ended up with the touchdown pass. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice both only matter when the defenses can stop Lynch which is unlikely this week. Both receivers have six scores on the year and yet no 100 yard games.

Next week is the most important game for the Seahawks playoff aspirations but they have to win here for that to matter. Expect a heavy dose of Lynch this week and a close win thanks to rushing and defense. The Seattle secondary is going to be less effective this week thanks to suspensions though the Bills passing offense has hardly been taking advantage of anyone this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 23 15 19 28 28 25
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 23 28 19 18 13 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA @ARI 0000023011 ***
Since being held to 240 and 1 by the Cardinals in Week 10 Wilson has ripped off six straight with multiple touchdowns, averaging better than 32 fantasy points per game during that span. The difference is that the six defenses Wilson faced during that span have an average rank of 19 against QBs; the Cardinals rank ninth. Don't discount Wilson entirely, but don't expect nearly the robust performance you've been enjoying the past six weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Christine Michael, SEA @ARI 4002200000 ***
We've seen nothing from Michael--against a legit run defense, anyway--to suggest he's capable of filling Marshawn Lynch's (or even Thomas Rawls') shoes. The Cards haven't allowed a back to top 70 yards against them since Week 6; Michael's no threat to that streak.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, SEA @ARI 200000000 ***
Brown was more productive than Christine Michael last week--if you can call seven carries for nine yards more productive than six for six. Half a share of a shaky backfield against a top-10 run defense does not a fantasy starter make.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @ARI 004601000 **
Prior to facing the Cardinals back in Week 10 Baldwin was just another guy with two TDs averaging 43 yards per game. His 7-134-1 kicked off an epic second half of the season that's seen Baldwin score a dozen times and top 100 thrice. Perhaps Arizona will pay more attention to him this time around, but it's not as if the previous teams in his five game scoring streak didn't see him coming so business as usual for the new and improved Baldwin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA @ARI 003500000 ***
Lockett has been more than just an observer to Doug Baldwin's second-half blow-up, contributing five TDs and 60-plus yards per game over the past six weeks. But he'll run headlong into an Arizona defense that held him to one catch in the previous meeting and has allowed just two WR TDs and only one secondary target to top 52 yards since that earlier matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @ARI 003300000 ***
As the third man in to Seattle's sudden passing game surge Kearse has had fantasy value when facing softer matchups. This isn't such a matchup, so don't reach for him here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @ARI 3311 ***
Tough to score on Cards
Hauschka's eight points in first game
feels like a ceiling

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 34-18
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL 12-15
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
WR Leonard Hankerson 4-50
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: If there is any good news about the Bills - and there really isn't - it is that yet another injury to Fred Jackson has left C.J. Spiller as the last man standing who will get to carry a load described as "as much as he can stand". This makes sense given that Spiller has been the best weapon for the team all year despite his spotty playing time that included only seven runs last week in the home loss to the Rams.

Fred Jackson has been lost for the rest of the year because of a sprained MCL and that may be a curtain call for the 32-year old back who struggled to stay healthy this season. Tashard Choice will move up the depth chart but even HC Chan Gailey said that Choice was "not a great back" and would not step into the Jackson role. This will be Spiller's team for the final three weeks though he faces tough defenses in the Seahawks and Dolphins.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been much less effective this year, particularly after the initial four games when he had logged 12 touchdown passes. Since then he's only managed nine scores over nine games and been blanked four different times. To his advantage, the Seahawks will be without suspended cornerback Brandon Browner and Marcus Trufant has a bad hamstring that could impact his playing status. CB Richard Sherman has his appeal slated to be heard on Friday so when he misses time is not yet certain. This will impact the ability to defend the pass for the Seahawks but Fitzpatrick has thrown only four touchdowns over the last four games and only once topped 180 yards in that time.

Stevie Johnson is playing with a hamstring injury but remains the primary target and only Bills receiver with any fantasy value. He's scored five times this year but only once totaled over 85 yards. He has the lone 100 yard game of any Buffalo wideout. The impact of the secondary suspension and injuries for the Seahawks could make this a better game for Johnson but it certainly didn't matter last week to Larry Fitzgerald.

Bottom line here is that the Bills struggle to post more than 14 points whenever facing a decent defense and the Seahawks are still a top unit. They are less formidable in road games but the Bills have been bad everywhere.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 19 4 29 17 23 15
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 3 13 4 1 2 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF NYJ 0000018010 ***
Since keeping Taylor in check (158 and 1) in the earlier meeting, the Jets inexplicably let TJ Yates go for 229 and 2 and Ryan Tannehill put up 351 and 3. Then they got focused, holding the next four QBs they've faced to a total of three TDs and an average of less than 250 yards per game. Taylor has been streaky as well, with his yardage on a downward trend and a total of three TDs in the past three games--two of them against bottom-third pass defenses. He'll salvage fantasy value with rushing yardage--199 the past three games--but there's a limit to his upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Karlos Williams, BUF NYJ 5002201000 **
LeSean McCoy gouged the Jets in the earlier meeting; Williams chipped in a receiving TD in the final game of his scoring streak. He was modestly successful starting against a bottom-five Dallas run D; don't expect similar against a Jets D that's given up one RB rushing score all season and an average of less than 65 RB rushing yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mike Gillislee, BUF NYJ 3002200000 ***
Gillislee has at least a smidgen of upside as a change of pace back against a Jets defense that's given up five of its six RB touchdowns through the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF NYJ 005600000 ***
The Jets' secondary is elite once again after getting Darrell Revis back from injury. They've given up one WR TD in three games, with no wingman game better than 53 yards. That's your upside for Hogan.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF NYJ 004400000 ***
Since being locked down in back-to-back weeks by the Jets and Patriots, Watkins has averaged 5-109-1 over the past five games. Since getting Darrelle Revis back from injury, the Jets have given up one WR TD in three games and no individual game greater than 70 yards. With a healthy Revis and the Jets fighting for a playoff spot, tough to trust Watkins here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYJ 3211 ***
Hasn't seen ten points
since last time he faced the Jets
Can lightning strike twice?

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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