FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

Prediction: WAS 24, NYG 30 (Line: NYG by 6.5)

Players Updated: Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Pierre Garçon, Andre Brown

Players to Watch: Victor Cruz, Robert Griffin III

The 4-2 Giants have a one game lead over the NFC East and are 2-1 on the road. The 3-3 Redskins come off a big win over the Vikings but have yet to win two games in a row and are 2-1 in road games. Surprisingly, the Redskins swept the Giants (who would win the Superbowl no less) last year 28-14 at home and 23-10 in New York. But the G-men won the six previous games.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG -----
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL -----
6 MIN 38-26 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 150,1
TE Vernon Davis 5-60,1

Pregame Notes: The Redskins are .500 but have gone through the easier portion of their schedule and the next two games are in New York and then in Pittsburgh before reaching their bye. This is the first time this season that they will face a divisional opponent thanks to a schedule that jammed five of the six meetings into the final seven weeks. This week is critical but the reality is that the Skins can have no idea how they stack up in their own division yet and will control their fate the most with those final seven games.

Robert Griffin III was shut down in Atlanta when he was knocked from the game but came roaring back last week with 182 passing yards and one score that was dwarfed by what he did as a runner. Griffin rushed for 138 yards and two scores on just 13 runs thanks in no small part to an 80-yard scoring run that put the game away with under three minutes left to play. He has truly become the next Cam Newton in the sense he has rushed in six touchdowns and yet only thrown for six as well. Aside from being knocked out of the Atlanta game, he has scored as a runner in each of the last four games.

Alfred Morris is not only the primary back but he shares very little if at all each week. He is losing some work to the legs of Robert Griffin but still has scored five times this year himself and until last week was gaining 80+ yards per game. He has almost no role as a receiver but gets pretty much every rushing attempt for the Redskins.

Fred Davis has an important role in the game plan and has been the lead target more than once but he has not scored this year and normally settles for around 50 yards on this offense that seems to throw less each week and run more. He is still marginally a more consistent player than any wideout.

Pierre Garcon was unable to play last week with inflammation in his foot before the game and while HC Mike Shanahan claims it is not turf toe, it might as well be. Garcon opened the year with a big 109 yard game against the Saints but since has never posted more than 24 yards in any game if he has even been able to play. I am holding him out of the projections this week.

There are no wideouts here of any fantasy relevance and though four scores have been thrown to the position, they are completely random. Most wideouts remain under 50 yards in games and the recent success running the ball only means worst times ahead.

The Giants feature a good defense that was roughed up in the first two weeks but has since been far better including crushing the 49ers last week. Their biggest weakness has been against the run and that will be exactly where the Skins will be attacking if only to keep Manning off the field.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 17 21 21 16 2
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 14 13 22 6 10 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, WAS DEN 20000023020 ***
Quarterbacks have averaged 231.8 yards (19th) and 20.5 fantasy points (15th) per game vs. the Dolphins since Week 10. In this time, the position has thrown a TD every 12.5 completions (13th). Miami has tallied six interceptions, or one every 29.7 tosses. Over the course of the year, this matchup is squarely neutral.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kapri Bibbs, WAS DEN 4004400000 **
Bibbs is the next, next, next, next man up for Washington. He will see the receiving work and handle a few carries to spell Samaje Perine. Denver is no joke for running backs of any flavor. Look elsewhere.

Update: Perine (groin) did not practice all week and is unlikely to play. Bibbs should see the majority of work behind a banged up offensive line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Samaje Perine, WAS DEN 4001100000 *
Just two of the last 121 carries against the Broncos have found the end zone (25th) in the hands of a running back, and they're a matching 25th in the weekly rushing yardage column against this group.

Update: Perine (groin) did not practice all week and is unlikely to play. Kapri Bibbs should see the majority of work behind a banged up offensive line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Doctson, WAS DEN 003401000 ***
Denver has permitted four receiving TDs over the last 38 receptions by the position, which shakes out to be the the seventh-highest rate in football since Week 10. The rest of the matchup metrics are dismal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, WAS DEN 005600000 ***
Dallas has given up eight touchdowns to Richardson's positional counterparts in the last five outings, and there's a hint of upside for a big play. Otherwise, the matchup is neutral for the visiting 'Hawks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS DEN 004400000 ***
This is a terrible opponent for PPR types -- Denver has given up just 7.6 receptions (31st) for 106.2 yards (32nd) since Week 10. The upside is one in 9.5 snares found the end zone. Crowder was limited in Wednesday's practice with a hamstring strain.

Update: Crowder has been limited all week and is a true gametime call. Prepare for his absence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, WAS DEN 002201000 *
Denver generally does well at limiting tight ends between the 20s but has struggled most of the year at keeping them out of the end zone. One in nine catches over the last five weeks has resulted in a TD.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS DEN 2222 ***
Hopkins returns from IR to face Denver's stifling defense of his position. Kickers have attempted the fewest per-game field goals, resulting in the second-lowest weekly possibility for fantasy points.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN -----
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB -----
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE 41-27 14 NO -----
6 @SF 26-3 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 330,3
RB Jonathan Stewart 30 2-20

Pregame Notes: The reigning Superbowl champs were looking weak when they were 2-2 coming off a loss to the Eagles. But after bombing the Browns and then crushing the 49ers, the Giants are looking like a team coming back together. The offense is finding a rhythm and the defense has come together after giving up 58 points over the first two games. The Giants schedule is tough with this game, then in Dallas and hosting the Steelers. Already down one loss in the division, the Giants cannot afford another and this will likely be the easiest divisional game left to play.

Eli Manning scored in every game this year and while he only needed to throw for 193 yards and one score in the 49ers rout, he has been good for multiple touchdowns in most games along with solid yardage as high as the 510 he posted on the Buccaneers. If there was ever a week you want to start Manning, this is it. The Skins have never allowed fewer than 299 passing yards in any game this year and that was facing STL, CIN, TB and MIN.

Ahmad Bradshaw has pushed Andre Brown completely out of the picture and taken over almost the entire workload for the backfield. He ran for 200 yards on 30 carries against the Browns and then ran 27 times for 116 yards against the normally stout 49er defense. He scored in each game which makes the primary back for the Giants having a touchdown in five of the six games played.

Hakeem Nicks was back after missing three games but was still bothered by his knee and only produced 44 yards on three receptions in San Francisco. He admitted after the game that his knee was still an issue and it will take time for him to reach 100%. Domenik Hixon (4-78) helped out but has lost fantasy value with Nicks back in the picture. Victor Cruz has been the best part of the offense with six touchdowns on the season while on a hot streak for the last three games. As the Giants continue to look better, it is Cruz who shows up the most. Five of his touchdowns came in the last three games.

Martellus Bennett was apparently yet another tight end with early season success but then slips back into obscurity (See "Dennis Pitta! Star Tight End!"). Bennett has not scored since week three and has twice turned in just one catch for a game.

The Skins defense against the pass is horrible. Delightfully so. Every team throws for 300 yards. Every team! All but one had multiple touchdown passes allowed. The rushing defense is above average but that only prompts opponents to scorch the secondary. Manning and Cruz should end with crazy big numbers this week judging by the incoming trends for both teams.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 14 11 3 19 2 18
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 28 9 31 31 24 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG @ARI 0000020011 ***
Sans two rushing TDs by quarterbacks, this is the fifth-worst matchup of the week. Quarterbacks have averaged just 193 yards (30th) since Week 10. Manning is coming off of a monster performance that should be viewed as an aberration. One of every 16 passes faced by the Cardinals has gone for a TD, which ranks 22nd.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, NYG @ARI 5011100000 ***
Stewart's Week 8 meeting with the Bucs wasn't pretty, but he salvaged fantasy worth with a touchdown on his 34-yard day. This week, Tampa Bay could be missing several cogs on defense, and this is the softest matchup for finding the end zone on the ground in the past five weeks of data.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Wayne Gallman, NYG @ARI 4006400000 ***
Gallman has been explosive in his limited work the last two games, logging 4.9 yards per carry on his 20 totes. He also has added 80 receiving yards on 13 grabs. The rook hasn't scored in limited action since Week 4. Arizona boasts the third-best defense of limiting rushing yardage and 10th-strongest at stopping overall yardage gains. The matchup is merely average for everything else.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cody Latimer, NYG @ARI 003400000 ***
It appears Paxton Lynch (ankle) will get the start. It really doesn't matter; gamers need to stay away from Latimer with a title on the line.

Update: It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG @ARI 004400000 ***
Shepard was nothing short of impressive last weekend and now faces the fourth-best defense of his position. The Cardinals have smothered receivers across the board in the past five weeks, giving up only 108.2 yards (31st) on 10 catches (26th) per game. WRs have scored three times over those five contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roger Lewis, NYG @ARI 003300000 ***
Arizona has dominated receivers and shouldn't have any trouble holding the great Roger Lewis in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Evan Engram, NYG @ARI 005601000 ***
Just one of the last 17 catches by tight ends has scored on Arizona, and this matchup is among the five worst in both scoring formats. Engram's projection is optimistic, but he has the track record and athleticism to make something happen.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Aldrick Rosas, NYG @ARI 2211 ***
Arizona is a neutral matchup against the position. One field goal and another extra point attempt missed, while only 40.9 percent of all kicks against the Cards were worth three points.

WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

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