FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 

Prediction: NE 27, HOU 13 (Line: NE by 7.5)

Update: Aaron Dobson is out this week with a foot injury. Rob Gronkowski was limited in practices and listed as questionable but it expected to play as usual.

This game looked much more interesting last summer than now. The 8-3 Patriots are aiming for the #2 seed if not the #1 seed but are only 2-3 on the road. The Texans are still on a nine game losing free fall and just cut away the emergency chute hoping it ends faster that way. Losing to the Jaguars last week was just the final straw.

1 @BUF 23-21 10 BYE WEEK
2 NYJ 13-10 11 @CAR 20-24
3 TB 23-3 12 DEN 34-31
4 @ATL 30-23 13 @HOU -
5 @CIN 6-13 14 CLE -
6 NO 30-27 15 @MIA -
7 @NYJ 27-30 16 @BAL -
8 MIA 27-17 17 BUF -
9 PIT 55-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 250,2
RB Brandon Bolden 30,1 2-10
RB Stevan Ridley 30 2-20
RB Shane Vereen 30 8-70
WR Danny Amendola 3-50
WR Julian Edelman 4-50
WR Brandon LaFell 3-30
WR Kenbrell Thompkins 2-30,1
TE Rob Gronkowski 7-110,2
TE Timothy Wright 6-50,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: No doubt buoyed by the big win over the Broncos, the Pats are going to have to fight the urge to take the week off and just show up in Houston for a three point win to get it over with and go home. The remaining schedule is no cakewalk but the Pats should be favored in every game.

QUARTERBACKS: This will be a light matchup obviously but Tom Brady comes in with only five passing touchdowns thrown over their five road games. He lit up the Steelers and Broncos but both were visitors. He threw for 316 yards and two scores in Atlanta so there is hope he continues to roll up points now that the offense is starting to click.

RUNNING BACKS: The backfield is now even more of a mess since Stevan Ridley lost a fumble in three straight games. He was on a five game streak with touchdowns in each but was finally yanked from the Broncos win when he lost yet another. Ridley is not expected to be found in the dumpster at Patriots headquarters but he'll now be part of a rotation that includes LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden. That ruins this backfield for fantasy purposes bedside Shane Vereen who caught seven or eight passes in the three games that he played this year. He has yet to score but at least he's a factor in reception point leagues.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Julian Edelman got the golden ticket last week when he caught nine passes for 110 yards and two scores but that was more than his previous four games combined. Danny Amendola is staying healthy mostly because he doesn't do that much for the last two weeks. Aaron Dobson scored three times in the home stands against the Steelers and Dolphins but never was thrown a pass and played only two downs versus the Broncos. Throw in Kenbrell Thompkins and there's no real reason to buy into any Patriot wideout because you only have a 1 in 4 chance of picking the right one in any given week.

TIGHT ENDS: Rob Gronkowski is back to form, playing every snap and catching a touchdown every week.. He rolled up seven catches for 90 yards on the Broncos. He is the only consistently good receiver for the Patriots.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: No worries about playing a team that never played any decent passing team in a home game so far and yet allowed three straight quarterbacks to throw for three touchdowns. Sam Bradford, Andrew Luck and Matthew McGloin. Now Tom Brady. This will be controlled by how motivated the Patriots are and at what point they finally agree to just run out the clock. Brady, Vereen and Gronkowski are all good starts but while any of the others have big upside they also carry a lot of risk. The Pats may never need them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 20 6 6 23 1 14
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 6 18 3 7 15 31

 

1 @SD 31-28 10 @ARI 24-27
2 TEN 30-24 11 OAK 23-28
3 @BAL 9-30 12 JAC 6-13
4 SEA 20-23 13 NE -
5 @SF 3-34 14 @JAC -
6 STL 13-38 15 @IND -
7 @KC 16-17 16 DEN -
8 BYE WEEK 17 @TEN -
9 IND 24-27 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 240,2
WR Andre Johnson 6-50
TE Garrett Graham 5-40
PK Randy Bullock 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Losing nine straight means all new coaches next year and probably more than a few new players. As frustrating as the four losses by three points or less were, none can compare to the futility they showed against the visiting Jaguars who held them to no touchdowns. At this point all you can hope is that the team stays together and works hard to look good for next year. it is very realistic that the Texans are going to end with a 14 game losing streak intact. You know it is not going well when the head coach spends Monday reading a list of names to confirm that they are still the starters.

QUARTERBACKS: Apparently the Case Keenum magic had a short expiration date because last week he never scored and only passed for 169 yards and one interception. HC Gary Kubiak once again named Keenum his starter and by this point what does it really matter? There is no guarantee that Keenum is not eventually yanked from the game.

RUNNING BACKS: Kubiak also had to repeat that Ben Tate was the starter this week after his seven carries gained one yard against the Jags. Dennis Johnson came in and ran for 74 yards on 13 carries but will have to again wait for Tate to falter before getting into the game. It just makes both players far too risky to rely on. We can only hope Tate shows up big and reclaims his role or Johnson gets another chance and smokes Tate, thereby forcing the issue with Kubiak.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Even Andre Johnson who caught five touchdowns from Keenum and posted a 229 yard and a 116 yard effort flopped in week 12 with only two catches for 36 yards. Johnson has been the only receiver here worthy of a fantasy start and now that looks even worse than before Case got the start. Johnson is a must-play from his upside alone but none of the other wideouts have any consistency and they all combine for only two scores on the year.

TIGHT ENDS: Owen Daniels may be back by week 14 after his fibula fracture heals but he'd be returning to an offense that is turning into a dung heap. Garrett Graham faced a great matchup last week and only rang up five catches for 32 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: There is some hope here since Aqib Talib may still be hampered by his hip injury. If he isn't, then Andre Johnson gets covered and the entire passing game falls apart because it is only about one player anyway. The lackluster rushing effort won't improve against a defense that has only allowed three rushing touchdowns all year. This is hard to call - the Pats could start out flat and let the Texans get in some yards and scores early. Or they could gain a big lead and allow the Texans to profit from trash time. But all that is very risky to rely on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 22 21 17 5 26 29
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 13 21 13 19 8 16

WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 



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