FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: BUF 13, ARI 34 (Line: ARI by 5)

Players to Watch: William Powell

The 2-3 Bills are on a two game losing steak and have a 1-2 road record. They are coming off a beatdown in San Francisco of epic proportions. The 4-1 Cardinals are coming off their first loss of the season and no doubt are very much looking forward to this game. The Bills have already allowed three opponents to score over 44 points.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE -----
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE 24-14 12 @IND -----
4 NE 28-52 13 JAC -----
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL -----
6 @ARI ----- 15 SEA -----
7 TEN ----- 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 5-30
PK Stephen Hauschka 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: At least in the past when the Bills would give up a ton of points, at least they would also score a respectable amount. Not so last week where a late field goal prevented a shut out. Ryan Fitzpatrick only produced 126 passing yards and no scores after posting at least two touchdowns in every other game. He still ranks #3 in the NFL with 12 touchdown passes but his yardage has been low in almost every game. Fitzpatrick had decent fantasy value because of his touchdowns but with several decent defenses on the horizon, his outlook is not nearly as good.

Painful too was the fact that the Bills rushing offense has only looked good when Fred Jackson is out, C.J. Spiller is in and, oh yes, they are facing a weak defense. Jackson still has not produced a touchdown or more than 29 rushing yards in a game despite up to 13 carries. Spiller was huge in the Jets and Chiefs game but since has not rushed for more than 33 yards. This offense seems to only run well when just one back is used and the matchup is highly favorable. Splitting the carries is ruining the fantasy value of both runners and in fairness, even their combined totals are anemic in recent weeks.

Scott Chandler is still a factor with four catches for 40 yards in San Francisco but his weekly yardage remains low enough to a problem when he does not score. He has a touchdown or two in three of five games and will be facing much more challenging defenses in the coming weeks.

The lack of passing yardage means none of the wideouts are that relevant on a fantasy team other than Steve Johnson. His last two games have been bad - 2-23 against the Patriots and 6-39 in San Francisco but he scored in the first three games of the year and was consistent around 60 yards per game. Johnson is no better than the secondary he faces but going against the Titans next week should be plenty profitable. Donald Jones has only the one long scoring play against the Patriots to lift him above complete futility for the last month. T.J. Graham is making small strides but not enough to affect a game much less a fantasy score.

The Cardinals at home are always tough and their defense this year has been outstanding. They have only allowed six offensive touchdowns over the five games this year and most end with only moderate passing yardage. They have permitted just one rushing score and no runner has produced more than 85 rushing yards against them. Splitting up the workload between Jackson and Spiller only further waters down what can happen. Another problem is that the only wideout of any note here (Johnson) gets to be limited by CB Patrick Peterson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 16 13 21 18 31 18
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 7 2 20 5 19 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF MIA 20100016000 *
Taylor (knee) will start if he is healthy. Check back Friday for more information. All signs point to him going. Even with Tom Brady's shoddy performance in Week 14, Miami remains dreadful against quarterbacks. This is the second-best matchup for Week 15, mostly fueled by this group giving up a touchdown pass every 9.5 completions (4th). Taylor has no weapons and must be avoided.

Update: Taylor is not on the final injury report.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF MIA 10012100000 ***
Shady faces Miami for the first time since last year's Week 16 home game when he ate them for lunch. The Dolphins have provided the second-most points to the position in the past five weeks, allowing 159.4 offensive yards (7th) and the second-most receptions a game (7.6). This is the fourth-best matchup for offensive scoring and No. 2 for PPR fantasy points gained.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, BUF MIA 004500000 ***
The Dolphins offer a harsh matchup, and Thompson shouldn't be on a fantasy roster at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Zay Jones, BUF MIA 002300000 ***
Jones has quarterback questions and a tough matchup. The Dolphins have given up the third-fewest catches to his position in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, BUF MIA 003300000 *
KB was limited Wednesday after aggravating his knee in Week 14. He has a chance to play.

Update: He was limited all week and is questionable. The big-bodied wideout has a solid enough matchup to flex him, but be sure to check the final inactives before committing a lineup spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF MIA 003200000 ***
Clay has been non-existent since returning from his knee injury a month ago. The position offers far better choices for desperate owners. Miami is a great matchup, which makes Clay's downturn that much more unfortunate.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Hauschka, BUF MIA 2222 ***
This is a poor matchup for field goal opportunities but a top-five opponent for extra points. Overall, Miami is a fringe matchup and just midrange for potential points.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL -----
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL 3-17 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF ----- 15 DET -----
7 @MIN ----- 16 CHI -----
8 SF ----- 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 240,1
RB Adrian Peterson 80 3-20
WR Larry Fitzgerald 8-110,2
TE Jermaine Gresham 4-40
PK Phil Dawson 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The winning streak ended in St. Louis against a surprisingly good defense but back at home the Cardinals definitely have a shot at a nice win this week against the team that just lost 3-45 to the 49ers. But that will need to happen via the pass more than the run since Ryan Williams will undergo shoulder surgery and is done for the year. His career has so far been bitterly disappointing with injuries.

Since Beanie Wells is out for at least another six weeks or more, the workload will be inherited by William Powell and LaRod Stephens-Howling. There is precious little confidence that anything is going to happen out of the Cardinals backfield this year. But at least William Powell becomes a free agent darling since he'll likely take over the primary load which so far means maybe a dozen carries per game.

Kevin Kolb passed for 289 yards in St. Louis but had his first game without any touchdowns. Kolb passed for five touchdowns over the last two home games and had solid to good yardage. The run game has been so lethargic here that each game comes down to Kolb trying to outscore the opponent's offense. To his credit, he has only thrown two interception in his four starts against seven interceptions.

Tight end Rob Housler is trying to make something out of the opportunity while Todd Heap has been out with a knee sprain. Housler has been as good as five catches for 62 yards though neither he nor Heap has scored this year. Heap may be back this week, he was a game time decision against the Rams.

Kolb has relied heavily on Larry Fitzgerald who has been outstanding at least when at home this year. Fitzgerald caught eight or more passes in each of the last three games and scored in each home venue. Safe enough to assume good things with the Bills soon to show up this week. Andre Roberts was held to only 39 yards in St. Louis even though he had a season high ten targets. Roberts has three touchdowns so far but only one game with more than 55 yards when he posted 118 yards on six catches in the last home game when the Dolphins visited. Michael Floyd remains the #3 receiver though he is sharing with Early Doucet and neither produce enough for any fantasy merit.

Hard not to love a defense that has allowed 14 touchdowns to quarterbacks and three of the last four threw for 300+ yards. This should be another very nice game for Kolb who will be getting even less support from an already meager rushing effort. The Cardinals defense is a good play this week as well. If Williams Powell can go anything against anyone, it would be home versus the Bills who have allowed eight touchdowns to running backs. The last three opponents featured a running back with over 100 rushing yards when going against the Bills.

The Bills have allowed 97 over the past two weeks. Bound to be fantasy points generated in this game as well. I like a defensive score in this game as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 18 30 11 24 23 4
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 32 28 27 25 15 25

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blaine Gabbert, ARI @WAS 10000019012 ***
Washington has allowed two passing TDs a game since Week 9, or one every 9.3 completions, which is the second-highest frequency. The position has averaged a modest 245.2 aerial yards vs. the 'Skins in this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI @WAS 5001100000 ***
Williams should see the majority of touches if Adrian Peterson (neck) once again sits. The Redskins offer the second-best matchup for rushing yardage per game (134.4) and No. 12 for ease of finding the end zone on the ground over the past five weeks. Through the air, though, this is among the worst places to look for RB production. Washington is the second-toughest against catches and yardage.

Update: Peterson is out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @WAS 004500000 ***
Washington hasn't allowed many catches per game (22nd) but ranks 8th in touchdown frequency, which bodes well for Fitz. The position has managed 174 yards a game, or the fifth most in football since Week 9.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR J.J. Nelson, ARI @WAS 002300000 ***
Too much is at stake to trust Nelson in a fantasy lineup this week.

Update: With John Brown out, Nelson creeps closer to deep-flier territory.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI @WAS 003301000 **
It has been three weeks since he has scored, and the rookie has just two grabs over his past two games. Even if he lives up to this projection, Seals-Jones is not a worthwhile fantasy gamble.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, ARI @WAS 3311 ***
Since Week 9, 26 total kicks (10 FGs) have split the pipes against Washington. This is the third-best matchup of the week, though most of the volume came by way of one-pointers.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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