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
PHI @ ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 200,1
QB Mark Sanchez 210,1
RB Ryan Mathews 80,1 1-10
RB DeMarco Murray 110,1 2-20
RB Darren Sproles 20 6-60,1
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 Sam Bradford, PHI @NYG 0000025012 ***
Bradford managed 280 and a touch in the earlier meeting with the Giants, and who knows how things will work sans Chip Kelly this week. Bradford's upside isn't nearly sexy enough to suggest wading through the confusion to start him this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, PHI @NYG 5013200000 *
The good news is that Chip Kelly's departure likely lets Murray out of the doghouse in Philly. The bad news is that no one knows what the running back rotation will look like under an interim play-caller. Murray was solid (22-109-1) in the earlier meeting and scored last week, but he hasn't seen 15 touches in a game since Week 11 and is simply too volatile to trust fully even in a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI @NYG 500000000 **
Chip Kelly's departure throws the Philly backfield into further disarray. The reward is too small to offset the risk with so many backs getting touches, so best avoid the situation--or at least Matthews, coming off a six-touch game--entirely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @NYG 005801000 ***
Matthews has become the closest thing the Eagles have to a WR1, with back-to-back 100-yard games with a touchdown. He played third fiddle with 59 yards in the earlier meeting with the Giants, but he's a much better bet to reprise or improve upon those numbers than either Riley Cooler (3-76-1 against the Giants) or Miles Austin (3-60 in that same game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI @NYG 004500000 ***
There's some upside to the emerging Agholor against a Giants secondary that's given up a touchdown or at least 99 yards to multiple receivers in three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @NYG 006800000 ***
Just as Ertz was living up to lofty preseason expectations with 30 targets, 21 catches, 200 yards and a touchdown the past two games... Chip Kelly gets canned. There's still plenty of fantasy upside against a Giants defense that has given up TE TDs in two straight and six 50-plus yard efforts in the past nine games--but also much more uncertainty.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI @NYG 1122 ***
Multiple field goals
in just one of last seven--
plus no Chip Kelly

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 Carson Palmer 290,1
RB Chris Johnson 60 4-20
WR Larry Fitzgerald 7-100,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 3-30,1

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 SEA 0000026020 ***
Been a while since the Seahawks saw a legit threat at quarterback. How long? Keen, Manziel, Clausen, Bridgewater, Roethlisberger (who threw for 456 yards but only one TD), Gabbert... almost two months back to Palmer's 363 and 3 in Seattle. With a shot at home field throughout the playoffs on the line the Cards will turn Palmer loose early, giving him a legit shot at solid fantasy numbers even in the face of a tough matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB David Johnson, ARI SEA 8014400000 ***
It won't be easy against the top RB defense, but Johnson has 120 or more combo yards in each of his four starts since taking over for the injured Chris Johnson, with five touchdowns in that span. The last time Arizona faced this defense CJ and Andre Ellington combined for 119 and 1 on the ground while DJ touched the ball just once (for eight yards). So... tough, yes, but not impossible.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI SEA 004501000 ***
Brown was still battling a hamstring injury and targeted just three times without a catch in the earlier meeting with Seattle. He's the third wheel in this offense, but that might just mean he draws lesser coverage so don't bench up just because you fear the matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI SEA 006501000 ***
Fitz has taken a back seat to other members of the Arizona receiving corps for the better part of three months. However, his touchdown last week and 10-130 in the earlier matchup with Seattle suggest that just because he's not the top target on his team doesn't mean he won't help your fantasy squad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI SEA 003300000 **
Floyd owns 40 percent of the WR TDs allowed by the Seahawks this season, and he's accounted for a third of the 100-yard WR games they've given up as well. With the Legion of Boom spread thin across Arizona's sterling receiving corps, plenty of opportunity for Floyd this week.

Update: Floyd missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and was limited on Friday by a knee injury. He's listed as questionable, but there's mostly optimism in Arizona that he'll be available this weekend.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI SEA 2233 ***
Season-high thirteen
last time he faced the Seahawks
Like his chances here

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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