FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: PHI 27, ARI 20 (Line: PHI by 4)

Players to Watch: Brent Celek

Players Updated: Ryan Williams, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Michael Vick

The Cardinals remain unbeaten with their win in New England and they upset the Eagles 21-17 in Philly last year. No looking past these Cards and the Eagles come to the game also undefeated thanks two one-point wins. Flip a coin here but the biggest difference is that the Eagles have a better pass defense and rushing offense.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL -----
2 BAL 24-23 11 @WAS -----
3 @ARI ----- 12 CAR -----
4 NYG ----- 13 @DAL -----
5 @PIT ----- 14 @TB -----
6 DET ----- 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL ----- 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Darren Sproles 20 6-60,1
WR Alshon Jeffery 3-40,1
WR Torrey Smith 3-60
TE Brent Celek 6-70

Pregame Notes: The Eagles certainly know how to win with style after posting two victories by a single point. Vick has been a solid fantasy quarterback with dual efforts of 310+ yards and two scores in each game. He still takes off about eight times per game on a run. Aside from that whole "six interceptions are bad" thing, Vick has gotten the job done even if it was ugly, last second and almost unthinkable that it came down to that.

LeSean McCoy remains highly productive with solid efforts in Cleveland and against the Ravens. He continues to get 25+ touches every week while needing only a couple of plays off for Bryce Brown. He is one of the first round backs this summer who is delivering exactly what was expected.

Jeremy Maclin has scored both weeks but only had the one catch against the Ravens and is suffering from his hip pointer that he re--aggravated. He is not a lock to play this week but practice and injury news later in the week will give a clearer picture of what to expect. DeSean Jackson still has yet to score a touchdown but comes off a seven catch, 114 yard effort over the Ravens. This passing attack remains limited to the two starting wideouts and Brent Celek who comes off a career best 157 yards on eight receptions helping to compensate for Jeremy Maclin being banged up. Even in week one, Celek gained 65 yards on four receptions in what is hinting to be his best season ever.

The Eagles were surprised by the Browns but escaped with a win. They had to battle against the Ravens but also escaped with a comeback win. This week will be another surprisingly good defense and a road game. And the answer to the questions - "Are the Cardinals really that good?" and "Can Vick try to throw to his own team this week?"

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 3 20 9 2 26 15
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 8 6 16 15 30 14

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Wentz, PHI @CAR 0000027020 ***
The only thing remotely positive about this matchup is that Carolina has only one interception to its credit through five games. Otherwise, Wentz will be across from a defense that has relented the seventh-lowest average of fantasy points per game (17.4) to quarterbacks on the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, PHI @CAR 601000000 ***
Just the Eagles and Broncos have yielded fewer rushing yards per game (64) than Carolina. RBs have managed to score at the seventh-highest rate, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI @CAR 003501000 ***
Agholor has shown a knack for the big play when he does contribute, and Carolina's defense has allowed a WR to score once per game, on average, this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, PHI @CAR 005600000 ***
The Panthers have done a sound job at stopping receivers, rating in the middle of the league. Receivers have averaged 129.6 yards per contest, which is in the lower third of football teams.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, PHI @CAR 004600000 ***
Smith remains capable of getting behind defenders, as we saw last week, and there's a puncher's chance he could do it again for DFSers. The Panthers have permitted receivers one score per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @CAR 005701000 ***
Ertz takes on a defense that has yielded a mere 17 catches for 184 yards in five games. Two of which have scored, making this the eighth-easiest unit to exploit for touchdowns.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jake Elliott, PHI @CAR 1133 ***
The rookie has been solid, making 10 of 12 field goals and all 11 XPAs, in for games. Carolina has been tagged for only 6.8 fantasy points per outing.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI ----- 12 STL -----
4 MIA ----- 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL ----- 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF ----- 15 DET -----
7 @MIN ----- 16 CHI -----
8 SF ----- 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 150,1
QB Carson Palmer 290,1
RB Adrian Peterson 80,1 2-20
WR Larry Fitzgerald 7-100,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 3-30,1
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to argue with beating the Seahawks and their big time defense and then going to New England and taking down the Patriots offense. The fantasy value from the games has been scant and low scoring but in NFL terms the Cardinals have clearly been impressive on defense and won as the underdog twice. All this with a still shaky quarterback situation and one of the worst rushing offenses in the NFL.

Kevin Kolb gets his chance to go at his old team but he has already lost his starting job to Johns Skelton who was injured, thus handing it back. Kolb only managed to pass for 140 yards and one score in New England. The fact that this team is 2-0 is remarkable given that the only have two passing touchdowns - both to Andre Roberts - and no runner has exceeded 44 rush yards in a game.

Last week Ryan Williams even lost a fumble at the end of the game to give away the victory and one of the most accurate kickers in the league could not make a 42-yard field goal. These Cardinals are living right somehow but that sort of luck is hard to count on every week.

At least in theory.

Once again, one of the worst offenses (Arizona) meets one of the best defenses (Philly) and it seems a mismatch. But this week the luck should finally run out.

I like a defensive score in this game. How else are they going to keep this interesting?

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 24 27 27 20 17 17
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 2 15 4 8 27 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Palmer, ARI TB 0000030021 ***
Facing Tampa, Palmer draws an opponent that has allowed the third-most fantasy points per game. The Bucs have given up the 315.3 yards, which is the second-highest figure in football on a per-contest basis.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI TB 1008600000 ***
Ellington has become quite the PPR asset in recent games. Luckily for fantasy owners, Tampa Bay has surrendered the fourth-highest average of receptions per game to RBs (7.3). Only one of 93 rushes and one of 29 receptions has scored this season against Tampa, both rating as the fifth-worst for exploitation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Adrian Peterson, ARI TB 400000000 ***
Peterson was traded to the Cardinals and will have his data updated Friday. Keep your expectations low in his first game with Arizona.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI TB 0071001000 ***
Fitz posted a 6-81-1 day last year vs. Tampa. The Buccaneers should give a fine chance to expand upon that effort. This is the worst defense of wideouts in both scoring systems, and no team has allowed more catches or yards per outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI TB 004401000 ***
No team has yielded more receptions and yards per game to wideouts than Tampa, and this is the best matchup in both scoring formats. Brown is coming off of a decent showing last week and is a decent place to look to fill a bye week spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR J.J. Nelson, ARI TB 004600000 ***
More of a boom-or-bust type, Nelson is usually dependent on scoring to offer much for fantasy lineups. Tampa Bay hasn't surrendered a lot of touchdowns -- one every 14.4 catches, or just the 17th-softest defense. They have given up more yards and catches than any team in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jaron Brown, ARI TB 003500000 ***
Brown is a flier candidate a against the worst defense in both fantasy scoring systems. He can get lost in the shuffle any week, though, making him a risk-reward decision based on your individual situation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, ARI TB 002200000 ***
With four capable receivers, plus a pass-catching back in Andre Ellington, Gresham's role is arbitrary and limited.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, ARI TB 1122 ***
In four games, Tampa Bay has allowed all eight extra points and seven of eight field goals, good for being the 19th-best defense to face this week.

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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