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 Ryan Mathews 80,1 1-10
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 Carson Wentz, PHI WAS 0000022011 ***
The matchup suggests a streaming play, but the desperation of Washington could play a huge role. The Redskins have allowed quarterbacks to average 26.8 fantasy points and 290.5 yards per game. The position, since Week 8, has mustered aerial nine TDs in four games, plus one on the ground.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI WAS 8011100000 *
Mathews returned to practice Wednesday, which suggests he should be in line to play ... how much is anyone's guess. Keep him pegged as a flex in the worst-case scenario. At least the matchup is sweet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI WAS 1005300000 ***
Three running backs with one great matchup ... fantasy cannibalization? Probably. Sproles tackles fantasy's eighth most generous opponent for catches allowed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Wendell Smallwood, PHI WAS 2001100000 ***
No team has been a bigger turnstile for touchdowns than the Redskins have in the last five weeks. The matchup is right, so Smallwood may get on track.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI WAS 004600000 *
Matthews should be back this week but may not be 100 percent. Check Friday for an update on his status. He's likely to draw Josh Norman if he goes, so look elsewhere if you have a better matchup.

Update: Matthews was a full-go Thursday and Friday, which is great news since the Eagles should be without Dorial Green-Beckham.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI WAS 003400000 ***
Update: No DGB means more for Agholor, but Jordan Matthews is back this week, so the second-year wideout will remain unplayable in fantasy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI WAS 007601000 ***
Tight ends have averaged 6.5 catches for 76 yards and 0.5 TDs over the last four games against the Redskins. Ertz caught one pass for 22 yards the last time these teams met.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI WAS 2222 ***
Washington has allowed the second most extra point attempts but the sixth fewest field goal tries per contest in the last five weeks.

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 @MIA 0000025022 ***
Miami was throttled by Joe Flacco last week, leaving the Dolphins as the fourth most generous defense in the last five weeks for quarterbacks. The position has allowed a touchdown every 11.4 completions (12th) and 270.8 aerial yards per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB David Johnson, ARI @MIA 7008801000 ***
Johnson's march continues, this week in Miami, where he faces fantasy's sixth softest matchup. The Dolphins have allowed five offensive touchdowns in as many games of late, giving up the seventh most receptions a game to RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @MIA 007600000 ***
Miami has allowed receivers to average 12.8 catches (15th) for 160.2 yards (12th) per game since Week 8, scoring four times on 64 catches (25th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @MIA 002300000 ***
Floyd is impossibly frustrating to deal with in fantasy. The matchup is mediocre, which lowers the incentive to consider him a good deal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, ARI @MIA 004401000 ***
Only the Packers have been worse against tight ends in the last five weeks. Gresham is a solid play given his recent uptick in involvement.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @MIA 3322 ***
Miami has given up the 10th most extra point attempts per game but only the 19th highest average for field goal tries. This factors to being the 12th most combined attempts per game since Week 8.

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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