FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: DET 23, PHI 27 (Line: PHI by 5)

Updated Player: Titus Young

Players to Watch: Mikel Leshoure, Michael Vick

The 1-3 Lions come off their bye having last lost to the visiting Vikings in a game that signals this is no longer 2011. The Eagles are 3-2 and 2-0 at home though they have struggled to score any points and have been held to fewer than 20 in all but one game. The Lions on the road are likely to lose this one because quite simply they turned back into a pumpkin after a magical 2011 season.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN -----
2 @SF 19-27 11 GB -----
3 @TEN 41-44 12 HOU -----
4 MIN 13-20 13 IND -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @GB -----
6 @PHI ----- 15 @ARI -----
7 @CHI ----- 16 ATL -----
8 SEA ----- 17 CHI -----
9 @JAC ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 250,2
RB Joique Bell 10 5-40
RB Reggie Bush 90,1 5-30
WR Calvin Johnson 6-90,1
WR Golden Tate 3-40
TE Brandon Pettigrew 3-30
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Lions get the short straw this year with an early bye and now four road games in the next five weeks. There is nothing easy about the Lions schedule and the only game that might be considered soft is against the Colts who are getting better. Otherwise - this is a very tough slate of games left to play.

Matt Stafford is probably not going to throw for 5000 yards this year. Not unless they change the rules and let him play with no defense on the field. Because Stafford only has thee passing touchdowns on the year against four interceptions. Not unlike Tony Romo, he has the yardage and already topped 300 yards twice. But the scores are just not there.

All the upcoming road games are going to make the ineffective rushing attack look even worse. Kevin Smith has dropped so far that he hasn't had a touch since week two. Mikel Leshoure was great in the Titans game but only managed 26 yards on 13 runs against the Vikings. He has turned in four receptions for around 35 yards both weeks to salvage some fantasy value but this offense needs a home game against a soft defense to hope that Leshoure can play a significant role. Chances are pretty good he won't look any better by the time November rolls around.

Calvin Johnson was handled by the Vikings but otherwise he has been a stud with 90+ yards in all other games. He has just one score this year though. Nate Burleson remains just a mediocre #2 and Titus Young only has one catch per game other than the Tennessee tilt. Johnson is the only wideout that matters and he is getting little help from the others.

Brandon Pettigrew has offered moderate consistnecy with around 60 or 70 yards per week but has only scored once. Pettigrew has also been dropping passes in recent games as well.

Last year was the aberation because these Lions are back to the same problems. No passing game beyond Calvin Johnson a and a decreasing ability to score. The defense that was so surprising in 2011 has yet to hold anyone to under 20 points.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 7 8 10 3 1 30
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 4 12 13 6 25 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @NE 0000025021 ***
Fresh off a disappointing 183 and zero performance in Arizona, Stafford heads to the other side of the US to face the Patriots. While New England has allowed multiple TD tossed in three straight, Stafford is 20 yards per game worse on the road and has a definite ceiling to his upside this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET @NE 1004301000 ***
Riddick makes an intriguing fantasy play if Reggie Bush is dinged up once again, based primarily on his pass-catching ability and the 168 RB receiving yards and two RB receiving scores the Patriots have surrendered in the past three games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @NE 4003300000 ***
Ideally Bell would get the bulk of the work for the Lions as they kept Tom Brady off the field, but he's a bit dinged up and won't see the volume of touches necessary to carve out a significant fantasy helper against New England.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @NE 3004200000 ***
If Reggie can go he could have some fantasy value in PPR leagues, as the Lions will likely be throwing to keep up and the Patriots have given up their share of receiving yards to opposing backs. Of course, odds are Theo Riddick fills Reggie's shoes once again, so monitor Bush's status leading up to kickoff.
Update: Bush practiced on a limited basis all week and is listed as questionable, neither of which goes a long way towards answering questions about his availability this weekend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @NE 006801000 ***
After holding fantasy value through the first game of Calvin Johnson's return Tate fell off the map last week with just two targets in Arizona. He should thrive with non-Revis coverage against the Patriots, but he's a bit riskier play than when he was the only show going in Detroit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @NE 005600000 ***
Megatron has been targeted 27 times in two games since returning from injury, so clearly he's back on Matthew Stafford's radar. He'll see plenty of attention from Bill Belichick this week, but that volume of opportunity should still allow him to carve out a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @NE 004300000 ***
It's a definite opportunity for Ebron, as the Patriots have allowed a TE TD or 100-plus yards to the position in five straight games. So if you're streaming at the position, he's a quality alternative.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @NE 2222 ***
The Lions finally have a kicker settling in, as Prater has three straight multiple field goal games. However, a road trip to New England doesn't feel like an opportunity for him to extend that roll.

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 19-17 13 @DAL -----
5 @PIT 14-16 14 @TB -----
6 DET ----- 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL ----- 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 10 220,1
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 5-30
WR Jeremy Maclin 4-50
TE Brent Celek 6-70,1

Pregame Notes: The Eagles have been in four games all decided by three points or less and only lost the Pittsburgh game. That is living right but a scary proposition to continue to struggle offensively. Michael Vick has not thrown an interception since the six he had in the first two weeks abut once again last week he lost two fumbles. With games that are always nailbiters each week, losing the ball a total of 11 times in five games makes the 3-2 record a surprise.

VIck has passed for at least one score in all but one game but his passing yardage has really waned. He posted two 300+ yard efforts to start the year and now he cannot get past 240 yards. Against the Steelers he only managed 175 yards. Vick is also not running much which has really hurt his fantasy value and contributuion to the team. The good news is that he has been better at home than on the road and faces a weaker team finally. It ends up going against BAL, ARI, NYG and PIT was not the easiest opening for a season.

Vick sustained a knee contusion against the Steelers but it is not expected to be a problem in this game.

LeSean McCoy was a touchdown machine last year but so far has just one rushing touchdown and another one as a reciever. Again - his best games other than in Cleveland were the two homestands versus the Ravens and Giants. McCoy is not sharing the ball and he gets whatever is there to get. But so far he is off his 2011 pace and has a glaring lack of touchdowns. McCoy's knee was swollen after the game last week but he is expected to be fine this week and the knee will not be an issue.

Brent Celek scored last week in Pittsbriugh but only turned in three catches for nine yards. He has been at his best in home games so far but only against better defenses that limit the wideouts. That is less likely this week.

Where the decline in offense is pronounced is with the wide receivers. DeSean Jackson scored only once so far and two of his last three games were under 60 yard. Jeremy Maclin has been hampered by a sore hip from back in week two and after sitting out in week three, he has been a non-factor in games. Maclin started the year with a score in both games but has returned nothing to fantasy owners since.

The Eagles at home should be able to handle the Lions without too much trouble and hopefully break their constant trend to remain within three points to all opponents. The Lions rank decent enough against the fantasy positions but have only faced STL, SF, TEN and MIN. This should be a good win.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 15 23 19 9 24 29
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 11 6 11 27 30 32

  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 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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