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
WR Victor Cruz 7-90,1
WR Hakeem Nicks 2-30

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 PHI 0000028030 ***
Eli threw for just 189 and 1 in Philly earlier this year, but he's averaging 317 and almost three TDs per game the last six times the Eagles have come to Gotham. And after watching Philly give up 3 TDs to Tom Brady, 4 to Kirk Cousins, and 5 each to Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford--in just the past six weeks--you have to like Eli's chances here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG PHI 6002200000 ***
Now that Jennings has consolidated the Giants' backfield touches--he has at least 16 touches in each of the last three games, producing triple-digit yards from scrimmage in each--he's perfectly situated to take advantage of the Eagles. Philly has allowed at least one RB TD in six straight games and 120 or more RB combo yards in eight straight since Jennings averaged better than five yards per touch on 16 touches against the Eagles back in Week 6. With more usage that's a baseline here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG PHI 0071202000 ***
Josh Norman ended OBJ's run of five straight with triple-digit yardage but only a suspension could stop the scoring. Back with a vengeance and facing a Philly D that's allowed at least one WR TD in eight straight games--15 total TDs over that span--look for an upgrade over his earlier 7-61-1 against the Eagles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG PHI 005601000 ***
It's been a month since the Eagles allowed multiple wideouts to score in the same game, but Randle has TDs in three straight and is playing a solid wingman to Odell Beckham Jr so don't discount him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Will Tye, NYG PHI 004400000 ***
Since giving up 5-51 to the combo entry of Tye and Larry Donnell back in Week 6 the Eagles have surrendered four TE TDs and six games of 40-plus, while Tye has two TDs and four games of 40-plus yards as the Giants' lone healthy tight end. It's enough to make him a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG PHI 2233 ***
Expect lots of points
in game that has no meaning;
Brown should get his, too

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 Sam Bradford 190
QB Mark Sanchez 210,1
RB Ryan Mathews 60 6-50,1
RB DeMarco Murray 70,1 3-20
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 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

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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