FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: NE 30, JAC 13 (Line: NE by 14.5)

Players Updated: Rob Gronkowski

Players to Watch: Cecil Shorts, Wes Welker

Losing to the 49ers last Sunday night dropped the 10-4 Patriots back into the #3 seed which means no bye and only one home field game. But this week they face the 2-12 Jaguars who have already packed their suitcases and are just watching the clock for for week 17 Sunday to be over. That the highest scoring offense in the NFL now faces a team that has declined to the point they do not score touchdowns could be concerning. The Pats will win of course but won't need 40 points to get the job done.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF 37-31
2 ARI 18-20 11 IND 59-24
3 @BAL 30-31 12 @NYJ 49-19
4 @BUF 52-28 13 @MIA 23-16
5 DEN 31-21 14 HOU 42-14
6 @SEA 23-24 15 SF 34-41
7 NYJ 29-26 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL 45-7 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 270,2
WR Josh Gordon 4-50
TE Dwayne Allen 4-40
TE Rob Gronkowski
PK Stephen Gostkowski 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The loss to the 49ers really shook up the Patriots image coming on the heels of them looking so dominant against the Texans the previous week. The reality too is that both those games came at home where the Pats are always far better and losing that #2 seed may come back to haunt them. The Pats cannot afford any more losses either since they are only one game ahead of the Ravens now who have already beaten them back in week three to own that tie breaker should it be an issue.

The Pats almost never take any game lightly no matter what the situation is and in this case, they have to win and may want to flex some muscles doing it after last week's loss.

Tom Brady on the road has been plenty prolific other than facing inter-divisional foes and the Jaguars are soft in the secondary. But the are even worse against the running backs which could end up with a depressed stat line for Brady who won't need 400 yards to compete here.

The running backs are going to be harder to call than usual - and it has been largely impossible anyway - since both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen lost fumbles last week and then disappeared from the game plan while Danny Woodhead had a big game holding onto the ball. Ridley's faux pas ended his six game scoring streak but he's fumbled before and not carried the shame into the next week. It will always be tough to accurately predict who does what here but Ridley should end up with his job back.

What is nice too is that Aaron Hernandez is finally showing up as a major weapon for the Patriots only three months after everyone drafted him with big expectations. He's caught at least eight passes in the last two games while scoring a total of three touchdowns.

Both the Texans and 49ers schemed to take Wes Welker away with great success but Brandon Lloyd picked up the slack finally with 89 yards against the Texans and 190 yards versus the 49ers. While he won't be needed nearly so much this week, it is nice to see him finally being in the game plan and producing more than the roughly 50 yards and no score he had going the rest of the season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 3 2 13 1 1 2
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 23 32 16 8 32 19

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE @PIT 0000032020 ***
Last year, at Pittsburgh, Brady went for 298 yards, one TD and one pick. He authored a 222-2-0 game in 2017's trip to the Steel City, finishing the Steelers' season with a 384-3-0 thumping in the conference championship game that year. The Steelers have allowed Derek Carr and Philip Rivers each 23-plus points in the last two games, giving up two touchdown throws in in four of the last five contests. TB12 will have a tough time matching last week's strong showing but belongs in lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Sony Michel, NE @PIT 5011100000 ***
The rookie could get on track with a touchdown this week but isn't likely to be a factor in the yardage department. Pittsburgh has done a good job of limiting backs all season, and Michel has been mired in a two-game scoreless slump (only one TD in the last five games). The Steelers rank sixth at holding down RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE @PIT 2007700000 ***
The only real highlight of the matchup in the stats is Pittsburgh has given up four TDs over only 49 receptions. For comparison, though, Atlanta has allowed 97 catches to RBs and a matching four scores. White has one game with more than nine PPR points in the last month, and he was useless in the Week 15 visit to the Steelers last year (2.8 points). Be cautiously optimistic.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE @PIT 0081001000 ***
Pittsburgh offers a neutral matchup for Week 15 that slightly favors reception hogs. The veteran didn't play in the Week 15 game last year as he missed the whole year with a knee injury. If it matters, in 2016, he had 17 receptions for 178 yards and a TD in two games against the Steelers. Keep him in all lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, NE @PIT 005600000 ***
Gordon has added a downfield element to this offense and faces a defense that has given up 14 TDs in 13 games. Pittsburgh has benefited from some softer WR matchups in 2018, but guys like Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, John Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Keenan Allen have torched this secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @PIT 005601000 ***
Miami gave up a big game to Gronk last week, and he now has two scores in his last three appearances. The Steelers struggled early on with the position but has evened out to a degree. TEs have scored three times in the last five games, but this is just a midrange matchup for receptions and yardage since Week 9. Last year, in Week 15, at the Steelers, Gronkowski posted a monster nine-catch, 168-yard day. He was good for a 4-93-1 line at Pittsburgh in 2016.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @PIT 1133 ***
No writeup available

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND 10-27
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU 37-43
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN 24-19
4 CIN 10-27 13 @BUF 18-34
5 CHI 3-41 14 NYJ 10-17
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA 3-24
7 @OAK 23-26 16 NE -----
8 @GB 15-24 17 @TEN -----
9 DET 14-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
PK Kai Forbath 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars have won only once in the last 11 games and the offensive output that seemed to spike with Chad Henne starting has faded to where they cannot even score a touchdown anymore. This is the final home game of the year but that's hardly a reason to expect any progress.

The only difference this week is that Maurice Jones-Drew has not been ruled out yet and HC Mike Mularkey said he was "questionable" this week but closer to playing than he has been. There is really no reason to bring him back - the season was over long ago and MJD is only risking further injury for nothing. One has to expect a more earnest holdout this coming summer since the worst case just happened this year.

Cecil Shorts returned last week after missing the Jets game with a concussion and he turned in 101 yards on six catches in Miami right back to his high level of performance though it was his first time to not score a touchdown in the last five games played. Justin Blackmon has reeled in six catches in each of the last two games but has not scored since week 12. This is the last home game so it should help both receivers facing one of the weaker secondaries in the NFL.

Aqib Talib has been a great addition for the Patriots and he matches on Justin Blackmon which should depress his stats this week, not that they were that big to start with anyway. This will be the final home game for a team that has made very little progress in Mike Mularkey's first season as head coach. If MJD does play this week, it may have to do with it being the final home game but I'll project for another week of Montel Owens until a decision is made.

Sadly facing the Patriots secondary is not as much fun as it was earlier in the season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 26 32 18 29 30 30
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 12 26 30 8 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cody Kessler, JAC WAS 20000018000 *
Kessler doesn't offer enough volume to matter in fantasy and belongs on the wire in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Leonard Fournette, JAC WAS 10023200000 ***
In the seasonal view, this is an almost perfectly neutral matchup. From the last three games, it is 26 percent better than average after a back has scored in three consecutive outings. Saquon Barkley ran for 170 yards in the of heavily stacked fronts, and Ezekiel Elliott went for 121 against similar circumstances in Week 12. No other backs have run for 100 yards this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC WAS 2004400000 ***
Washington has relented a ton of receptions but only two of the 78 balls have scored in 2018, which suggests Yeldon will need to get the job done via yardage and catches to matter. He's a low-end PPR flex in traditional situations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, JAC WAS 005500000 **
Jacksonville's offense is not meant for producing fantasy receivers of note, and we're in crunch time, so Moncrief has no value without finding the end zone. Sure, it could happen with such a promising matchup, but counting on it is asking for a problem. Look for just about any other reasonable option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dede Westbrook, JAC WAS 003300000 ***
Westbrook's big-play skills make him the only Jaguar wideout with any fantasy value, but he belongs in DFS lineups only this week. There is too much on the line to expect more than flex work from him, and it's far too risky to find out the hard way in conventional leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keelan Cole, JAC WAS 003300000 ***
Cole has no fantasy use, even with a favorable matchup. Nothing in this situation lines up for relevancy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, JAC WAS 1133 ***
No writeup available

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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