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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)

Prediction: CHI 20, PIT 16 (Line: CHI by 2)

Players of Interest: Alshon Jeffrey

Update:Heath Miller has practiced, is listed as probable and is expected to play this week. But his role remains undetermined as well as how many actual snaps he will play. This is his first action since tearing all three knee ligaments last year. The 30-year old Miller will not be "back to form" immediately if even this year. If even ever considering his age and the severity of the injury. But he should suit up this week.

Le'Veon Bell was in full practices on Thursday and Friday but is listed as questionable and is not expected to play. His return is likely week 5 after the bye.

The 2-0 Bears finally have a road game after two very close wins at home. The Steelers are 0-2 and on a shorter week. This will be a low scoring game unless the defenses start to rack up some touchdowns. The Bears offense is improved but on the road against an always tough Pittsburgh defense while the home bound Steelers offense is hardly playing up to expectations.

1 CIN 24-21 10 DET -
2 MIN 31-30 11 BAL -
3 @PIT - 12 @STL -
4 @DET - 13 @MIN -
5 NO - 14 DAL -
6 NYG - 15 @CLE -
7 @WAS - 16 @PHI -
8 BYE WEEK 17 GB -
9 @GB - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI @ PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 260,1
RB Matt Forte 60 7-60
WR Alshon Jeffery 4-50
WR Brandon Marshall 6-60
WR Josh Morgan 3-40
TE Martellus Bennett 8-80,1
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to argue with a 2-0 start though the two home games were both by three points or less. Installing the new offense has gone pretty well with 24 points or more each week. This week will be a much bigger challenge playing in Pittsburgh where both rushing and passing is always a challenge. This one won't end up to be a shoot-out sadly so this will likely be the lowest stats you are going to get from the Bears probably all year.

QUARTERBACKS: The remarkable part of the offense so far is not that Jay Cutler has thrown for multiple scores in both games and averaged around 265 yards. It is that he has only been sacked once this year. That will go a long way to letting Cutler remain healthy and productive. As the offense has quickly evolved, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall remain the primary weapons and Cutler has shifted to using a tight end now that Martellus Bennett is on the roster. In fantasy terms, this is the best of all worlds - everything is funneled through only three players.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte comes off a 90 yard rushing effort over the Vikings and this time he added 11 receptions for 71 yards. Granted he did not score but in a reception points league getting 11 catches is golden. Michael Bush barely sees the field and Forte is now integrated as a valuable runner and receiver. Playing on the road for the next two weeks, his role as a receiver is likely to continue to shine.

WIDE RECEIVERS: So far it is not hard to project for Brandon Marshall who has bookend 100 yard games with a score in each. With 15 catches on the season, he's on a pace for 120 catches which just might be possible. He's getting little help from other wideouts though since Alshon Jeffrey has only 53 yards on the season and Earl Bennett gained only 25. But the way the scheme has worked is to hit the three levels - running back, tight end and wideout. And there is just one player in each category that matters. Jeffrey needs to improve for future weeks such as this one.

TIGHT ENDS: Martellus Bennett is the self-admitted Black Unicorn and with three touchdowns on the season, he can call himself anything he wants. Bennett has added a new dimension to the offense and already has become a preferred red zone target for Cutler. Bennett injured his shoulder on his second touchdown catch last week but he is expected to play this week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Steelers may be struggling but that doesn't include their defense that has only allowed one passing touchdown and two rushing scores. Dalton had 280 yards in the Thursday night game but only one score. This defense just held A.J. Green to only 41 yards on six catches so that will dull the Bears attack. But tight ends accounted for 132 yards against the Bengals so Bennett should have more success than Marshall. And the Steelers have already allowed two rushing touchdowns on the season. No doubt this will be a down game for Cutler and Marshall, but both Forte and Bennett could produce acceptable stats in this one.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Need to see something more from Alshon Jeffery who has not been a factor yet. With Marshall sure to be heavily covered this week, anything that Jeffrey can do will make a big difference.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 13 15 19 9 18 9
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 1 20 4 19 26 15

 

1 TEN 9-16 10 BUF -
2 @CIN 10-20 11 DET -
3 CHI - 12 @CLE -
4 @MIN - 13 @BAL -
5 BYE WEEK 14 MIA -
6 @NYJ - 15 CIN -
7 BAL - 16 @GB -
8 @OAK - 17 CLE -
9 @NE - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 250,1
RB Felix Jones 20
WR Antonio Brown 6-60,1
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 3-30
WR Lance Moore 3-30
TE Heath Miller 2-10
TE David Paulson 3-30
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Tough times for the Steelers who drop their second game and already look like a strong finish to the season is just not likely. The rushing effort remains the worst in the entire NFL and still awaits the arrival of Le'Veon Bell who is no longer a hoped-for savior but instead would make everyone happy with more than 40 yards in any game since that has yet to be done by a Steelers back. The offensive line is still sub-par though the replacement at center went better than expected last week. The schedule has not been that kind either but this week brings in the Bears and that'll be no better.

QUARTERBACKS: Two weeks in and Ben Roethlisberger has seven sacks, countless hits and only two passing scores against two interceptions. He's thrown more than a few poor passes with defenders hanging on him and the receivers have dropped a few. He has no reliable safety blanket as he did with Heath Miller. The schedule lightens up in the second half of the season but the Steelers will already be out of it by then.

RUNNING BACKS: Le'Veon Bell is still not likely to play until after the week five bye at the earliest and has yet to practice. And the Steelers rushing attack has never been worse. To the point of non-existent. After two games, the backfield has combined for 71 yards on 28 carries. And no scores. They already lost LaRod Stephens-Howling for the season. Isaac Redman had his bell rung against the Bengals and let Felix Jones take the lead for a team high of only 37 yards on ten carries. With poor blocking and the overall offensive problems, it is hard to imagine that Bell is going to significantly change anything when he finally does play.

WIDE RECEIVERS: As if anemic stats were not enough, the lone passing touchdown last Monday night went to Derek Moye on his first career catch and it was only for one yard. The trio of Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery combine for only moderate stats on a good week. They are swept along in the general ineptitude of the offense so far. Sander's 78 yards last week is a season high for the team.

TIGHT ENDS: David Paulson is just a blocking tight end who surprises when he has a catch. He had an uncharacteristically high three catches for 49 yards on the Bengals but lost a fumble too. No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Scratch the running game without even thinking about it. Roethlisberger faces a solid defense but one that should allow some success passing. It doesn't help this is a short week to prepare. But the Bears have allowed an 80+ yard receiver in both games so there is hope that at least one of wideouts will have a decent game. Which one is harder to gauge. Brown is the best bet since the #1 wideout is the player that has the most success on the Bears.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Signs of life from anyone would be nice. This offense has not scored more than 10 points in a game so far.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 28 32 14 29 30 30
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 10 4 16 21 18 30

WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)


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