Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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
  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
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 7 8 10 3 1 30
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 4 12 13 6 25 30

QB Matthew Stafford, DET ARI 0000024012 ***
Stafford's been held in check by some pretty good defenses this year, but the problem is Arizona's no slouch themselves. Only one QB has topped 200 yards, and only Nick Foles last week tossed multiple scores. Probably not going to end particularly well for Stafford again this week.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET ARI 4002200000 ***
Abdullah's no Todd Gurley, in style or workload. He'll have to chip away a chunk of Theo Riddick's passing game snaps just to be fantasy relevant this week.
RB Theo Riddick, DET ARI 005400000 ***
It'd be a little easier to like Riddick's PPR fantasy prospects this week if he and Ameer Abdullah didn't see the same number of targets last week. Three backs have posted at least four catches for 40-plus yards on the Cardinals, and that feels like Riddick's floor this week. If he stays on the field over Abdullah in passing situations, he'll move from fringe fantasy helper to legit PPR contributor.
WR Golden Tate, DET ARI 005501000 **
Only two wideouts have topped 50 yards against Arizona this year, and both do most of their work out of the slot. That bodes well for Tate, who sees 73% of his snaps in that role.
WR Calvin Johnson, DET ARI 004400000 ***
Only two wideouts have topped 50 yards on the Cardinals, and both play out of the slot. That leaves Calvin to another game of heavy targets and limited upside.
TE Timothy Wright, DET ARI 003200000 ***
Wright steps into the void left by Eric Ebron's injury, but it's a lousy matchup--no tight end has scored or topped 50 yards against Arizona, and only Martellus Bennett has exceeded as much as 30 yards--so you don't want to dig this deep.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET ARI 3311 ***
Prater has yet to top four points this season; tough to see him doing so this week against a Cards' D that's allowed only one field goal attempt the past two weeks and a total of seven touchdowns on the season.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  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 Sam Bradford 220,1
QB Mark Sanchez 10 220,1
RB Ryan Mathews 90,1 5-50,1
RB DeMarco Murray 40 6-50
WR Miles Austin 6-60,1
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 15 23 19 9 24 29
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 11 6 11 27 30 32

QB Sam Bradford, PHI NO 0000025020 ***
Bradford finally delivered on his fantasy promise with his first multiple touchdown game as an Eagle, and the fun should continue against a Saints defense that's allowed 300-plus yards and multiple scoring strikes in both of its road games this year.
RB DeMarco Murray, PHI NO 4002100000 ***
There's no angle to make any one Philly back more compelling. The Saints have allowed only one RB rushing score and none since Week 1, while the Eagles are splitting a small backfield pie three ways. On the bright side, Murray's yards per carry is all the way up to 1.6 now.
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI NO 2003200000 ***
Murray's a great fantasy option when DeMarco Murray isn't playing. Unfortunately, looks like Murray's still in the mix this week.
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI NO 006701000 ***
Matthews remains the most consistently targeted--if not always the most productive--Philly wideout, meaning he's the most likely to take advantage of a Saints secondary that's allowed eight different receivers to either score or top 60 yards this season.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI NO 004500000 ***
Could be the breakout we've been waiting for on Agholor, as he's been the second-most targeted Eagles wideout the past two games and has a favorable matchup with a Saints secondary prone to giving up multiple fantasy helpers. Still plenty of risk, though; look no further than last week, when lesser targets Rile Cooper and Miles Austin both out-performed Agholor fantasy-wise.
TE Zach Ertz, PHI NO 003301000 **
Ertz has seen the volume in targets turned down from the 15 over the first two weeks, but he's still the Eagles' best bet to capitalize on this matchup with a Saints defense that's allowed three quality fantasy TE efforts in four games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI NO 3322 ***
Sturgis debuted as an Eagle by missing his only field goal attempt and scoring a paltry two points. Things should get better against a Saints' squad that's allowed at least seven points to every kicker they've faced this season and multiple field goals in each of the last three games.

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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