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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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

Players Updated: Jermaine Gresham, Mike Nugent

Players to Watch: Dez Bryant, A.J. Green

The Cowboys mounted a comeback to beat the woeful Eagles last week and at 6-6 still have a chance for a wildcard. The Bengals are 7-5 and are 4-2 at home with a four game winning streak. The best thing about this game is that is should feature points but it is a coin flip game depending on which Cowboys show up.

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 31-38
4 CHI 18-34 13 PHI 38-33
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 @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 10 250,1
QB Mark Sanchez 190,1
RB Darren McFadden 60 5-30
RB Alfred Morris 70,1
WR Dez Bryant 6-70,1
TE Jason Witten 7-80
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys come off a win in December which alone is reason to be excited. And yet the traditional December slide almost started with the Eagles visiting sans all important starters and still took a big lead in the first half. The Cowboys defense has been culprit in recent losses and the loss of linebackers have undermined the entire effort. The remaining schedule will not guarantee any winning season with road trips to Cincy and Washington and hosting the Steelers and Saints. Chances are the Cowboys are in store for some offseason upheaval unless they can reverse years of crumbling every December.

Tony Romo did reverse his trend of throwing just one touchdown per game with three scores against both the Redskins and Eagles. Five of his last six games featured over 300 passing yards and his turnovers are way down. The offense is posting points but too often cannot keep up with what the defense has been giving away.

DeMarco Murray returned last week after missing six games and he was handled with kid gloves. Murray ran a season high 23 times for 83 yards and one score and while he looked a little rusty, he ran far better than Felix Jones had as his replacement. Murray adds an important weapon in the arsenal. He's just unreliable with an injury history stretching back into his college days. He's probably not going to be replaced next year but a reality is that he may never play a full season. He's just too injury-prone and slow to heal.

Felix Jones fell back into his support role with Murray playing and only ran seven times against the Eagles. He's no longer a fantasy option until Murray is injured again.

Miles Austin is still banged up with a hip and hamstring injury but still plays and has not suffered any setbacks. He caught a touchdown last week but has been a nonfactor otherwise with fewer than 60 yards in every game for the last month. Even with his score on Sunday, he ended with just two receptions for 46 yards in a home game.

This recent stretch of softer defenses have been wonderful for Dez Bryant who is on a four game stretch of games with at least one score and 85+ yards. His last two games posted two scores in each and he's truly taken a step up if only at home and against softer secondaries. This week will be a great challenge against a Top 5 secondary against wideouts. This last month, Bryant has been the main weapon every week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 11 25 5 14 12 24
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 24 5 23 19 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Dak Prescott, DAL CHI 0000024010 ***
The good: He scored a TD (rushing) in Week 2 and once again didn't turn over the ball. The bad: He's not moving the ball down the field enough or taking the necessary, smart chances to lead to fantasy teams.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL CHI 10012100000 ***
Two fumbles in Week 2 didn't help his fantasy total, but the rookie is churning along as good as can be expected because of the quarterback situation. This should be another strong fantasy effort from Zeke. Chicago has allowed averages of 102.5 rushing yards, four receptions, and one touchdown per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL CHI 006901000 ***
Hey, look at that ... we had a Dez sighting in Week 2! Proof that you must start your studs. Jordan Matthews caught six of nine targets for 71 yards in Week 2, following up DeAndre Hopkins' 5-54-1 stat line in the opener. ... reasonably realistic expectations for No. 88.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL CHI 006700000 ***
This matchup isn't ideal on paper. Chicago has allowed only 24 catches, 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two games. Beasley is playing too well right now to ignore, and fantasy owners in PPR leagues must include him as no worse than a flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL CHI 005600000 ***
Houston's tight ends did no damage, as expected, to Chicago in the opener. Trey Burton, replacing Philly starter Zach Ertz, managed five catches, 49 yards and a TD on seven targets. Witten is in for a quality outing for PPR owners, and with any extra luck, he'll lumber into the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL CHI 3322 ***
Dak Prescott moves the ball well but struggles to produce touchdowns. That has been a good thing for Bailey's fantasy owners.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG 31-13
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC 28-6
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK 34-10
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD 20-13
5 MIA 13-17 14 DAL -----
6 @CLE 24-34 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT 17-24 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN 23-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 240,1
RB Cedric Peerman
WR A.J. Green 7-90
WR Brandon LaFell 1-10
PK Mike Nugent

Pregame Notes: Granted, the four game winning streak included beating up on the bad part of the AFC West but while A.J. Green gets all the attention, the reality is that the Bengals defense has not allowed over 13 points in any of the last four outings. The offense is getting big returns on the rushing effort lately but that may be over for now with an injury to Cedric Peerman.

Andy Dalton scores multiple times in each of the last four games though his yardage has been pedestrian. He has not thrown for 300 yards since back in week three and most recent games have produced around just 200 yards in them. Slice off a huge chunk of that for Green every week and there is not much left to go around. Dalton is consistent scoring though and added a rushing touchdown in two of the last three games.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a bust for most of this year and then along came the papery defenses of the Chargers, Raiders and Chiefs. That made everything better with over 100 yards these last three weeks and that is a major departure from the roughly 60 yards he typically produced. He was helped by Cedric Peerman who has been an electric change of pace back until last week when he suffered what is speculated to be a high ankle sprain. He may not be out long but he will be out this week at the least. The Bengals rushing effort has been so stellar thanks to the ineptitude of the AFC West that it will be a disappointment to see BGE become a pumpkin again.

Jermaine Gresham isn't much for yardage in most games but did score in three of the last four and has been a low-end starter value the entire year.

Mohamed Sanu is on injured reserve now after scoring four times in three games. He's been replaced by the rookie Marvin Jones who used his opportunity to only catch two passes for 20 yards last week. Andrew Hawkins was back after a two week absence and caught five passes for 47 yards. There is no fantasy play among these receivers other than A.J. Green who was on a nine game scoring streak but has failed to reach the endzone in the last two weeks. He still never did worse than 85 yards in either and has been good for double-digit fantasy points in every game this year.

The Cowboys secondary has been weaker in recent games and in the end, you will start Green regardless of the matchup. Nothing really to be afraid of here anyway.

I like a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 10 24 3 15 18 17
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 9 14 14 14 21 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN DEN 10000019011 ***
There is no way Dalton should be in a fantasy lineup this week. Denver will stifle the passing game if A.J. Green gets bottled up again this week. Dalton was sacked seven times by the Jets -- a number Denver may come close to matching.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN DEN 5012200000 ***
Gamers get nothing in return from Hill without a touchdown. This doesn't line up to be a good setting to deploy him, considering Denver has given up only one touchdown on the ground to the position in 2016.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DEN 2007600000 ***
Denver has given up 10 catches, 53 yards and a touchdown to running backs through the air, which at least gives a glimmer of hope for Bernard. He stood out in Week 2 in a similar situation -- A.J. Green was locked down, forcing Andy Dalton into the checkdown game. PPR owners must include Gio in their RB2 plans.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN DEN 004500000 ***
Boyd was in on 79 percent of the snaps in Week 2 and will be looked to when A.J. Green is doubled. The rookie has PPR appeal as a WR3 or flex option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN DEN 004400000 ***
Didn't see that one coming ... Green was blanketed and removed from the passing attack a week ago versus the Steelers. Green has an even tougher matchup this time out. Play him if you must, but his production should match that of a flex choice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN DEN 003200000 ***
LaFell saw the playing time (95% of snaps) and targets (8) last week but couldn't catch more than three balls for 39 yards. His true value resides in PPR leagues and in the flex neighborhood. Unfortunately, no team has been better vs. WRs than Denver. The Broncos have allowed only 16 catches to wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN DEN 004401000 **
Denver's secondary forces quarterbacks to take shots to their tight ends, which is partly why the position has averaged nine targets per game this young season. Kroft is returning from injury and is a terribly risky play, despite the upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN DEN 3322 ***
Nugent's leg should be busy as Denver's defense is likely to stall out Cincy's offense with regularity.

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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