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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: NYJ 24, DET 23

Update: Calvin Johnson is practicing fully and his shoulder is not expected to be any problem this week. Brandon Pettigrew has been limited because of his ankle but should still play and not be limited. Kevin Smith is experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired knee and was held out of practice on Thursday. That should held ensure that his role does not grow any more on this offense and more likely will see a reduction in carries at least this week.

The Jets come off an embarrassing shutout by the Packers after an impressive string of five consecutive wins. The Lions just notched their second win of the year thanks to the Redskins but two in a row would be hard to imagine with the Jets coming to town.

New York Jets (5-2)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BAL L 9-10 10 @CLE --
2 NE W 28-14 11 HOU --
3 @MIA W 31-23 12 CIN --
4 @BUF W 38-14 13 @NE --
5 MIN W 29-20 14 MIA --
6 @DEN W 24-20 15 @PIT --
7 Bye - 16 @CHI --
8 GB L 0-9 17 BUF --
9 @DET -- - - -
Jets Report | Statistics | Roster
NY JETS at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez - - 210,1
RB Shonn Greene 40,1 - -
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 90,1 20 -
TE Dustin Keller - 30 -
WR Jerricho Cotchery - 60 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 40,1 -
WR Santonio Holmes - 50 -
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Even the rest of a bye week could not prevent the trap game last week as the Jets offense was overpowered in all aspects by the Packers. More than anything else, the lack of a rushing attack left it up to Mark Sanchez who responded with two interceptions. But that game is over and done and the Jets are looking at a pretty sweet schedule for the next month before it gets tough again. These next four games should all be wins and almost have to be in order to make a move on the Patriots. From week 13 onward, each game will be a battle.

QUARTERBACK: Oddly enough, Mark Sanchez scored eight times in three weeks but then once Santonio Holmes showed up and gave him a new weapon, he's only passed for one touchdown in three games and done little with Holmes. That could happen again as the Jets face the NFL's #32 defense against running backs. There's nothing special at all about the Lions' secondary but chances are that Sanchez won't need to throw much more than normal.

Expect an average showing by Sanchez with just one score and moderate yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: The Jets want to involve Shonn Greene more if only to offer more rest to the 31-year old LaDainian Tomlinson but Greene was held to only six carries last week in the loss to the Packers while Tomlinson still had his standard 16 carries. What bodes best for this matchup is that Tomlinson has scored five times and each one came in a road game.

Expect a very nice showing here from the running game and if you need to replace a bye week player, Greene has more attraction this week than perhaps all year. The Lions have allowed six running backs to score on them and four of those had multiple touchdowns.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Santonio Holmes has not accounted for more than 47 yards in any of his three games so far and that comes with as many as nine targets in a game. Braylon Edwards' four touchdowns leads all wideouts but he has been less successful with yardage in recent games. Jerricho Cotchery had 89 yards in the Packers loss but that was his first effort over 50 yards and he has not scored since week two. Overall, these wide receivers have been a disappointment and bringing in Holmes has not made any difference.

The Lions have been much better against the pass this year if only because they have been so bad against the run. They have only allowed six wideouts to score and just one had over 100 yards. The matchups do not really favor any one receiver so I'll nod towards Edwards. Holmes is certainly due, but that hasn't matter so far.

TIGHT ENDS: The one player who has been most affected by the lower passing stats and/or Holmes for the last three weeks has been Dustin Keller who had scored five times in the three previous games but has been limited to only two or three catches and no touchdowns for three weeks now. He only managed 45 yards on two receptions last week and now faces one of the best defenses against tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 27 6 22 5 1 13
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 22 32 22 6 6 22
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NYJ -5 26 0 1 5 9


Detroit Lions (2-5)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI L 14-19 10 @BUF --
2 PHI L 32-35 11 @DAL --
3 @MIN L 10-24 12 NE --
4 @GB L 26-28 13 CHI --
5 STL W 44-6 14 GB --
6 @NYG L 20-28 15 @TB --
7 Bye - 16 @MIA --
8 WAS W 37-25 17 MIN --
9 NYJ -- - - -
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford - - 230,2
RB Kevin Smith 30 - -
RB Jahvid Best 40 30 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 20,1 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 60 -
WR Bryant Johnson - 30 -
WR Nate Burleson - 60,1 -
PK Jason Hanson 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The return of Matt Stafford could not have gone better with a win over the Redskins but hosting the Jets will be a far bigger challenge since the Lions remain a one receiver team. Calvin Johnson is clearly one of the elite players in the league but the Jets come in with perhaps the best cover corner in the business. This is a chance to really show the league what the Lions can do but they'll have to show much more diversity than they have so far.

QUARTERBACK: His first full game of the season and Matthew Stafford passed for 212 yards and four touchdowns including a monster game for Calvin Johnson who had nine catches for 101 yards and three scores while the other wideouts combined for only 56 yards in the game. Stafford also did not use his tight ends much. He did toss one score to Brandon Pettigrew but he only had two catches and Tony Scheffler had none. Loading up on Johnson is a good idea if you can get away with it, but chances are that stops this week.

The Jets have ranked lower against the pass while Darrelle Revis was out or banged up but he is healthy now. I like Stafford to end up with a couple of scores here but his yardage will be moderate and he's going to have to work much harder this week.

RUNNING BACKS: A troubling development is that the Lions are now splitting the workload between Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith. Both had 12 carries against the Redskins and ended up with nearly identical stats. Best remains more involved as a receiver but this is already a Lions team that has not scored a rushing touchdown since week two. Best already had mediocre rushing totals and now that will be further decreased without Smith getting enough action to warrant being a fantasy starter in any league.

No matter this week since the Jets are #1 against running backs and have allowed only one touchdown by the position all year. No runner has topped 88 yards and that was Adrian Peterson. All other runners have remained with fewer than 55 yards against the Jets. There is a chance that Best could get a few more passes this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Calvin Johnson is not even healthy since he is playing with major discomfort still from his AC joint injury and while he had to leave the Skins game three times, he still managed to post 105 yards and three touchdowns. No doubt that Johnson gets the Revis treatment this week and that will depress his yardage. Nate Burleson has been turning in around 50 yards per week and had two scores over the Giants and Rams games.

I am giving Burleson the score since Johnson is less likely to avoid Revis but with Stafford back for only one game so far there is much risk in relying on anyone outside of Megatron. Johnson scored in four straight games and has always scored at home until this week.

TIGHT ENDS: At least for one week, Stafford almost entirely ignored Tony Scheffler and while he threw a score to Brandon Pettigrew, there were only five targets and two catches by him. I like Pettigrew to score again this week but the yardage will be meager.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 8 15 21 2 9 6
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 28 1 30 7 1 2
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DET 20 -14 9 5 -8 -4

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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