FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 @MIN 0000026011 **
If RG3 can't make it out of practice this week and McCoy gets the nod he's not exactly a fantasy lock; the Vikings have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @MIN 8011100000 ****
RG3's return would be a boon for Morris, as his two best showings came with the threat of RG3 in the same backfield. Morris has 12 or more carries in every game; the seven backs to hit that mark against Minnesota average 70 yards a game and have accounted for four TDs as well. Give those numbers the RG3 boost and this is at minimum a solid opportunity for Alf.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @MIN 006901000 ***
The Vikings typically have trouble with speed receivers--like Sammy Watkins, who torched them for 9-122-2 a couple weeks back. That bodes well for DJax, as done the return of RG3 to the helm.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @MIN 005600000 ***
Garcon saw enough early-season volume with RG3 at the helm that his return bodes well for Pierre's stats in PPR formats; also doesn't hurt that the Vikings have allowed multiple WRs to score and/or top 60 yards in four of their last six games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @MIN 004300000 ***
If the season opener is any indication, Roberts runs a distant third in Washington's WR pecking order when RG3 is at the helm. No reason to reach for him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @MIN 004500000 ***
Mike Zimmer has tightened up a Vikings D that traditionally was torched by tight ends; this year they've allowed only two TE TDs and no tight end to top 56 yards against them. Those aren't fantasy-friendly numbers for Reed; add in the fact he's still sharing looks with Niles Paul and he's a fringe fantasy play at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @MIN 2122 ***
Won't be easy for Forbath to get his kicks against a Minnesota defense that either rolls over and gives up PATs (zero field goals, 13 XP attempts Weeks 3-5) or shuts the door altogether (just 47 points allowed total over the past three weeks). Plus, his fantasy prospects are a bone to be chewed when the gales of November come early.

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 ARI 0000028021 ***
The expectation is Romo plays through his back injury here, the same injury that brought his streak of multiple TD games to an end after five. Arizona has served up multiple TD tosses to the last three QBs with at least a year in the NFL, as well as multiple scores and at least 277 yards to all three NFC East QBs they've faced previously. Romo's a risk, sure, but if he's gutting this one out he should be in your fantasy lineup as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL ARI 11014400000 ***
'85 Bears. Brick wall. At this juncture there isn't a matchup you wouldn't start the red-hot Murray against, so even though the Cards haven't let a back top 83 yards on them and they've only surrendered four RB TDs on the year there's really no reason to think Murray can't continue to do what he's been doing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL ARI 006801000 ****
Multiple receivers have either scored or topped 80 yards (or both) in four of the last five against Arizona, so the Cowboys' clear-cut WR2 certainly warrants fantasy attention this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL ARI 005701000 ****
Bryant's two least productive fantasy games were 55 and 63 yards; otherwise he's scored and/or reached triple digits. Knowing the floor is already pretty high, and that Arizona has allowed five 100-yard receivers in the past five games, there's no reason to stray from Bryant's every-week starter status.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL ARI 004500000 ***
It's not a tremendous matchup on paper, and Gavin Escobar looms, so pencil Witten in as a good start--but there's no need to go out of your way to get him into your lineup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL ARI 1133 ***
The Cards aren't a particularly fantasy-friendly team to get your kicks against, though Bailey has hovered around "good" most of the season. At minimum you should get solid production from the position this week.

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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