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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 Marshawn Lynch 110,1 2-10
WR Sidney Rice 4-50,1
TE Zach Miller 2-20
TE Tony Moeaki 5-50
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 STL 60100021010 ***
Eli Manning's 391 and 3 last week against the Rams was the first multiple touchdown game St. Louis had allowed since... well, since Wilson turned the trick with 313 and 2 back in Week 7. Wilson added 106 rushing yards and a rushing score as well, yielding a fantasy line not unlike last week's against Arizona. Can lightning strike again? Given the way Wilson is augmenting his passing numbers with a consistent dose of rushing stats, odds are it's a yes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA STL 10011100000 ****
The Rams just let Andre Williams run over them for 110 yards in their house; what chance do they have against Lynch in his, where he's averaging 85 yards and almost 1.5 touchdowns per game? St. Louis slowed him in the front end of the season series (18-53), but so did Arizona and Lynch burned them with 113 and 2 in the rematch. So, advantage Skittles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA STL 006800000 ***
While it's tough to identify which nameless face will step up at any given time to represent the Seattle receivers, you can make a compelling case for Baldwin this week. He had 7-123-1 in the earlier meeting with St. Louis and comes off 7-113 last week. Those games represent the only 100-yard games by Seattle receivers this year, so if it's going to happen again he's the most likely candidate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, SEA STL 006700000 ***
Richardson saw the second-most targets last week against Arizona, but he's far too inconsistent a fantasy contributor to be banked on this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA STL 002301000 *
The Rams have allowed only two TE TDs all season--but one went to Cooper Helfet in the earlier meeting between these clubs, and Wilson shredded the Cardinals last week with 139 yards and a pair of scores. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA STL 1144 ***
If you can get over Hauschka's oh-fer last week, it's a genuine opportunity. The Rams have given up 34 kicker points the past three games, suggesting Hauschka has a chance to upgrade on the eight points he scored in the earlier meeting in St. Louis.

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
TE Scott Chandler 4-40
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 Kyle Orton, BUF @NE 0000025021 **
Orto threw for 299 and 2 in the earlier meeting with New England, but he'd been in a bit of a slump until last week's 329 and 3 in Oakland. He'll catch the Patriots with nothing to play for, but he's still a bit of a risky fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 2007500000 ***
Jackson has scored in three of his last four against the Patriots, and four of his last six--including a rushing TD in the earlier meeting with New England. The risk is that the Bills know what they have in Jackson so they may give CJ Spiller some extra looks--but that's just one of the many risks you run with a Week 17 title game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3003200000 ***
Spiller returned to four carries for negative four yards last week in Oakland, along with four catches for 14 yards. But he actually has a decent track record in New England, topping 100 combo yards on each of his last three visits and scoring in two of his last four trips to Gillette Stadium. If the Bills opt to give him an audition to keep his job, he has a decent shot of carving out some fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 007701000 **
With Darrelle Revis all over Sammy Watkins, Woods paced the Bills in the earlier matchup with 7-78-1. Woods also scored last week, and they're likely to be playing catchup so another solid fantasy outing wouldn't surprise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NE 004500000 ***
Hogan has the distinct advantage of not drawing Darrelle Revis. He scored in the earlier matchup and is a viable option if New England's varsity corners stick around long enough to blanket Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NE 003300000 **
Watkins was shut down by Darrelle Revis in the earlier meeting, but with New England having locked up home field advantage Revis may make an early exit. You wanna hang your fantasy hat on that, go ahead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004401000 ***
Chandler had his best game of the season, 105 yards, in the earlier meeting with New England. He scored last week and, given the strength of the Patriots' corners, is a viable alternative for Kyle Orton--and thus a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 1122 ***
New England has allowed multiple field goals in five of their last six; Carpenter has kicked multiple field goals in five of his last seven. Expect an uptick over his two point performance against the Patriots earlier this season--maybe even a big one if Bill Belichick starts playing the JV sooner rather than later.

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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