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Doug Orth | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


Second Quarter Projections - AFC & NFC East
All Out Blitz
10/8/15

East | North | South | West


During the preseason, I promised to deliver updated projections each quarter in an effort to help fantasy owners plan for the immediate and near future. Because I’m covering all 32 teams this week and there is a lot to cover, I’m going to get right to it.

At least this time around, I’ve chosen to identify a “buy” or “sell” candidate as well as a potential breakout player for each team over the next month. Depending on the feedback I receive on this piece, I may do the same when I attempt to project the third and fourth quarters of the season following Weeks 8 and 12.

Here’s a quick refresher of what each of the colors mean in each team’s projection chart below:

Red – A very difficult matchup. For lower-level players, a red matchup means they should not be used in fantasy that week. For a second- or third-tier player, drop your expectations for them at least one grade that week (i.e. from WR2 to WR3). For elite players, expect them to perform one level lower than their usual status (i.e. RB1 performs like a RB2).

Yellow – Keep expectations fairly low in this matchup. For lower-level players, a yellow matchup is a borderline start at best. For a second- or third-tier player, they can probably overcome the matchup if things fall right. For the elite players, expect slightly better than average production.

White – Basically, this is a neutral matchup. In some cases, I just don’t feel like I have a good feel yet for the defense. Generally speaking, these matchups are winnable matchups for all levels of players.

Green – It doesn’t get much better than this. For non-elite players, the stage is basically set for said player to exploit the matchup. For the elite player, this matchup should produce special numbers.

One final note: The gray highlight in each team’s schedule reflects a road game and the numbers above them correspond to the weeks of the season. The age you see by each player will be that player’s age as of September 1, 2015.

Key to the table below:

PPR - Total points scored in PPR
Non - Total points scored in non-PPR.

AFC East

 Buffalo Bills
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals TEN CIN JAC bye
QB Tyrod Taylor 26 20.4 20.4 745 225 255 265
TD 4 1 1 2
INT 1 0 1 0
Ru Yards 95 40 25 30
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
RB LeSean McCoy 27 0 INJ INJ INJ
Ru TD 0
Re Yards 0
Re TD 0
Rec 0
RB Karlos Williams 22 18.3 15.3 270 75 85 110
Ru TD 2 1 1 0
Re Yards 70 25 30 15
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 9 3 4 2
WR Sammy Watkins 22 16.8 12.2 0 0 0 0
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 245 65 80 100
Re TD 2 1 0 1
Rec 14 3 6 5
WR Percy Harvin 27 18.8 14.2 45 10 10 25
Ru TD 1 0 0 1
Re Yards 200 50 70 80
Re TD 2 0 1 1
Rec 14 4 5 5
WR Robert Woods 23 5.2 3.2 95 35 50 10
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 6 2 3 1
WR Chris Hogan 26 4.2 2.2 65 20 30 15
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 6 2 2 2
TE Charles Clay 26 10.3 5.7 170 70 55 45
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 14 5 5 4

Buy: McCoy. Thereís a fairly good chance Shadyís ďsetbackĒ might keep out until the Week 8 bye. The majority of owners arenít going to be deep enough at running back and could be frustrated with his lack of availability by that point. Iíd also be willing to buy Watkins as well.

Sell: Harvin. This is about as prolonged of a period as Harvin goes without getting injured. Heís the WR35 in PPR as we speak, ahead of players such as Kendall Wright and Brandin Cooks Ė players Iíd much rather have.

Breakout player: Williams. I understand the rookie has already made plenty of noise and I think heíll have value all season. Having said that, I think heís more of a second-quarter standout only, assuming his concussion doesnít keep him off field while McCoy is out.

Miami Dolphins
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals bye TEN HOU NE
QB Ryan Tannehill 27 23.8 23.8 945 280 315 350
TD 6 2 2 2
INT 3 0 1 2
Ru Yards 35 5 20 10
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
RB Lamar Miller 24 14.5 10.8 165 65 45 55
Ru TD 1 1 0 0
Re Yards 100 30 25 45
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 11 3 3 5
RB Damien Williams 23 2.8 1.8 35 15 10 10
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 20 10 5 5
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 3 1 1 1
WR DeVante Parker 22 13.2 9.8 175 25 65 85
Re TD 2 1 0 1
Rec 10 2 4 4
WR Jarvis Landry 22 20.2 12.5 255 70 85 100
Re TD 2 1 0 1
Rec 23 7 7 9
WR Kenny Stills 23 1.5 0.8 25 15 0 10
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 2 1 0 1
WR Greg Jennings 31 1.3 0.7 20 10 10 0
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 2 1 1 0
WR Rishard Matthews 25 12 7.7 170 75 55 40
Re TD 1 0 1 0
Rec 13 6 4 3
TE Jordan Cameron 27 12.7 8.3 190 55 70 65
Re TD 1 0 1 0
Rec 13 4 4 5

Buy: Miller. One could easily make the case there are about three players that belong here, but Iíll go with the one that was the most highly-drafted. Itís quite apparent interim HC Dan Campbell has an edge to him and most new coaches that preach physicality start by emphasizing the running game. I wouldnít expect a huge surge in rushing production, but there will be much more commitment to the run than there was prior to Joe Philbinís dismissal.

Sell: Matthews. This is a tough call, because Matthews probably should take the role most assumed Stills was going to have before the season and Miami uses enough three-wide formations that he should still see plenty of playing time. Having said that, Tannehill has eyes for Landry and it is a pretty good bet that Parker will be fast-tracked by Campbell as well.

Breakout player: Parker. Miami canít stop hyping its rookie and for good reason. If Campbell really practices what he preaches about competition and ďearning your spotĒ, Parker may not need any more time than the bye week to work his way into the lineup for good. He may not be anything more than a WR3 this season, but Iím quite certain heíll be a weekly starter at some point in 2015.

New England Patriots
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals DAL IND NYJ MIA
QB Tom Brady 38 27.5 27.5 1275 310 320 280 365
TD 10 3 3 1 3
INT 1 0 0 1 0
Ru Yards 10 5 0 0 5
Ru TD 0 0 0 0 0
RB LeGarrette Blount 28 9.1 8.9 165 45 45 25 50
Ru TD 3 1 1 0 1
Re Yards 10 0 0 10 0
Re TD 0 0 0 0 0
Rec 1 0 0 1 0
RB Dion Lewis 24 16.6 12.4 250 60 75 45 70
Ru TD 1 0 1 0 0
Re Yards 125 30 20 55 20
Re TD 1 0 0 1 0
Rec 17 5 3 7 2
WR Julian Edelman 29 20.9 12.4 375 90 115 65 105
Re TD 2 1 1 0 0
Rec 34 9 10 6 9
WR Aaron Dobson 24 8.8 6 180 45 50 15 70
Re TD 1 0 0 0 1
Rec 11 3 4 1 3
WR Danny Amendola 29 6 3.3 130 30 25 35 40
Re TD 0 0 0 0 0
Rec 11 3 2 3 3
TE Rob Gronkowski 26 23.5 17.3 390 100 90 75 125
Re TD 5 2 1 0 2
Rec 25 7 6 5 7
TE Scott Chandler 30 5.1 3.1 65 15 20 25 5
Re TD 1 0 1 0 0
Rec 8 2 2 3 1

Buy: Brandon LaFell. Last yearís surprise star has been camped out on the PUP list since early September with a foot injury. Heís expected to be able to play when heís eligible in Week 8 and, considering no other outside receiver stepped up in his absence, now would be a good time to secure his services. As with any injured player, there is risk involved in betting on LaFell. Thankfully, heís on the waiver wire in many leagues.

Sell: Lewis. This one pains me a bit because I watched Lewis play at Pittsburgh and have always believed in his talent. With that said, durability has been the main reason heís been unable to stick anywhere for very long during his NFL career. Furthermore, itís dangerous to assume that we know what HC Bill Belichick is thinking in regards to his running backs at any point during any season.

Breakout player: LaFell. For all the reasons I provided above, I think itís safe to stash LaFell and expect WR3 production shortly after his return.

New York Jets
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals bye WAS NE OAK
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 32 22 22 815 265 235 315
TD 5 2 1 2
INT 2 0 1 1
Ru Yards 15 5 10 0
Ru TD 1 0 1 0
RB Chris Ivory 27 14.5 13.5 210 50 85 75
Ru TD 3 0 1 2
Re Yards 15 10 0 5
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 3 2 0 1
RB Bilal Powell 26 6.3 3.7 50 20 15 15
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 60 25 20 15
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 8 3 3 2
WR Brandon Marshall 31 22.3 14.3 310 105 70 135
Re TD 2 1 0 1
Rec 24 8 6 10
WR Eric Decker 28 17.3 11.7 230 70 105 55
Re TD 2 1 1 0
Rec 17 6 7 4
WR Jeremy Kerley 26 2.5 1.2 35 15 0 20
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 4 2 0 2
WR Devin Smith 23 4 2.7 80 30 15 35
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 4 2 1 1
WR Quincy Enunwa 23 2.8 1.5 45 10 10 25
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 4 1 1 2
TE Jeff Cumberland 28 4.7 3.3 40 0 15 25
Re TD 1 0 0 1
Rec 4 0 2 2

Buy: Decker. Itís hard to get a sense of what Deckerís value is in the fantasy community and heís the clear second receiving option in New York, but thatís not necessarily a bad thing. When you consider the Jets donít throw to their tight end and their third most trusted passing-game option right now is Powell, it seems safe to say Decker is going to a solid fantasy WR3.

Sell: Ivory. Sometimes we have to be able to separate reality from fantasy in this hobby of ours. In reality, every team needs a back like Ivory to be a tone-setter. In fantasy, it seems almost for certain heís going to have a career year Ė assuming he can stay healthy. And there within lies the rub. He is already not getting much action in the passing game and dealing with a lower-body injury, so when we combine that with this ferocious running style, we have an early-down back that is likely to miss some time later in the season.

Breakout player: Stevan Ridley. Much like LaFell above, Ridley (ACL) was stashed on the PUP list before the start of the season. As long as Ivory remains healthy and keeps running like he is right now, heís locked in as the early-down back in this offense. However, if Ivory is forced to miss some action about the time Week 8 rolls around, New York could easily opt to plug Ridley into his role and perhaps even force an early-down committee. Iím not saying that a committee will happen, but as owners we have to be prepared for such an occurrence.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals NE bye NYG SEA
QB Tony Romo 35 0 INJ INJ INJ
TD 0 INJ INJ INJ
INT 0 INJ INJ INJ
Ru Yards 0 INJ INJ INJ
Ru TD 0 INJ INJ INJ
QB Brandon Weeden 31 12.8 12.8 760 265 260 235
TD 3 1 2 0
INT 5 2 1 2
Ru Yards 0 0 0 0
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
RB Joseph Randle 23 9.5 7.2 160 65 50 45
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 55 15 25 15
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 7 2 3 2
RB Darren McFadden 28 4.5 2.8 50 20 10 20
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 35 10 10 15
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 5 2 1 2
RB Christine Michael 24 5 4.7 70 10 25 35
Ru TD 1 0 0 1
Re Yards 10 0 0 10
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 1 0 0 1
WR Dez Bryant 26 0 INJ INJ INJ
Re TD 0 INJ INJ INJ
Rec 0 INJ INJ INJ
WR Terrance Williams 25 9.7 7 150 55 80 15
Re TD 1 0 1 0
Rec 8 3 4 1
WR Cole Beasley 26 9.8 4.8 145 50 50 45
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 15 6 5 4
TE Jason Witten 33 16.5 10.5 195 80 65 50
Re TD 2 1 1 0
Rec 18 8 6 4
TE Gavin Escobar 24 1.7 0.7 20 0 5 15
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 3 0 1 2

Buy: Bryant. There is inherent risk in pursuing a player such as Bryant when it seems no one can pin down an official return date for him. Nevertheless, acquiring Bryant will never be cheaper than it is during this state of uncertainty and, if he returns to form, whatever price was paid this week or next will seem minuscule. There appears to be optimism heíll be back shortly after the Cowboysí Week 6 bye, although I tend to believe heíll need at least a week or two beyond that.

Sell: Randle. It seems logical with the loss of all the playmakers in Dallas that Randle stands to benefit the most, but McFadden is better in most aspects of the passing game and the loss of his supporting cast figures to put a lot of pressure on him to carry the offense each week. With so few players remaining to strike fear in the defense, expect Randleís rushing numbers to start declining.

Breakout player: Beasley. Assuming Bryant is out until Week 8, I donít see any way in which a player like Beasley doesnít get more involved - especially in the wake of Lance Dunbarís season-ending injury. The Cowboys are short on players that consistently catch the ball beyond Witten, so I expect Beasley to assume a lot of the value that Dunbar had over the first quarter of the season.


New York Giants
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals SF PHI DAL NO
QB Eli Manning 34 21.4 21.4 1055 265 280 245 265
TD 7 3 2 1 1
INT 1 0 1 0 0
Ru Yards 35 5 15 5 10
Ru TD 0 0 0 0 0
RB Rashad Jennings 30 8.8 7 180 40 30 50 60
Ru TD 1 0 0 0 1
Re Yards 40 15 15 10 0
Re TD 0 0 0 0 0
Rec 7 2 3 2 0
RB Shane Vereen 26 11.3 7.3 95 20 35 25 15
Ru TD 0 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 135 25 50 40 20
Re TD 1 0 1 0 0
Rec 16 3 6 4 3
RB Andre Williams 23 5 5 80 35 15 20 10
Ru TD 2 1 0 1 0
Re Yards 0 0 0 0 0
Re TD 0 0 0 0 0
Rec 0 0 0 0 0
WR Odell Beckham Jr. 22 24.9 17.6 465 115 140 80 130
Re TD 4 2 1 0 1
Rec 29 8 7 8 6
WR Rueben Randle 24 11.6 7.4 235 65 75 30 65
Re TD 1 1 0 0 0
Rec 17 5 5 3 4
WR Victor Cruz 28 0 INJ INJ INJ INJ
Re TD 0 INJ INJ INJ INJ
Rec 0 INJ INJ INJ INJ
WR Dwayne Harris 27 3.9 1.9 75 15 0 40 20
Re TD 0 0 0 0 0
Rec 8 2 0 4 2
TE Larry Donnell 26 6.6 4.1 105 30 0 45 30
Re TD 1 0 0 1 0
Rec 10 3 0 4 3

Buy: Manning. This is really a tough call, because I believe most of the Giantsí main fantasy properties are performing at the level I expect them to the rest of the season. However, Iíll take Manning here because he has a chance to excel over the next four games.

Sell: Randle. The Giantsí second receiver has found the end zone in back-to-back weeks, which suggests to me now is as good a time of any part ways with the inconsistent playmaker. Perhaps his 13 total targets over the last two weeks is the new normal for him, but at some point Cruz will return and probably chip away at that total.

Breakout player: Harris. I was tempted not to list a player here, but I am encouraged by how much action Harris saw in the slot last week. It is entirely possible that heíll continue to perform at the level that I expect Cruz to when he returns, which would be as a WR4 or WR5.

Philadelphia Eagles
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals NO NYG CAR bye
QB Sam Bradford 27 21.1 21.1 820 275 250 295
TD 5 2 2 1
INT 1 0 0 1
Ru Yards 25 5 5 15
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
RB DeMarco Murray 27 10.8 8.5 130 50 45 35
Ru TD 1 1 0 0
Re Yards 65 15 20 30
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 7 2 2 3
RB Ryan Mathews 27 8.2 7.2 130 65 30 35
Ru TD 1 1 0 0
Re Yards 25 15 10 0
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 3 2 1 0
RB Darren Sproles 32 10.5 6.8 30 0 25 5
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 115 25 20 70
Re TD 1 0 0 1
Rec 11 3 3 5
WR Jordan Matthews 23 16.5 9.8 235 75 85 75
Re TD 1 0 1 0
Rec 20 6 8 6
WR Nelson Agholor 22 9.2 6.5 135 80 40 15
Re TD 1 1 0 0
Rec 8 4 3 1
WR Josh Huff 23 3.5 2.2 65 25 0 40
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 4 2 0 2
WR Riley Cooper 27 2.2 1.2 35 0 15 20
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 3 0 1 2
WR Miles Austin 31 2.8 1.8 55 0 20 35
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 3 0 1 2
TE Zach Ertz 24 5.8 4.2 65 30 25 10
Re TD 1 0 1 0
Rec 5 2 2 1
TE Brent Celek 30 3.5 2.8 25 10 15 0
Re TD 1 1 0 0
Rec 2 1 1 0

Buy: Agholor. Quick trivia question: what Eagles player has seen more snaps than any other? If you said this rookie, you are correct. With Agholor, it is not a question of playing time and likely more a matter of continuing to build a rapport with Bradford.

Sell: Murray. Selling Murray now would be a mistake, but it is entirely possible that he performs well this week against New Orleans. If he does, it may be in your best interests to convince other potential owners that he is ďfiguring things outĒ. The fact of the matter is that Mathews fits this current team better than Murray does. The distribution of the workload doesnít figure to change anytime soon either, clearly leaving Murray in low-end RB2 territory.

Breakout player: Mathews. The ex-Charger probably isnít anything more than a flex consideration as long as Murray is healthy, but should be in the RB2 discussion anytime last yearís rushing champion is sidelined. Mathews has a bit more elusiveness than Murray, which allows him to produce on a somewhat more consistent basis when the blocking doesnít hold up.


Washington Redskins
5 6 7 8
Pos Player Age PPR Non Totals ATL NYJ TB bye
QB Kirk Cousins 27 12.9 12.9 665 245 180 240
TD 3 1 0 2
INT 3 1 2 0
Ru Yards 0
Ru TD 0
14 16
RB Alfred Morris 26 8.2 7.8 170 45 50 75
Ru TD 1 0 0 1
Re Yards 5 5 0 0
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 1 1 0 0
RB Matt Jones 22 7.2 6.5 115 60 25 30
Ru TD 1 1 0 0
Re Yards 20 10 0 10
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 2 1 0 1
RB Chris Thompson 24 8.3 4.7 45 15 10 20
Ru TD 0 0 0 0
Re Yards 95 35 40 20
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 11 5 4 2
WR Pierre Garcon 29 17.8 12.5 195 75 35 85
Re TD 3 1 0 2
Rec 16 6 3 7
WR DeSean Jackson 28 8.5 5.5 55 INJ INJ 55
Re TD 0 INJ INJ 0
Rec 3 INJ INJ 3
WR Andre Roberts 27 3 1.5 30 10 20 INJ
Re TD 0 0 0 INJ
Rec 3 1 2 INJ
WR Ryan Grant 24 5.5 2.8 85 45 20 20
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 8 4 2 2
WR Jamison Crowder 22 3.7 2 60 40 10 10
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 5 3 1 1
TE Jordan Reed 25 0 INJ INJ INJ
Re TD 0 INJ INJ INJ
Rec 0 INJ INJ INJ
TE Derek Carrier 25 7.3 4 120 25 55 40
Re TD 0 0 0 0
Rec 10 2 5 3

Buy: Garcon. I’m not sure anyone outside of his PPR owners are aware of this, but Garçon has produced doubled-digit fantasy point totals in every game so far and is averaging nearly nine targets. That number could go down once Jackson returns, but Garçon’s efficiency should improve. Furthermore, Reed is injured once again, likely leaving Garcon as a target monster for the next couple weeks.

Sell: Morris. I was firmly against drafting Morris in the first place and owners can see why that is the case now. What was supposed to be at worst a Morris-Jones timeshare has become a bit of a three-headed monster, with Thompson stealing the passing-down role that Jones was supposed to have. It’s complete and utter chaos in Washington - should we be surprised?

Breakout player: Crowder. This is more for the dynasty crowd with a lot of roster space. Crowder is a rookie with the kind of quickness and explosiveness to turn any play into a big one. I sincerely doubt he’ll become a consistent fantasy performer at any point in 2015, but he’s a player to keep in mind should a player like Garçon go down for multiple weeks.


Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”. Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.