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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 Blair Walsh 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 LAR 30100023021 ***
In Week 5, at LA, Wilson recorded his second-worst game of the year in fantasy (15.5 points0. Over the last five games, the Rams have permitted the ninth-most yards, on average, and a TD in 18.3 completions (18th). None of the 14 carries against have scored. One intangible: Seattle hosts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mike Davis, SEA LAR 7004300000 ***
Davis (ribs) has 31 carries over his last two games, plus five receptions, and he is running well enough for fantasy consideration. The Rams provide the sixth-best matchup for rushing yards. One of every 29.5 carries has found the end zone since Week 9, with is the 13th-easiest rate to exploit. Davis is a high-risk gamble.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA LAR 005601000 ***
Baldwin was a non-factor in the Week 5 meeting. He hauled in four of eight targets for 37 yards. The Rams have yielded big possession numbers to the position lately. Since Week 9, wideouts have averaged 14.4 receptions (5th), 171.8 yards (6th) but a TD every 18 catches (25th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, SEA LAR 003600000 ***
Los Angeles travels north for the rematch. Richardson was nothing to write home about in that game. The Rams have done well against wideouts when it comes to limiting touchdowns (8th-hardest), but this is a good matchup for finding receptions and yardage totals. Both stats are in the top six since Week 9.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA LAR 002300000 ***
Lockett has virtually no impact in the first game. The Rams have given up quality figures for yardage (6th) and receptions (5th) that work in his favor, but this is also the eighth-best defense at keeping receivers from scoring TDs since Week 9.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA LAR 004301000 ***
Provided you survived last week's miserable performance, Graham returns with a top-10 opponent -- one he exploited for north of 15 fantasy points in the earlier meeting this year. Expect a decent rebound showing from the veteran.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, SEA LAR 2222 ***
Only 7 of the 11 field goals faced since Week 9 have made their mark against the Rams. Eleven of the 12 PATs went through the posts.

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
PK Stephen Hauschka 3 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 MIA 20100016000 *
Taylor (knee) will start if he is healthy. Check back Friday for more information. All signs point to him going. Even with Tom Brady's shoddy performance in Week 14, Miami remains dreadful against quarterbacks. This is the second-best matchup for Week 15, mostly fueled by this group giving up a touchdown pass every 9.5 completions (4th). Taylor has no weapons and must be avoided.

Update: Taylor is not on the final injury report.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF MIA 10012100000 ***
Shady faces Miami for the first time since last year's Week 16 home game when he ate them for lunch. The Dolphins have provided the second-most points to the position in the past five weeks, allowing 159.4 offensive yards (7th) and the second-most receptions a game (7.6). This is the fourth-best matchup for offensive scoring and No. 2 for PPR fantasy points gained.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, BUF MIA 004500000 ***
The Dolphins offer a harsh matchup, and Thompson shouldn't be on a fantasy roster at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Zay Jones, BUF MIA 002300000 ***
Jones has quarterback questions and a tough matchup. The Dolphins have given up the third-fewest catches to his position in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, BUF MIA 003300000 *
KB was limited Wednesday after aggravating his knee in Week 14. He has a chance to play.

Update: He was limited all week and is questionable. The big-bodied wideout has a solid enough matchup to flex him, but be sure to check the final inactives before committing a lineup spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF MIA 003200000 ***
Clay has been non-existent since returning from his knee injury a month ago. The position offers far better choices for desperate owners. Miami is a great matchup, which makes Clay's downturn that much more unfortunate.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Hauschka, BUF MIA 2222 ***
This is a poor matchup for field goal opportunities but a top-five opponent for extra points. Overall, Miami is a fringe matchup and just midrange for potential points.

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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