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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 16
2010
CAR at PIT BAL at CLE TEN at KC *IND at OAK
*DAL at ARI DET at MIA SEA at TB NYG at GB
*NE at BUF *NYJ at CHI *MIN at PHI *SD at CIN
*UPDATED *SF at STL *WAS at JAC *HOU at DEN NO at ATL

Prediction: NE 31, BUF 17

Update: Aaron Hernandez has been held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of his hip and I am removing him and adding in Rob Gronkowski. Deion Branch has missed practices the same with a sore knee as he had last week. I am downgrading Branch who is being limited by his lingering knee problem. Tom Brady has missed practice with the flu but is not in danger of missing the game.

The Patriots got a scare last week when the Packers showed up and played just as good as if Aaron Rodgers was there. But the Pats escaped with a win and scored yet another 31 points. The Bills are on their two game winning streak but have not scored more than 17 points in the last four games. The Bills are only 2-5 at home and the Pats are 5-2 on the road. This is a rematch of week three when the Pats won 38-30. This should be a cold game with a chance of snow showers.

New England Patriots (12-2)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN W 38-24 10 @PIT W 39-26
2 @NYJ L 14-28 11 IND W 31-28
3 BUF W 38-30 12 @DET W 45-24
4 @MIA W 41-14 13 NYJ W 45-3
5 Bye - 14 @CHI W 36-7
6 BAL W 23-20 15 GB W 31-27
7 @SD W 23-20 16 @BUF --
8 MIN W 28-18 17 MIA --
9 @CLE L 14-34 - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 260,3
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 80,1 - -
RB Danny Woodhead 30 20 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 40,1 -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 40,1 -
WR Brandon Tate - 30 -
WR Deion Branch - 50 -
WR Wes Welker - 70,1 -
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 4 XP -
Pregame Notes: A win this week makes the #1 seed a done deal and allows week 17 to be a day of rest if they so choose. The Pats have not scored less than 30 points in the last six games and have been dominating most teams. When the game conditions are the worst, the Pats only play better. This is a team that is scary good and in that Patriot way of having no real stars outside of Tom Brady.

QUARTERBACK: Tom Brady passed for 252 yards and three scores in the last meeting with the Bills and has not dropped below multiple touchdowns since week eight. Brady has been on fire and has not even thrown an interception since week six. No reason to expect a drop off against a divisional rival.

RUNNING BACKS: BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a big game in the last meeting with the Bills when he ran for 98 yards and a score on 16 carries and Danny Woodhead turned three rushes into 42 yards and one touchdown. Green Ellis has been less likely to score in road games and his last three matchups that had no touchdowns were in the last three away games. But this is Buffalo and they are ranked 30th against running backs for a reason. Expect a solid game here by Green-Ellis though Woodhead may not score this time.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The previous meeting with the Bills was when - see if you remember this - a guy named Randy Moss caught two passed for 42 yards and both were touchdowns. Wes Welker only produced 45 yards on four catches as the most productive wideout in that game because it was one of those big tight end games. The Bills actually have a decent secondary for the most part and have only given up four touchdowns to wideouts in Buffalo.

Figure on both Welker and Deion Branch turning it up a notch this week in some cold weather that apparently does not bother them.

TIGHT ENDS: The tight ends are still alternating catching touchdowns despite there being nine different games where a tight end scored, it has never included both in one game. Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have become equivalents. Hernandez had the yards and Gronkowski had the scores to start the year but since then both factor in as receiving tight ends with similar yards and scores. Since Gronkowski had the touchdown last time, I'll give it to Hernandez this time but that makes Hernandez score two weeks in a row and neither tight end has done that yet. These are a nightmare to predict.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 8 7 12 1 5 1
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 13 30 11 30 28 14
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NE 5 23 -1 29 23 13


Buffalo Bills (4-10)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA L 10-15 10 DET W 14-12
2 @GB L 7-34 11 @CIN W 49-31
3 @NE L 30-38 12 PIT L 16-19
4 NYJ L 14-38 13 @MIN L 14-38
5 JAC L 26-36 14 CLE W 13-6
6 Bye - 15 @MIA W 17-14
7 @BAL L 34-37 16 NE --
8 @KC L 10-13 17 @NYJ --
9 CHI L 19-22 - - -
Bills Report | Statistics | Roster
BUFFALO vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - - 230,2
RB Fred Jackson 50 10 -
WR David Nelson - 40,1 -
WR Steve Johnson - 80,1 -
WR Donald Jones - 50 -
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: These are not the same Bills that face the Patriots. Ryan Fitzpatrick was a first time starter in week three when he was a genuine surprise but much has changed on the offense and by now the Bills are unable to score more than 17 points in a game. That's highly unlikely to compete with the Patriots and it may be even worse next week in New York against the Jets defense.

QUARTERBACK: Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 247 yards and two scores in the first meeting when Trent Edwards was demoted. He had a nice string of four games that totaled 11 touchdowns but since then he has thrown for more than one score only twice in eight games. The Patriots secondary is their weakness and trash time often abounds with them.

Fitzpatrick should be a safe risk for moderate yardage and one score but I like him to match that first game thanks to late game gains when the Pats are no longer interested. Granted he does not have the quality of receivers anymore but should end up with 30 or 40 passes.

RUNNING BACKS: Marshawn Lynch was the primary back in the first meeting with the Pats and he gained 79 yards on 13 carries but Fred Jackson has taken over and has been decent in most home games. The Patriots run defense has been stout this year with only eight rushing touchdowns allowed and just once giving up a 100+ yard game. Jackson has tended to play much worse against a decent defense and C.J. Spiller is back and taking 8 or 9 carries away.

Neither back has any positive outlook for this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: In the last meeting, Roscoe Parrish (5-83) and Lee Evans (5-54) have decent games but both are on injured reserve now. Steve Johnson (3-66, TD) had his first touchdown of the season in that game and went on to score in the next four matchups. He currently has ten touchdowns and only needs 57 yards for a 1000 yard season. Donald Jones has been helping out in recent games but suffered an undisclosed injury last week. I will assume he can play.

David Nelson did not have a catch in that game but has since started to develop as a receiver. He has been held to 75 yards or less in every game but has scored in each of the last three weeks eve though the yardage has been minimal. This is where the Patriots secondary is weakest and where the Bills are better. I like of the passing to end up here along with both scores. You have to love Steve Johnson's chance for a score in this game.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 16 29 6 30 31 24
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 20 28 19 7 1
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) BUF 14 -9 22 -11 -24 -23

WEEK 16
2010
CAR at PIT BAL at CLE TEN at KC IND at OAK
DAL at ARI DET at MIA SEA at TB NYG at GB
NE at BUF NYJ at CHI MIN at PHI SD at CIN
  SF at STL WAS at JAC HOU at DEN NO at ATL
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