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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: DAL 24, SEA 20 (Line: DAL by 3)

Players to watch: Kevin Ogletree, Russell Wilson, Braylon Edwards

Players Updated: Marshawn Lynch, Jason Witten

The Cowboys come off their surprise handling of the reigning Super Bowl Champs which not only pleased the Dallas fans but left them asking "Where the hell was that last January?" The Cowboys won 23-13 in Seattle in week 9 of last year where the Seahawks return after then were handled by the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. Both teams are now sporting good defenses but so far the Cowboys are the only one with an offense to use as well. Another plus - Dallas has been off for the last 11 days by the time they play in this game.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 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
DAL @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 10 260,2
QB Brandon Weeden 20 150
RB DeMarco Murray 60,1 3-20
RB Ryan Williams 20 3-20
WR Dez Bryant 5-80,1
TE Jason Witten 4-50,1
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Big win over a long-time nemesis of the Giants. What was most notable about the game was that the Dallas defense looked very good. Like the additions of LCB Brandon Carr and the rookie RCB Morris Claiborne were exactly what the defense had been lacking for maybe the last 20 years or so. Eli Manning tried to pick on the rookie with minimal success.

It was a game where it all worked for the Cowboys. Tony Romo looked in top form completing 22 of 29 for 307 yards and three scores with no bonehead interception at the end. He used all his receivers and showed nice mobility when he only gave up two sacks. According to my wife, this is because he got married and now has a kid. In fairness, that is what made me grow up, get serious and want to spend my Sundays away from home as well.

Another big plus was DeMarco Murray who started out slowly but then popped a 48 yard run and ended with 131 yards on 20 carries - his first ever 100 yard game away from Dallas. Murray had all the running back carries while Felix Jones spend most time on special teams as a returner.

Dez Bryant (4-85) and Miles Austin (4-73, TD) both had decent games thanks to at least one long catch from each. But the story to tell was all about Kevin Ogletree who ended with eight catches for 114 yards and two scores. His very first touchdowns after spending three years in the league. His was an aberration of immense proportions. He had never caught more than three passes or gained more than 50 yards in any game as well. But he replaces Laurent Robinson who also feasted on touchdowns last year in Dallas. There is always a chance that the undrafted, fourth-year player is just now breaking out. But mostly it's just a great game that happened to be on week one in front of the entire country.

Jason Witten was able to return from his lacerated spleen and play though he was only thrown three passes and caught just two for ten yards. He was much more of a decoy than a threat. WIth 11 days passing until this game, Witten should be a bigger factor this week.

Facing the Seahawks in Seattle means going against a very good defense that stuffed the Cardinals nearly enough to win. The Cowboys defense will come into play here by keeping the need for a big score down. It will be a good test for the offense in another road game but not against a well-known divisional opponent and all that carries with it.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 3 22 1 25 23 20
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 7 7 17 12 16 19

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tony Romo, DAL NYG 0000025020 ****
Since getting knocked out of the front end of the 2010 Giants-Cowboys series Romo has owned Big Blue, averaging 311 yards and two-plus TDs in six subsequent meetings. Even with the Cowboys' newfound commitment to the ground game Romo has multiple TD tosses in four straight; no reason to think his dominance doesn't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL NYG 12015300000 *****
Since taking over as the Cowboys' feature back Murray has tallied at least 125 yards from scrimmage in each subsequent meeting with the Giants. That suggests his streak of 100-yard rushing games should be safe. What Murray has yet to do is find the end zone against the Giants, but a New York defense that's allowed four RB TDs in the past three games--not to mention Murray's six scores in as many games this year--should bring that particular streak to a halt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL NYG 006701000 ****
Dez hasn't scored on the Giants since the front end of the 2011 series, though he's reached triple-digit yardage twice against them since then. A score is no lock here against a New York secondary that hasn't allowed a WR1 to score since Megatron in the season opener, but Bryant is heavily targeted enough to more than compensate with yardage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL NYG 005701000 ****
Secondary receivers have done minimal yardage damage to the Giants, though the two most recent WR TDs they've surrendered have gone to alternate targets. If the New York focus is too intense on Dez, Williams is more than capable of making them pay.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL NYG 005600000 ***
Deuces are wild: Witten scored twice in each end of last season's series with the Giants, the Cowboys scored two TE TDs last week and the Giants surrendered two tight end touchdowns in their loss to Philly. That's more than enough to warrant Witten being in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL NYG 1144 ****
Bailey has at least eight points in five straight games, averaging better than 10 points per contest over that span. No reason to think a home date with the Giants sends him into a slump.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL ----- 11 BYE -----
3 GB ----- 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL ----- 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR ----- 14 ARI -----
6 NE ----- 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF ----- 16 SF -----
8 @DET ----- 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30 190,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 100,1 2-10
WR Doug Baldwin 2-20
TE Zach Miller 3-20
PK Steven Hauschka 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks found a strong rushing attack last year when Marshawn Lynch exploded after the first couple of weeks of the season. Already owning a very good defense, the only remaining piece of the puzzle seemed to be quarterback since it ended up that Tarvaris Jackson actually was not NFL starting quality. So they brought in Matt Flynn at great expense only to see him outplayed by the rookie Russell Wilson.

But going against nothing but first team starters in Arizona, he only completed 18 of 34 for 153 yards and one touchdown with an interception and a lost fumble. It is expected that he would start slowly and that is sure to play into this game. If he continues to struggle they may end up back with Flynn but the coaches all continue to support Wilson.

Marshawn Lynch was not bothered by back spasms much like last year and ended with 85 yards on 21 carries against the Cardinals. Robert Turbin was limited to only two runs for five yards and you can continue to expect that Lynch handles the heavy load. He remains the focal point of the offense.

To the credit of Wilson, he tried to connect with his starting wideouts. He threw nine passes to both Sidney Rice (4-36, TD) and Braylon Edwards (5-43) and six went to Doug Baldwin. He's not relying on tight ends and running backs - he's getting the ball downfield and had a few drops work against him.

Unfortunately, this will be a challenging week since the Cowboys defense appears to be much improved and their offense will be able to post points better than the Cardinals if last week holds true. It is always an advantage to play in Seattle but this may be as hard a matchup as visits outside of the 49ers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 28 25 26 26 11 19
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 9 13 8 21 8 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA @STL 30100020020 ***
Plenty of reasons to shrug off last week's disappointing showing against the Cowboys and get back in the saddle--to name two, Wilson's multiple TD track record prior to last week (as in, every game) and the Rams' multiple TD track record this season (as in, every game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @STL 8004200000 ***
Lynch has a strong track record against the Rams: 100-plus yards in three of the last five, 88 or more rushing yards in five of the last six, and touchdowns in four of the last six meetings. The Rams have allowed only one RB TD on the year but gave up 100-plus yards to DeMarco Murray and Bobby Rainey. No reason Lynch can't keep to his appointed rounds in St. Louis this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ricardo Lockette, SEA @STL 001301000 **
Lockette has two of the three receiving TDs scored by Seahawk wideouts this year, which makes him a viable reach against a Rams' secondary that's surrendered seven WR TDs in the past three games. But it's always a risk mining the depths of a Seattle receiving corps that hasn't produced a double-digit fantasy game since Week 2, and only then because of Percy Harvin's rushing stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @STL 003301000 **
Kearse has the two biggest yardage games by a Seahawk receiver this year: 62 and 61. No Seattle wideout other than Percy Harvin has had a double-digit fantasy game, so while this is a favorable matchup the table scraps for non-Harvin Seahawks are scarce.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @STL 004600000 ****
While WRs against the Rams is a favorable matchup, the Seahawks don't tend to throw enough to make a secondary target like Baldwin a safe fantasy bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA @STL 002100000 ****
Assuming Miller returns from injury he's an unlikely candidate for fantasy help given that no Seattle TE has scored or topped 50 yards this season.
Update: Miller has been ruled out for this week due to his ankle injury. Not that you were banking on him for much anyway.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @STL 1133 ***
Hauschka's had just one off week in an otherwise solid season; the Rams have allowed double digits to three of the five kickers they've faced. Plenty of reason to like what Hauschka brings to the fantasy table this week.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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