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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 Brandon Weeden 220,1
RB DeMarco Murray 70,1 3-20
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 Tony Romo, DAL @TEN 0000026012 ****
Will it be an issue that both the Cowboys and Titans wear blue? Because, you know, Tony likes to throw to a different color jersey. Life post-Verner hasn't been as bad as expected for the Tennessee secondary; they locked down Alex Smith, picking him thrice, and catch Romo coming off an INT hat trick of his own. Can't get giddy about Romo's fantasy prospects until he sheds the Vinny Testaverde designer sunglasses.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL @TEN 7014300000 ***
When's the last time the Cowboys ran twice as much as... well, anybody? Probably back when Nate Newton was running dope and Emmitt Smith was darting behind Larry Allen. In any event, Tennessee's run D numbers are inflated because Andy Reid, in his infinite wisdom, opted to run the ball just 11 times in Week 1. Murray carried 22 times all by himself--without injury, mind you--and produced 118 yards and a score. Toss in his increasing roll in the passing game and there are plenty of reasons to like Murray's prospects here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL @TEN 006800000 ***
Donnie Avery racked up 84 yards against the Titans last week. Donnie Avery. Puh-leeze. Dez is twice the receiver Avery is, minimum. Downgrade a bit for the quarterback issues and Bryant is still a must-play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL @TEN 004600000 ***
The Tennessee secondary is a different animal without Alterraun Verner, but it's worth noting that only once in the final 14 games of last year did a secondary receiver score or top 50 yards against the Titans--and that was the Broncos' juggernaut. That, coupled with Tony Romo's struggles, makes it tough to trust Williams as a viable fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL @TEN 004401000 ****
Witten was nearly non-existent in the season opener; he'll have a significantly larger role against a defense that allowed KC tight ends to rack up 6-78-1 last week--not to mention 13 tight ends to score or top 50 yards (or both) last year
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL @TEN 2222 ***
The Cowboys didn't give Bailey much opportunity to swing the leg in Week 1; expect an uptick in Week 2 from a defense that allowed multiple field goal attempts in six of eight home games last season.

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
TE Jermaine Gresham 5-50,1
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 ATL 0000028010 ***
The Bengals weren't nearly as run-heavy as anticipated under new OC Hue Jackson, but that was more a function of the opponent. Expect a little more running and a little less passing this week, though not enough to relegate Dalton to certain fantasy bench duty.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN ATL 9015400000 ****
Gio didn't get quite the extensive workout fantasy owners had hoped for under Hue Jackson, but that should change against an Atlanta defense that surrendered 183 combo yards to backs last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN ATL 301000000 **
Hill was lightly used in his NFL debut, a product of the opponent as much as anything else. Now he'll face a Falcons defense that surrendered three RB rushing scores in Week 1; as Cincy's goal line guy you have to like his odds of slicing off a piece of that pie for himself.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN ATL 0061201000 ****
Mildly surprising that Green didn't have at least as many targets as the rest of Cincy's wideouts combined last week, but not surprising that he thoroughly outproduced them. The Falcons couldn't contain either Marcus Colston or Brandon Cooks last week, unlikely they'll find a way to slow Green's roll here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN ATL 004500000 ***
Until the Pips start producing consistently, which may not be until Marvin Jones returns, AJ Green is the only member of Cincy's wide receiving corps worthy of fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN ATL 003300000 ***
Gresham inherits at least some of the looks vacated by the injury to Tyler Eifert, though he's still a long shot to turn those extra looks into fantasy-relevant productivity.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN ATL 3333 ***
The Nuge got his kicks last week--five of them, in fact, on six attempts--and it's unlikely Atlanta keeps the Bengals off the scoreboard so he's a decent fantasy bet again this week.

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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