FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: DAL 20, PHI 17 (Line: PHI by 2)

Players Updated: LeSean McCoy

Players to Watch: Michael Vick vs. Tony Romo

The 3-5 Eagles host the 3-5 Cowboys this week in the battle of the bitterly disappointed NFC East rivals. Here at mid-season there are already talks about head coach changes in the offseason and the weekly chance for Andy Reid to publicly support Michael Vick the coach killer. The main difference here is that Philly offensive line that actually makes the Cowboys look like they have no real problems when they do. Bottom line, one team is going to be feeling mighty low after this game. Like "I just don't know what to say anymore" sort of low. And you have to assume this will be a lower scoring, close game no matter what.

The fun part could be if we get the bad Romo and the bad Vick. That could set an NFL record for turnovers.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI -----
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE -----
3 TB 16-10 12 WAS -----
4 CHI 18-34 13 PHI -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN -----
6 @BAL 29-31 15 PIT -----
7 @CAR 19-14 16 NO -----
8 NYG 24-29 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL 13-19 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 260,2
RB DeMarco Murray
WR Dez Bryant 6-60
TE Jason Witten 7-50
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys certainly fought the good fight in Atlanta same as against the Giants. And the Ravens. Not so much the Bears. Dallas entered it knowing that the Falcons game was nearly a must-win situation and yet they fell short against a team that at the very least does not make as many mistakes as the Cowboys do.

This week is actually another must-win that could actually set off an impressive string. The Cowboys will only play two road games in their final seven weeks and those are in Cincinnati and Washington - both very winnable. It would only be appropriate for them to run the table and save everyone's jobs. And then lose in their first playoff game. This week is maybe the toughest remaining game.

Tony Romo continues to throw for high yardage and yet only score once. He's thrown only 11 touchdowns this year and only that high thanks to the three he pitched in the season opener over the Giants. He has limited his mistakes in most recent games and two of the last three contained no turnovers. He's consistent and on a pace for 4700 yards. He just cannot get over the hump of scoring just once each week. The Dallas defense is good, but it cannot hold opponents back for an entire game when the offense just doesn't score much.

Romo strained his back on the final play last week but claims it is only minor and will not be an issue this week.

DeMarco Murray is likely to miss this week as well with his foot injury not yet allowing him to pass all his tests and get back to practice. HC Jason Garrett said he would not play Murray without him practicing so that should be clear at the end of the week. Early reports are not encouraging. Felix Jones actually produced some decent runs and caught five passes for 70 yards in Atlanta. He'll continue to take the start with Lance Dunbar and Philip Tanner backing him up. Tanner only received one carry in the Atlanta game while Dunbar was the surprise getting eight runs for 26 yards. This offense still misses Murray and cannot mount a credible rushing attack without him.

Jason Witten still churns out the catches each week though he's only scored once all year. He's been good for at least seven catches and has become the Cowboys all-time franchise leader in receptions.

Dez Bryant claims his hip injury was not an issue last week despite only catching one pass for 15 yards. He runs hot and cold all the time and in the last four games, two went for more than 95 yards each and produced two scores. The other two never had more than two catches or 15 yards in them. He's very feast or famine and not being 100% healthy makes him an ever bigger risk. Austin Miles remains the consistent wideout and he leads all receivers with four scores on the season.

The Eagles have given up 12 scores to quarterbacks but the yardage has been lower in most games and even Drew Brees only managed 239 yards on Monday night. The Eagles rushing defense has yielded only two rushing touchdowns this year and the Cowboys without Murray are not likely to change that.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 16 22 9 2 20 28
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 13 14 13 13 27 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tony Romo, DAL IND 0000027031 ***
Romo has three or more TD tosses in four of his last five games, and with DeMarco Murray dinged or out he'll be forced to shoulder more of the offensive load. Indy's pass defense numbers of late have been artificially inflated by them shutting down the likes of Tom Savage, Brian Hoyer and Blake Bortles. Romo is more of the Tom Brady (257 & 2), Eli Manning (359 & 2), Ben Roethlisberger (522 & 6) ilk; expect similar positive results.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joseph Randle, DAL IND 2011100000 **
Don't be surprised if Randle gets the call, either to start if DeMarco Murray sits or to replace Murray after a couple hits to his broken hand (and subsequent fumbles). Indy's a favorable matchup for running backs, so if/when Randle winds up with the workload he has a very good chance of making fantasy noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL IND 7001100000 *
Dr. Jerry Jones thinks there's still a chance Murray plays despite surgery on a broken hand earlier this week. Dr. Reality Check thinks even if he does his fantasy impact will be limited due to ball security concerns and risk of more damage. Then again, Murray's a free agent after the season so maybe use and dispose is the game plan?
Update: Murray practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, and everything coming out of Dallas points towards him giving it a go on Sunday. But keep in mind it's a similar injury to the one that kept Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk out a couple weeks each, plus there's no way it won't affect ball security and pass-catching. Stay glued to the inactive list Sunday morning; hopefully you'll get a definitive answer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lance Dunbar, DAL IND 1003300000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL IND 006801000 ***
Vontae Davis is a shutdown corner, but he's also human. Bryant can beat any matchup given enough targets, and he usually is--especially if DeMarco Murray is limited or out of this one. Proceed as per usual with Bryant in your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL IND 003401000 ***
Beasley has been more productive of late than fellow secondary target Terrance Williams, and with Vontae Davis likely shadowing Dez Bryant Tony Romo might throw a little more frequently at his alternate receivers. That puts Beasley at least on the fringe of fantasy relevance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL IND 002400000 ***
Williams played second fiddle to Dez Bryant for a while, but now Cole Beasley is horning in on his action. It's been far too long since Williams posted anything of fantasy relevance to be trusted at this critical juncture.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL IND 005601000 ***
Indy's been a favorable matchup for tight ends, and with Witten coming off his largest target game of the season he's back on Tony Romo's radar. The combination of Vontae Davis on Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray's injury only add to the probability of Witten posting a fantasy helper here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL IND 1144 ***
Bailey has but one multiple field goal effort in his past eight games; fortunately he's salvaged fantasy value with four or more PATs in four of his last five games. The Vegas sharps like this game for lots of points; no reason Bailey can't get his share of the fun.

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 23-26 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL 17-30 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO 13-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 160
RB LeSean McCoy 70,1 6-40
WR Jeremy Maclin 5-40
TE James Casey 3-20,1
TE Brent Celek 4-30,1

Pregame Notes: The Eagles drop another game and their season was probably summed up on the one play in New Orleans where Michael Vick threw a pass to Brent Celek and it bounced off his hands into a defender who did not stop running for 99 yards when he scored a touchdown. Vick is getting beaten up each week and the problem only gets worse. The Saints alone had seven sacks last week. The Eagles offensive line is missing their center, left tackle and right guard and right tackle. RT Demetress Bell was constantly victimized last week and now gets to face De Marcus Ware. That is not likely to help.

HC Andy Reid already made his weekly show of support in naming Vick as still the starter. But Vick has only tossed ten touchdowns this year and never more than two in a game if even that. He runs every week maybe half a dozen times but still has just one rushing score from back in week two. Vick threw for decent yardage and two scores on the Cowboys last year in both meetings but the Cowboys have vastly upgraded their cornerbacks who are playing better as the season progresses.

LeSean McCoy ran for 119 yards in New Orleans but he's been far less productive in all other recent games where he remained below 55 rushing yards for the last three games. But McCoy is on a four game scoring streak and three of those came on passes. His role as a receiver salvages his fantasy value nearly every week. Bryce Brown broke off on a couple of runs and ended with 49 yards on just four carries but the Saints are the #32 defense against running backs anyway. Brown had more than ten yards in only one game this year and is no factor to consider.

Brent Celek was on a roll last week when he tipped the pass that was returned for an interception and lost a fumble to kill the drive that would have made it much more of a game in New Orleans. He's still stuck at around 35 yards in almost every game and scored just once this season. Celek enjoyed big games against the Cowboys last year when he posted 94 yards and a score at home and later 52 yards and a touchdown in Dallas. He's a good risk this week with the Cowboys showing up with actual cornerbacks this time.

Jeremy Maclin scored in both meetings with the Cowboys last year but has been very quiet in 2011 and only once gained more than 39 yards since the season opener. He faces Brandon Carr this week which should shut him down. DeSean Jackson scored on a 77 yard catch-and-sprint but only totaled three catches for 100 yards. The wide receivers are less effective this year and did not even have a big showing last week against the worse secondary in the NFL. That bodes poorly for this tilt against a defense that he been very good at shutting down wideouts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 11 23 17 12 23 29
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 4 9 7 7 23 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mark Sanchez, PHI @WAS 0000028020 ***
Can Sanchez turn around his mini-slump of declining numbers? A Redskins defense that ceded 325 and 3 to Nick Foles back in Week 3 and has allowed multiple passing scores in three straight help point all signs towards "yes".
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @WAS 6001100000 ***
As far as we can tell McCoy is still the starter and feature back in Philly. Last week, however, he played in just 34 of the team's 55 offensive snaps, a two-year low for McCoy. It's a tough matchup to begin with, and if you're taking touches--especially goal line looks--off of McCoy's plate it makes things even more difficult.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @WAS 0081201000 ****
Maclin remains the man in Philly, with four straight 100-yard games against the Redskins capped by his 8-154-1 earlier this season. He's been the most consistently targeted Eagle, so no matter what shakes down he feels like the best bet for fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @WAS 004701000 **
Matthews vanished last week; one drop led to no more targets and zero catches on the day. We'll see if he returns to the coaching staff's good graces, but given what transpired last week he can't be banked on for fantasy help here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @WAS 004300000 ***
Cooper's targets have taken a turn for the better--second on the team among wideouts in looks each of the past four games--but the productivity hasn't climbed with the additional looks so he's still a risky play at best here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brent Celek, PHI @WAS 001100000 ***
It's a favorable tight end matchup, but Celek's presence only serves to cut into Zach Ertz's fantasy potential.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @WAS 002100000 ***
Ertz is the more dynamic target, but he isn't necessarily the most targeted tight end on the Philly roster and that makes him a difficult start at best. On the bright side, both he and Brent Celek will be facing a Redskins defense that has given up 11 TE TDs this year, including four in the past three games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @WAS 2233 ***
Parker produced 13 points the last time these teams met, the most Washington has allowed to an opposing kicker all year. It's not rare for Parkey, however, who has six games with double-digit points and is averaging 9.5 points per game on the year. Shouldn't be a hiccup here.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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