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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 PHI 30000026021 ***
If there were any team Jay Gruden were forced to play RG3 against, the Eagles might be the best possible option. In four career meetings RG3 has thrown multiple TDs four times, a total of 10 touchdowns against four INTs, averaging 272 yards per game with another 40 rushing yards per game to boot. You'd take those numbers from RG3, right? He wasn't that far off last week against the Giants with 236 & 1 plus 46 rushing, and with Philly as the second-most fantasy friendly defense against quarterbacks an uptick is to be expected. RG3 is playing for somebody's job, be it in DC or elsewhere, and the Eagles are a perfect foil for him to make some noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS PHI 8001100000 ***
The Redskins have gotten away from running Morris 20 times a game, perhaps because they've dropped the last three games by an average of 18 points per game. He carried 23 times for 77 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly and you have to think the game plan calls for heavy doses of Alf. As an added bonus, any read options carry the threat of an RG3 run, which in the past has opened lanes for Morris. Think of those previous game numbers as a baseline, with room to move upwards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS PHI 005901000 **
You think DJax is motivated? Now even his own coach is talking smack about him. He put up 117 and a touch on the Eagles in the earlier meeting, and with RG3 throwing deep he should get a few extra chances to put the torch to his former squad. Revenge is a dish best served in the fantasy bowl.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS PHI 005701000 **
Garcon seems to be more of a Colt McCoy favorite than an RG3 favorite, though after seeing what Garcon did to the Eagles back in Week 3 (11-138-1) maybe he'll reconsider. It's a risk, as Garcon has been a bit player most of the season, but there's some upside if RG3 is willing to reacquaint himself with Pierre.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS PHI 005500000 ***
Philly has allowed only one TE TD on the year, but two tight ends have topped 100 yards and another two--including Niles Paul back in Week 3, before Reed was back from injury--topped 65 yards. He'd be more of a yardage play than a TD play, but there's some upside to Reed this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS PHI 2111 ***
Blame RG3: With other quarterbacks Forbath is averaging better than seven points per game; in games in which RG3 took the bulk of the snaps, he's averaging 4.6. He tallied 10 for the Kirk Cousins-led Redskins against Philly earlier this year, but don't get your hopes up for the rematch.

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 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.

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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