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 Chris Johnson 110,1 1-10
RB Bilal Powell 60,1 3-20
WR Eric Decker 6-70,1
WR T.J. Graham 3-40
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 @NE 20000019011 ***
It's actually a sneaky favorable matchup against a Patriots defense that's allowed multiple TD tosses in three straight games. But it'll take a rushing score for Smith to be a real fantasy factor, and the Pats haven't allowed one yet this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @NE 4002100000 ****
Ivory may be the lead dog but he's still sharing at least some of the workload. And against a Patriots defense that's giving up 65 rushing yards per game at home, even a share won't be enough to move the fantasy needle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @NE 3001100000 ***
CJicK is seeing his touches and production dwindle, to the point he probably doesn't even warrant a fantasy roster spot at this juncture.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @NE 003401000 **
Kerley isn't doing much with the second-tier looks he's getting in the Jets' passing game. If you're banking on fantasy help here you're playing the "not covered by Darrelle Revis" card. There are better cards in the deck.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @NE 004500000 ****
We're sayin' there's a chance, as the Patriots have allowed four WR TDs in the past two games. That said, if Decker winds up on the business end of Darrelle Revis... well, that's not going to end well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ @NE 00000000 **
With Harvin you're hoping the Seahawks find enough ways to get him the ball that he busts a big play. Against a Rams' defense that's allowed seven WR TDs in just the past three games, there's a good shot Percy does just that.
Update: Harvin has been traded to the Jets, who have already played this week. So any pipe dreams of Harvin playing a full 16 games this year... poof.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @NE 005500000 ****
Over the past three games the Pats have surrendered 8-93-1 to Travis Kelce and 6-105 to Scott Chandler. With Amaro's targets--and productivity--on the dramatic rise, you have to like his chances for a fantasy helper here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @NE 1111 ****
Aside from the week the Jets were shut out, Folk has consistently produced mediocre numbers. You're okay with him, but you can probably do better elsewhere.

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB C.J. Spiller 120,1 4-30
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 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 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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