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 Mark Sanchez 210,1
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 4-20
RB Darren Sproles 20 6-60,1
WR Jeremy Maclin
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 Nick Foles, PHI @IND 0000028022 ****
Foles picked up right where he left off, tacking a 322 & 2 effort to a streak of eight straight games with the equivalent of multiple passing scores. An Indy defense fresh off surrendering 269 and 3 to Peyton Manning should help him run that string to double digits.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @IND 5006501000 ***
Shady got his triple digit combo yardage in the season opener but failed to find the end zone--ceding the score and 15 touches to Darren Sproles. No reason to think McCoy can't reclaim his touchdown here, and the yardage is all but a given as he's now topped the century mark in yards from scrimmage in eight straight regular season contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @IND 3004200000 ***
Sproles' running game role was a bit surprising, but you knew Chip Kelly would find a way to get him touches. Even if you can't bank on the consistent TD he's a PPR and yardage league fiend who warrants lineup consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @IND 005801000 ****
Indy's secondary did a reasonably competent job of limiting Denver's wideouts in the season opener. Still, that shouldn't affect your plugging Maclin--the team's target leader last week--into your fantasy lineup with confidence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @IND 003400000 ***
There are more mouths to feed than ever in the Philly offense, and Cooper appears to have fallen behind Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles in the pecking order. That doesn't bode well for his fantasy prospects on a week-to-week basis, certainly when the position is deep during non-bye weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @IND 003400000 ***
Matthews remains mostly potential; until he moves into a more defined role in Chip Kelly's offense he's a fantasy non-entity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @IND 005801000 ****
Ertz is still splitting the tight end gig with Brent Celek, but he's doing more with his opportunities plus he gets to face an Indy defense that couldn't find Julius Thomas with a map and a flashlight last week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @IND 3222 ****
Thus far Parkey is making the decision to jettison Alex Henery--as well as the decision to plug him into your fantasy lineup--look smart.

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 Jonathan Dwyer 50 2-10
WR Larry Fitzgerald 7-100,1
TE Rob Housler 2-20

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 @NYG 10000024020 *
Palmer threw for 302 against a solid San Diego defense, more than a tuneup for a Giants' defense fresh off being roasted by the Lions for 346 and two. What's not to like?
Update: Palmer was limited in practice all week by an elbow injury and officially is listed as questionable. However, there doesn't seem to be any concern in Cardinals camp about his availability this week, so you should be able to start him with confidence against the Giants.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI @NYG 4005300000 ***
Phrases like "will wear a boot to calm it down" and "can't make it worse by playing on it" hardly inspire confidence. However, Ellington's 80 combo yards on 18 touches suggest he's capable of being a fantasy helper--especially against a defense that just served up 124 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to Detroit's backfield committee.
Update: Ellington is listed as questionable after limiting his work this week in an effort to rest his sore foot. He was in a similar situation last week and received 18 touches against the Chargers, so you should be fine again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @NYG 0061001000 ***
The Giants just gave up 13-257-2 to Detroit wide receivers. Sure, one was Megatron but Floyd is an emerging stud in his own right, and the Lions' passing game is only slightly more diversified than Detroit's. No reason he can't follow up his 119-yard Week 1 performance with something equally fantasy-friendly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @NYG 006801000 ***
Senior may not have been happy with the targets, but it's no secret that Michael Floyd is the new sheriff in Arizona's passing game. There's still room for Junior, however, especially when you note that Detroit just had both starting wideouts go for 90-plus yards against the G-Men secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @NYG 003400000 ***
It'll be difficult to bank on Brown's consistency as the third man in on Arizona's passing attack; then again, he did out-perform Larry Fitzgerald and out-score all other Cardinals wideouts. And against a Giants' secondary that surrendered 257 yards and two TDs to the position, there might just be enough to go around.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @NYG 1133 ***
Just between friends, when Catanzaro hits the upright does it go "bing"? All kidding aside, there are worse gigs than tacking on points for a prolific offense like Arizona's.

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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