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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 Colt McCoy, WAS @DAL 0000020012 ***
McCoy's last fantasy-relevant start came... well, guess it depends on your definition of "fantasy-relevant". 151 and 2 back on November 27, 2011? 215 and 2 in October of that same season, or 350 and 1 the week before that? Suffice it to say it's been a while and the options are few. No reason to think McCoy offers much to fantasy owners this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @DAL 500000000 ****
Morris has faced the Cowboys four times, producing at least 80 yards and a touchdown in each matchup. Different offense, though with Colt McCoy at the helm you can expect the Redskins to lean heavily on their ground game. That worked well for Arian Foster against the Cowboys but not so much for any other back they've faced, so chill your expectations accordingly for Morris.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @DAL 005600000 **
Colt McCoy's presence under center likely flips the Redskins' receiving corps from long ball to possession game, which plays to Pierre's strengths. Of course, it may not even matter against a Dallas defense that's allowed just two WR TDs over the past month--both to Odell Beckham last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @DAL 004500000 **
Jackson is a deep threat without a deep ball quarterback, which makes him an extremely risky fantasy start in what is already a difficult matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @DAL 004400000 **
Roberts' lone advantage would come as a possession type if the Redskins use DeSean Jackson to stretch the field. Given the tough matchup and change at quarterback, you can find more compelling fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @DAL 007801000 **
Reed should see plenty of love from short-armed quarterback Colt McCoy in what looks to be a favorable matchup against a Dallas D that's already allowed seven TE TDs and four different tight ends to top 75 yards against them. So long as Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen don't steal too many targets, Reed remains a safe and solid fantasy option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @DAL 3311 **
Forbath had double-digit points in both ends of last season's series, but this is an improved Dallas defense--and an offense with Colt McCoy at the helm.

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 WAS 0000028020 ***
Much to like here, both historically--Romo has multiple touchdowns in four of his last five against the Redskins--and recently, as the Redskins have allowed multiple touchdowns in five straight while Romo has thrown multiple scoring strikes in five consecutive as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL WAS 12012100000 *****
The Redskins haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 1 and have surrendered only one RB rushing score all season... but c'mon, Murray just broke a Jim Brown record so this season must be magical. Triple-digit yardage is all but a given, and a TD more likely than those Redskins stats might lead you to believe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL WAS 0061101000 ***
The Redskins aren't really shutting down opposing passing games, so expect Bryant to get his--which at home has meant 100 yards or a touchdown in his last three at Jones Majal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL WAS 005701000 ****
Washington has surrendered touchdowns to multiple receivers in each of the past two games, so even if Dez gets his and DeMarco Murray gets his there should be enough left over for Williams to carve out some fantasy assistance this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL WAS 005500000 ****
Witten's fantasy value is being usurped by Gavin Escobar, who has scored three of the Cowboys' last four TE TDs. It's not a compelling enough matchup to make Witten anything other than a fringe fantasy helper at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL WAS 2244 ***
Bailey has been solid, but just one double-digit points effort in the past month leaves him a bit shy of spectacular. Plan accordingly.

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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