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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: BUF 20, IND 27 (Line: IND by 3)

Players to Watch: Fred Jackson, Delone Carter

The 4-6 Bills come off a win last Thursday but are only 2-4 on the road. The 6-4 Colts were just pummeled by the Patriots in New England but are 4-1 at home.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE 31-37
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA 19-14
3 @CLE 24-14 12 @IND -----
4 NE 28-52 13 JAC -----
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL -----
6 @ARI 19-16 15 SEA -----
7 TEN 34-35 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU 9-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB LeSean McCoy
RB Mike Tolbert 10
PK Stephen Hauschka 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills did the unthinkable last week and somehow generated a defense that held the Dolphins to only 14 points. They still average 30 points per opponent and it was a visiting divisional rival with a struggling offense. But fortunately all the remaining games outside maybe this week will go against teams with lower scoring offenses and the defense may seem far better at the end of the year than it really is.

Last week was a very odd game that made it look like the Fins and Bills both featured great defenses which is hardly reality. Ryan Fitzpatrick only passes for 168 yards and no scores which makes it four of the last six games without any touchdowns. An improved ground game is partially to blame but the only two times that Fitzpatrick had decent games in the last month and a half were against Tennessee and in New England - both against very bad secondaries.

C.J. Spiller gained over 100 total yards in each of the last five games and that includes 70+ yards as a runner in all but one of those games. Fred Jackson was held out last week due to the concussion he received in the New England game but they are hopeful that he will be able to play. The bad part is that Jackson will eat into what Spiller could have done by himself though the speedy back for the Bills was getting winded last week and was spelled by Tashard Choice on several plays. Not a great sign that he got winded when he only took 22 carries and three catches but he was certainly getting longer gainers on many touches.

The declining passing numbers mean that Stevie Johnson only produces moderate stats in most weeks and scored only once in the last seven games. Neither Johnson nor any other Bills receiver has managed to gain more than 100 yards in a game this year. Donald Jones scored in the two easy games against the Titans and Patriots but otherwise had no fantasy value and even against the Fins only caught two passes for 11 yards. Johnson is the only decent play here and even then only for 60 or 70 yards in a good game.

Scott Chandler was able to score in New England but has fallen short of any fantasy merit since week five and usually ends up with 30 to 50 yards in most games without a touchdown.

The Colts defense is improving and always plays better at home. Last week notwithstanding, the Colts have held opponents to 20 or fewer points in four of the last five games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 20 5 26 21 26 16
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 18 19 30 2 11 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF TB 10000023010 ***
The matchup is wonderful, although the sheer lack of weaponry is what Taylor needs to overcome. It looks like Jordan Matthews will not play, and Charles Clay is a few weeks away from a possible return. Tampa has given up the third-most fantasy points per game, giving up yardage at the second-highest clip (308.8/game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF TB 8016500000 ***
Shady comes off the bye week for a meeting with the No. 15-ranked Buccaneers defense of PPR backs. This is a midrange matchup for just about every stat but receptions per game, where it ranks 12th.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, BUF TB 005600000 *
Matthews appears unlikely to play. He isn't catching passes with both hands yet and may be a few more weeks out.

Update: Matthews returned to practice in full Friday after two limited showings. He is likely to play but may not be 100 percent after recently having surgery on his thumb.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Zay Jones, BUF TB 002300000 ***
The matchup is awesome -- the best, in fact -- in fantasy, but Jones has done nothing to instill confidence that he can be a worthwhile play. Even after a bye. On a team without WRs. Kinda sad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Tate, BUF TB 002200000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Nick O'Leary, BUF TB 004501000 **
O'Leary should be one of the top options with Charles Clay out and Jordan Matthews unlikely to go. Tampa Bay has given up virtually nothing to the position, so he'll have his work cut out, but but the silver lining is this defense has granted two TDs on just 19 catches.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Hauschka, BUF TB 1122 ***
All 13 extra points have been good, with the lone missed kick coming from one of the nine field goals faced. This is a routine matchup.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC 27-10
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE 24-59
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET -----
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN -----
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU -----
7 CLE 17-13 16 @KC -----
8 @TEN 19-13 17 HOU -----
9 MIA 23-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 10 310,2
RB Frank Gore 100,1 3-20
WR T.Y. Hilton 6-80,1
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriots made sure the upstart Colts realized their place in the NFL with a blowout "let's still throw bombs" sort of way. In the process they did allow Andrew Luck to set the new NFL rookie record with five games over 300 yards. With six left to play. Last week ended a four game winning streak and these Colts may not be Patriot good yet, but they are far better than anyone could have expected. And still in the playoff hunt.

Luck has always been very productive in home games this year and the Bills are bringing in a below average defense anyway. Luck has scored twice in every home game and usually enjoyed big yardage efforts aside from the one Cleveland tilt. He's thrown for 12 touchdowns this year and rushed in five more.

Now that everyone is healthy, the running attack is a three-headed monster with marginal fantasy implications on a good day. Donald Brown runs just enough to make sure that Vick Ballard does not have a big game and then in the rare case they end up at the goal line, Delone Carter trots in for the short touchdown. Bottom line here - Colts backs have only rushed in three touchdowns all year against five scored by Luck as a runner. No runner here gained more than 84 rushing yards in any game and they rarely account for more than one catch each.

Reggie Wayne continues to catch at least seven passes in every game since week seven but he has not topped 100 yards in the last six games and scored just once in that time. His three touchdowns all occurred while at home though and he is a lock for at least 70 yards each week. TY Hilton comes off his career best game of six catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. That pairs up with the 6-102 and a score he posted in week nine. Problem is that he was blanked in week 10 with just one pass thrown his way. Donnie Avery provides some minor possession catches but Wayne and Hilton have clearly become the top two receivers here.

Playing at home with something to prove after the spanking in New England should not only provide good stats for Luck, Wayne and Hilton, but the runners as well. The Bills have one of the worst defenses at stopping rushing scores and running backs have scored on them 16 times already.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 7 30 4 18 16 28
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 24 28 22 17 14 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jacoby Brissett, IND JAC 10000017011 ***
Jacksonville is arguably the best defense against quarterbacks in football. Stats-wise, this is the No. 2 defense in fantasy points, yards, TDs per completion and points per play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marlon Mack, IND JAC 201000000 ***
Mack's involvement should increase with Robert Turbin done. The Jaguars have allowed four rushing touchdowns in the last five games, or one every 31.3 carries. The 141.2 rushing yards per game against this defense rates as the most in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND JAC 5004300000 **
With Robert Turbin out, Gore's chances for goal line work likely increases. The Jags have been stout vs. WRs and pushed around by backs. This is the 10th-best matchup in PPR and ninth-best in standard. Most of the points against come from this being the most generous D at surrendering rushing yards (141.2/game) and the 10th-best for scoring against on the ground.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND JAC 003300000 ***
This is a yo-yo season for Hilton. Last week was the low end of the yo. Unfortunately, if stats say anything, that string bottomed out and isn't rebounding. The Jaguars are one of the toughest defenses at stopping wideouts, and it has been that way for nearly a season and a half. Last year, Hilton (with Luck) went for 17.2 points and 15.5 in PPR vs. Jacksonville.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND JAC 004300000 ***
Moncrief is a flex, at best, at this point. He has no visible chemistry with Jacoby Brissett and has one score on the year. That has been his bread and butter in the past. The Jaguars are fantasy's fourth-best defense of wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kamar Aiken, IND JAC 002200000 ***
Aiken doesn't have any tangible fantasy value and belongs on the waiver wire, especially in such a tough matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND JAC 005401000 *
Doyle emerged last week, despite a crucial fumble, and showed signs of fantasy life. The Jags have yielded three TDs in the last five games, or one every 6.7 catches. Aside from being vulnerable in the scoring department, TEs accomplished little else in that time. He hauled in three balls for 16 yards and a TD in two games vs. the Jaguars last year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND JAC 2222 ***
In both field goals (11-for-12) and extra points (10-for-10) against, this is a quality matchup. Kickers have averaged the seventh-most fantasy points per contest against the Jags.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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