FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @Dorey_TheHuddle
 

Player Rankings (Player Projections) »    Game Predictions Summary »    Projections by Team »

WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) *IND at CHI *PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC JAC at MIN *PIT at DEN WAS at NO
*BUF at NYJ *MIA at HOU *SEA at ARI *CIN at BAL (MON)
*UPDATED *CAR at TB *NE at TEN SF at GB *SD at OAK (MON)

Prediction: DAL 24, NYG 31 (Line NYG by 4)

Players to Watch: David Wilson, Martellus Bennett

The Giants swept the Cowboys in 2011, winning 31-14 at home in the final game of the season that sent the Cowboys home for the holidays while the Giants went on to win another Superbowl. The Giants also won 37-34 at Dallas as well. The Cowboys have only won once in the last four trips to New York. This is a big inter-divisional rivalry that usually goes to the Giants if only at the very end of the game.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG ----- 10 @PHI -----
2 @SEA ----- 11 CLE -----
3 TB ----- 12 WAS -----
4 CHI ----- 13 PHI -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN -----
6 @BAL ----- 15 PIT -----
7 @CAR ----- 16 NO -----
8 NYG ----- 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys need no motivation in this game anyway, but getting kicked out of the playoffs would seem like added incentive. Problem is that the Cowboys have been nursing a lot of injuries in the receiver corps. Miles Austin has been battling a bad hamstring for many weeks and is slated to play. This is a big concern for a Cowboys team that paid him big bucks at the start of the 2010 season and not seen the expected return. Last year Austin was out for six games and played poorly when he was there.

Dez Bryant spent the offseason allegedly hitting his mother but otherwise has been a model player in the preseason and may be finally poised to cash in on his potential that never seems to quite show up so far. The summer saw a major battle for the #3 position that will be handled mostly by Kevin Ogletree with some help from Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley. After Laurent Robinson made the #3 spot payoff so well last year, many have looked for his successor without realizing how rare his performance was.

Dallas returns what should be their best backfield in many years with DeMarco Murray looking to improve on his impressive 2011 season while avoiding further injury which was one of his calling cards in college.

Jason Witten lacerated his spleen and missed the end of the preseason but needed no surgery and is a game time decision for this tilt. Hopefully all his owners have someone else to use already.

This is the same offense - though with a new coordinator in Bill Callahan. Opening against the Giants in New York is a very touch start and Dallas always has trouble winning there. The Cowboys historically have started the season good, become great by November and then nosedive for all of December. This season is bound to be different since the Cowboys play six road games in their first nine games and then only have two away venues over their final seven weeks.

This game pits Dallas against one of the weakest defenses of 2011 though they obviously improved as the year progressed towards the Superbowl and they did sweep Dallas anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 6 24 6 4 5 22
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 27 18 29 29 20 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Dak Prescott, DAL CHI 0000024010 ***
The good: He scored a TD (rushing) in Week 2 and once again didn't turn over the ball. The bad: He's not moving the ball down the field enough or taking the necessary, smart chances to lead to fantasy teams.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL CHI 10012100000 ***
Two fumbles in Week 2 didn't help his fantasy total, but the rookie is churning along as good as can be expected because of the quarterback situation. This should be another strong fantasy effort from Zeke. Chicago has allowed averages of 102.5 rushing yards, four receptions, and one touchdown per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL CHI 006901000 ***
Hey, look at that ... we had a Dez sighting in Week 2! Proof that you must start your studs. Jordan Matthews caught six of nine targets for 71 yards in Week 2, following up DeAndre Hopkins' 5-54-1 stat line in the opener. ... reasonably realistic expectations for No. 88.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL CHI 006700000 ***
This matchup isn't ideal on paper. Chicago has allowed only 24 catches, 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two games. Beasley is playing too well right now to ignore, and fantasy owners in PPR leagues must include him as no worse than a flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL CHI 005600000 ***
Houston's tight ends did no damage, as expected, to Chicago in the opener. Trey Burton, replacing Philly starter Zach Ertz, managed five catches, 49 yards and a TD on seven targets. Witten is in for a quality outing for PPR owners, and with any extra luck, he'll lumber into the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL CHI 3322 ***
Dak Prescott moves the ball well but struggles to produce touchdowns. That has been a good thing for Bailey's fantasy owners.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL ----- 10 @CIN -----
2 TB ----- 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR ----- 12 GB -----
4 @PHI ----- 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE ----- 14 NO -----
6 @SF ----- 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Giants come off a Cinderella season where they went from nearly sitting at home in January to winning the Superbowl as 2011's "team you did not see coming". It was only their final win that made then 9-7 and gave them a winning season. Timing is everything though.

Eli Manning once again won a Superbowl MVP and he'll try to keep the team from getting another championship hangover. When they defeated the Patriots in 2008, the next year they missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record. No doubt that has been pointed out by HC Tom Coughlin who still probably could not explain how the Giants went from written off to unbeatable all in one season.

The Giants return Hakeem Nicks who fractured his foot in May but rehabbed and made it into the final preseason game. The expected primary wideout last year gave way to Victor Cruz in most games. Cruz ended with an incredible season of 1536 yards and nine touchdowns. The third wideout in this scheme doesn't really matter and the Giants will start the season with a committee approach using the rookie Rueben Randle, Domenik Hixon and Jerrel Jernigan.

Martellus Bennett finally is out of the shadow of Jason Witten who never got injured to let Bennett in. Ironically his first game as a starter comes at home against the Cowboys. Bennett has always been an interesting, high-potential player so he has a chance to make a far bigger splash as a tight end than we have seen since Jeremy Shockey left.

The backfield is also very promising with Brandon Jacobs gone and the rookie David Wilson turning heads. Ahmad Bradshaw claims to be healthy again (which is smart) after two seasons of chronic feet problems. Instead of a Thunder and Lightning approach when Jacobs was there, Wilson is the same size and sort of runner that Bradshaw is. And probably faster and maybe better. This is a big thing to watch since there will be a timeshare backfield that performance will dictate who gets what. Wilson has been exciting the coaches in the preseason and now gets a chance to open with two home games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 7 6 3 21 25 10
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 18 7 18 27 13 13

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG WAS 0000033030 ***
In two games versus the Redskins last season, Eli threw for 600 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. The 'Skins are allowing nearly 300 yards and 1.5 TDs per contest thus far. At home, Manning is a fine play -- arguably the best among quarterbacks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NYG WAS 4003300000 ***
Washington hasn't been kind to pass-catching backs, although Vereen is the best of the lot of the weeks under examination. DeAngelo Williams caught six balls in Week 1, so there's hope in PPR as a flier.

Update: Slightly bump Vereen since Rashad Jennings is wearing a cast and won't be used in the passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4001100000 ***
Feeling lucky? Touches based on game flow tend to hamper Jennings' productivity. The matchup is wonderful -- the third best for RBs. Perhaps you can catch lightning in a bottle with Jennings in your flex spot.

Update: A thumb injury has Jennings a limited practice participant Friday and questionable for Week 3. He is expected to play with a cast on his hand, forcing him to carry the ball only with his right hand. Lower him to the unplayable grouping of his positional mates.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG WAS 0061001000 ***
Shepard enjoyed a nice game in Week 2 (8-117-0) and a fine start to his career overall. Doubles for OBJ open up single looks, and Shepard is more than capable of exploiting them as a rookie. Washington has granted receivers three TDs in two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG WAS 005801000 ***
Washington ranks 24th versus PPR wideouts. Cruz has come back to life and is edging closer to weekly WR3 territory. He has played 91.9 percent of New York's snaps this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
Josh Norman reportedly will follow Beckham around (sans the slot), but Norman says this is all news to him. Either way, Beckham cannot be sat down in fantasy. Norman won this battle in 2015. It's a new year, a new team for him, and there's a chance OBJ faces Bashaud Breeland from time to time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG WAS 003400000 ***
Donnell needs more looks to matter, and as long as the Giants' trio of wideouts remain productive, the tight end won't be relevant in fantasy. The position is averaging five catches when facing Washington.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 2233 ***
Midrange play in a divisional match against a team that ranks 15th vs. kickers.

WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) IND at CHI PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC JAC at MIN PIT at DEN WAS at NO
BUF at NYJ MIA at HOU SEA at ARI CIN at BAL (MON)
  CAR at TB NE at TEN SF at GB SD at OAK (MON)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t