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
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 STL 0000025020 ****
Rivers is banged up and has back-to-back bad fantasy games to his credit; a date with a Rams defense that hasn't allowed multiple touchdown tosses in a month and shut down the high-flying Broncos last week doesn't seem like an opportunity for Philip to get back in the saddle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, SD STL 6001100000 ***
Mathews returned to action last week and didn't look bad against the Raiders... but it's the Raiders. The Rams offer a legitimate defensive challenge, which spells bad news for Mathews--especially if he's still sharing the workload with Branden Oliver.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Branden Oliver, SD STL 3002100000 ***
Last week's touches were split almost 50/50 as Ryan Mathews returned from injury, yet neither back did much damage against a shaky Oakland run D. Now, facing a far more formidable Rams unit, expectations should be lowered even further.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD STL 008701000 ***
Allen still sees the bulk of the targets in San Diego, and the Rams have given up five 100-yard receivers in the past five games. But he's been so infuriatingly disappointing this season it's tough to bank on him for fantasy help, even with a favorable matchup staring him in the face.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD STL 004601000 **
Less targeted than Keenan Allen, Floyd somehow has been more consistently productive. However, a banged up Philip Rivers and a tough matchup make him a problematic fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD STL 003300000 ***
Royal's been dormant for about a month, which means another one of those "helps no one" two-TD games is just around the corner.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD STL 003400000 ***
It's been a month since the Rams allowed a TE TD, making this a difficult matchup at best for Gates. Since he's back to sharing snaps with Ladarius Green, you can probably find a better fantasy matchup elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD STL 2222 ****
The Rams haven't been a hotbed for kicker points, and Novak has been more good than great. Keep your expectations in check and you'll be fine.

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 Michael Vick, NYJ @BUF 50000019011 ***
The Bills shut out Vick a month ago and have allowed just two TD passes in two games since. Vick is getting more comfortable in the offense but he's still a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @BUF 400000000 ***
The Jets broke Buffalo's maiden with three RB TDs when they met back in Week 8; that total accounts for 75 percent of all the RB TDs the Bills have allowed this season. Can lightning strike twice? Risky to bet a fantasy start on that happening here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @BUF 2002200000 ***
Johnson is hanging around as the Jets' change of pace back, but he was ineffective when last these teams met and isn't likely to see enough touches to warrant fantasy consideration here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ @BUF 2006601000 **
Harvin is getting his touches, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's a viable fantasy play. Between the Jets' struggling pass defense and a stout Buffalo run D you likely have a more reliable fantasy option at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @BUF 005500000 ***
Decker is now essentially splitting the targets with Percy Harvin, and while that still puts him atop the Jets' passing game pecking order often times there simply isn't enough productivity to go around. It wasn't enough the last time these teams met, and this week's rematch is shaping up much the same way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @BUF 003200000 ***
Buffalo has allowed only two TE TDs all year, but Amaro did have 51 yards in the previous meeting and scored last week so he's a fringe fantasy option here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @BUF 3311 ****
Folk scored five points when the Jets hosted the Bills a month ago; he's done nothing this year to suggest a big uptick on that number when he heads to Buffalo this week.

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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