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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9 CIN at MIA (THU) KC at BUF PIT at NE CHI at GB (MON)
ATL at CAR MIN at DAL SD at WAS On Bye:
BAL at CLE NO at NYJ TB at SEA ARI, DEN, DET
*UPDATED IND at HOU PHI at OAK TEN at STL JAC, NYG, SF

Prediction: NO 27, NYJ 13 (Line: NO by 5.5)

Update: Graham was limited in all practices this week because of his foot but hopes to play more. He is safer than last week when he caught two scores in very limited playing time. Marques Colston has been downgraded and only had a limited practice on Thursday while missing all others. He will be a game time decision because of his knee and I am removing him from the projections. Nick Toon would get playing time if Colston cannot play.

The 6-1 Saints are back on a winning track after losing to the Patriots in week six. The 4-4 Jets beat the visiting Patriots but return home after leaving their manhood in Cincinnati. This one depends on which Jets team shows up. Chances are it is the one that will be beaten because they cannot throw that well.

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 27-30 15 @STL -
7 BYE WEEK 16 @CAR -
8 BUF 35-17 17 TB -
9 @NYJ - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 290,3
RB Pierre Thomas 60 3-20
WR Kenny Stills 4-60
TE Jimmy Graham 4-30,1
TE Benjamin Watson 3-40

Pregame Notes: The Saints greeted Jimmy Graham back though he was still very limited in the game. He was still a difference maker with two touchdowns and the offense clicked nicely as most do against the Bills. The upcoming schedule is pretty daunting for the Saints with this road game, then hosting the Cowboys and 49ers. The season then winds down with four of the last six weeks on the road. The Saints have to show they can manage a good defense on the road like the Jets.

QUARTERBACKS: Nothing wrong with Drew Brees coming off a five touchdown effort against the Bills and already totaling 17 passing scores on the year against just five interceptions and that's really just one over the last four games. He's a lock for a good game and always has the upside for a great game.

RUNNING BACKS: The Saints actually own one of the most productive running back groups in the NFL and yet none of them are that great individually. Darren Sproles comes off a game with ZERO yards on four catches and no runs. His rush yardage has never been much but he typically turns in around six catches for good yardage. Khiry Robinson sent fantasy owners scurrying to the waiver wire when he scored once in New England and gained 53 yards on seven runs but then followed that up with just nine yards on seven carries last week. Pierre Thomas is the only consistent back and yet he's only scored in one game and that was as a receiver. But Thomas is stringing together 80+ total yards per game over the last month.

At least two of the best game by Sproles came at home. He should bounce back.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is just a major difference from past years. Marques Colston was the only reliable one and yet he has three straight games with under 20 yards and that includes facing the visiting Bills. Kenny Stills was great versus the Bills with a career best 129 yards and two scores and he even scored the previous week in New England. He is the new speed element but those never end up consistent. Lance Moore returned after missing five weeks and caught a score but only gained 34 yards on three receptions.

This group is very hard to peg and mostly has been very unexceptional this year. They still only produced six touchdowns all year and three were just last week. The yardage has been low across the board other than the one game by Stills. Nice that Brees is looking at them again but still very unreliable.

TIGHT ENDS: Jimmy Graham was able to play last week though his foot is still an issue and he still is in pain. Graham only played for 18 snaps but caught two touchdowns on his three catches for 37 yards. His partially torn plantar fascia is not going to heal any time soon but they believe he can play with it and manage his snaps and catches. He's obviously still a great red zone target but may not be rolling up 100 yard efforts any time soon.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jets defense has been quite good overall but still allowed at least one score to all opponents and yet the only time they faced one of the better quarterbacks was last week when Andy Dalton pasted them with five touchdown passes. The run defense is very solid and more so when at home. The Saints mish mash of running backs are not likely to do much as runners there though receptions will be more important with a limited Graham. The Jets defense is good, but the Saints offense is great. Brees and Graham are must starts and Sproles and Thomas are reasonable but risky flex plays. The Jets struggle against a decent defense and that might help to keep this game score down.

WHAT TO WATCH: Darren Sproles is healthy but comes off a shockingly bad effort. He has to be worked back in this week and the Jets have not faced many receiving backs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 2 2 30 1 4 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 18 3 23 21 20 30

 

1 TB 18-17 10 BYE WEEK
2 @NE 10-13 11 @BUF -
3 BUF 27-20 12 @BAL -
4 @TEN 13-38 13 MIA -
5 @ATL 30-28 14 OAK -
6 PIT 6-19 15 @CAR -
7 NE 30-27 16 CLE -
8 @CIN 9-49 17 @MIA -
9 NO - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Geno Smith 20 190,1
RB Chris Ivory 30
RB Chris Johnson 60 2-20
RB Bilal Powell 30 2-20
WR Jeremy Kerley 4-50,1
TE Jeff Cumberland 4-40
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Perhaps it was the glow from the win over the Patriots that blinded them but the Jets come off a 40 point loss that strips away any sense of confidence they might have had. The Jets are 4-4 and yet only two games back of the Patriots and currently one of the front runners for a wild card bid in the AFC. Such as the NFL 2013. The Jets head onto their bye after this week but are likely bringing a losing record along with them.

QUARTERBACKS: Geno Smith played well enough to beat the Pats but the two games on either side were both losses that saw him not score any touchdowns while throwing minimal yardage and two interceptions in each. Smith has only been effective passing against the weakest of defenses and that's not what he'll be seeing this week. A home game should be better but against a good team never enough.

RUNNING BACKS: Gotta love those running backs. After Bilal Powell was set aside and allowed Chris Ivory to run for 104 yards on the Patriots (on 34 carries) he was scraped off all the waiver wires just in time to only gain 11 yards on six runs in Cincinnati. This is one of the worst rushing units in the NFL and has only scored once all year. Now both Powell and Ivory have two freakish 100 yard games and a whole lot of mediocrity on the rest. Problem here aside from the blocking and shocking lack of talent is that they want to go with the hot hand. And maybe those hands never warm up for either.

WIDE RECEIVERS: As with the running backs, this is one of the worst units in the NFL. David Nelson came up with 80 yards in both of the most recent two games but that's rare consistency and sure to end soon. Jeremy Kerley scored on the Patriots but then returned to only three catches for 27 yards in Cincinnati. Stephen Hill never matters. Clyde Gates is even worse. Santonio Holmes remains out with a bad hamstring. There is no reliable fantasy value here and no reason to expect it to improve.

TIGHT ENDS: Jeff Cumberland had a mild concussion in the Bengals loss but is expected to be back for this game. He was on a string of 40+ yard games which is meaningful on this team.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Saints secondary is far better than years past and are only allowing one passing score per game on average along with only moderate yardage. That's a bad combination for a passing attack that is already one of the worst. The Saints have been solid against the run as well and there is no low risk runner here. There is no fantasy play here that doesn't carry the risk of getting very minimal points.

WHAT TO WATCH: The Jets are at home but facing a vastly improved Saints team. There will be more passes thrown this week but that doesn't mean they get caught.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 25 27 25 15 6 27
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 5 12 17 5 2 5

WEEK 9 CIN at MIA (THU) KC at BUF PIT at NE CHI at GB (MON)
ATL at CAR MIN at DAL SD at WAS On Bye:
BAL at CLE NO at NYJ TB at SEA ARI, DEN, DET
*UPDATED IND at HOU PHI at OAK TEN at STL JAC, NYG, SF


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