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 IND 0000027031 ***
Romo has three or more TD tosses in four of his last five games, and with DeMarco Murray dinged or out he'll be forced to shoulder more of the offensive load. Indy's pass defense numbers of late have been artificially inflated by them shutting down the likes of Tom Savage, Brian Hoyer and Blake Bortles. Romo is more of the Tom Brady (257 & 2), Eli Manning (359 & 2), Ben Roethlisberger (522 & 6) ilk; expect similar positive results.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joseph Randle, DAL IND 2011100000 **
Don't be surprised if Randle gets the call, either to start if DeMarco Murray sits or to replace Murray after a couple hits to his broken hand (and subsequent fumbles). Indy's a favorable matchup for running backs, so if/when Randle winds up with the workload he has a very good chance of making fantasy noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL IND 7001100000 *
Dr. Jerry Jones thinks there's still a chance Murray plays despite surgery on a broken hand earlier this week. Dr. Reality Check thinks even if he does his fantasy impact will be limited due to ball security concerns and risk of more damage. Then again, Murray's a free agent after the season so maybe use and dispose is the game plan?
Update: Murray practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, and everything coming out of Dallas points towards him giving it a go on Sunday. But keep in mind it's a similar injury to the one that kept Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk out a couple weeks each, plus there's no way it won't affect ball security and pass-catching. Stay glued to the inactive list Sunday morning; hopefully you'll get a definitive answer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lance Dunbar, DAL IND 1003300000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL IND 006801000 ***
Vontae Davis is a shutdown corner, but he's also human. Bryant can beat any matchup given enough targets, and he usually is--especially if DeMarco Murray is limited or out of this one. Proceed as per usual with Bryant in your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL IND 003401000 ***
Beasley has been more productive of late than fellow secondary target Terrance Williams, and with Vontae Davis likely shadowing Dez Bryant Tony Romo might throw a little more frequently at his alternate receivers. That puts Beasley at least on the fringe of fantasy relevance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL IND 002400000 ***
Williams played second fiddle to Dez Bryant for a while, but now Cole Beasley is horning in on his action. It's been far too long since Williams posted anything of fantasy relevance to be trusted at this critical juncture.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL IND 005601000 ***
Indy's been a favorable matchup for tight ends, and with Witten coming off his largest target game of the season he's back on Tony Romo's radar. The combination of Vontae Davis on Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray's injury only add to the probability of Witten posting a fantasy helper here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL IND 1144 ***
Bailey has but one multiple field goal effort in his past eight games; fortunately he's salvaged fantasy value with four or more PATs in four of his last five games. The Vegas sharps like this game for lots of points; no reason Bailey can't get his share of the fun.

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 70000021010 ***
Unfavorable trends about here. The Cards have given up just one multiple touchdown game in their last seven, while Wilson has just one such outing in his last four--a stretch that includes his 211 and 1 against the Cardinals in Week 12. Wilson will need his feet to salvage fantasy value once again; fortunately for fantasy owners, he proved he can get it done against Arizona with 73 rushing yards in the earlier meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @ARI 5014300000 ***
Lynch has yet to rush for a road TD, and Arizona isn't overly accommodating in allowing six RB rushing scores in 14 games. Settle for his usual decent dose of yardage and cross your fingers the Seahawks get close enough for him to pound one in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @ARI 003400000 ***
Kearse joins Doug Baldwin as the most-targeted Seahawks receivers; he also joins him at the back of the line for fantasy productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @ARI 003200000 ***
The Seahawks continue to get by with minimal productivity from their passing game. Baldwin remains the most targeted, but that rarely turns into anything of fantasy note--especially in an unfavorable matchup such as this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA @ARI 002101000 *
Willson competes with Tony Moeaki for looks, and last week they finished in a dead heat: both had zero targets. You can't bank on a share of a low-output position for fantasy help at this point in the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @ARI 2122 ***
Two of Hauschka's three lowest-scoring games have come in the past fortnight. Slump? Coincidence? Hauschka had 13 against Arizona when the Cards came to Seattle a month ago, there's no real reason to suggest a steep drop-off in the return match.

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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