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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND * JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN * DAL at SF * KC at DET SEA at PIT
* CHI at NO GB at CAR * OAK at BUF TB at MIN
*updated * CIN at DEN * HOU at MIA PHI at ATL * STL at NYG (mon)

Prediction: Prediction: SD 24, NE 34

Players to Watch: Vincent Jackson

This has New Orleans -Green Bay sort of promise. This should be the Monday night game. The Chargers discharged the visiting Vikings with minimal problems while the Pats spent last Monday whooping up on the Dolphins while Tom Brady placed 5th in all-time records for passing yards in a game. We can only hope this meets expectations though the Patriots won only 23-20 in San Diego last year.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN 24-17 10 OAK -
2 @NE - 11 @CHI -
3 KC - 12 DEN -
4 MIA - 13 @JAC -
5 @DEN - 14 BUF -
6 Bye - 15 BAL -
7 @NYJ - 16 @DET -
8 @KC - 17 @OAK -
9 GB -      
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 330,3
RB Ryan Mathews 30 30,1 -
RB Mike Tolbert 30 40 -
TE Antonio Gates - 80,1 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 70 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 100,1 -
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: It is not often you lose your kicker for the rest of the year on the very first play of the season. The Chargers have picked up Nick Novak as the replacement for Nate Kaeding. The Chargers got a scare when Mike Tolbert sprained his knee last week but he has been cleared to play. This is a defining game for both teams early in the year but Gillette Stadium is a tough place for visitors.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers starts the year with a 335 yard, 2 touchdown game against the Vikings and and had a very diverse spread of eight different receivers and all had at least two catches or more. Last week was a bit light on wide receivers but once again the Pats secondary has been accommodating and allowed 422 yards by Chad Henne. Rivers is on the road though and the Pats are playing top notch ball in all but the secondary. Rivers had two interceptions last week as well.

Rivers passed for 336 yards and one score on the Pats last year.

RUNNING BACKS: Mike Tolbert gave a scare with his sore knee but it checks out fine and he should play on Sunday. Tolbert scored three times last week - once on his 12 runs for 35 yards and twice in his 9 catches for 58 yards. Ryan Mathews could only gain 45 yards on 12 runs and 73 yards on three catches.

All combined the Chargers only gained 29 yards on 13 carries against the Pats last season.

That could be the scene again this year since the Pats at home always play ferocious run defense and inevitably get the score high enough that opponents abandon the run anyway. Chances are both runners will do as much or more as a receiver than as a runner.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Last week was a disappointment with Vincent Jackson only getting two catches for 31 yards and Malcolm Floyd ending with 45 yards on three receptions. Hardly a big part of the 335 pass yards last Sunday. But this week should be different against a secondary that just allowed 422 pass yards including 92 yards for Davone Bess and 139 yards for Brandon Marshall. The running game should be dormant, the Chargers trailing on the scoreboard and the need to throw great. That will involve both starting wideouts this week. Watch for a breakout game here by Jackson.

TIGHT ENDS: The foot no longer appears to be an issue with Antonio Gates who snared eight passes for 74 yards against the Vikings. Now he faces a defense that allowed Anthony Fasano to gain 82 yards. Expect a nice game here by Gates and a decent shot at one touchdown.

Gates caught four passes for 50 yards and a score on the Pats last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 11 1 29 13 17 25
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 13 28 18 16 3


New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIA 38-24 10 @NYJ -
2 SD - 11 KC -
3 @BUF - 12 @PHI -
4 @OAK - 13 IND -
5 NYJ - 14 @WAS -
6 DAL - 15 @DEN -
7 Bye - 16 MIA -
8 @PIT - 17 BUF -
9 NYG - - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 300,3
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 50,1 - -
RB Danny Woodhead 40 20 -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 50, 1 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 70 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 30 -
WR Deion Branch - 60,1 -
WR Wes Welker - 80 -
PK S. Gostkowski 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Pats came out looking stronger than ever with their beatdown of the Dolphins on Monday. The offense is as diverse as it has ever been and in the middle remains Tom Brady throwing now the 5th most yardage in a single game. These Pats are the ones that everyone else hates because they roll up the score but that still plays like music to the owners of Brady. These Pats are looking AFC Championship good right now.

QUARTERBACK: Not bad. Just 517 passing yards and four touchdowns in one game. If your league awards bonuses for passing thresholds, I would guess Tom Brady posting over 500 yards gets you both 50 extra points and the league has to cart you around in a fur lined wheelbarrow for a week. This does look like the Pats of old with no concerns beyond scoring every possible point they can and still throwing the ball long after there is any need to secure the win.

Brady passed for 159 yards and one score in San Diego last year. The Chargers just held Donovan McNabb to a ridiculous 39 yards passing but no such repeat is likely. Expect Brady to pass well as always and the Pats have to maintain their string of 30+ point games.

RUNNING BACKS: No hint of the rookies yet. Last week was surprisingly heavy on Danny Woodhead who ran 14 times for 69 yards while BenJarvus Green-Ellis gained 34 yards and one score on his seven runs. At some point we will see the rookies but until then, the same duo from last season takes the load.

Green-Ellis scored once in San Diego last season but only gained 24 yards on 11 runs.

Still a good shot at a score for Green-Ellis but the yardage should be somewhat limited by a solid San Diego defense.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Wes Welker had a decent showing last Monday when he gained a mere 160 yards on eight receptions that included the 99 yard touchdown. He scored twice in the game and was the most targeted player (12) as usual. What was a bit unexpected was that Deion Branch was the other starter who ended with 93 yards on seven receptions while Chad Ochocinco only managed one catch for 14 yards and is still far from being integrated into the offense. This is always a diverse passing scheme and Ochocinco has to learn the offense before he can expect to be a big part. As much as the ball is spread around by Brady, there is a real chance that Ochocinco's big days are well behind him now.

The Chargers are a very good defense, but playing in New England is too much to handle right now.

TIGHT ENDS: The Patriots are using Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski as if they were over-sized wide receivers and revolve the play around them or where they will be. The duo split 13 catches last week with Hernandez (7-103, TD) and Gronkowski (6-86, TD) both posting huge stats. That is no fluke, this is how the offense now operates. Expect at least one score to a tight end this week but it could go either way.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 1 18 1 1 12 19
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 1 9 6 1 9 25

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN DAL at SF KC at DET SEA at PIT
CHI at NO GB at CAR OAK at BUF TB at MIN
  CIN at DEN HOU at MIA PHI at ATL STL at NYG (mon)

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