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David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: DAL 23, WAS 24 (Line: WAS by 3)

Players to Watch: Tony Romo, Pierre Garcon, Alfred Morris

This is the late game on Sunday and it has enough intrigue to make it worth watching. The announcers get another chance at prime time to slobber over Robert Griffin III and this game decides several things. If the Cowboys win, they take the NFC East title which says more about how bad the East is this year than how good the Cowboys are. If they lose, they are out plain and simple. The Redskins can win the NFC East with a victory here but a loss could still result in a wildcard if both the Bears (@DET) and the Vikings (@GB) both lose. Since this is the final late game, both teams know exactly what the case will be before playing.

This is a replay of week 12 when the Redskins won 38-31 in Dallas.

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 20-19
6 @BAL 29-31 15 PIT 27-24
7 @CAR 19-14 16 NO 31-34
8 NYG 24-29 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL 13-19 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL @ WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 320,2
RB DeMarco Murray 50 4-30
WR Dez Bryant 6-100,1
TE Jason Witten 8-70,1
PK Dan Bailey 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys are 3-1 in December which is opposite their typical results in previous years. The normal December slide was overcome in part because of a scheduling quirk that allowed them five home games in the last six weeks and both the Eagles and Steelers having fallen on hard times. The offense is scoring well and just last week Tony Romo could have had a legendary game when he brought the team back from 14 points down to overtime but once again the defense lost it for them. The loss of linebackers and safeties have been the bane of the defense.

Romo has been playing in top form lately but then again - almost all home games. Romo threw 12 touchdowns over the last four home games. He's only thrown five touchdowns over the last four road games. At home he had seven straight games over 300 yards. On the road, he had only one in the last six away venues. Romo passed for a season high 441 yards and three scores when the Skins visited in week 12.

DeMarco Murray missed six games this year and hasn't topped 100 rush yards since the season opener. He has been more involved as a receiver with four catches in each of the last four games. In week 12, Felix Jones was the starter but only ran for 14 yards on six carries and added 47 yards and one score as a receiver.

Jason Witten has already set the NFL record for tight end receptions this year and logged nine catches for 74 yards in the last meeting with the Skins.

Dez Bryant is on a seven game scoring streak and recorded eight receptions for 145 yards and two scores against the Skins this year. Miles Austin was held to no catches while Dwayne Harris (4-71) and Cole Beasley (7-68).

The Cowboys are 4-3 away from home but have a history of late season chokes. But that doesn't mean there won't be nice fantasy points along the way. This will move to the air sooner than later and the weather is not supposed to be bad other than a bit cold.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 7 24 3 9 11 24
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 29 11 30 31 19 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tony Romo, DAL NYG 0000025020 ****
Since getting knocked out of the front end of the 2010 Giants-Cowboys series Romo has owned Big Blue, averaging 311 yards and two-plus TDs in six subsequent meetings. Even with the Cowboys' newfound commitment to the ground game Romo has multiple TD tosses in four straight; no reason to think his dominance doesn't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL NYG 12015300000 *****
Since taking over as the Cowboys' feature back Murray has tallied at least 125 yards from scrimmage in each subsequent meeting with the Giants. That suggests his streak of 100-yard rushing games should be safe. What Murray has yet to do is find the end zone against the Giants, but a New York defense that's allowed four RB TDs in the past three games--not to mention Murray's six scores in as many games this year--should bring that particular streak to a halt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL NYG 006701000 ****
Dez hasn't scored on the Giants since the front end of the 2011 series, though he's reached triple-digit yardage twice against them since then. A score is no lock here against a New York secondary that hasn't allowed a WR1 to score since Megatron in the season opener, but Bryant is heavily targeted enough to more than compensate with yardage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL NYG 005701000 ****
Secondary receivers have done minimal yardage damage to the Giants, though the two most recent WR TDs they've surrendered have gone to alternate targets. If the New York focus is too intense on Dez, Williams is more than capable of making them pay.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL NYG 005600000 ***
Deuces are wild: Witten scored twice in each end of last season's series with the Giants, the Cowboys scored two TE TDs last week and the Giants surrendered two tight end touchdowns in their loss to Philly. That's more than enough to warrant Witten being in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL NYG 1144 ****
Bailey has at least eight points in five straight games, averaging better than 10 points per contest over that span. No reason to think a home date with the Giants sends him into a slump.

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 38-31
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG 17-16
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL 31-28
6 MIN 38-26 15 @CLE 38-21
7 @NYG 23-27 16 @PHI 27-20
8 @PIT 12-27 17 DAL -----
9 CAR 13-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 50 240,2
RB Alfred Morris 110,1 1-10
WR Pierre Garcon 7-90,1
WR Santana Moss 4-40,1
TE Logan Paulsen 2-20
PK Kai Forbath 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Redskins are on a six game winning streak since leaving their bye - a big change from being 3-6 and just an afterthought. A win there and the Skins are the title holders of the NFC East and RG3 will have already cemented his name in Skins lore. The change has been interesting since the Skins were consistently not good enough in the early games and now have been winning all the close ones. Encouraging too is that they are winning with less rushing from Griffin and more success passing to the wide receivers.

Griffin had his best fantasy game of the year when he threw for 304 yards and four scores in Dallas. That mostly happened with a wild 28 point second quarter that included two passing scores over 58 yards each and the Cowboys lost a fumble and an interception that led to Redskin scores.

Alfred Morris also ran for 113 yards on 24 carries in that game with one touchdown. He has been good for either a touchdown or 100+ rushing yards in every game since if not both. Morris completely stepped up starting with the game in Dallas and has scored five times over these last five games.

That game was also when Pierre Garcon came roaring back and proceeded to score in the next two games as well as in Dallas where he had 86 yards on four catches. Santana Moss scored once as well on his 42 yards on four receptions. Aldrick Robinson scored on a 68 yard catch that week. That game was all about the second quarter when it all fell apart for the Cowboys who battled back and came up short while holding the Skins to 10 points in the second half compared to 28 for Dallas.

The weakness of the Cowboys defense is more up the middle so Morris should see success this week and be relied on to control the game. Griffin only threw four scores over the last three games that he has played since the Dallas meeting. This game should end up close throughout and hopefully becomes a shootout later on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 15 10 26 12 10
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 12 21 20 24 26 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kirk Cousins, WAS TEN 0000032021 ***
The last three QBs to face Tennessee have all thrown for 292 yards or better, averaging 340 and better than two TDs per outing. And we're not talking upper echelon QBs here, as that group includes Brian Hoyer and Blake Bortles. No reason Cousins, who himself has 250 yards or better in every outing this year and is averaging 330 yards per start, can't go off again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS TEN 601000000 ***
Morris hasn't hit the century mark yet this season, in part because his volume of touches is down and in part because of Jay Gruden's more pass-happy offense. Still, it's a favorable matchup against a Titans defense that's allowed four RB TDs in its past two road games and 100 yards or a score to five straight feature backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS TEN 0051001000 ****
WR1s have done some damage to the Titans, and Jackson certainly appears to have blown past Pierre Garçon to claim that honor in DC. He's had back-to-back 100-yard games with a touchdown against solid secondaries; shouldn't be a problem for him to do the same in a more favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS TEN 006700000 ***
Garçon's volume has taken a hit as DeSean Jackson has emerged in the Kirk Cousins-led Washington passing game. He's still a solid option, but expectations need to be kept in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS TEN 005400000 ***
Roberts has become a sneaky PPR play in the pass-heavy Washington attack. However, most of the damage against Tennessee's secondary is coming at the hands of WR1s so wait for a more favorable matchup to plug Andre into your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS TEN 006801000 ****
Washington tight ends kept Reed's role in the offense plenty warm, so it wasn't at all shocking to see Reed return to 11 targets and 8-92 in his first game back from injury. He's a great play this week against a Titans defense that's allowed TE TDs in three straight games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS TEN 1133 ***
Forbath has been hit or miss this year, and the Titans aren't a favorable enough matchup to bank on the "hit".

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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