Game Predictions & Player Projections - DEN vs NE

Game Predictions & Player Projections - DEN vs NE


Game Predictions & Player Projections - DEN vs NE


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Prediction: DEN 31, NE 27 (Line: DEN by 3)

Here is an always entertaining matchup where the announcers spend three hours trying to make it sound like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are actually playing against each other. Manning has a way of surprisingly dropping these hyped matchups – witness in Indy last year. The Patriots are red hot all of a sudden but haven’t faced much more than average teams. This is a coin flip even though on paper it says a Bronco win.

The Patriots won 34-31 against the Broncos last season.

Denver Broncos

1 IND 31-24 10 @OAK —–
2 KC 24-17 11 @STL —–
3 @SEA 20-26 12 MIA —–
4 BYE —– 13 @KC —–
5 ARI 41-20 14 BUF —–
6 @NYJ 31-17 15 @SD —–
7 SF 42-17 16 @CIN —–
8 SD 35-21 17 OAK —–
9 @NE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Ronnie Hillman 90 3-20,1
RB Juwan Thompson 20,1
WR Emmanuel Sanders 4-50
WR Demaryius Thomas 6-100,1
TE Garrett Graham 2-30
PK Brandon McManus 1 FG 4 XP

Taking down the Chargers last week clears the path to the AFC West title that seems little more than a formality. What comes into play now is that the Broncos have to play six road games over the next eight weeks. They have only played in two road games this season. How all these road games impacts the fantasy dynasty could be interesting. Last season, Manning and company tended to have both their worst and their best games when away from Denver.

QUARTERBACK : Seven games into his season and Peyton Manning has just one game when he failed to throw for three or more touchdowns. His yardage remains rock solid with higher 200’s and as much as 400 but he’s only topped 300 yards in three games so far.

Manning only passed for 150 yards and two scores in New England last year.

RUNNING BACK : Ronnie Hillman continues to run far better than his previous five years and comes off his second 100 yard effort of the year. He’s solid at around 100 total yards but only scored in the win over the 49ers. Worse yet, Juwan Thompson hawked two scores from him last week but he fails to get enough usage to merit fantasy consideration. Hillman is the only projectable back but Thompson can figure in to his detriment.

Knowshon Moreno ran for 224 yards and one score on 37 carries in New England last season.

WIDE RECEIVER : Demaryius Thomas is one of the most consistently productive receivers in the NFL. He’s topped 100 yards in each of the last four games and scored five times over that period. Manning throws his way about 12 times every week and that ensures that his fantasy value remains elite. Emmanuel Sanders gets far less attention overall but can pop up in any given week as he showed against the Chargers. Sanders reeled in nine catches for 120 yards and three touchdowns. That gives him four 100 yard games and his first since week five. Wes Welker has all but disappeared and turned in fewer than ten yards in two of the last three weeks. While it may seem motivating for him to visit his old team, he only managed four catches for 31 yards there last season.

Thomas scored once but only caught four passes for 41 yards against the Pats last time.

TIGHT END : The machine that is Julius Thomas churned out nine touchdown over the first five weeks to the delight of owners everywhere. These last two weeks – a total of four catches for 50 yards and zero scores. The fun about playing with Peyton Manning is that if a defense takes anything away from him, he not only just shifts to other players but will throw them two or three touchdowns. Thomas will be back and likely with a vengeance.

Thomas did not play in the 2013 meeting with the Patriots.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Patriots rank well against the pass but they’ve played nearly no offenses of any note. OAK? NYJ? MIA? MIN? KC? BUF? And even then usually ended up with two or three passing scores. Darrelle Revis has been moved around and usually takes out the best receiver of the opponent but his natural lineup is on Sanders in this game which leaves Thomas, Thomas, Welker and Hillman free to be all they can be. No reason to play the guessing game on which player gets shut down because the Broncos are too multifaceted to just aim at stopping one player. And you have to really like Hillman this week against a defense that has allowed nine scores to running backs including five of them by receptions.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 2 24 1 5 23 11
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 5 29 1 22 14 5

New England Patriots

1 @MIA 20-33 10 BYE —–
2 @MIN 30-7 11 @IND —–
3 OAK 16-9 12 DET —–
4 @KC 14-41 13 @GB —–
5 CIN 43-17 14 @SD —–
6 @BUF 37-22 15 MIA —–
7 NYJ 27-25 16 @NYJ —–
8 CHI 51-23 17 BUF —–
9 DEN —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 280,3
WR Julian Edelman 2-30
TE Rob Gronkowski 8-90,1
TE Clay Harbor 4-40,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 3 XP

The offense churned out the points for the last month and helped turn around the season but the hidden reality in that was three of the four games came at home and really only the big win over the Bengals stands out as a surprise. And that was when the Pats appeared to be at their worst. The easy part of their schedule is done and they face five straight above average opponents before ending the year going against the AFC East rivals.

QUARTERBACK : Tom Brady is on fire with 12 touchdowns over just the last three games but the Bills, Jets and Bears all have secondary problems and only the Bills were on the road. Brady looks far better in recent week and that is more than just the schedule with Rob Gronkowski finally looking completely healthy and scary good again. Brady likes playing at home and he always shows up to play Peyton Manning the Broncos.

Brady passed for 344 yards and three touchdowns against the visiting Broncos last year.

RUNNING BACK : The Patriots backfield is completely settled at least until this weekend. Brandon Bolden is out as the “big back” and Jonas Gray fills in. James White remains little more than a name while Gray ran 17 times for 86 yards versus the Bears. Shane Vereen continues to be the receiving back but has lost a few carries to Gray.

Vereen is the only safe play here at least until Gray can produce for a few games in a row. And even Vereen is only a play for moderate yardage in most games. He’s better in home games and that is relevant this week but does less in away venues.

WIDE RECEIVER : This unit has settled down into really just Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell. Edelman scored only once this year and that was back in week two. His stats have really fallen off as of late and he’s lost all fantasy value at least in home games where the last three only saw him average around 30 yards per week. LaFell is no lock for a good game but he’s easily the best wideout for the Patriots with four touchdowns and three efforts over 95 yards. No other wideout has more than one score. LaFell was better in road games though and last week was the first time he managed to top 55 yards while at home or even score. This week will mean more passing and scores than normal and someone has to step up in a home game to do that – LaFell has to be that guy.

Edelman caught nine passes for 110 yards and two scores versus the visiting Broncos last season.

TIGHT END : The Gronk is back. While productive in recent weeks, Rob Gronkowski blew up for 149 yards and three touchdowns on the visiting Bears in a game more reminiscent of 2011. That gives him sev4en touchdowns on the season and 70 yards or better for the last four weeks. That does coincide with the softer matchups and the string of home games but no denying that he looks just as good as ever.

Timothy Wright scored last week and ended with a season best seven catches for 61 yards. He scored in weeks five and six but never received a pass in the win over the Jets. He is a red zone target but occasionally have a game with no catches severely downgrades his viability for fantasy points.

Gronkowski ended with seven catches for 90 yards and one score in the regular season meeting with the Broncos last year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Brady is safe to expect a couple of scores and healthy yardage here and another really big effort would be no shock. The passing game is working better in recent weeks and the Broncos have also feasted on mostly weaker teams so far. Aqib Talib should draw Edelman unless they play around with the matchups. I like LaFell in this one to turn in at least a decent game if not big stats along with Gronkowski. Vereen is worth starting thanks to being a receiver but Gray is more risky this week – especially if a shootout happens and the run is abandoned.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 11 21 26 1 1 4
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 23 9 15 24 4 1

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