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 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 @GB 40000023012 ***
Dare we say Smith--23 of 28 for 221 and a TD, with 38 rushing yards to boot--was more Russell Wilson than Wilson was last week with 19-28-191-2 and 27 rushing yards against the Pack? Of course, that feels like a restrained line from Wilson and something approaching the high end of Geno's fantasy productivity; in other words, no need to go gettin' giddy about his fantasy prospects this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @GB 7015300000 ***
Despite reports to the contrary, CJ?K remains the lead back in Rex Ryan's committee. His 13 touches resulted in 91 yards and a touch in his Jets debut, a line that feels like it could be his usual in Gotham.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @GB 4001100000 ***
Ivory's 10-102-1 stat line is propped up by one well-blocked long TD run, but the Packers have run-stopping issues--especially in the interior, where Ivory handles the bulk of the work--so he's not a bad option if you're hunting for RB help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @GB 006701000 ***
As anticipated, Decker was Geno Smith's top target in his Jets debut. Expect that trend to continue, as he's clearly the team's best wideout, which puts him first in line for dibs on any passing game productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @GB 004500000 ***
Kerley's targets suggest he's settling into the Jets' WR2 role, though since we're not even sure there's enough productivity for one consistent fantasy receiver just yet he can't be started with any reasonable degree of certainty.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Cumberland, NYJ @GB 003200000 ***
Pedestrian tight end churning out a mediocre stat line that with no bye weeks doesn't warrant much fantasy consideration? Check.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @GB 1122 ***
Doesn't feel like the Jets consistently put up enough points for their kicker to warrant serious fantasy consideration.

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 EJ Manuel, BUF MIA 20000020011 ***
Manuel missed both ends of last season's series with the Dolphins, and aside from a rushing score he did nothing last week against the Bears to suggest he warrants fantasy attention. Hey, if you want to back on the rushing score you go right ahead; odds are you have a better fantasy option at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF MIA 7015300000 ***
Spiller has had his chances against Miami, with three 20-plus carry games over the past two seasons (two while Fred Jackson was out of the lineup). And he's produced triple-digit combo yardage in all three, averaging 137 yards from scrimmage per game. But he hasn't scored. Spiller did find the end zone last week, but he's best used in a yardage-heavy format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF MIA 5004300000 ***
Jackson scored in both ends of last season's series with the Dolphins, and he's involved enough in everything the Bills do that he's a solid bet to get enough touches to reach the end zone again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF MIA 004500000 ***
The Bills haven't scored a WR TD or had a wideout top 70 receiving yards against the Dolphins since Week 15 of 2011. Woods hit the 70 mark against Miami last year and despite being benched in the preseason led the team in targets in the season opener. If you're forced to start a Bills wideout he's probably your best bet, but that's not saying much.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF MIA 004500000 **
Right now Watkins is all sunshine and upside, but he fell behind Robert Woods in the targets race in Week 1 and has done nothing to suggest he's anything more than a fantasy lottery ticket at this juncture of his career.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF MIA 003400000 ***
Tough for receiver depth to carve out fantasy value when EJ Manuel is your quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF MIA 001100000 ***
Chandler is still looking for his first catch of 2014. History suggests he'll get it--and maybe another--against the Dolphins, but it won't amount to nearly enough to move the fantasy needle.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF MIA 3222 ***
Hell hath no fury like a kicker scorned: in two meetings with the team that kicked him to the curb Carpenter has kicked seven field goals and three PATs. He's coming off a multi-trey game last week and would love yet another opportunity to stick it to the Phins.

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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