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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 12
2011
GB at DET (thu) * BUF at NYJ DEN at SD PIT at KC
MIA at DAL (thu) * CAR at IND HOU at JAC * TB at TEN
SF at BAL (thu) * CHI at OAK * MIN at ATL * WAS at SEA
* UPDATED ARI at STL * CLE at CIN * NE at PHI * NYG at NO (mon)

Prediction: DEN 20, SD 17

The 5-5 Broncos are on a three game winning streak and get their rematch with the Chargers who won 29-24 in Denver earlier this year. But the Chargers are on a five game losing streak themselves which is every game they have played since beating the Broncos.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK 20-23 10 @KC 17-10
2 CIN 24-22 11 NYJ 17-13
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 38-24      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Tebow 60,1 - 140,1
RB Willis McGahee 80 - -
WR Eric Decker - 40,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 20 -
WR Demaryius Thomas - 40 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: At 5-5 the Broncos are in the thick of the race for the division thanks to the 4-1 mark of Tim Tebow that maybe defies explanation but there it is - no arguing with a mounting number of victories. The defense is playing better than ever and while the offensive stats are messy at best, it all works in the end. In fantasy terms it makes every game a nail biter since only the final five minutes is where Tebow and the offense gets in to gear just in the nick of time.

QUARTERBACK: Starting Tim Tebow on your fantasy team means never watching the game. In most matchups he does very little in the first half and marginally more in the second half until his final drive adds in most of his rushing yards and a rush touchdown these last two weeks. He is averaging 65 rush yards per game and only 126 passing yards.

The Broncos released Kyle Orton on Tuesday who had requested the release.

The Chargers are weaker against the pass but none of the matchup stuff matters with Tebow. You can only pay homage to his unique brand of ball. Tebow had his first playing time in week five when he rushed for one score and threw for one against the Chargers.

RUNNING BACKS: Willis McGahee was able to play last week but only posted 18 yards on 12 runs. At least he said after the game that his hamstring was no worse and that he should be better for this game. Lance Ball steps up as the #2 with Knowshon Moreno out of the picture now but Ball was only give five carries in the Jets loss. He'll need McGahee to be injured again before Ball has any fantasy consideration.

McGahee rushed for 125 yards on 16 carries in the previous matchup with the Chargers. Knowshon Moreno scored on a reception as well. The Chargers play tougher at home but this is a rushing game that is better this time around with Tebow there for the full game. That will detract some from McGahee who still should be at least a moderate yardage play.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is no reliable fantasy value here. Eric Decker scored in three straight games but only turned in around 50 yards in each and last week was held to no catches on his five targets. If you had to start a Denver receiver, Decker is definitely the one. But as shown last week - you may end up with a zero.

No fantasy starters are here and last game the wideouts combined for only 16 yards. But the Chargers should be more concerned with the running in this matchup and allow at least a minor game for Decker with a chance for one touchdown.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 12 16 28 27 28 12
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 19 15 16 16 20 30


San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN 24-17 10 OAK 17-24
2 @NE 21-35 11 @CHI 20-31
3 KC 20-17 12 DEN -
4 MIA 26-16 13 @JAC -
5 @DEN 29-24 14 BUF -
6 Bye - 15 BAL -
7 @NYJ 21-27 16 @DET -
8 @KC 20-23 17 @OAK -
9 GB 38-45      
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 260,2
RB Ryan Mathews 50 20 -
RB Mike Tolbert 30 20 -
TE Antonio Gates - 60,1 -
WR Vincent Brown - 70,1 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 40 -
WR Patrick Crayton - 20 -
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Word has already come down that Norv Turner has almost no chance of remaining head coach after the disastrous season concludes. That should have a minor deflating effect on the sagging team and lost LT Marcus McNeill for two to six more games is going to leave a mark - literally, in the form of bruises on Philip Rivers. Unfortunately after five straight losses that sent the Chargers to the cellar, another loss doesn't seem to hurt so bad anymore.

QUARTERBACK: It isn't that Philip Rivers is bad per se, it is just that he has consistently not been good enough. He has stepped up nicely in scoring with eight touchdowns over the last three weeks though that was accompanied by six interceptions. But Rivers have been good for high yardage in all but one game - he only had 250 yards and one touchdown against the Broncos in the last matchup for his lowest output of the year. He did add a rushing score to his totals that week for the only time this season.

What makes this harder to track is that inter-divisional games often go off script and the Chargers are starting to implode with the mounting losses and knowing much change is on the horizon. Rivers could have a nice showing here but the same was true in the previous game.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Mathews rolled up a season best 125 yards on 24 runs in Denver though he did not score and has not produced a touchdown since week three. Mike Tolbert is the usual goal line back but he only accounted for 24 yards on five runs in the previous meeting. Mathews has been much less effective in recent games with fewer than 40 rush yards in three of the last four outings and even his receiving yardage has waned. Losing offensive tackles is not helping the effort.

The Broncos have only allowed one rushing touchdown by a running back this year and Mathews big game last meeting was the only time a runner had topped 100 yards against them since the season opener.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The previous meeting had Vincent Jackson pretty well bottled up by Champ Bailey and he settled for only 34 yards on three catches while Malcolm Floyd turned three catches into 100 yards and a score. Floyd's been out starting in week nine and Vincent Brown has filled in with 4-79 against the Packers, then 5-97 and a score on the Raiders. He fell back to only one catch for eight yards in Chicago while Jackson oddly came roaring back to life. I will assume that Floyd's hip forces him to miss another week and that means Jackson inherits the same role that was so rewarding to Floyd the last time they played the Broncos.

TIGHT ENDS:Antonio Gates was still out during the previous game with the Broncos and Randy McMichael (4-29) filled in that week. Gates has been scoring every other week and turning in around 50 to 60 yards in almost every game. He could always do more but the safer bet is a moderate yardage game this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 9 4 15 12 10 27
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 29 16 27 4 29 25

WEEK 12
2011
GB at DET (thu) BUF at NYJ DEN at SD PIT at KC
MIA at DAL (thu) CAR at IND HOU at JAC TB at TEN
SF at BAL (thu) CHI at OAK MIN at ATL WAS at SEA
  ARI at STL CLE at CIN NE at PHI NYG at NO (mon)

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