FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA

Prediction: NO 27, NE 24 (Line: NE by 2.5)

Players of Interest: Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola

Update: Of course Danny Amendola, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden and Rob Gronkowski are questionable. Gronkowski still has not been cleared to play this week and at best will be a game time decision depending on if anything positive happens on Saturday. At this point, he's going to be a really risky play this week in the very best of all situations and stands an excellent chance of not playing yet again. Ridley was able to participate in limited practices all week and now is expected to step back into the committee in the backfield. Brandon Bolden is in the same boat and is expected to play.

Amendola was limited all week but is also expected to play.

The Patriots lost their first game just last week but are 2-0 at home and still leading the AFC East. The 5-0 Saints are the only unbeaten NFC team and look forward to reaching their bye next week. Hard to bet against the Patriots at home but the Saints are playing well on both sides of the ball.

1 ATL 23-17 10 DAL -
2 @TB 16-14 11 SF -
3 ARI 31-7 12 @ATL -
4 MIA 38-17 13 @SEA -
5 @CHI 26-18 14 CAR -
6 @NE - 15 @STL -
7 BYE WEEK 16 @CAR -
8 BUF - 17 TB -
9 @NYJ - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 320,3
RB Pierre Thomas 40 6-40
WR Marques Colston 3-40
WR Robert Meachem 2-30
WR Kenny Stills 2-30
TE Jimmy Graham 10-130,2

Pregame Notes: The Saints started the season beating teams we now know are just not that good. But dominating the unbeaten Dolphins and winning in Chicago have shown that this team is more than just a passing game trying to stay ahead of their opponent. The defense has not allowed more than 18 points so far and the offense hasn't needed to make every week a shootout. There are the occasional tougher matchups but for the most part the Saints have a lighter schedule. This is only their third road game and they need to follow up on that solid effort in Chicago.

QUARTERBACKS: While Drew Brees may be slightly off his frenzied pace of 2012, he has scored in every game so far and totals 12 passing touchdowns on the year with never less than 288 passing yards. He is still second to only Peyton Manning in fantasy scoring.

RUNNING BACKS: Pierre Thomas has taken over the primary rusher since Mark Ingram is out with a toe injury and was a nonfactor even when he played. Thomas only ran for 36 yards on 19 carries in Chicago and only averages 2.9 yards per carry on the season. But he's become an equal receiver to Darren Sproles and last week caught a season high nine passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns. He's been worth around six catches in each game since Ingram left. Sproles posted a monster game against the Dolphins but in Chicago was held to a season low 31 yards on three catches. All combined there has been just one rushing touchdown all year and no runner's topped 43 rush yards in any game. But both Sproles and Thomas are coming up with more catches than all wide receivers combined.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Hard to imagine the much-vaunted passing attack of the Saints contains the #31 ranked group of wide receivers in the NFL. Lance Moore has been out since week three but never caught more than two short passes. Marques Colston is the lone wideout of any note and even he scored just once all year and posted a season low of only 15 yards on two catches in Chicago. Short of facing one of the worst secondaries in the league, this unit has no fantasy value aside from Colston posting moderate yardage in home games.

TIGHT ENDS: Now then, here is production. Jimmy Graham is on a four game streak with over 100 yards and currently has six touchdowns on the season. He's no secret weapon and yet cannot be stopped this year. His 593 receiving yards leads the NFL regardless of position.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Patriots have only allowed four passing scores this year but all five games went against struggling quarterbacks. Manuel, Geno Smith, Freeman, Ryan and Dalton are all disappointing so far and yet Ryan posted 421 yards against them along with two scores. This will be an entirely different test for the Patriots defense. Colston likely draws Aqib Talib and that should depress his stats that have not been great in road games anyway. A good sign is that the only good tight end to face the Patriots was Tony Gonzalez who scored twice and gained 149 yards on 12 catches. This week will be another instance where they will try to counter the same mismatch they've enjoyed with Rob Gronkowski. Brees and Graham are always must starts but both Thomas and Sproles are worth considering because of their role as receivers. Colston is a very iffy play this week.

WHAT TO WATCH: A tight end not named Gronkowski rolling up big stats in New England.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 7 31 1 2 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 6 14 5 16 6 6

 

1 @BUF 23-21 10 BYE WEEK
2 NYJ 13-10 11 @CAR -
3 TB 23-3 12 DEN -
4 @ATL 30-23 13 @HOU -
5 @CIN 6-13 14 CLE -
6 NO - 15 @MIA -
7 @NYJ - 16 @BAL -
8 MIA - 17 BUF -
9 PIT - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 280,2
RB Brandon Bolden 20 4-30
RB Stevan Ridley 30
WR Danny Amendola 8-80
WR Aaron Dobson 1-30
WR Julian Edelman 2-20
WR Brandon LaFell 4-50,1
WR Kenbrell Thompkins 4-60,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriots loss in Cincinnati was a surprise at least in that Tom Brady lost his bid to throw a record consecutive games with a touchdown but the defense was still very good. The schedule this far has been very kind and the Pats have squeaked by in most games until last week. This week presents not only the best offense yet to face them, but probably the best defense as well. This is one week where Brady is going to have to manufacture some Patriot magic and if Gronkowski does finally return, it will be easier.

QUARTERBACKS: It finally happened in the rain and punctuated by an interception. Tom Brady finally left a game without scoring. But his pace has been off all year with just seven touchdowns on the year and only once topping 300 yards. He's hardly to blame with a cast of rookies and mediocre players while the best weapons recuperate. Danny Amendola returned last week and should get a heavier load in this game. More importantly, Rob Gronkowski should really play this week and this time they mean it. Having both players back will make a huge difference though first game back could have limited snap counts.

RUNNING BACKS: Stevan Ridley is out with a sprained knee but may return to this "wicked" committee that has formed. Brandon Bolden is the official receiving back and caught six passes for 40 yards in Cincinnati. LeGarrette Blount is the pounder at the goal line and short yardage. Sometimes late game when you just want to wear down a defense. But Blount lost a fumble last week and got yanked after 12 runs. Ridley will return to providing both runs and catches but it won't be like last season. This remains a set of three backs who are all involved.

The problem is that all combined there was only one touchdown all year. And none of these backs are reliable for more than maybe 60 total yards in any game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This mishmash of wide receivers could use a healthy Danny Amendola for however long he lasts this time. He was on a snap count last week when he only caught four passes for 55 yards but in the opener he rolled up ten catches for 104 yards (and then got hurt). Julian Edelman filled in as a decent replacement against bad secondaries but returned to only two catches last week. Kenbrell Thompkins was held to a season low 16 yards on three catches by the Bengals after the Falcons allowed a career best 127 yards and a score on six catches.

This offense prefers to rely on Amendola and Gronkowski. This will be the first week this year that it is even possible.

TIGHT ENDS: After waiting five weeks, it appears that Rob Gronkowski will finally be cleared to play. In his absence the tight end position has been absolutely worthless. All combined only five catches for 39 yards. Gronk may beat that on his first catch. The problem is that the Pats do not play until 4:25 PM EST and so his official status won't be known at first kickoff on Sunday. This is the only other tight end capable of Graham-esque stats but in his first game back may not be 100% up to speed. Then again, you don't have a better option anyway.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Not unlike the Patriots, the Saints have faced a less than stellar cast of quarterbacks but only allowed six scores. Both Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler produced two scores and over 300 yards. The rushing defense has also faced mostly mediocre runners as well though just last week Matt Forte only gained 55 rushing yards on them. This will be a test for both defenses. Given this is at home, the normal starts should apply here - Brady, Amendola, Gronkowski and Bolden because of his receptions. But last year when Gronkowski played, the backs tended to have fewer catches. There is a lot of risk this week not knowing exactly how well Amendola and Gronkowski are but their potential reward is much greater.

WHAT TO WATCH: The duo of Amendola and Gronkowski can dramatically reshape the offense if they are healthy.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 26 20 8 32 6 24
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 11 13 15 8 1 10

WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA


a d v e r t i s e m e n t