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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
WR Victor Cruz 7-90,1
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 1 XP

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 0000030031 ***
No team has allowed more yards per game than Dallas' 316.4 in the last five weeks. The Cowboys have not picked off a pass in this time, giving up nine TD passes. Eli posted a 207-3-1 line in Week 1.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG DAL 6004200000 ***
Dallas has given up the fifth most points per play to running backs, which largely comes from surrendering a touchdown every 26.6 offensive touches over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Paul Perkins, NYG DAL 3002100000 ***
Perkins continues to see scant work and return even less for gamers ... there is some dude name Shane Vereen waiting to be activated, as well, so stay away from the rook.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG DAL 0081002000 ***
Beckham posted only a 4-73-0 line in Week 1 versus the Cowboys, but now Dallas is without its two best secondary members. The defense has fallen all the way to being the sixth worst against receivers over the last five weeks, giving up the second most per-game catches and fifth highest average yardage figure.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG DAL 005601000 ***
Giving up the second most receptions and fifth most yards per game over the last five weeks helps create the sixth best matchup for exploitation by wideouts. Dallas allowed Shepard to score in his NFL debut.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG DAL 002500000 ***
Despite the matchup, Cruz doesn't make enough plays to warrant a fantasy lineup spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Will Tye, NYG DAL 002200000 ***
Tye has no value in any format for Week 14 and should be left for the waiver wire.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, NYG DAL 2133 ***
Dallas has allowed the sixth most field goal attempts per game in the last five weeks. Conversely, kickers have made only five extra points in that time.

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Ryan Mathews 60 6-50,1
RB Darren Sproles 10 6-50,1
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 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.

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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