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 @SEA 0000022011 ***
Stafford's been mediocre thus far, and a trip to Seattle--where Jimmy Clausen couldn't even break 70 passing yards--isn't a good venue for his getting back on track.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET @SEA 3003300000 ***
The Lions' stubborn insistence on wasting 10-12 touches per game on Joique Bell is killing Abdullah's fantasy value. Seattle's defense won't help matters, nor will Theo Riddick continuing to play the role of pass catcher.
RB Theo Riddick, DET @SEA 1006500000 ***
Expect the Lions to be throwing often, and Riddick to see plenty of snaps. If Benny Cunningham can turn in a 4-77 performance as a pass catcher against the Seahawks, Riddick could do the same.
WR Golden Tate, DET @SEA 005600000 ***
Richard Sherman can't cover both Tate and Megatron... well, maybe he could. But either way, Seattle isn't big on giving up fantasy points to wideouts so lower the bar for Tate this week.
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @SEA 006500000 ***
Far from a favorable matchup for Megatron this week. When Calvin's upside is less than triple digits and maybe a shot at a touchdown, you know it's a tough week.
TE Eric Ebron, DET @SEA 005401000 **
Enron's been a steady target, and he's Detroit's best bet for fantasy help in the passing game squared off with the Achilles' heel of the Seattle defense: defending tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @SEA 0011 ***
Prater hasn't been particularly busy this season, and a trip to Seattle isn't likely to jump start his opportunities.

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 @WAS 0000020010 ***
Bradford's been ordinary through three starts as an Eagle, with just one TD toss in each, and neither Mother Nature nor an underrated Redskins defense are poised to do him any favors.
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI @WAS 3003200000 ***
Mathews stepped up in the absence of DeMarco Murray last week, dropping 128 combo yards and a touchdown on a good Jets defense. That likely earns him a larger share of the touches going forward, especially with Murray scuffling as well as hurting. The Redskins haven't surrendered much to opposing backs, so it'll be a shrinking pie; split two ways there's a shot at fantasy relevancy for Mathews, but if Murray is active they're all bench fodder.
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @WAS 1005200000 ***
Sproles remains a threat in the passing game, but the Skins aren't giving up much in that regard and there are three Eagles vying for a slice of a small running back pie so you likely have better fantasy options at your disposal.
RB DeMarco Murray, PHI @WAS 2002100000 *
Murray's been hurt, and he's been lousy. Last week he was overshadowed by Ryan Mathews, and who knows what role he'll return to if and when he comes back. Keep him on the fantasy back burner for the time being.

Update: Murray is officially listed as questionable, but seeing as Ryan Mathews worked out so well for the Eagles last week there's no reason to rush DeMarco back to the lineup, is there?
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @WAS 006701000 ***
The Skins have allowed a WR TD each week, and Matthews is the most likely Eagle to come away with it this week. But between Chip Kelly's system, a tough Redskins D and the potential of hurricane weather you'll want to check other available options first.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI @WAS 003300000 ***
Agholor's targets are on the uptick, but it's a tough matchup and he hasn't proven anything yet so best let him chill on the fantasy bench--at least until the hurricane blows over.
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @WAS 004400000 ***
The Skins haven't allowed much to opposing tight ends, and Ertz hasn't done much either. So a reprise of his 15-catch, 115-yard lambasting of the Redskins last December seems unlikely.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI @WAS 3311 ***
Surges takes over for the injured Cody Parkey--maybe right as the Philly offense is starting to live up to preseason billing?

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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