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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: WAS 17, DAL 27 (Line: DAL by 3)

Players to Watch: Robert Griffin III, Dez Bryant

This is the afternoon game on Thanksgiving. The 4-6 Redskins broke their three game losing streak by hosting the now wingless Eagles but are only 2-3 on the road. The Cowboys draw to .500 with a 5-5 record but are only 2-2 at home and just barely beat the Browns. This is always one of those "throw out the records" kind of games but there is no escaping that the Cowboys have the better defense and is at home on a very short week.

The Cowboys swept the Redskins last year, winning 18-16 at home and later 27-24 in Washington.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI 31-6
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 23-27 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT 12-27 17 DAL -----
9 CAR 13-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 50 180,2
RB Alfred Morris 60 1-10
WR Leonard Hankerson 3-40
WR DeSean Jackson 4-60
WR Santana Moss 3-50,1
WR Andre Roberts 3-40
TE Logan Paulsen 4-50,1
PK Kai Forbath 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Nice win over the Eagles made the world right for one week but doesn't erase the struggles the Redskins have had scoring points and playing defense. They have never allowed fewer than 22 points in a road game and average giving up 28 points per road opponent. This week should show whether the Philly win was about an improved Redskins or just the Eagles in a nosedive.

Robert Griffin III gets to face one of the best defenses so far this year and while he comes off his first ever four touchdown game, he still passed for just 200 yards and only had eight passing scores over the first nine games. His role as a runner remains big in most games though the only time he faced top defenses this year was when he was held under ten rushing yards against the Falcons and Steelers when he also passed for less than 200 yards in those games. This is a big week for both teams but so far RG3 has been showing up mostly against weak defenses.

Alfred Morris hasn't scored since week six and other than the Giants game when he ran for 120 yards, he's been held to under 80 rush yards for the last six weeks and has no role as a receiver. Last week Griffin threw a touchdown to Darrel Young, another running back who now has two scores on the year with only 14 total touches. This offense may be all about Morris as the runner but he's just not getting much done thanks to struggles elsewhere on the team.

Logan Paulsen comes off his first score of the year but it was on his only catch in the Panthers game. He'd been good for four or five receptions in the previous three weeks but still has no reliable fantasy value.

Throwing for four touchdowns last week was nice and all but there still wasn't any one with more than 61 receiving yards and that was on Santana Moss' only catch, Aldrick Robinson also scored - on his only catch. This offense is still mostly about Griffin with moderate passing stats taking off on a run and even then he's scored in just one of the last six games as a runner.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 23 20 20 13 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 5 11 7 10 22 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Robert Griffin III, WAS @SF 0000020012 ***
Still waiting for RG3 to take to this offense; a date with a San Francisco defense that's getting players back and held all quarterbacks not named Brees or Manning to one TD toss over the past two months... well, that's not going to help matters much.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @SF 6002200000 ***
Mark Ingram proved you can grind it out against the Niners, and Morris will get ample opportunity to do the same--though don't look for a TD against a defense that's allowed only five RB TDs all year, just one of them in San Francisco.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Roy Helu, WAS @SF 2003200000 ***
Helu continues to be a PPR helper with three of five north of 40 receiving yards, including each of the past two. That's enough to make him a fringe fantasy contributor in performance based scoring systems.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @SF 005700000 ****
The theory remains sound: Jackson's speed is the perfect fit for RG3's deep shots. It worked a couple weeks back in Minnesota, and it could work again--assuming RG3 keeps the starting gig long enough. Right now all the inconsistency does is makes DJax a fringe fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @SF 003300000 ***
Garcon appears to have become an afterthought with RG3 at the helm; tough to trust an afterthought with a fantasy start at this juncture of the season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @SF 002200000 ***
Right now the Redskins' receiver rotation isn't seeing enough productivity for three fantasy options to emerge, and Roberts is most definitely queued up behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS @SF 004300000 ***
Update: With Jordan Reed out, look for Paul to step up his looks. It's a somewhat favorable matchup against a 49ers defense that's struggled of late against tight ends, so there's some upside to Paul as a plug-in fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @SF 00000000 *
A healthy Reed definitely comes into play against a 49ers defenses that's allowed three TE TDs in the past two games. Whether or not Reed is healthy, however, remains to be seen.
Update: We can answer the "Is Reed healthy?" questions with an emphatic "no", as he has been ruled out for this week. Expect Niles Paul to see an uptick of looks in Reed's stead.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @SF 1111 ***
Wanna blame RG3 for something else? Forbath has a total of nine points in three RG3 starts, less than half his average in non-RG3 starts. So if RG3 is at the helm again this week, get your kicks elsewhere.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI 38-23
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE 23-20
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 WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 330,3
QB Brandon Weeden 220,1
RB Lance Dunbar 30
RB DeMarco Murray
WR Dez Bryant 8-120,1
TE Jason Witten 8-80,1
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys squeaked past the Browns last week and needed overtime to get there. It was a week filled with underdogs getting a lead and then losing at the end of their game and it had the markings of a trap game if you can somehow ignore the fact the Cowboys have zero margin for error anymore. Dallas gets the benefit of a home game in a very short week and then takes off for ten days before hosting the now terrible Eagles. This three game home stretch was supposed to be the easiest time of the year but as of last week it's just a continuing struggle.

Tony Romo has been plenty good with yardage every week but his scoring is where he falls short. He's scored in all but one game this year but six other times ended with just one passing touchdown. In four home games, he's never been worse than 283 passing yards and yet only threw three touchdowns total over those games. Never more than one. He's faced some good defenses along the way. He's faced some less than stellar ones. Same thing - high yardage and one score. Maybe two. Never more than two since the season opener.

Felix Jones hurt his knee last week but remained in the Browns game and ended with 43 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. Jones totaled 90+ yards in the previous two games before slowing down last week with the rest of the Dallas squad. DeMarco Murray is still questionable to play and was ruled out early last week. Barring great news from practice, it appears likely that he'll miss yet another week with a foot that just won't heal. Lance Dunbar needed a minor surgery on his knee after the Browns game and may not play on Thursday. Philip Tanner would take his place if needed. Jones is shaping up to be a game time decision because of his knees and missed practices Monday and Tuesday.

Jason Witten continues to be the most consistent player in the offense with another seven catches last week which has been the least he does for the last month. Witten only scored once all year but has been huge in reception point leagues. He is on a pace to end with well over 100 catches this year.

Kevin Ogletree sustained a head injury last week but says he passed a concussion test. That makes him questionable this week against what should be a pretty bad secondary. There might not be much left over for him anyway. It is evident that the Cowboys are under a directive to get the ball to Dez Bryant who comes off a career best yardage game. Bryant was targeted 15 times for 12 receptions and 145 yards with one score last week. Miles Austin was thrown to 12 times for six receptions and 58 yards but the Cowboys are doing what they can to make Bryant a star.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 14 21 7 5 14 23
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 29 12 28 32 21 2

  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 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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