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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL *NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
*NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF *SD at HOU *IND at PHI SF, STL
*Updated *NYJ at DET *ARI at MIN *DAL at GB TEN, WAS

Prediction: CHI 17, BUF 20

The Bears are on a two game losing streak and yet are 2-1 on the road. They are now trailing the Packers by a half game but coming off their bye week. The Bills most in overtime last week and remain the only winless team in the NFL though the last two games were both 3 point losses.

Chicago Bears (4-3)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET W 19-14 10 MIN --
2 @DAL W 27-20 11 @MIA --
3 GB W 20-17 12 PHI --
4 @NYG L 3-17 13 @DET --
5 @CAR W 23-6 14 NE --
6 SEA L 20-23 15 @MIN --
7 WAS L 14-17 16 NYJ --
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF --   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 240,2
RB Matt Forte 60 40,1 -
RB Chester Taylor 30 20 -
TE Greg Olsen - 20 -
WR Devin Hester - 30 -
WR Johnny Knox - 80,1 -
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bears three game winning streak to start the year is far back in the rearview mirror now and three of four games have been losses including the last two home stands.As the Martz offense takes a firmer hold, it is producing less touchdowns but more turnovers and Cutler has already been knocked from the game once. The newness is wearing off and leaving the Bears in much the same spot they were in last year.

QUARTERBACK: Jay Cutler comes off his bye week but he's taken a downturn since returning from his concussion. In his two starts - both at home - he passed for around 290 yards in each but only had one touchdown pass, four interceptions and ten sacks. After opening the season with five scores over the first two weeks, the Bears have passed for only two touchdown over the next five games.

The Bills have ranked poorly against the pass and run both but at home they have been much better and never allowed more than 182 passing yards. They gave up five scores there in thee games but the Bears are just not firing on all cylinders. Cutler will get the yardage from throwing up to 40 times each week but this game should be lower scoring with the Bears trying to actually run the ball more.

RUNNING BACKS: This set of running backs rank as well as they do because in part of the 151 yards and two scores that Matt Forte had as a receiver during the season opener. Forte did run for 166 yards against the Carolina Panthers but that included 68-yard and 18 yard touchdown runs which were extreme "outliers" for a runner who otherwise has never gained more than 50 yards on the ground and has been used much less as a receiver in recent games.

Chester Taylor is talked about getting more work in that way that never seems to happen but against the Bills it may show up. There is no arguing that the Bills have a soft defense but the Bears are among the worst rushing teams in the league. Consider that the last rusher here was Maurice Jones-Drew and he only ran for 84 yards and no score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: As in credible as it seems, Johnny Knox (6-86) caught a score in the Redskins game and not only was that his first of the season, it was only the second that the wide receivers combined had managed to score. Knox had two good games recently but both were at home. Earl Bennett still has never scored and usually puts in about 30 yards each week. Devin Hester has the other touchdown back in week two but has never had more than 30 yards in a game since. Outside of Knox, this Martz offense has a shockingly small use of wideouts.

As weak as the Bills offense is against touchdowns, there has been no wideout to top 100 yards against them. Look for a good game here by Knox but steer clear of all other receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen went two weeks without a catch but turned in 43 yards on three receptions against the Redskins. No reliable fantasy value here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 24 12 27 25 19 8
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 27 30 12 32 32 11
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CHI 3 18 -15 7 13 3


Buffalo Bills (0-7)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA L 10-15 10 DET --
2 @GB L 7-34 11 @CIN --
3 @NE L 30-38 12 PIT --
4 NYJ L 14-38 13 @MIN --
5 JAC L 26-36 14 CLE --
6 Bye - 15 @MIA --
7 @BAL L 34-37 16 NE --
8 @KC L 10-13 17 @NYJ --
9 CHI -- - - -
Bills Report | Statistics | Roster
BUFFALO vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 20,1 - 230,1
RB C.J. Spiller 30 10 -
RB Fred Jackson 70 - -
WR Lee Evans - 80 -
WR Steve Johnson - 40,1 -
WR Roscoe Parrish - 70 -
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bill took it to overtime last week but still lost by a field goal so the never-ending hunt for the big "W" continues. The troubling part is that the weather is soon to change and all the passing by Fitzpatrick will naturally decrease. The Bills still have no rushing attack so if there is no win between this game or next week when the Lions show up, that "W" is looking even less likely.

QUARTERBACK: After four straight starts, Ryan Fitzpatrick finally had a game without multiple touchdowns. The Chiefs held him to only 223 yards and one score. But he returns home where he had two scores against the Jets and three against the Jaguars. Fitzpatrick also helps out as a runner and has 153 rushing yards over his five starts.

The problem this week is that the Bears have only allowed four passing scores all year and never more than one. Expect another lesser effort from Fitzpatrick who should come back to life when the Lions arrive.

RUNNING BACKS: C.J. Spiller still gets half a dozen carries each week and does nearly nothing with them. There is hardly any visible sign of why he would have been considered the best running back in the NFL draft. Fred Jackson has been solid with around 70 rush yards every week but he has no role as a receiver and the Bills have only one rushing touchdown on the season. This is the #32 ranked set of running backs in the league with a bullet. And colder,. wetter weather will make that weakness even more apparent.

The Bills face a defense that is only average against the position and yet there is no reason here to expect any better showing from the running backs. Jackson remains a marginal start and Spiller is a colossal "what we're we thinking?".

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Johnson has now scored in each of the last five games even though his yardage rarely gets above around the 50 mark. Lee Evans has been better with yardage than Johnson and even had his own three touchdown game but Johnson has been automatic with that score. Roscoe Parrish has also been a consistent contributor each week. This is a unit that has far exceeded all expectations - even that of their own coaching staff who admitted they underestimated how good Johnson was.

The Bears have only allowed three scores to this position but until Johnson is stopped - why would you not start him every week? The secondary has been softer in recent games as well so expect at least moderate numbers from these receivers until the weather changes.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 11 32 6 30 26 28
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 3 15 4 10 2 31
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) BUF -8 -17 -2 -20 -24 3

WEEK 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF SD at HOU IND at PHI SF, STL
  NYJ at DET ARI at MIN DAL at GB TEN, WAS
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