by Inside the Redzone staff – Dan Lehto
Home team: Buffalo Bills
Hey sports enthusiasts, that’s right, the staff actually brought me back for another week of matchup analysis! And don’t worry if you didn’t trust me about starting Fitzpatrick or Newton over Grossman. But I won’t remind you about that…again.
Patriots Projected Passing, Receiving, and Rushing Touchdowns
This game should prove to be a high scoring affair, but not necessarily close. Who is actually going to beat the Patriots this year? I just don’t see it happening. They have some tough spots on the calendar and weather can always pose an issue, but no one reads and reacts to situations better than Tom Brady. He has only put up 517 and 423 yards in consecutive games. And who are his core receivers again? Oh yeah, everyone! Well, we haven’t really seen Ochocinco get going yet, but it is only a matter of time before Brady engages him more frequently. Brady has been very focused on his TE duo of Gronkowski and Hernandez (too bad Hernandez is out for a few weeks) in the first two weeks. And why not? If you are going to leave them open or only slightly covered, I would keep throwing the ball to them as well. He has also become chummy with Branch and Woodhead. Three of the players are great plays for this week and the rest of the season if Belichick continues to go for the jugular from the opening play. Green-Ellis is also a sound play. Heck, if Vrabel was still there I would probably recommend starting him too. The only players I may not recommend would be the Pats defense and possibly Ochocinco. Again, Ochocinco will reign soon. It’s now time for predicting touchdowns, so let me take a deep breath. We’re going with Tom Brady throwing three (one to Branch, one to Ocho Cinco, and one to Danny Woodhead). For rushing touchdowns, we’re giving out two, one to Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis and the other to our sleeper touchdown, Stevan Ridley, who played a handful of snaps last week against San Diego. He had 2 carries for 9 yards and we see his role increasing as the season goes on.
Bills Projected Passing, Receiving, and Rushing Touchdowns
Ok, enough with the John Madden to Brett Favre type love I have just given the Pats. The Bills have been a very fun and exciting team to watch. How can you not cheer for the guy from the Ivy League? His passer rating and efficiency, especially in the red zone, is incredible this year. I love Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, Steve Johnson, and David Nelson in this game. Yes, even David Nelson. Still not sold on Chandler’s consistency yet, but if he keeps catching the money ball, I just mine even began to warm up to him. Forecasting Fitzpatrick for two touchdown passes with Steve Johnson and David Nelson being the recipients. Also liking continued success for Fred Jackson, 80-yards and a touchdown here.
To recap, I expect over 60 points in this game and lots of must start players. The Pats will win by 14+ points, but that won’t stop the Bills from putting up some fun fantasy numbers. At this point in the season, I would try and work your magic to trade for players on both of these teams. They should have a nice holding value.