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 Kevin Ogletree 3-40
WR Golden Tate 3-40
TE Brandon Pettigrew 3-30

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 @CAR 0000025011 ***
Carolina allowed three 300-yard games all of last season and only two multiple-touchdown games, so this isn't a particularly favorable matchup for Stafford. So long as he has Calvin Johnson on his side he's always a threat, but dial back expectations significantly this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @CAR 2006501000 ***
The silver lining is that Carolina allowed an RB receiving score last week and Bush accounted for six of the Lions' seven RB receptions. That said, the rest of his matchup this week looks brutal.
Update: After early-week concern over his knee, Bush got in a full practice on Thursday and should be good to go for this weekend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @CAR 3001100000 ****
You have to hope that this week Bell is more fullback than halfback; last week Tampa Bay fullback Jovorskie Lane ripped off a 54-yard run while halfbacks Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey combined for 21 yards on 13 carries. If you have the RB depth, this is a good week to sit Bell and look elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @CAR 005600000 ***
Tough matchup, but never bench Megatron. He'll get the targets, which Tampa Bay's NBA-worthy wideouts turned into 11-93-1 last week, and productivity is sure to follow.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @CAR 006500000 ***
Megatron has dibs on the first bite; after that expect slim pickings as the Panthers didn't allow multiple receivers to score in the same game last year and only four times did two wideouts top 50 yards in the same game.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nate Freese, DET @CAR 3311 ***
Last year multiple field goal games were frequent against the Panthers; in Week 1 of this season the Bucs didn't attempt a single trey. Detroit's offense is at least good enough to get close, which is great news if you're banking on fantasy points from Freese.

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 Nick Foles, PHI @IND 0000028022 ****
Foles picked up right where he left off, tacking a 322 & 2 effort to a streak of eight straight games with the equivalent of multiple passing scores. An Indy defense fresh off surrendering 269 and 3 to Peyton Manning should help him run that string to double digits.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @IND 5006501000 ***
Shady got his triple digit combo yardage in the season opener but failed to find the end zone--ceding the score and 15 touches to Darren Sproles. No reason to think McCoy can't reclaim his touchdown here, and the yardage is all but a given as he's now topped the century mark in yards from scrimmage in eight straight regular season contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @IND 3004200000 ***
Sproles' running game role was a bit surprising, but you knew Chip Kelly would find a way to get him touches. Even if you can't bank on the consistent TD he's a PPR and yardage league fiend who warrants lineup consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @IND 005801000 ****
Indy's secondary did a reasonably competent job of limiting Denver's wideouts in the season opener. Still, that shouldn't affect your plugging Maclin--the team's target leader last week--into your fantasy lineup with confidence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @IND 003400000 ***
There are more mouths to feed than ever in the Philly offense, and Cooper appears to have fallen behind Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles in the pecking order. That doesn't bode well for his fantasy prospects on a week-to-week basis, certainly when the position is deep during non-bye weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @IND 003400000 ***
Matthews remains mostly potential; until he moves into a more defined role in Chip Kelly's offense he's a fantasy non-entity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @IND 005801000 ****
Ertz is still splitting the tight end gig with Brent Celek, but he's doing more with his opportunities plus he gets to face an Indy defense that couldn't find Julius Thomas with a map and a flashlight last week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @IND 3222 ****
Thus far Parkey is making the decision to jettison Alex Henery--as well as the decision to plug him into your fantasy lineup--look smart.

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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