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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
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 CAR 20000028020 ***
Carolina has buckled down against quarterbacks in the last five weeks, giving up only 20.8 points per contest. Some of that success was based on weak passing matchups, though. Wilson was finding his stride until last week's road bump versus the Buccaneers. He's a fine start in Week 13.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA CAR 6013300000 ***
Running backs have thrashed Carolina through the air, accounting for 42 catches for 356 yards in the last five games. Not one of those grabs went for a touchdown, and only one of 88 rushing attempts has scored. Even if Rawls doesn't score, there should be yardage opportunities.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA CAR 007901000 ***
The Panthers have given up the second most catches per game to receivers, which has led to the 13th highest per-game yardage figure since Week 7. Carolina has given up so many receptions that allowing six TDs on 82 catches doesn't look as bad as the reality of six in five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA CAR 003400000 ***
Lockett is looking as explosive as ever, and he has deep-league appeal, as well as in DFS, for those looking to roll the dice. The Panthers have given up the fifth most fantasy points per game in PPR scoring over the past five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA CAR 002300000 ***
Starting Kearse is throwing away a lineup spot. Avoid him in all leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA CAR 006701000 ***
This is squarely a mid-tier matchup for Graham. Carolina has allowed averages of 4.8 receptions and 52.4 yards since Week 7, with two of 24 catches going the distance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA CAR 1133 ***
The Panthers have given up the 14th most fantasy points, on average, to the position based on allowing the ninth most field goal attempts per outing since Week 7.

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
RB Reggie Bush 80,1 3-20
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 @OAK 40000021011 ***
The Raiders have allowed the 17th most fantasy points, on average, coming off the 11th best overall matchup rating. Passers have thrown a TD every 10.6 completions while racking up only 238.6 yards per appearance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF @OAK 11012200000 ***
McCoy has scored thrice in his last three outings, and clearly even thumb surgery cannot contain him. The Raiders have given up touchdowns at the sixth highest rate to running backs on the ground and fifth with receiving scores included. The matchup is the eighth most favorable for the position since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, BUF @OAK 002201000 ***
Hunter's role is too limited to chance it in fantasy, even against an Oakland team that has given up WR touchdowns at the ninth most efficient rate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @OAK 005600000 ***
Watkins returned to play 45 percent of the snaps last week and caught three balls for 80 yards. This is a midrange matchup, but Oakland has allowed the seventh most points per catch by receivers. Look for Watkins to once again be worked in slowly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @OAK 003400000 ***
Goodwin is a home run waiting to happen ... don't hold your breath, as projecting his success is a shot in the dark. The Raiders at least present a favorable matchup, but Goodwin is best left for DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF @OAK 004300000 ***
Even when he has faced exploitable matchups, Clay has not been able to get the job done for most of the season. Injuries have taken a major toll on his ability this year. Oakland is a midrange opponent.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @OAK 2222 ***
The Raiders have allowed a mere five field goals and nine extra point tries (seven made) over the past five weeks, making this the sixth toughest matchup for kickers in Week 13.

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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