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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections |  Projections by Team | Game Predictions Summary

WEEK 1
2011
NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE * MIN at SD * SEA at SF
* ATL at CHI * DAL at NYJ * NYG at WAS TEN at JAC
* BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL * NE at MIA (mon)
*updated CAR at ARI * IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

Prediction: OAK 27, DEN 20

Players to Watch: Denarius Moore, Eric Decker, Willis McGahee

These games tend to be high scoring thanks to poor defenses and the Raiders losing Nnamdi Asomugha is not going to change that at all. The good part is that there is fantasy points to be had in this game but who comes up with them is less certain this year. The Broncos want to pass less and the Raiders want to pretend they have wide receivers for the first time this century. Chances are both are going to be disappointed.

The Raiders won 59-14 in Denver last year. They also beat them 39-23 in Oakland.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN - 10 @SD -
2 @BUF - 11 @MIN -
3 NYJ - 12 CHI -
4 NE - 13 @MIA -
5 @HOU - 14 @GB -
6 CLE - 15 DET -
7 KC - 16 @KC -
8 Bye - 17 SD -
9 DEN -      
Raiders Report | Statistics | Roster
OAKLAND at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 10 - 200,2
RB Darren McFadden 110,1 30,1 -
WR Jacoby Ford - 60 -
WR Denarius Moore - 50,1 -
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey - 30 -
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Raiders start out with almost the same players on offense except for allowing their leading receiver of 2010 to leave. Zach Miller outplayed all wide receivers on the team and yet was not kept. The Raiders picked up Kevin Boss but he's little more than a blocker. There is some reason for optimism this year but in the way that they haven't yet proven how bad they will be. Again.

QUARTERBACK: Jason Campbell is back to bring his 200 yards, one touchdown brand of football and that happens only if he can find a replacement for Zach Miller. Campbell passed for 204 yards and two touchdowns in Denver last year so chances are this will be one of his better efforts. The Raiders are still intending to run as much as they can.

RUNNING BACKS: The Raiders will rely heavily on Darren McFadden and for good reason - he is the only above average weapon that they possess and he literally can take it "to the house" on any given play. McFadden finally shrugged off injury problems and turned in nearly a full season along with a 5.2 yard per carry average. McFadden exploded for 196 total yards and four touchdowns in Denver last season. He later had 119 yards on 20 carries in Oakland and Michael Bush scored in both games. Consider him a good start any time the Broncos are on the field.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This will be yet another year where you may never really know what to expect from the Raider wideouts. There isn't even a hard and fast depth chart to start the year. Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey are probably the first two on the field but the rookie Denarius Moore is expected to show up as well. Moore is worth watching here if only because he was the lone wideout who received praise in training camp and who may actually matter. So far it has been many, many years since this unit produced any wide receiver worthy of a fantasy start. They may still not since Campbell remains the quarterback.

No wideout had more than 47 yards in either meeting with the Broncos last year.

TIGHT ENDS: Kevin Boss may not play in the first game thanks to an MCL sprain in his knee. No need to project for him yet and maybe never if he follows his trend in New York.

Zach Miller scored once on this three catches for 65 yards in Denver last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 24 1 29 18 2 6
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 25 32 13 28 30 15


Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK - 10 @KC -
2 CIN - 11 NYJ -
3 @TEN - 12 @SD -
4 @GB - 13 @MIN -
5 SD - 14 CHI -
6 Bye - 15 NE -
7 @MIA - 16 @BUF -
8 DET - 17 KC -
9 @OAK -      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 200,1
RB Willis McGahee 30,1 10 -
RB Knowshon Moreno 60 20 -
WR Eric Decker - 50,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 30 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 70 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Broncos are done with the Josh McDaniels era that reignited the passing game but did nothing else for winning games. Now that John Fox comes over from Carolina, the plan is to return to a dominating rushing attack if in fact one could be discovered hiding on this roster. And the only thing that worked well last year - Orton to Lloyd over and over - will intentionally be downplayed. The nice part of a dedication to a rushing game is that you lose the game faster and by a lower score.

QUARTERBACK: There was a whole lot of wasted ink regarding the quarterback in Denver with Tim Tebow being the starter back in the spring when there are no games and not even team meetings this year. Now it has all shifted back to the same-same. Kyle Orton is the starter once again and Brady Quinn is the backup. Tebow has made more commercials than both of those put together but he still is just the #3 and may not even get wildcat action.

Orton passed for 198 yards and two scores when the Raiders visited last year. Bit Lloyd was held to just one catch in that game.

RUNNING BACKS: No doubt that John Fox wants a dominating rushing game just has he had in Carolina with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. But is Knowshon Moreno and the aging Willis McGahee able to replicate their success? In two seasons, Moreno has managed some success with a 4.3 YPC carry last year but he only had 182 carries - hardly a big workload. He only topped 20 carries in a game three times and just barely at that. Take away his success against the Chiefs and he topped 60 rushing yards just once. Moreno gained 53 yards on 14 carries against the visiting Raiders last year.

The 30-year old McGahee comes over from the Ravens where he only managed 3.8 yards on his 100 carries last year but at 6-0, 235 lbs he can still provide a short yardage and goal line presence. That is less like that the Panthers have done in the past but it is not likely that McGahee has more than a handful of carries per game. His role bears watching since there is still a chance he could be much more than expected and Moreno has been neither electric nor durable so far. This could end up more like the old Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams combo than Stewart/Williams from Carolina.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The passing game was great with Josh McDaniels pulling the strings but HC John Fox is not going to play that game. However - whatever works, works. And the connection between Orton and Brandon Lloyd produced 77-1448 and 11 touchdowns last year. IT wasn't that Lloyd turned in 110 catches on the year, he just did a lot with the ones that he got. The loss of Jabbar Gaffney (65-872, 2) will probably fall to Eddie Royal but the smarter money is on Eric Decker using his second season to break out ( or at least matter). John Fox has been glowing about Decker in camp and will use him both on the outside and in the slot. This offense is not going to produce more than two wideouts with fantasy value but Decker looks like he may be that #2 guy. And defenses will focus on Lloyd after last year.

TIGHT ENDS: Tight ends have minimal use in this offense and back in Carolina, Fox only got two scores and 51 catches out of three tight ends over the entire year. Not worth tracking yet if ever.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 3 22 3 31 22 30
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 21 25 7 22 15 13

WEEK 1
2011
NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE MIN at SD SEA at SF
ATL at CHI DAL at NYJ NYG at WAS TEN at JAC
BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL NE at MIA (mon)
  CAR at ARI IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t