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 @STL 0000022011 ****
Romo hasn't been anything special thus far this year, but the Rams have faced Matt Cassel and Josh McCown thus far so they may be caught off guard. At minimum there's upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL @STL 12011100000 ****
Murray has back-to-back hundos this year; the Rams just gave up 145 rushing yards to Bobby Rainey. Can you say "blank check"?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL @STL 007701000 ***
While the Cowboys may have suddenly become run-heavy, Tony Romo knows where to find Dez. And while the Rams have held opposing wideouts in check... well, it's Dez.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL @STL 004500000 ****
With the Cowboys becoming more run-heavy, Williams' role in the offense is not blossoming as expected. Keep him on the back burner until a more favorable matchup presents itself.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL @STL 004300000 ***
After squelching tight ends with regularity last season the Rams have picked up where they left off this year. And Witten is riding off into the sunset while the Cowboys carve out a different path offensively. Not much to see here fantasy-wise.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL @STL 3322 ***
Bailey should be looking at multiple field goal attempts again this week, which bodes well for his fantasy prospects.

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 Percy Harvin 20 6-80,1
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 DEN 20000020021 ***
Wilson has multiple TD tosses in his last three games, including 206 and 2 in the Super Bowl win over Denver. That's enough to make him a consistent low-end fantasy contributor, with the upside of anything he brings to the table as a rusher.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA DEN 8012100000 ****
Lynch didn't contribute a ton to the Super Bowl win, and he was shut down by the Chargers last week in San Diego. However, he's rock solid at home and should find success against a defense that let Knile Davis rack up 79 yards and score twice against them last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, SEA DEN 4002301000 ***
Harvin doesn't need to touch the ball to impact opposing defenses--though sadly that impact doesn't do much for fantasy bottom lines. Expect the Seahawks to find ways to get the ball into Harvin's hands, with the result being enough productivity to warrant a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA DEN 003400000 ***
Not that Seattle's tertiary offensive players don't contribute; more that they don't contribute consistently and therefore are difficult to trust with a fantasy start. As the secondary receiver in a run-first offense, Baldwin falls directly into that category.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA DEN 002300000 ***
Kearse's 61 yards last week mark the best showing by a Seahawk wideout this season. Of course, that came on the heels of a one-catch, eight-yard outing in the opener so he can't be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA DEN 003300000 ***
The upside to Miller is that the Broncos allowed a TE TD in Week 1 and 130 yards to the position last week. The downside is that 130 is double Miller's year-to-date yardage and he has yet to visit the end zone this year. Positive matchup, but not a player you can trust to take advantage.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA DEN 2233 ***
Kicking on a team with enough offense to get you there and enough defense to allow you to settle for field goals ain't a bad gig at all; just ask Hauschka.

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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