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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: 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 Marshawn Lynch 110,1 2-10
TE Zach Miller 2-20
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 Terrelle Pryor, SEA STL 40000024012 *
Pryor last started in Week 10, when he threw for 122 yards and no scores. However, with Matt McGloin struggling the Raiders will go back to Pryor for the season finale. He tossed for 281 yards and a score in the earlier meeting with Denver, and he's always a threat with his feet so there's some fantasy upside to his game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA STL 20000016010 ***
It's been a month since Wilson's last multiple touchdown outing, and he's topped out at just 206 passing yards over that span. He threw for 139 and 2 in the win in St. Louis, but with just one rushing score in his last dozen games Wilson has had to rely on his passing for fantasy numbers--and they simply haven't been there.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA STL 7012100000 ***
The Rams haven't allowed a 50-yard rusher since Week 12, a 100-yard rusher since Week 9, and held Lynch to a pedestrian 23 yard outing back in Week 8. Lynch hasn't had a 100-yard game since Week 9, but he has nine touchdowns in seven home games and will at minimum get you a score--with the upside of something better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA STL 005600000 ***
Baldwin has the Seahawks' last three WR TDs, so he's the most likely candidate to take advantage of a Rams' secondary that's allowed at least one receiver to score or top 98 yards in each of the past six games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA STL 000004301 ****
Miller scored last week, but that was against Arizona--everybody's tight end scores against Arizona. This is the Rams, a team that held Miller to 14 yards in the previous meeting and has given up just four TE TDs on the season.

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 Bryce Brown 70,1 2-10
RB C.J. Spiller 80,1 4-30
WR Mike Williams 4-60
TE Scott Chandler 4-40
TE Tony Moeaki 5-50
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 E.J. Manuel, BUF @NE 30000023012 ***
Manuel opened the season with two touchdown passes against the Patriots, and he's hoping to be healthy enough to close the season with something similar. However, even if he's good to go he's had as many DNPs as multiple touchdown games on the year and is still looking for his first 300-yard passing game as a pro. UPDATE: Manuel is listed as doubtful, with Thad Lewis in line to take his place again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 4004300000 ***
Jackson had the bigger day last week despite an even division of workload with C.J. Spiller; he also had the bigger day the last time Buffalo played the Patriots. So if you're feeling the need to play a Bills back this week against New England, trends suggest he's the safer bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3002100000 ***
The wildly inconsistent Spiller hasn't posted back-to-back double-digit fantasy games this season. However, he does seem to have a knack for scoring after it matters, with receiving touchdowns in each of the past two Week 17s. Tough to bank on him against New England this week, but as per usual there's upside if you're willing to absorb the risk of his swing-for-the-fences production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @NE 004601000 **
Goodwin continues to battle T.J. Graham for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 005700000 ***
With Stevie Johnson's availability in question, Woods steps into Buffalo's primary receiver role. Assuming he doesn't slug anybody this week, he has a puncher's chance of being productive against a New England defense that's given up two touchdowns and three 100-yard games to WR1s over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.J. Graham, BUF @NE 003300000 ***
Graham continues to battle Marquise Goodwin for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004300000 ***
Chandler had 38 yards in the season opener against New England, but he hasn't scored since Week 6 and can't be counted on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 2211 ***
Carpenter mustered just three points in his earlier meeting with the Patriots. New England is playing for something, plus they've allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to kickers. You'll want to look elsewhere for 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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