FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: SD 10, NYJ 20 (Line: NYJ by 1.5)

Players to Watch: Greg McElroy, Danario Alexander

The 5-9 Chargers are only 3-4 on the road and trying to get out of the year without losing any more players. The 6-7 Jets are changing quarterbacks this week. It is finally Tebow Time McElroy Time! Man this game is going to be hard to watch.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @OAK 22-14 10 @TB 24-34
2 TEN 38-10 11 @DEN 23-30
3 ATL 3-27 12 BAL 13-16
4 @KC 37-20 13 CIN 13-20
5 @NO 24-31 14 @PIT 34-24
6 DEN 24-35 15 CAR 7-31
7 BYE ----- 16 @NYJ -----
8 @CLE 6-7 17 OAK -----
9 KC 31-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 230,1
RB Dexter McCluster 6-60,1
WR Stevie Johnson 6-80,1
TE Jeff Cumberland 4-40,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-40

Pregame Notes: The seasons seems to ending as if someone on the Chargers staff said "well it cannot get any worse." Because it can and did. Now Ryan Mathews will have started and ended his season with two different broken collarbones. The player who would be a workhorse ended up more of a petting zoo pony destined to become dog food. The Chargers also placed Malcom Floyd on injured reserve with an ankle injury that would take more than two weeks to heal.

Philip Rivers comes off a season worst 121 yards last week with two lost fumbles. That brings him up to 15 interceptions and seven fumbles on the year. To his credit he has been able to remain above 200 yards in almost all the other games but a team that was to start out with Vincent Brown and Malcom Floyd is ending with Danario Alexander and... and... is Robert Meachem even in the NFL anymore? Fortunately he is still guaranteed $5 million next year. He'll show up. Sort of.

The running game now will be handled by some committee of Curtis Brinkley and Jackie Battle which is every bit as bad as it sounds. The problem too is that while Danario Alexander has been a standout on a team with really no others, but by now he is so much the last man standing that defenses will key on him and not worry too much about whatever else the Chargers line up. Alexander has been great since week nine and yet had no catches on three passes just last week. Facing the Jets secondary this week probably means the free agent acquisition gravy train is about over. He has potential and upside though and that counts on a team that really does not have any others that can step up.

Antonio Gates is done and just punching the clock. For the last five weeks, he has never gained more than 49 yards in any game and scored only once.

Hard to imagine how the Chargers, on the road, can make a game of this. Even against the Jets.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 23 21 26 14 21 4
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 5 27 2 13 12 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD NO 0000032030 ***
The Saints haven't picked off a pass yet, although this unit has allowed only one TD per game. The yardage against (927) is high. Rivers has a limited receiving corps at this time, so play him only if your other options are obviously worse.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Melvin Gordon, SD NO 10022200000 ***
Gordon has earned a lineup spot and seems matchup proof to date this season. The Saints are the most favorable of opponents for running backs in fantasy, surrendering seven touchdowns this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dexter McCluster, SD NO 002200000 ***
McCluster knows this offense from his time with the Titans under Chargers play caller Ken Whisenhunt. The miniature runner has only PPR appeal and could materialize as a worthy play given New Orleans' troubles at stopping pass-catching backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, SD NO 006802000 ***
Benjamin could be in for a big game if the Bolts have to heave the ball more than usual. The Saints are the ninth easiest matchup for wideouts, and Benjamin is a must-play with varying degrees of confidence based on your scoring format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyrell Williams, SD NO 0061001000 ***
The Saints offer a plus matchup (ranked 9th) and could force San Diego into passing a ton. Williams is a worthwhile fantasy play in all formats, but better in non-PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD NO 003400000 ***
Inman picks up scraps and doesn't see enough looks to warrant a fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Hunter Henry, SD NO 004500000 ***
In the event Antonio Gates (hamstring) is capable of playing, Henry has zero value. Should the rookie get the start, he has practically no value. New Orleans has been dominant against tight ends, allowing only 12 catches for 87 yards and no touchdowns.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD NO 0055 ***
The Saints have been evenly weak in terms of allowing extra points (8-for-8) and field goals (6-for-7) to create the eighth weakest defense of kickers in fantasy.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 10 @SEA 7-28
2 @PIT 10-27 11 @STL 27-13
3 @MIA 23-20 12 NE 19-49
4 SF 0-34 13 ARI 7-6
5 HOU 17-23 14 @JAC 17-10
6 IND 35-9 15 @TEN 10-14
7 @NE 26-29 16 SD -----
8 MIA 9-30 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 210,1
RB Matt Forte 70 5-40
RB Bilal Powell 60,1 5-30
WR Eric Decker 4-50
WR Brandon Marshall 7-80,1
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: There is no shame in fighting the good fight and coming up short knowing you did all you could to win the game. There is no shame in falling short against a quality opponent and losing more on the unnatural bounces of an oblong ball in an even match. However, there is plenty of shame in losing to the Titans and completing only 13 of 28 for 131 yards and one score with four interceptions and a lost fumble. It finally proved enough to send Mark Sanchez to the bench where he has to remain ever on at least in New York. Now instead of appeasing the media-driven world and maybe making the preseason trade make sense, the Jets have opted to go to Greg McElroy Jr. as the starting quarterback.

This has angered the Tebow who will be very sternly and yet politely asking for a trade in the offseason since that whole "you're up when Sanchez is down" thing was apparently not really accurate. It would have been great to see Tebow win the game in a big way - a possibility with the Chargers coming to town - and yet perhaps that is why they did not.

Braylon Edwards signed his free agent contract last week and immediately ran down to the field where he caught three passes for 47 yards. He now starts over Chaz Schilens and across from Jeremy Kerley who has since lost any value he might have had. This game should be mostly about the run anyway and the Chargers injury-ravaged offense is likely to give away such good field position that even the Jets can make them into short scoring drives.

There is no play here other than Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. Greene has rushed far better when at home and Powell is the better scorer with four touchdowns over the last five weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 30 20 29 19 31 17
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 22 16 24 7 7 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ SEA 20000019001 ***
Fitz has been off his game this season and now has to play the toughest defense of fantasy quarterbacks with his top target at less than 100 percent ... not good. Seattle is one of two teams to prevent a touchdown pass.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, NYJ SEA 8013200000 ***
Carlos Hyde surprisingly gouged this defense for 103 yards and two scores on the ground last week. Forte played only 60 percent of the Jets' snaps in Week 3, coming off the field on third downs more often than not. He's a low-end RB2 for gamers against the No. 6 defense against the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bilal Powell, NYJ SEA 2006500000 ***
Powell played in 40 percent of the offensive snaps and is a PPR-only consideration. The Seahawks have smothered pass-catching RBs, however, allowing only eight catches (tied for second fewest).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, NYJ SEA 004500000 ***
Marshall wasn't 100 percent last week with a minor knee sprain, but he's in better condition heading into the Jets' fourth contest. Seattle, though, makes for the toughest matchup against the position. Start him, but be ready for consecutive weeks of disappointment.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Quincy Enunwa, NYJ SEA 004500000 ***
This could be a fine week to take a chance on Enunwa while Seattle focuses on Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. Seattle is the hardest matchup to exploit, so keep that in mind.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ SEA 003400000 ***
Decker played every snap on offense last week but will be up against the NFL's worst matchup for fantasy receivers in Week 4. Play at your own risk. He's probably best left for DFS matchups and non-PPR scoring traditional leagues.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ SEA 3311 ***
Folk could be a busy guy based on game situations. For the sake full disclosure, the stats against not on his side. There are 26 other teams offering better matchups to kickers.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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