FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: NYG 23, PHI 24 (Line: PHI by 2)

Players to Watch: Ahmad Bradshaw, Brent Celek

Players Updated: Jeremy Maclin, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden

This is a game where you can throw out records. The Giants won 29-16 in Philly last and then lost 10-17 at home. That was their only win in the last five trips to Philadelphia. The Eagles have won seven of the last eight times they met. For whatever reason, the Eagles matchup well with the Giants who are looking better as long as they stay in the NFC South. Flip a coin here.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN -----
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB -----
4 @PHI ----- 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE ----- 14 NO -----
6 @SF ----- 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 260,2
RB Peyton Hillis
WR Victor Cruz 7-90,1
WR Kevin Ogletree 3-50,1

Pregame Notes: The Giants are 2-1 but Eli Manning has only posted one big game - his 510 yard effort in the comeback win over the visiting Buccaneers. Otherwise he has just one score per week and only moderate passing yardage. Hakeem Nicks sat out last week because of his foot but plans on playing this week even if he only practices once. In his place Ramses Barden had a career best nine catches for 138 yards versus the Panthers. Nothing is ever so motivating as watching your backup look great.

Martellus Bennett remains the newest weapon that has caught a touchdown in every game and turns in around five catches for 70 yards in recent weeks. Bennett is supplying a needed and valuable additional outlet for Manning beyond the wide receivers. The Giants don't throw to the backs much so Bennett fills that shorter, over the middle role. So far he's been one of the best fantasy tight ends and a must start each week.

Ahmad Bradshaw has been cleared to practice after missing last week with a neck injury. Until he has a week of full practices and looks strong, you have to assume that Andre Brown remains in the rotation if not remains the primary back. Brown has shown power unlike anything that Bradshaw can provide even when healthy and as the only "big" back on the roster, should remain mostly on the field no matter what is done with Bradshaw and David Wilson. The problem of course is that we cannot know how much work Bradshaw gets and how much is taken away from Brown. Figuring that Wilson still gets a few token touches as well means those two nice games by Brown may end up his best of the season.

Domenik Hixon has been cleared to practice after suffering a minor concussion.

The Eagles have a top ten defense in almost every category and will be back at home. This is a game where previous performances are less indicative because the two teams know each other so well. The one main carryover that should be reliable is that Nnamdi Asomugha will cover Nicks who he handled last season when Nicks was healthy.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 7 12 2 9 1 13
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 3 9 6 5 26 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG DAL 0000027031 ***
Eli has multiple touchdowns in each of his past three meetings with the Cowboys, including 248 and 3 earlier this year. He's laid a couple of fantasy eggs against NFC West foes the past two weeks, but back within his division he's at least worthy of fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG DAL 6002100000 ***
In the three games since the Jennings-less Giants rushed for 80 yards against Dallas, the Cowboys have surrendered five RB TDs and an average of 138 combo yards to the RB position. Jennings used last week's 18-59 against the 49ers to shake off the rust; he's a solid bet for helpful fantasy numbers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG DAL 007901000 ****
Performance leaguers continue to enjoy Beckham, who hasn't scored since Week 7 but does have 357 yards in the past three games. He scored twice in that Week 7 matchup with the Cowboys, so one way or another--maybe both--Beckham will carve out fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG DAL 006700000 ***
Randle remains a heavily targeted option in the Giants' passing game, and though he hasn't seen the end zone since Week 5 he's a solid PPR/performance league fantasy play. He was the Giants' top wideout the last time they met Dallas; maybe this time he can up his 6-74 into something even a little more fantasy helpful.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Preston Parker, NYG DAL 002200000 ***
Parker's last five games--with one, two, one, seven, and one catch each--speak to his consistency or lack thereof. Given his position in the Giants' passing game pecking order it's a stretch for him to have even fringe fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG DAL 007701000 ***
Only two teams have given up more fantasy points to the tight end position than the Cowboys, which makes this a sterling matchup for Donnell. Larry had 90 yards in the earlier meeting with Dallas but Daniel Fells stole his touchdown; since then Donnell has out-caught Fells 11-1 and outscored him 2-0, so this is clearly Donnell's gig.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG DAL 1133 ***
Brown hasn't had a multiple field goal game in a month, and the Giants' offense isn't doing enough for him to make up the difference via PATs.

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 6-27 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 vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 210,1
RB LeSean McCoy 110,1 3-20
RB Darren Sproles 10 6-50,1
WR Jeremy Maclin 4-60,1
TE Brent Celek 6-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Eagles finally found a way to not win by just one point. Instead they were waxed in Arizona where all the same problem with Vick still existed. He finally did not throw any interceptions but held the ball too long and coughed up two fumbles - one of which was returned for a 93-yard touchdown by the Cardinals defense. Vick only managed 217 passing yards there after at least throwing for over 310 yards in the first two games. In fantasy terms, Vick has been a disappointment with never more than 34 rushing yards in a game to help counteract those turnovers. He scored in his one home game so far though.

LeSean McCoy was only used for 13 runs (70 yards) last week and HC Andy Reid admitted that he should have run McCoy more. After 25+ touches in the first two games, he was only given 16 touches in Arizona and that should prove to be a low spot in the season. McCoy should be relied on more ongoing since the offense has long revolved around what he does.

Jeremy Maclin was out because of his hip last week but is expected to return. His presence helps balance the passing game which will be very important against the Giants. DeSean Jackson was held to only 43 yards on three catches versus the Cardinals in part because the defense really focuses on him with Maclin out. Jason Avant cannot seem to break 40 yards in a game whether he is the replacement starter or just the #3 called in occasionally.

Brent Celek left his monster 157 yard game at home against the Ravens to only come up with 36 yards on two catches in Arizona. For what it may be worth, his only big game was at home this year and the Giants just watched Greg Olsen go nuts with 98 yards last week.

This game could turn on more Vick turnovers but the Giants are not getting as good a pass rush as last season and have only six sacks on the season. The rushing defense has been decent but McCoy brings in their first real dual threat back. So far the weakness of the Giants remains in their secondary which could help Vick from making more mistakes. In the last ten games, the Eagles are 7-0 when Maclin plays and 0-3 when they do not.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 9 24 16 7 28 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 19 10 26 8 5 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mark Sanchez, PHI TEN 0000029020 ***
The Titans have given up multiple TDs just twice all year, but Sanchez has 300-plus yards and two TDs in each of his two Philly starts. And given the substandard QBs the Titans have faced this year, Sanchez might actually be a step up in class so another deuce is hardly out of the question.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI TEN 10011100000 ***
The Titans have given up back to back to back 100-yard games, six RB TDs in that span. It's a great opportunity for McCoy to finally pay a dividend on that high draft pick.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI TEN 0061001000 ***
Matthews has scored in three straight and might just be battling Jeremy Maclin for WR1 honors--important, because the Titans haven't allowed much to secondary targets this season. Still, regardless of role Matthews warrants fantasy consideration this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI TEN 005701000 ***
Maclin remains heavily targeted and should be the receiver that has his way with the Tennessee secondary, as they've surrendered a steady supply of fantasy helpers to opposing WR1s.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI TEN 004600000 ***
Cooper isn't out of the mix entirely, but he is definitely losing ground to Jordan Matthews. And with the Titans not giving up much to secondary targets, the further down on the totem pole the worse Cooper's fantasy prospects get.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI TEN 003300000 ***
Ertz is still giving up snaps--and targets--to Brent Celek, which taps his fantasy value. And a matchup with a Tennessee defense that hasn't given up a TE TD in a month doesn't help matters, either.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI TEN 1144 ****
Parkey has at least seven points in six straight games; even Mark Sanchez can get him close enough to keep that streak alive.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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