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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
TE Antonio Gates 4-40
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 1 XP

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 JAC 0000027030 ***
Gotta love ol' Bolo Tie against a defense that's allowed at least 250 and 2 in every game thus far. The last time he was at home he sliced up the Seahawks for 284 and 3; solving the Jags should be mere child's play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Donald Brown, SD JAC 7014200000 ***
With every other Bolts back injured, Brown inherits the bulk of the touches against a Jacksonville defense that's giving up 184 combo yards and two TDs a game to opposing backs. Nice timing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD JAC 005701000 ***
Plenty of receivers have had their way with the Jacksonville secondary; the question is, will it be Allen's turn or does that just mean he'll keep ceding stats to Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal? Allen's too talented to be off to the lousy start he's having, so bet heavily on the former.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD JAC 005600000 ***
It would be easy to say you're chasing Royal's two TDs from last week, but the Jags just let four different Colts wideouts score and/or top 50 yards against them last week so... go ahead, chase.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD JAC 003400000 ***
Seven different receivers have scored and/or topped 50 yards against the Jags, including four last week alone. Floyd has been outperforming Keenan Allen, though Allen has been drawing some pretty elite coverage. This week Floyd likely regresses to WR2, though there's still fantasy value to be had here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD JAC 006802000 ***
One week after lighting up the Seahawks Gates was usurped by Ladarius Green. The split is problematic, but it's an extremely favorable matchup with a Jaguars defense that's allowed four TE TDs already this year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD JAC 2234 ***
With the Jags giving up almost 40 points per game, Novak should have plenty of opportunity to swing the leg this week.

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Chris Johnson 60 3-20
RB Bilal Powell 60,1 5-30
WR Eric Decker 4-50
WR T.J. Graham 4-60
WR Jeremy Kerley 3-40
TE Jeff Cumberland 4-40,1
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 Geno Smith, NYJ DET 20000023012 ***
No compelling reason to believe Geno goes where Eli, Cam and Discount Double-Check couldn't and produced a fantasy helper against the Lions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ DET 4013200000 ***
As the bigger back in the Jets' tandem Ivory has a shot at a TD against a Detroit defense that allowed Rashad Jennings and Jonathan Stewart to score against them. However, he's splitting touches with Chris Johnson with puts a cap on his yardage upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ DET 400000000 ***
Johnson won't find much room against a stout Lions run defense. And while you'd think he could capitalize on Detroit's small susceptibility to pass-catching backs, last week it was Chris Ivory handling pass-catching duties as well. You may miss out on the home run, but you'll also miss out on the three or four strikeouts as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ DET 005600000 ***
If Eric Decker can't go Kerley bumps over to first chair, but it's still too tough a match-up to warrant a fantasy start for any Jets wideout.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ DET 004500000 ***
Decker has yet to return to practice after exiting the Jets' Week 3 loss prematurely due to aggravation of his hamstring injury. As if you needed reason to avoid any wideout against a Detroit secondary that's surrendered just one WR TD and zero games of 60 yards or more.
Update: Decker returned to practice Friday on a limited basis, but his upside in this matchup doesn't outweigh the risk of re-injury or being ruled out prior to kickoff.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Salas, NYJ DET 003300000 ***
Salas saw extra snaps last week due to Eric Decker's injury. Best case for Salas: Decker remains sidelined and Salas runs as Jeremy Kerley's wingman against a stout Lions pass D. Worst case: Salas goes back to tertiary target. Neither bolsters his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ DET 002301000 **
Simply put, Detroit can't stop opposing tight ends. Amaro is still battling Jeff Cumberland for looks, but he's the better pass-catcher of the duo and thus poised to be a sneaky fantasy play here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ DET 2222 ****
Folk hasn't missed yet this season and is averaging a robust nine points per game. The Lions have clamped down on kickers at home... but this one's in the Empire State. Advantage: Folk.

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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