FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 0000027020 ***
Romo has multiple touchdowns in seven straight meetings with the Giants, with at least 250 yards in each game as well. That run includes a 279 and 3 from earlier this year, and there's little reason to think he'll fall much shy of those benchmarks in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL @NYG 10014200000 ****
After a brief hiccup Murray got back in the 100-yard swing of things the last time Dallas took the field. After taking the Giants for 128 and 1 in the earlier meeting, Murray should have little difficulty slapping another hundo on a New York defense that's allowed three 100-yard games (and a 95-yarder) in the past five outings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL @NYG 0071001000 ***
Bryant hasn't scored against the Giants since 2011, but he has three 100-yard games in the past four meetings including 151 earlier this year. He's an every week fantasy starter, and this week is no different.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL @NYG 003500000 ***
The last time both Williams and Dez Bryant were fantasy relevant in the same game was a month ago--when the Cowboys hosted the Giants and Williams scored while Bryant topped 150 yards. Bryant is obviously the better option, but Williams definitely is in play this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL @NYG 004501000 ***
A fortuitous confluence: the Giants have allowed six TE TDs in the past five games, and the Cowboys have rediscovered Witten's role in their offense, with three touchdowns and three games north of 60 yards in the past five outings. It adds up to another quality opportunity for Witten to ring the fantasy bell.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL @NYG 2233 ***
Bailey has single field goals in four straight; maybe his offense has been too good. He should get some PATs again this week, probably enough to keep him fantasy relevant.

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
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 ARI 40000018010 ***
Wilson hasn't topped 200 yards in a month and has as many games without a passing touchdown as with. Fortunately for his fantasy value he also has 244 rushing yards and a rushing TD in that span. The Cards won't be an easy nut to crack on either count--they've allowed only 85 QB rushing yards all year--so consider Wilson a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA ARI 8022200000 ****
Back to back 100-yard efforts, six touchdowns in the past three games... so what if the Cards are a tough run-game matchup on paper, it's Beast Mode. Never go against Beast Mode.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA ARI 004500000 ****
The good news is, Baldwin has the last two Seattle WR TDs. The bad news is, it's taken five weeks to score those two TDs. That's too inconsistent a contribution to be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA ARI 003400000 ***
Kearse has pieced together a couple under-the-radar fantasy helpers the past two weeks, totaling 124 yards. But if that's the upside, you'll want to look for a higher fantasy ceiling elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA ARI 002200000 ***
The Cards have allowed just one TE TD in their past six games, so it's not a favorable opportunity for the rarely used Willson.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA ARI 1133 ***
Hauschka's been money for at least eight points in every home game this year; no reason to expect different in a big divisional battle.

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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