FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: NYJ 20, BUF 17 (Line: BUF by 3.5)

Players to Watch: C.J. Spiller, Shonn Greene

This battle to the bottom of the AFC East is a replay of the season opener when the Jets won 48-28 and the world was still simple and full of hope and even Tim Tebow was happy. Now it is just the last game in a bad season for two teams. Chan Gailey is likely to lose his job within 24 hours of the game but Rex Ryan may survive. This is just a messy game to call and to forecast like pretty much every other these two teams have done this year. The Jets have won this matchup for the last six meetings.

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 17-27
8 MIA 9-30 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 30,1 260,1
RB Alex Green 30
RB Chris Johnson 110,1 1-10
RB Bilal Powell 60,1 3-20
WR Eric Decker 6-70,1
WR Jeremy Kerley 3-40
TE Jeff Cumberland 4-40
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The offense is bound to look new next year if only by getting back the scores of injured players. The speculation is that the OC Tony Sparano will be the sacrificial lamb and get fired despite trying to make do with nothing more than Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene and a revolving door at wideout.

Greg McElroy tried to hide his concussion from the medical staff but finally admitted it on Thursday morning. That choice was no doubt tough since he may have only one start in his career now. Mark Sanchez is back, knowing that they preferred Greg McElroy over him but at least they still won't use Tim Tebow.

Back in the season opener, Sanchez passed for a season best three touchdowns and 266 yards. Oh would that have only lasted. He's thrown only ten more scores over the next 13 games that he played. The Bills almost always allow one passing score though most teams focus on hurting them with the run. They are ranked #32 against running backs and in that is where the Jets will have their success.

Shonn Greene enjoyed one of his better games when he rushed for 94 yards and a score on 27 carries in the season opener. He's plugged along all year and now is joined in tandem with Bilal Powell. With such a shaky situation at quarterback and Dustin Keller expected to miss this game as well, the Jets will rely heavily on the pair of backs. The Bills have already allowed 21 scores to running backs this year.

There are no great fantasy plays here but Greene is a moderate start mainly from the favorable matchup and even Powell could produce a better stat line this week as well. This is going to be a cold game with a chance of snow.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 30 18 29 20 31 19
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 27 32 14 14 14 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ @MIA 40000020012 ***
Smith has rushing scores in two of his last three which have elevated his fantasy numbers to almost startable status. However, he threw for 29 yards--that's not a typo, just two digits, less than 90 feet of passing production--in the earlier meeting with Miami and it would take serious stones to trot him out in any self-respecting fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @MIA 10003200000 ***
Johnson rushed for 96 yards in Houston back in Week 2 and is coming off another 90-yard game last week. However, Shonn Greene also topped 90 yards on almost as many carries and also swiped a touchdown so temper your CJ?K expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @MIA 600000000 ****
Ivory has been the Jets' primary ball-carrier four straight games, resulting in one TD and a 109-yard effort last week. He should see more than the dozen carries he handled in the earlier meeting with Miami, and if he maintains the five yards per carry he averaged in that game (as well as last week) he should be a significant fantasy helper against a defense that served up 195 rushing yards to Buffalo last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @MIA 0061101000 ***
Everybody got fed the last time these squads met--Demaryius Thomas 94 yards, Decker 133 & 1, Wes Welker 84 & 1--and there's no reason to expect much difference this time around. The only difference is that with Welker out Decker has seen a little more activity--hardly a bad thing when Peyton Manning is slinging the pigskin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @MIA 004500000 ***
Kerley turned a team-high 11 targets last week into five catches for 70 yards; for the Jets passing attack, that passes for a monster game. Get your fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Cumberland, NYJ @MIA 002201000 **
The Jets have one TE TD in the past five games, and with Cumberland and Kellen Winslow splitting the looks it's impossible to bank on either for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @MIA 2211 ****
Folk was more effective earlier in the season, but over the past six games he's hit double-digits just once. That stretch included a three-point effort against Miami a month back; seems overly optimistic to look for much more this time around.

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 17-50
7 TEN 34-35 16 @MIA 10-24
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU 9-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BUF vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Thaddeus Lewis 140
RB C.J. Spiller 120,1 4-30
WR T.J. Graham 3-40
WR Mike Williams 5-70,1
TE Lee Smith 2-20
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills are expected to fire Chan Gailey and revamp the offense in the offseason to include finding a new starting quarterback. For the second year in a row, Ryan Fitzpatrick started out red hot for the first month or so and they just rapidly declined. He passed for 12 touchdowns in the first four weeks and then only 11 more in the last 11 games. That includes four times where he did not score. Gailey has stood behind Fitzpatrick but the return just has not been there and will be one reason why Gailey is out. That and a 15-31 record so far.

Fitzpatrick passed for 195 yards and three scores in the opener in New York.

Another facet sure to change will be at tailback. C.J. Spiller opened the year with 169 yards and one score on 14 runs against the Jets. But he is ending with six different games that limited him to fewer than ten carries. He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and yet only ran 183 times this year.

Fred Jackson ran 115 times and he only played in nine games and averaged 3.8 yards per carry. At least Gailey has stated he has no intention on trying out young players in this meaningless game. That means Spiller remains a very viable option along with Steve Johnson who also scored in the season opener and gained 55 yards.

Scott Chandler has been placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL

Spiller is the only attractive start here and should have a nice game against a defense that has allowed a score and 100+ yards to the running backs of the last four toad teams. Stevie Johnson is always a low-level starter who rarely tops 70 yards in a game but is the only remaining receiver even capable of such. Knowing that the team is about to be torn up will have some effect on the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 21 8 27 13 26 23
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 5 24 2 17 15 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB E.J. Manuel, BUF @NE 30000023012 ***
Manuel opened the season with two touchdown passes against the Patriots, and he's hoping to be healthy enough to close the season with something similar. However, even if he's good to go he's had as many DNPs as multiple touchdown games on the year and is still looking for his first 300-yard passing game as a pro. UPDATE: Manuel is listed as doubtful, with Thad Lewis in line to take his place again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 4004300000 ***
Jackson had the bigger day last week despite an even division of workload with C.J. Spiller; he also had the bigger day the last time Buffalo played the Patriots. So if you're feeling the need to play a Bills back this week against New England, trends suggest he's the safer bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3002100000 ***
The wildly inconsistent Spiller hasn't posted back-to-back double-digit fantasy games this season. However, he does seem to have a knack for scoring after it matters, with receiving touchdowns in each of the past two Week 17s. Tough to bank on him against New England this week, but as per usual there's upside if you're willing to absorb the risk of his swing-for-the-fences production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @NE 004601000 **
Goodwin continues to battle T.J. Graham for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 005700000 ***
With Stevie Johnson's availability in question, Woods steps into Buffalo's primary receiver role. Assuming he doesn't slug anybody this week, he has a puncher's chance of being productive against a New England defense that's given up two touchdowns and three 100-yard games to WR1s over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.J. Graham, BUF @NE 003300000 ***
Graham continues to battle Marquise Goodwin for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004300000 ***
Chandler had 38 yards in the season opener against New England, but he hasn't scored since Week 6 and can't be counted on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 2211 ***
Carpenter mustered just three points in his earlier meeting with the Patriots. New England is playing for something, plus they've allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to kickers. You'll want to look elsewhere for help.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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