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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 @STL 30100020020 ***
Plenty of reasons to shrug off last week's disappointing showing against the Cowboys and get back in the saddle--to name two, Wilson's multiple TD track record prior to last week (as in, every game) and the Rams' multiple TD track record this season (as in, every game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @STL 8004200000 ***
Lynch has a strong track record against the Rams: 100-plus yards in three of the last five, 88 or more rushing yards in five of the last six, and touchdowns in four of the last six meetings. The Rams have allowed only one RB TD on the year but gave up 100-plus yards to DeMarco Murray and Bobby Rainey. No reason Lynch can't keep to his appointed rounds in St. Louis this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ricardo Lockette, SEA @STL 001301000 **
Lockette has two of the three receiving TDs scored by Seahawk wideouts this year, which makes him a viable reach against a Rams' secondary that's surrendered seven WR TDs in the past three games. But it's always a risk mining the depths of a Seattle receiving corps that hasn't produced a double-digit fantasy game since Week 2, and only then because of Percy Harvin's rushing stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @STL 003301000 **
Kearse has the two biggest yardage games by a Seahawk receiver this year: 62 and 61. No Seattle wideout other than Percy Harvin has had a double-digit fantasy game, so while this is a favorable matchup the table scraps for non-Harvin Seahawks are scarce.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @STL 004600000 ****
While WRs against the Rams is a favorable matchup, the Seahawks don't tend to throw enough to make a secondary target like Baldwin a safe fantasy bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA @STL 002100000 ****
Assuming Miller returns from injury he's an unlikely candidate for fantasy help given that no Seattle TE has scored or topped 50 yards this season.
Update: Miller has been ruled out for this week due to his ankle injury. Not that you were banking on him for much anyway.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @STL 1133 ***
Hauschka's had just one off week in an otherwise solid season; the Rams have allowed double digits to three of the five kickers they've faced. Plenty of reason to like what Hauschka brings to the fantasy table this week.

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 Kyle Orton, BUF MIN 0000026010 ****
Elite QBs Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers all took the Vikings for multiple TD tosses, but Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford came up short. Is Orton elite? Probably not, so settle for decent yardage but limited upside with regards to touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF MIN 7016500000 ***
The Vikings have given up an RB TD in five straight games. Expect the versatile FJax to make it six as the lead dog in Buffalo's backfield committee.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF MIN 3003200000 ****
It's a favorable matchup and a great opportunity for Spiller, muted by his reduced workload over the past couple of games. Hard to hit home runs from the bench.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF MIN 006801000 ****
While it's true the Vikings held Detroit's wideouts in check last week, that feels like more of an aberration than something you should look for every week. Minnesota traditionally struggles with speed guys, and Watkins has plenty to burn. He's quickly ascended to the go-to role in Buffalo, and this week that should be more than enough to make him a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF MIN 004600000 ***
Not that Woods can't be a fantasy factor, just that he falls behind the ground game and Sammy Watkins in the pecking order and it's not an overly favorable matchup on paper. Look for fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF MIN 005600000 ****
Chandler comes off a big game last week, but the Vikings haven't allowed a tight end to top 60 yards against them and they've only allowed one TE TD on the year, so keep those expectations in check.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF MIN 2133 ***
Strangely enough, kickers haven't done much damage against the Vikings. Not that they've had to. Carpenter hasn't been good enough to bank on to buck that trend.

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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