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: OAK 13, SD 23 (Line: SD by 4.5)

Players to Watch: Terrelle Pryor, Danario Alexander

Just another disappointing year in the AFC West. The 4-11 Raiders are only 1-6 on the road while the 6-9 Chargers sport a 2-5 home mark. This is a replay of the season opener when the Chargers won 22-14 in Oakland.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL 20-55
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO 17-38
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN 10-34
4 @DEN 6-37 13 CLE 17-20
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN 13-26
6 @ATL 20-23 15 KC 15-0
7 JAC 26-23 16 @CAR 6-17
8 @KC 26-16 17 @SD -----
9 TB 32-42 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Michael Crabtree 5-70,1
TE Lee Smith 2-20
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: It is bad enough that the Raiders are ending a bad season with only four wins. But they did that without really producing any fantasy players of note. None. Carson Palmer was passable as a spot-fill guy if you did not lose points for interceptions. Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey both had the very occasional decent game but not enough to merit taking a risk on them. Worst of all, Darren McFadden not only had injury problems like always but when he had a bad game, it was monumentally "was he even there?" sort of bad.

Palmer is out this week again because of his cracked ribs and bruised lung. Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor are splitting first team reps and both will likely play in the finale. Pryor is the more interesting one since the Raiders gave up a third round pick to acquire him. For the last two weeks, they have toyed with the idea of trying out Pryor but only allowed him to throw just one pass last week. The change in quarterbacks makes this team even more devoid of fantasy relevance.

Palmer passed for 297 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Chargers. McFadden rushed for only 32 yards on 15 carries but added 13 catches for 86 yards in that game. He's never had more than four receptions in any other game though.

McFadden has been a huge disappointment this year with only three games over 70 yards and just three touchdowns. The switch by OC Gregg Knapp to a zone blocking scheme was exactly the opposite of what McFadden is good at. Instead of relying on his speed and open field ability, McFadden is trying to patiently wait for holes to open that are never there. It really has been a colossal waste of a year for McFadden with no signs that it is going to work any better next season. Basically, McFadden had big games against the Chiefs twice and then a freak showing in Pittsburgh. Otherwise - marginal at best and in no way proportionate to where he was drafted.

Brandon Myers seemed like a nice find in mid-season when he scored four times and was cranking out 50 yard efforts but he's really been silent for the last three weeks when he failed to gain more than 15 yards in any game. He opened the year with 65 yards on five catches versus the Chargers.

The passing game will be unreliable this week with changes in the starting quarterback likely. The season is ending with a whimper from a team that has not scored more than 17 points in the last six weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 17 19 19 15 13 31
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 18 17 22 4 5 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK @TEN 0000028021 ***
We're looking at a tough matchup for Carr, facing a defense that has allowed only one TD to quarterbacks. While Tennessee has just one pick, they rank seventh at stopping fantasy passers. Carr has to be started with lowered expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @TEN 4005300000 ***
Murray's start has been respectable. This week, he could run into a brick wall. The Titans are the stiffest matchup for fantasy backs. No TDs allowed, only five catches, and 156 rushing yards ... Play Murray with diminished results in mind.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK @TEN 004601000 ***
Crabtree sees single coverage and is doing a great job of taking advantage of those one-on-ones. He is a WR3 in standard, a second in PPR, against this Titans defense ranking 12th vs. wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Amari Cooper, OAK @TEN 0051000000 ***
Cooper belongs in any lineup where he was drafted. He's better in PPR. Tennessee ranks 12th against fantasy receivers in this scoring format, allowing 27 receptions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Seth Roberts, OAK @TEN 003300000 ***
Roberts sees a only handful of targets and thus has no fantasy relevance at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clive Walford, OAK @TEN 005601000 ***
Tennessee has given up the 12th fewest points to the position. Walford came to life last week, so this one is really a toss up. We side with the offense.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @TEN 3222 ***
Tennessee has given up the most field goal attempts to kickers, so there's some hope here.

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 27-17
8 @CLE 6-7 17 OAK -----
9 KC 31-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 220,2
RB Dexter McCluster 5-30
WR Stevie Johnson 6-70,1
TE Jeff Cumberland 4-40
TE Antonio Gates 3-30,1

Pregame Notes: Last week the Chargers beat up the Jets in New York. Before that they were waxed at home by the Panthers. Before that, they beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Before that, lost at home go the Bengals. There has been little rhyme or reason to what the Charger did this year other than it was below average in most cases. They know that this is their last game of the year and the last they'll be playing for Norv Turner there. The Chargers have lost most of their talent this year to injury and been inconsistent to the point of near randomness.

Philip Rivers started the year with 231 yards and one score in Oakland. He's scored at least once in all but three games and doubled on touchdown in over half of them. But his 24 touchdowns came along with 15 interceptions and seven lost fumbles and his yardage has been lower this year. In his last last five games, he topped 230 yards only once.

Losing Ryan Mathews didn't really change much since they did not use him much and he was not that effective when he did play. They went with Jackie Battle last week and he only gained 49 yards on 19 runs in New York. Ronnie Brown filled in with five runs for 31 yards as the third down back.

Antonio Gates scored in both of the most recent games but he's topped 50 yards only once in the last nine games and started the year with 43 yards on four catches versus the Raiders. He's become a shell of what he once was but intends on returning next year and claims he just as good as he ever was. Probably not. The worst part was that he's been healthy this whole year and it just did not matter.

Danario Alexander was blanked by the Panthers which signaled that his mini-run was over but then in New York against a good secondary, he scored for the sixth time this year and ended with 69 yards on three catches. Malcom Floyd is on injured reserve and Vincent Brown never made it back. But Alexander has been a surprisingly good addition and remained healthy for nine straight games now.

Hard to call this final game of Norv Turner since the Chargers actually play worse at home anyway. But with the Raiders showing up, that makes the offense that much better. Rivers and Alexander are the only starts here, and maybe Gates if you have no options and can live with his usual 40 yards and no scores.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 24 22 25 12 19 4
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 23 28 15 26 30 14

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD @IND 10000027020 ***
QBs have averaged 303 yards and 1.5 TDs through two weeks against Indy. Rivers is a quality play against a defense that is decimated by injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Melvin Gordon, SD @IND 8014300000 ***
Gordon has been a strong fantasy play in fantasy through two weeks, and this week he draws the statistically best opponent in the NFL -- by a wide margin. You know what to do from here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, SD @IND 006901000 ***
Welcome to San Diego, Mr. Benjamin! An explosive Week 2 performance has fantasy owners abuzz with excitement for the sleeper receiver. His Week 3 matchup isn't ideal, on paper, with Indy being one of five teams to prevent WRs from scoring this year. That's because the Colts can't stop a running back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyrell Williams, SD @IND 004800000 ***
Williams brings size (6-foot-4) to the offense and a good deal of upside. He's a fringe flex play each week at this point, having more worth in non-PPR formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Hunter Henry, SD @IND 004401000 **
No Antonio Gates means Henry will have minute fantasy appeal in super-deep leagues or larger DFS contests. Indy has been moderately susceptible to TEs in the past two games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD @IND 3333 ***
San Diego's offense produces points, and the Colts' decimated defense gives a bevy of opportunities.

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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