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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: CLE 13 , DAL 27 (Line: DAL by 7.5)

Players Updated: Miles Austin

Players to Watch: Brandon Weeden, Felix Jones

The 2-7 Browns are better than their record suggest but they are also 0-4 on the road and about to face one of the tougher defenses this year. The 4-5 Cowboys come off their win in Philadelphia but are only 1-2 at home. Dallas is far too desperate to take anyone lightly and need to win games like this big because everyone is getting more scrutiny this season.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL -----
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT -----
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG 27-41 14 KC -----
6 CIN 34-24 15 WAS -----
7 @IND 13-17 16 @DEN -----
8 SD 7-6 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL 15-25 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Miles Austin 5-80
WR Josh Gordon 3-60,1
WR Andrew Hawkins 3-40

Pregame Notes: The Browns come off their bye already knowing that the season is over and that player evaluations will start to take precedence. Trent Richardson has more than justified his draft pick but Brandon Weeden is still no lock to continue next year in that fine Cleveland tradition that has witnessed eight different quarterbacks over the last ten years.

Weeden was on a nice streak with two scores in three straight games but then his stats fell apart for the last two games with only 176 yards at most and no scores. Of course both were at home and featured Richardson running the ball more. That's not going to be a big option for the offense until the Chiefs game in week 14. Weeden's been more than solid considering what he has to work with but he needs to show up even more in these final games in order to get the ultra-rare "two years starting" badge in Cleveland.

Richardson's scored six times this year and totaled over 100 yards three times including the last two. His first 100 yard effort was in a road game in Cincinnati but his second meeting with the Bengals only produced 54 total yards. Nice to see Richardson catch six passes against the Ravens when the three previous games saw him rarely used as a receiver. Richardson already has 31 receptions on the season.

The Browns wideouts are very hard to forecast because almost all of them are healthy again. Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin returned in week nine and joined Josh Gordon and Greg Little. Gordon has been the only hot hand with four touchdowns in three games but he turned back into a pumpkin in the last two weeks with fewer than 50 yards and no score in each. Again - when Richardson can run it really takes the wind out of the passing game but that should not be an issue for the next two weeks at the least.

The Browns face a defense that is top ten against all positions and one of the very best versus wideouts - particularly playing in Dallas. THe Cowboys have only allowed seven passing scores this year and only once more than one to an opponent. Add in that they've held visitors to only one rushing touchdown and this is certain to be a lower scoring game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 14 27 25 18 15
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 5 10 10 8 19 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Brian Hoyer, CLE @ATL 0000026010 ****
The Falcons have allowed multiple touchdown passes in four straight, which might just be a favorable enough matchup to push Hoyer--who has just one multi-TD outing in his last six games--into fringe fantasy contributor territory.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @ATL 8012100000 ***
Don't fall for the past two weeks of Atlanta's stats against a pair of run-challenged division foes; they've given up RB TDs in all six non-division games as well as at least 123 yards from scrimmage to the RB position. Crowell was Cleveland's lead dog last week, and with Ben Tate out of the picture he's good for at least half the touches in a backfield that should have its way with the Falcons run D.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, CLE @ATL 401000000 ***
West took a back seat to Isaiah Crowell last week after getting 26 carries in the key divisional win over Cincy the previous week. Who knows which back will be Cleveland's primary, but against an Atlanta D that's allowing an average of 186 combo yards and 1.6 TDs to opposing non-division backfields even a share means fantasy success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, CLE @ATL 005801000 *
How quickly can the Browns re-incorporate Gordon into the mix? Shouldn't take long against a secondary that's allowed 100-yard games to the past three feature receivers it has faced.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @ATL 005600000 ***
Hawkins should retain his role even with the return of Josh Gordon, though there may not be as big of a need for his possession receiver skills.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE @ATL 003400000 ***
Just as Gabriel was starting to carve out a little niche for himself in the Cleveland passing attack, Josh Gordon returns to blow everything up. With Gordon hogging the looks there's unlikely to be as much fantasy value to Gabriel's game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Miles Austin, CLE @ATL 002200000 ***
Austin was supposed to take the place of Josh Gordon, and now Gordon is back. So... it's been a nice run.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Cameron, CLE @ATL 00000000 *
Battling injuries and ineffectiveness, Cameron hasn't been fantasy-relevant since Week 6. The return of Josh Gordon this week overshadows anything Cameron might bring to the table; he's back in "prove it" mode until we see anything that resembles the kind of numbers he put up last year.
Update: Cameron has been ruled out of this week's game... not that he's been much help lately anyway.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Billy Cundiff, CLE @ATL 2233 ***
After a couple big games at home, Cundiff has turtled. It's not a favorable enough matchup to expect a turnaround that will benefit your fantasy squad.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI 38-23
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 vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 290,2
QB Brandon Weeden 230,1
RB DeMarco Murray
WR Dez Bryant 5-90,1
TE Jason Witten 7-60,1
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys are only 4-5 but since the Giants are losing games and are only 6-4, there is still a chance to win the division though they've lost the first head-to-head tiebreaker with the Giants. The Cowboys are about to start the easiest stretch of their schedule now with five home games and only two road games - both of those against average opponents at best. The Cowboys need a big win here to get back on track.

For all the bad press that Tony Romo attracts, he's been pretty much error-free in three of his last four games that had no turnovers and almost no sacks. When he is bad - sure. He can throw four or more interceptions which he has done twice now. In home games he's been limited to only one touchdown at most but this will be a weaker team showing up and Romo has yet to play in Dallas this season and throw for fewer than 283 yards. His problem has been one of fewer touchdowns with 13 scores so far this year and seven games of just one or no touchdowns.

DeMarco Murray's been out since week six and early reports are that he may miss his fifth game thanks to a foot that is slow to heal. Murray's always been tagged as injury prone and it was the main reason why he fell in the NFL draft. Felix Jones is running rather well lately with 71 yards on 16 carries last week in Philly where he scored on a pass reception. His last two games were both on the road and against decent defenses and he still produced 90+ total yards in each since the Cowboys have stopped using a committee as much and mainly just rely on Jones. This would be a very nice week for Jones at home against one of the weaker rushing defenses of the Browns.

Jason Witten is still a beast with receptions though his 15 catches in the last two weeks only gained 98 combined yards. His last two home games merely posted 18 (NYG) and 13 (CHI) receptions though he's not as likely to be needed as he was in those games.

The best news is that both Dez Bryant and Miles Austin have played well in every home game. Both wideouts have either scored a touchdown or turned in over 100 yards while in Cowboys Stadium. The Browns secondary allows scores to wide receivers but only two players notched 100 yard games against them. Add in the Cowboys likely success running the ball and while both wideouts are decent starts, neither should have a monster game here. LCB Pat Haden will match on Miles Austin and should hold him to lower stats this week but otherwise the usual suspects should see at least good results in this match-up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 16 21 9 3 21 20
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 23 25 28 3 10 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tony Romo, DAL @NYG 0000027020 ***
Romo has multiple touchdowns in seven straight meetings with the Giants, with at least 250 yards in each game as well. That run includes a 279 and 3 from earlier this year, and there's little reason to think he'll fall much shy of those benchmarks in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL @NYG 10014200000 ****
After a brief hiccup Murray got back in the 100-yard swing of things the last time Dallas took the field. After taking the Giants for 128 and 1 in the earlier meeting, Murray should have little difficulty slapping another hundo on a New York defense that's allowed three 100-yard games (and a 95-yarder) in the past five outings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL @NYG 0071001000 ***
Bryant hasn't scored against the Giants since 2011, but he has three 100-yard games in the past four meetings including 151 earlier this year. He's an every week fantasy starter, and this week is no different.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL @NYG 003500000 ***
The last time both Williams and Dez Bryant were fantasy relevant in the same game was a month ago--when the Cowboys hosted the Giants and Williams scored while Bryant topped 150 yards. Bryant is obviously the better option, but Williams definitely is in play this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL @NYG 004501000 ***
A fortuitous confluence: the Giants have allowed six TE TDs in the past five games, and the Cowboys have rediscovered Witten's role in their offense, with three touchdowns and three games north of 60 yards in the past five outings. It adds up to another quality opportunity for Witten to ring the fantasy bell.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL @NYG 2233 ***
Bailey has single field goals in four straight; maybe his offense has been too good. He should get some PATs again this week, probably enough to keep him fantasy relevant.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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