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 @ATL 0000025010 ***
The last time these teams threw out the Welcome Matt for each other Stafford had 443 yards while Ryan threw four touchdowns. Atlanta's defense may not be quite as soft these days, but they've given up three 300-yard outings already so even sans Calvin Johnson Stafford's a decent play here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @ATL 9022200000 ***
The Falcons have given up a dozen RB TDs already, and with Reggie Bush and Theo Riddick both nicked Bell is housing the majority of the touches. More touches equals a larger share of the workload against this fantasy-friendly Falcons defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET @ATL 2006400000 ***
Update: With Reggie Bush doubtful it's another opportunity for Riddick to shine. If you're so inclined to wake up early on Sunday and check on Reggie's status, if he can't go you'll want Riddick in your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @ATL 00000000 ****
We'd like Reggie more this week if he were getting in full practices. Instead, we'll wait until the final injury report of the week to see if he's worth plugging into this extremely favorable fantasy matchup.
Update: Officially Reggie is listed as doubtful, and he hasn't practiced since a limited session on Wednesday. Don't bank on him for a fantasy contribution this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @ATL 0081001000 ****
Sans Megatron it's all about the Tate. Atlanta has allowed a TD or 100-yard receiver--often both--in every game this season; Tate's a good bet to hit both ends of that daily double.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Corey Fuller, DET @ATL 002400000 ***
Fuller appears to be the receiver stepping up into the WR2 role with Calvin Johnson out. He's a sneaky fantasy play against a defense that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in every single game this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Ross, DET @ATL 002300000 ***
Ross is only slightly behind Corey Fuller in Detroit's passing game pecking order, but as it stands the Falcons are more prone to giving up a couple fantasy helpers--not a squadron.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @ATL 002300000 *
Update: Johnson is optimistically listed as questionable and practiced on a limited basis all three days this week. We've seen this movie before, however, and we know how it ends: Rosebud is the name of the sled, and Megatron is a mere shell of his former self.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brandon Pettigrew, DET @ATL 003200000 ****
Pettigrew has been mostly a caddy for rookie Eric Ebron this season. With Ebron injured it's Pettigrew's opportunity to shine, but the Falcons aren't particularly soft against opposing tight ends; odds are your fantasy lineup can do better.
Update: Pettigrew is a game-time decision; let's be honest, he's not worth getting up at 6 am on the West Coast to sweat out his availability. Just make an alternative plan and get your beauty rest.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @ATL 2133 ***
Baby steps: last week was the first time the Lions didn't miss at least one kick all season. Prater should get some opportunities against a Falcons' defense that's allowed multiple treys in four straight games, but... baby steps.

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 @ARI 0000028022 ***
Foles has had one fantasy dog to blemish an otherwise solid season. The Cards held Derek Carr in check last week but for the most part have been a favorable matchup for opposing QBs. Bet on Foles to be more favorable than Carr-like this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @ARI 5004200000 ***
The Cards haven't allowed much on the ground this year, and they kept McCoy out of the end zone in last year's meeting so keep your expectations in check. That said, McCoy's volume and the 115 combo yards he posted against Arizona last year suggest he's still a solid fantasy play this week--especially if Darren Sproles remains sidelined with his knee injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @ARI 2006400000 ***
Sproles is supposed to be back for this game, but after a limited practice session on Wednesday it remains to be seen if he'll make it to the field on Sunday. Best make a Plan B for now, and if Sproles shows signs of life during the latter half of the practice week you can always elevate him to your lineup.
Update: After a full practice on Friday Sproles is officially listed as questionable. It's not a tremendous matchup, but it sounds like Sproles will at least be an option for fantasy owners.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @ARI 004301000 **
Over the past month Coop has been a consistent provider of 30-50 yards and the occasional touchdown. It's a favorable matchup so he should be at the high end of that range, but he's still playing second fiddle to Jeremy Maclin in this passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @ARI 005600000 ***
Matthews has done little aside from that two-TD game. And while another double isn't out of the question here he's still battling Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Zach Ertz, and the running backs for looks so it's far from likely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @ARI 004500000 ***
Shouldn't matter who covers Maclin; none of the Arizona corners are having particularly good seasons. Speed receivers like DeSean Jackson have had success against the Cards so don't be surprised if, after a down week against the Giants prior to Philly's bye, Maclin storms back with a solid fantasy effort this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @ARI 004701000 ****
The Cards have allowed three TE TDs and four games of 65-plus yards to the position. So even though Ertz still has to share some targets with Brent Celek and James Casey he's a big enough part of this offense to be a reliable fantasy contributor--especially with the favorable matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @ARI 2222 ****
Parkey's been right around 10 points per game on a weekly basis, but the Cardinals don't allow much to opposing kickers so it'll be a battle of wills. Split the difference and hope for "above average".

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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