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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 9
2011
* ATL at IND * DEN at OAK * NYJ at BUF TB at NO
* BAL at PIT * GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN * MIA at KC * SF at WAS Bye Week
* Updated * CLE at HOU * NYG at NE * STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

Prediction: DEN 13, OAK 20

Players to Watch: Tim Tebow, Carson Palmer, Taiwan Jones

Update: Darren McFadden has been ruled out because of his foot and Michael Bush will take his place. Taiwan Jones will be the change of pace back. Sebastian Janikowski may still play and he is tentatively expected to be okay but he is not a safe start even if he is active this week.

The Raiders won their season opener 23-20 in Oakland and are tied with the Chargers and Chiefs for the AFC West title at 4-3. The Raiders are 2-1 on the road with their only loss in Green Bay. The Broncos fall to 2-5 for their first loss in the TEBOW ERA which may not last much longer. The Raiders come off their bye that helped get players healthier. The Raiders have won the last four meetings.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK 20-23 10 @KC -
2 CIN 24-22 11 NYJ -
3 @TEN 14-17 12 @SD -
4 @GB 23-49 13 @MIN -
5 SD 24-29 14 CHI -
6 Bye - 15 NE -
7 @MIA 18-15 16 @BUF -
8 DET 10-45 17 KC -
9 @OAK -      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Tebow 60 - 170,1
RB Knowshon Moreno 60 20 -
TE Daniel Fells - 10 -
WR Eric Decker - 70 -
WR Eddie Royal - 40 -
WR Demaryius Thomas - 30,1 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Lions game could have gone better. Tim Tebow once again came out throwing all over the field and this time the defense could not stop the opponent from scoring plus Tebow gave up touchdowns on both an interception and fumble return. HC John Fox is going through the boxes to see if he is missing anything else to try. This week it could very well end up being Brady Quinn if when Tebow starts out badly.

QUARTERBACK: Tim Tebow hasn't been bad by fantasy standards thanks to around 60 rushing yards every week along with at least one passing score and 170 or so passing yards. But he's been errant in his throws and really only shines at the end of games when the defense either tires or no longer cares. My favorite Halloween witticism - a guy who dressed up as Tim Tebow and when he answered the door with candy, he would always throw it over their heads out into the yard. Tebow is amazingly polarizing but he may have just this week to make his case and so far - he has not impressed.

Kyle Orton passed for 304 yards and one touchdown in the season opener in Denver.

The Raiders have allowed almost every opponent to pass for two scores and decent yardage against them but Tebow has topped out at 172 yards that came mostly in trash time against the Lions. You cannot expect more than what he has already done and this will be on the road against a rival.

RUNNING BACKS: Willis McGahee has been out because of hand surgery but there is some optimism that he could play this week. According to McGahee he will. It would be aggressive to see him play only two weeks after fracturing his hand and needing a plate and screws implanted. He would be a major benefit but for now I am going to count him out and update as needed. Knowshon Moreno finally got the chance to be the man again and yet only gained 69 yards on 14 carries.

Moreno ran for 22 yards on eight carries in the season opener. McGahee became the starter in the next game.

The Raiders have been decent against the run when at home but have allowed yardage to backs as receivers. But the Broncos have not passed to the backs much and even less with Tebow under center. With only one rushing touchdown by any Broncos back, figure on just some moderate yardage by Moreno at best.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Under Tebow, the wideouts have scored once per game but Eric Decker turned in the highest yardage with only 72 against the Lions but he only accounted for 21 yards on two receptions in the previous game. Demaryius Thomas scored in the first start by Tebow but only had three catches for 27 yards. He ended with only one reception for ten yards versus the Lions. Chances are best that the one passing score that Tebow has will again end up in this unit but he has not shown any real preference. Eddie Royal ended with a team high 13 targets last week that gained 41 yards on six catches.

The score could end up with either receiver or even a tight end. Bank on some yardage and not the score in this one.

TIGHT ENDS: When Tebow's first start resulted in a touchdown to Daniel Fells , it seemed promising. But Fells was back to one catch for five yards against the Lions so do not rely on any fantasy value here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 14 15 27 25 30 18
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 23 29 16 22 11 21


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 19-31 13 @MIA -
5 @HOU 25-20 14 @GB -
6 CLE 24-17 15 DET -
7 KC 0-28 16 @KC -
8 Bye - 17 SD -
9 DEN -      
Raiders Report | Statistics | Roster
OAKLAND vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer - - 200,1
RB Darren McFadden 80 10 -
RB Michael Bush 70 30 -
TE Kevin Boss - 10 -
WR Jacoby Ford - 40 -
WR Denarius Moore - 30 -
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey - 70,1 -
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: HC Hue Jackson said that Sebastian Janikowski should be back this week after missing the Chiefs game with a bad hamstring. The bye came at a good time though Darren McFadden is still not 100% healthy. This is a key divisional game for the Raiders and a chance to sweep the Raiders for the third straight season. That alone is motivating.

I like one defensive score here.

QUARTERBACK: Carson Palmer gets his chance to make good on his extraordinary high trade cost. The new rules in the NFL state that players were mandated to have four days off in the bye week but Palmer and the receivers got around that by having their own practices with the new quarterback. The Raiders tried giving Palmer playing time in the loss to the Chiefs but with virtually no practice time or knowledge of the playbook, he only completed eight of 21 passes for 116 yards and three interceptions. We'll start to get a better idea of what to expect after this week.

The Broncos have always allowed at least one passing score and already have14 passing scores against them. But this is Palmer's first week out so it's most likely to be only a moderate game at best. Palmer was obviously rusty in his brief play in week seven. Best to let him play one full game before considering for a fantasy start.

RUNNING BACKS: With nearly three weeks to heal his right foot, the Raiders hope that Darren McFadden is back this week. McFadden opened the year with a 150 yard performance on the Broncos in Denver and currently has five touchdowns on the season. The practices this week will be key for him to return after sitting out last week. Michael Bush ran for 99 yards on 17 carries in the recent Chiefs game but McFadden is the engine to this offense. No doubt with a new quarterback learning the offense, the Raiders would love to rely on McFadden to control the ball.

I'll consider McFadden playing a minor role this week and update as needed. The Broncos have been outstanding against the run and allowed just one touchdown. The one big game by McFadden still stands as the most allowed by the Broncos.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Darrius Heyward-Bey is a real wide receiver. There is no denying it now that he has turned in four straight games with at least 80 yards and topped 100 yards against the Patriots. We may now find that the Raiders have other receivers on their roster we never realized before they acquired a better quarterback. Denarius Moore was a tease in early weeks but has completely disappeared over the last three games. Jacoby Ford has been as productive as an aging tight end but has always been considered the fast guy with big potential. It may take a while for Palmer to get into his groove but his presence has to be considered a benefit to all these wideouts.

The secondary is the big weakness of the defense and will likely favor Heyward-Bey but it is still much too early to rely on any elements of the passing game with Palmer still so new.

TIGHT ENDS:Kevin Boss has been marginal at best but may benefit from Palmer eventually as well. Until there is some proof - he remains outside of fantasy relevance.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 25 3 21 27 15 21
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 31 10 31 5 32 31

WEEK 9
2011
ATL at IND DEN at OAK NYJ at BUF TB at NO
BAL at PIT GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN MIA at KC SF at WAS Bye Week
  CLE at HOU NYG at NE STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

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