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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  
DIVISION DEN at NE HOU at BAL NYG at GB NO at SF

Prediction: DEN 20, NE 31

Line: NE by 13.5, OU = 50.5

No reason to be shy here. No one knows what to expect really. The Broncos come off a shocking win in overtime against the Steelers were the worst quarterback outplayed the best passing defense in the league. But the Broncos are only 3-5 in road games this year and this is a rematch of week 15 when the visiting Pats won 41-23 in Denver. Played in New England should be a solid win for the Pats but we thought the same last week before Tebow and company turned in the game of the week.

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 16-13
4 @GB 23-49 13 @MIN 35-32
5 SD 24-29 14 CHI 13-10
6 Bye - 15 NE 23-41
7 @MIA 18-15 16 @BUF 14-40
8 DET 10-45 17 KC 3-7
9 @OAK 38-24 18 PIT 29-23
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Tebow 80,1 - 180,1
RB Willis McGahee 80 - -
TE Daniel Fells - 20 -
WR Eddie Royal - 40 -
WR Demaryius Thomas - 110,1 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Even a loss this week won't diminish the shine on this season with Tim Tebow exceeding all expectations and winning games in nearly unexplainable ways. Tebow now owns the record for the shortest overtime period ever and can count Steeler fans among those who will never forget him. But this week the Broncos are on the road and facing a team that beat them by 18 points in Denver. Then again... you just never really know.

QUARTERBACK: Tim Tebow is more of a phenomenon than a football player but if nothing else it is wildly entertaining because you just never know what you are going to get. And more often than not - he's a big surprise winner. Tebow passed for 194 yards and no scores when the Patriots were the visitors and lost one fumble but scored twice as a runner while gaining 93 yards on12 runs for his second best showing as a runner on the year.

What to expect? Hard to say as always. But the Pats do have a weaker secondary and it all comes down to them covering one player - Demaryius Thomas.

RUNNING BACKS: Willis McGahee has not been much for scoring this year with only five touchdowns and just one in the last nine games. But he has gained around 60 yards or more as a runner each week and went for 70 yards on the Patriots with only seven carries in that game. Lance Ball turned in 64 yards on 11 runs and scored once - his only rushing touchdown of the season.

Any rushing score would be huge in this game but on the road it is just unlikely to happen.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Eric Decker is likely to miss this week with a sprained MCL and he only had one catch for 22 yards in the first meeting with the Patriots. Eddie Royal totaled only five catches for 24 yards over the final seven games of the regular season and then was a shock when he caught three passes for 49 yards and one score. Then again, no one was as surprising in the playoff game versus the Steelers as Demaryius Thomas was. He merely faced the #1 defense against wide receivers and then burned them for 204 yards and one game winning score on just four catches while playing against CB Ike Taylor.

Thomas turned in 116 yards on seven catches in the last meeting with the Patriots. He is still the only receiver worthy of any fantasy attention.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 12 20 27 29 30 15
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 32 20 32 3 6 3


New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIA 38-24 10 @NYJ 37-16
2 SD 35-21 11 KC 34-3
3 @BUF 31-34 12 @PHI 38-20
4 @OAK 31-19 13 IND 31-24
5 NYJ 30-21 14 @WAS 34-27
6 DAL 20-16 15 @DEN 41-23
7 Bye - 16 MIA 27-24
8 @PIT 17-25 17 BUF 49-21
9 NYG 20-24 - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 330,2
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 20,1 10 -
RB Danny Woodhead 40 10 -
RB Stevan Ridley 30,1 - -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 70,1 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 80,1 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 30 -
WR Deion Branch - 20 -
WR Wes Welker - 100 -
PK S. Gostkowski 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Patriots have been on a bye and come into this game rested. The Pats are on an eight game winning streak and no doubt want to make a statement in this game before hosting the AFC Championship but the defense is still one of the worst in the league. At home, Brady and company should be able to handle this one as they did only four weeks ago

QUARTERBACK: Another monster year for Tom Brady who passed for a mere 5239 yards and 39 touchdowns during the regular season. He passed for 320 yards and two scores in Denver and even scored a rushing touchdown in that game if only as a "back at ya" for Tim Tebow.

The Broncos were surprisingly good against the Steelers but are on the road this time and facing a team that has already learned now to beat them.

RUNNING BACKS: As always the backfield is hard to predict but in the previous meeting with the Broncos, BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored once but only gained 17 yards on ten carries. Danny Woodhead also scored while gaining 40 yards on seven runs and Stevan Ridley led the group with 11 carries for 65 yards. Put them all together in one running back and it would be great. But it is never going to happen. Have to like the same two rushing scores in the home version of this matchup but flip a coin where they go.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Chad Ochocinco caught a 33-yard touchdown in the first matchup and that's been about the only catch of any note all year long. And he almost always has just that one catch. Deion Branch was held to no catches in that game and even Wes Welker was limited to 41 yards on four catches.

Figure on better yardage for Welker but he has not been an effective scorer in the second half of the season and his three scores since week six all came in road games. Welker is always a must start but none of the other receivers are worthy of any fantasy attention.

TIGHT ENDS: Aaron Hernandez was the top receiver in the last game with the Broncos when he hauled in nine catches for 129 yards and one touchdown. He's been far less productive in his other games but did turn in 138 yards and one score on seven receptions in the week 17 game against the visiting Bills. Rob Gronkowski was held to only 53 yards on four catches and did not score in Denver but ended his season with 108 yards on eight catches with two touchdowns. Both players are must starts in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 3 21 13 1 3 6
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 21 21 15 7 31 31

DIVISION DEN at NE HOU at BAL NYG at GB NO at SF

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