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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
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 NYJ 0000025020 ***
TB12 went for 283-2-0 in the Week 12 trip to New York. he should be good for something similar in the home confines of Gillette Stadium, although not having Josh Gordon makes it a little harder. There are better upside plays, if gambling for points is your thing, but he is a mostly safe start for a couple of TDs given his acceptable history vs. NYJ.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Sony Michel, NE NYJ 1201000000 ***
Michel ran for 133 yards and a TD in the Week 12 meeting, adding 12 yards via the aerial game. He was quiet for the next three games before reasserting himself against the Bills in Week 16 (18-116-1). This is a fine week to deploy him in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE NYJ 3004300000 ***
White scored his first TD of any kind since Week 9 vs. the Bills last weekend, and outside of one game vs. the Vikings, he hasn't been a factor of consequent in the passing game. That includes a one-catch game vs. the Jets in Week 11, but he managed 73 rushing yards. White is a modest play in any PPR format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE NYJ 007801000 ***
New England needs to win to secure the bye, so expect a full effort. The veteran has been targeted in triple digits each of the past three games, and he has scored twice in that time. Edelman authored a 4-84-1 line in the Week 12 visit to the Jets. He's a strong play in all PPR formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, NE NYJ 1002300000 ***
Patterson wasn't a factor in the Week 12 meeting, but his role should expand as the Patriots continue to find their way without Josh Gordon. Nevertheless, he isn't playable in Week 17. The matchup is great, but he's just too inconsistent, and New England could attack heavily on the ground.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE NYJ 002300000 *
In Week 15, Hogan scored his first TD since Week 2 but was shut out against Buffalo in Week 16. That was the second time in the last three games he was held without a catch. The Jets provided him two grabs for 47 yards, and he should have a larger role with Josh Gordon out of the mix.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE NYJ 003301000 **
Whether it is the back or he just hasn't been able to beat doubles this year, Gronk is not playable without taking a massive risk. He scored once on his trio of grabs vs. the Jets in Week 12 but went for only 56 yards. Play him if you must but with modest results being the most likely outcome.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE NYJ 3333 ***
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 Blake Bortles, JAC @HOU 30000019000 ***
"Hooray!" That must be what every one of you is saying about the idea of Blake Bortles returning to a starting lineup. No? No one? Fine ... Houston has been eviscerated by quarterbacks in the last five weeks -- especially so in the last three games. The matchup is tempting for DFS players looking to gain an edge on the competition with a divergent but extremely risky play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC @HOU 4013200000 **
Update: Leonard Fournette (foot, ankle) is unlikely to play with a doubtful tag, which means Yeldon could see the bulk of the work. He was a healthy scratch in Week 16, and Carlos Hyde is questionable to play. This situation is volatile, so look for safer choices with better matchups. RB David Williams may get his shot, though, relegating Yeldon to third-down chores. Yeldon scored a receiving TD in the earlier contest, for whatever it is worth.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, JAC @HOU 3001100000 *
Update: Leonard Fournette is doubtful, and Hyde, while questionable, could see extra work. He has no fantasy utility, due to a tough matchup, his own injury, and the idea of losing touches to either David Williams or T.J. Yeldon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, JAC @HOU 003500000 **
Jacksonville turns back to Blake Bortles for the finale, which bodes well for Moncrief. He caught seven balls for 76 yards in the Week 7 contest vs. Houston. The Texans have been atrocious on the back half of the defense in recent weeks. Half of their season-long TD told has come in the past five games. Moncrief could be better than his projection suggests and has a hint of upside in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DJ Chark Jr., JAC @HOU 004400000 ***
Chark should be close to returning this week, and Blake Bortles is back in the lineup. The rookie caught four balls for 31 yards in the last meeting and is not a fantasy option in any setting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dede Westbrook, JAC @HOU 004400000 **
This defense has fallen apart on the back end in the last five weeks, giving up six touchdowns (12 on the year) and more than 1,000 yards in those five games. Westbrook was good for only 17 yards in the first game. Blake Bortles returns to the starting lineup, and the second-year receiver has a little appeal for flier purposes.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, JAC @HOU 1111 ***
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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