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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 4
2011
* ATL at SEA * DET at DAL * NO at JAC * SF at PHI
BUF at CIN * MIA at SD * NYG at ARI * TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL * WAS at STL
* UPDATED * DEN at GB * NE at OAK PIT at HOU * IND at TB (mon)

Prediction: NE 31, OAK 27

Players to Watch: Stevan Ridley, Denarius Moore

Update: Jacoby Ford has been limited in practices but is expected to play. I am not changing his projections though he is listed as questionable.

The Patriots lost to the Bills for the first time in 16 meetings and that has to stick. The Raiders are 2-1 with their only loss to the same Bills that beat the Pats. Were the Pats to lose this at all would be a very rude wake up call and right before they hosted the Jets next week. This will be an interesting game but the weakness of the Pats - against the pass - goes against the weakness of the Raiders.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIA 38-24 10 @NYJ -
2 SD 35-21 11 KC -
3 @BUF 31-34 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 at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 320,4
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 20 - -
RB Danny Woodhead 20 20 -
RB Stevan Ridley 30 10 -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 90,1 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 30 -
WR Deion Branch - 80,1 -
WR Wes Welker - 90,2 -
PK S. Gostkowski 1 FG 4 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Patriots continued their streak of 31+ point games and lost to the Bills largely because they failed to hold on to a 21 point lead and Brady turned into an interception machine which happens on the rare occasion. No doubt that will serve as a focusing point this week in practice and the Patriots should come out hoping to instill some fear into the league that was lost against the Bills.

QUARTERBACK: Although he did throw four interceptions last week, Tom Brady still passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns and his 1327 passing yards in three games is an NFL record. He has yet to score less than three times in every game or turn in less than those 387 yards in a game. The Raiders secondary sans Nnamdi Asomugha has been less than stellar this year with no less than 264 pass yards allowed and that was when Fred Jackson was running all over them. No reason not to expect 300+ and three scores as a minimum from Brady.

RUNNING BACKS: And so it begins. BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored the first two weeks and yet on Sunday he only had 16 yards on nine carries while Stevan Ridley gained 44 yards on seven runs. The Pats were impressed enough that the plans are to let Ridley buy more playing time with good production. That means he splits up work with Green-Ellis and maybe cuts into Danny Woodhead who only had 21 yards on six runs last week. There's a three-headed monster now and a lot of coin flipping each week what to expect.

The Raiders at home are better against the run and chances are Brady wants the good game this week to massage his ego after the Bills fiasco.

WIDE RECEIVERS: It was the Wes Welker show last week when he set a franchise record 217 yards and two scores on 16 catches. Deion Branch went from 129 yards against the Chargers to no catches on four targets last week. Chad Ochocinco was a flop with only 28 yards on two catches and the drop of a probable touchdown. He was criticized for running sloppy routes and in Cincy he could since he was the only receiver. In New England, it is all about timing and precision and OchoCinco is not fitting in.

The Raiders secondary is not as good as last year and have allowed plenty of yards and scores. Expect a bounce back game for Branch and Welker remains a WR1 every week.

TIGHT ENDS: Life without Aaron Hernandez on the sideline is not all that bad for the Rob Gronkowski fantasy owners. The Gronk was already red hot and stepped up another notch last week with seven receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns. He has five touchdowns over the first three games and is averaging 94 yards per game. The only team with a tight end that catches to face the Raiders were the Jets who had Dustin Keller gain 87 yards on five receptions. The Gronk is a must start.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 1 21 1 1 13 19
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 30 30 19 12 15 8


Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 23-20 10 @SD -
2 @BUF 35-38 11 @MIN -
3 NYJ 34-24 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 vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 10 - 270,2
RB Darren McFadden 80,1 70,1 -
TE Kevin Boss - 20 -
WR Jacoby Ford - 30 -
WR Denarius Moore 20 60,1 -
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey - 50 -
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Not only did the Raiders beat the Jets last week, but they were the first NFL team in 16 years to win a game and yet never convert any third downs. The Raiders will live and die on whatever Darren McFadden does and as long as he is healthy, they remain in games. The Raiders nearly won in Buffalo and then kicked the Jets back to New York last week. A win here would be huge and they are at home. But the Pats may have noticed the importance of McFadden.

QUARTERBACK: Jason Campbell had little to do with the win last week with only 156 passing yards and no scores though he did avoid making any turnovers. His stats each week have been pedestrian other than in Buffalo where both McFadden and Denarius Moore had long gainers. The Patriots secondary has been horrible and made worse since the Pats have forced every opponent to throw at least 40 times every game.

What is the upper end of Campbell? His 323 yards in Buffalo were flukish compared his other games. The one game by Moore with his 50 yard touchdown catch was the only one of note by a Raider. The opportunity seems to be there for a decent game this week but the Raiders are going to want to run as much as they can. Campbell is a risk to expect him to play out of character. So far every opponent has passed for two scores and no less than 369 passing yards.

RUNNING BACKS: Darren McFadden injured his groin last week and did not finish the game but he already had 171 yards and two scores on the Jets. He has been golden every game with 140+ total yards in every effort and four touchdowns on the season. Where he will matter this Sunday is as a receiver. The Pats are decent against the run but have already allowed four different running backs to gain over 50 yards as a receiver in just three games.

Expect to get some reception points this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is really only one performance here to separate this group from the sad sack unit of last year. Denarius moore had 146 yards and a score in Buffalo in his first game with a catch. Last week he came back to earth with only 34 yards on four catches but added a 23 yard rushing touchdown on an end-around. Otherwise there has been nothing happening with these wideouts. No touchdowns. Nothing over 61 yards and most under 40 yards per game. Jacoby Ford hopes to return this week but only had 22 yards on three catches and one fumble in the opener when he injured his hamstring.

The Patriots secondary has been the worst and delightfully so. But are the Raiders enough to take advantage of them? Moore is no longer a surprise and has just the one game of note. I will credit him with the score to put it somewhere and he is the most likely to get a touchdown but this group is a much bigger risk than some may realize. This will truly show how bad the Patriots are against the pass.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 22 1 23 31 10 16
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 32 23 32 6 8 15

WEEK 4
2011
ATL at SEA DET at DAL NO at JAC SF at PHI
BUF at CIN MIA at SD NYG at ARI TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL WAS at STL
  DEN at GB NE at OAK PIT at HOU IND at TB (mon)

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