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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 @WAS 0000024020 **
The Redskins have given up multiple touchdown passes in four straight, with two of those quarterbacks topping 370 passing yards. Romo was knocked out of the earlier meeting with Washington; if he doesn't finish this time it will be because the Cowboys have already clinched their fate--likely due to a solid fantasy helper from Romo.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL @WAS 601000000 *
Murray dominated the Redskins like no other back in the earlier meeting, with 221 yards from scrimmage. He won't likely see enough touches to match that performance as the Cowboys rest their feature back (and specifically his busted hand) for the playoffs, and he was ineffective with a reduced workload against Indy last week. He's still starter-worthy, but your expectations need to be lowered dramatically.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joseph Randle, DAL @WAS 3002200000 ***
Randle saw his biggest workload last week (13 carries) and did little with it (37 yards). With a tougher matchup this week there's no reason to expect those numbers to trend upwards, even if Randle ends up with a larger share of the touches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL @WAS 004601000 ****
Dez has scored in his last two against the Redskins; he's also scored 10 TDs in his last eight games, a streak that started with a subdued 3-30-1 against Washington. With DeMarco Murray dinged the offensive onus is on the passing game, and in turn Tony Romo leans on Dez. Start him with confidence here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL @WAS 003400000 ***
Williams returned to the end zone--twice--last week as the Dallas passing game picked up the slack left by the injury to DeMarco Murray. However, secondary targets rarely fare well against the Redskins--and when they do it tends to be at the expense of the primary guy. Since it's unlikely that Dez Bryant falters here, don't look for big things for Williams this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL @WAS 005501000 ***
Witten scored in the earlier meeting with Washington, and after watching the Redskins give up 15-115 to Zach Ertz last week---and 4-61-2 to Jared Cook two weeks prior to that, and 4-127-2 to Coby Fleener the week before that--you have to like Witten's chances of another big outing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL @WAS 1133 ***
Bailey has been counting by ones instead of threes, with just one multiple field goal game in the past two and a half months. On the bright side, he's had at least four PATs in five of the last six games so even though the ceiling isn't high the floor isn't that low.

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
WR Sidney Rice 5-60
TE Zach Miller 3-20
TE Tony Moeaki 2-20
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 60100021010 ***
Eli Manning's 391 and 3 last week against the Rams was the first multiple touchdown game St. Louis had allowed since... well, since Wilson turned the trick with 313 and 2 back in Week 7. Wilson added 106 rushing yards and a rushing score as well, yielding a fantasy line not unlike last week's against Arizona. Can lightning strike again? Given the way Wilson is augmenting his passing numbers with a consistent dose of rushing stats, odds are it's a yes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA STL 10011100000 ****
The Rams just let Andre Williams run over them for 110 yards in their house; what chance do they have against Lynch in his, where he's averaging 85 yards and almost 1.5 touchdowns per game? St. Louis slowed him in the front end of the season series (18-53), but so did Arizona and Lynch burned them with 113 and 2 in the rematch. So, advantage Skittles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA STL 006800000 ***
While it's tough to identify which nameless face will step up at any given time to represent the Seattle receivers, you can make a compelling case for Baldwin this week. He had 7-123-1 in the earlier meeting with St. Louis and comes off 7-113 last week. Those games represent the only 100-yard games by Seattle receivers this year, so if it's going to happen again he's the most likely candidate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, SEA STL 006700000 ***
Richardson saw the second-most targets last week against Arizona, but he's far too inconsistent a fantasy contributor to be banked on this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA STL 002301000 *
The Rams have allowed only two TE TDs all season--but one went to Cooper Helfet in the earlier meeting between these clubs, and Wilson shredded the Cardinals last week with 139 yards and a pair of scores. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA STL 1144 ***
If you can get over Hauschka's oh-fer last week, it's a genuine opportunity. The Rams have given up 34 kicker points the past three games, suggesting Hauschka has a chance to upgrade on the eight points he scored in the earlier meeting in St. Louis.

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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