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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
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 Russell Wilson, SEA DEN 20000020021 ***
Wilson has multiple TD tosses in his last three games, including 206 and 2 in the Super Bowl win over Denver. That's enough to make him a consistent low-end fantasy contributor, with the upside of anything he brings to the table as a rusher.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA DEN 8012100000 ****
Lynch didn't contribute a ton to the Super Bowl win, and he was shut down by the Chargers last week in San Diego. However, he's rock solid at home and should find success against a defense that let Knile Davis rack up 79 yards and score twice against them last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, SEA DEN 4002301000 ***
Harvin doesn't need to touch the ball to impact opposing defenses--though sadly that impact doesn't do much for fantasy bottom lines. Expect the Seahawks to find ways to get the ball into Harvin's hands, with the result being enough productivity to warrant a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA DEN 003400000 ***
Not that Seattle's tertiary offensive players don't contribute; more that they don't contribute consistently and therefore are difficult to trust with a fantasy start. As the secondary receiver in a run-first offense, Baldwin falls directly into that category.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA DEN 002300000 ***
Kearse's 61 yards last week mark the best showing by a Seahawk wideout this season. Of course, that came on the heels of a one-catch, eight-yard outing in the opener so he can't be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA DEN 003300000 ***
The upside to Miller is that the Broncos allowed a TE TD in Week 1 and 130 yards to the position last week. The downside is that 130 is double Miller's year-to-date yardage and he has yet to visit the end zone this year. Positive matchup, but not a player you can trust to take advantage.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA DEN 2233 ***
Kicking on a team with enough offense to get you there and enough defense to allow you to settle for field goals ain't a bad gig at all; just ask Hauschka.

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
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 EJ Manuel, BUF SD 10000021011 ***
The Bolts served up multiple TD tosses to both QBs they've faced thus far this year, but Manual hasn't thrown multiples since Week 15 of last year. That means he'll need a rushing score to salvage his fantasy day, and the Chargers haven't allowed a QB rushing TD since Week 3 of last year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF SD 5003201000 ***
Spiller is essentially sharing carries with Fred Jackson, which against a stout San Diego defense won't amount to much in the way of fantasy help. However, he's also involved in the passing game and special teams (see last week's return TD), and that's a place the Bolts are vulnerable so don't write off Spiller as a lost cause this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF SD 3003200000 ****
Only four teams have allowed fewer rushing yards this year than the Chargers... but only three teams have allowed more receiving yards to RBs. Jackson can get his work done in the passing game to salvage his fantasy day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF SD 005700000 ***
On the heels of his bustout game last week Watkins gets a San Diego defense that has for the most part kept opposing wideouts in check--with the notable exception of speed guys like Michael Floyd, who had 119 receiving yards, and Percy Harvin, who had a 51-yard TD* run. Watkins certainly has speed to burn, so if you're dipping into the Buffalo passing game for fantasy help this week he's your best bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF SD 004500000 ***
Woods' brief run as the Bills' go-to receiver lasted all of one game as he was leap-frogged last week by Sammy Watkins. No reason to think he'll get that gig back any time soon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF SD 002300000 ***
Williams has 39 yards in two games as a Bill, and the Chargers haven't been overly friendly to opposing passing games--especially secondary targets. This isn't rocket science.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF SD 002200000 ***
Mr. September's window of opportunity is slamming shut, and a Chargers' defense that's surrendered just three TE receptions on the year is likely to help hasten the process.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF SD 3311 ***
There's something to be said for tagging along on an offense that's good enough to get close but not good enough to seal the deal; that's how Carpenter has come to lead the NFL in field goals. You could do worse if you were reaching for kicking help this week.

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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