FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
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: PHI 24, NYG 30 (Line: NYG by 7)

Players to Watch: Michael Vick

The Giants can still reach the playoffs, all they need to do is to win here and then have the Cowboys, Bears and Vikings all lose. So it looks like another time that a Super Bowl champion was unable to reach the playoffs the next year. The Eagles are preparing for their first coaching turnover since 1998. This is a replay of week four when the Eagles won 19-17. Both teams have imploded since then though the Eagles a bit worse.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL 23-38
2 BAL 24-23 11 @WAS 6-31
3 @ARI 6-27 12 CAR 22-30
4 NYG 19-17 13 @DAL 33-38
5 @PIT 14-16 14 @TB 23-21
6 DET 23-26 15 CIN 13-34
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS 20-27
8 ATL 17-30 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO 13-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Darren Sproles 10 7-70,1
TE Brent Celek 5-50

Pregame Notes: This game is the final for Andy Reid with the Eagles and possibly the last of Nick Foles as the starting quarterback next year if they intend on bringing in a new coach with a spread offense from Oregon. Foles was placed on injured reserve with a fracture to his hand and so Michael Vick gets his final chance to play for the Eagles. Other teams are already starting to queue up to obtain him though six months from now that could be all different.

Vick passed for 241 yards and one score in the week four meeting with the Giants and added 49 rushing yards as well. But most of that went to DeSean Jackson (6-99, TD) and he's been gone since week 12. Jeremy Maclin was limited to only one catch for seven yards in that game. Maclin tweaked his knee in practice on Wednesday and has been limited but said he fully intends on playing this week. Maclin was ineffective in week four due to a hip injury.

Throwing Vick back into the mix doesn't make this group any easier to forecast and likely no more productive anyway. Outside of Maclin, there has not been a reliably consistent receiver on the team after Jackson left and realistically - Jackson was struggling to be productive anyway.

The only notable event last week was that LeSean McCoy returned and was given 13 runs for 45 yards and he caught nine passes for 77 yards. That was his high mark on the year as a receiver and came from Foles, not Vick.

Vick could be a play this week if you were in a bind since the Giants are weak against the pass anyway and Vick will want to play well knowing he is about to start handing out resume's. McCoy already ran for 123 yards on the Giants in week four and there is no reason to save him for later now. But beyond those two is hard to recommend because Maclin is banged up and Vick will be back.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 15 21 14 21 21 30
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 28 16 29 15 18 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Wentz, PHI PIT 0000025011 ***
The second overall pick has looked the part. Stats haven't necessarily shown it for fantasy owners, but he more than passes the eyeball test. Wentz has a bright future but is not a smart fantasy start this week. Quarterbacks have hurled nearly 700 yards worth against Pittsburgh but only one touchdown pass.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI PIT 3011100000 ***
The matchup is quite positive, which is great, but can Carson Wentz keep defenders out of the box? Will he be outschemed? Mathews faces the 23rd-ranked defense of running backs, propelled by 15 catches for 162 yards and a score through the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI PIT 2003200000 ***
Here's a fair opportunity to toss Sproles into a PPR lineup if you can take the risk. Pittsburgh has been trampled through the air by receiving running backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI PIT 006901000 ***
Matthews has been on the field for 95 percent of Philly's offensive snaps. Receivers have caught 32 balls against the Steelers, but none of them have crossed the stripe. Matthews could be the first and best be in all traditional lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI PIT 004600000 ***
Agholor could turn in a fine game, but trusting in him is so difficult. Pittsburgh's defense ranks 16th against the position. This stems from 32 catches for 405 yards, with zero touchdowns afforded to the position. Truly bend but don't break.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, PHI PIT 002300000 ***
His only real hope for fantasy production is by finding the end zone against a pass defense that hasn't given up a touchdown to receivers yet. That's not a risky owners should be willing to take.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Trey Burton, PHI PIT 004400000 ***
Seven targets, five catches, 49 yards and a score. Not too shabby for the third-year H-back. The Steelers have granted tight ends 14 catches for 128 yards, ranking as the 22nd strongest defense of this position. Play Burton if you like taking unnecessary chances.

Update: Zach Ertz has been ruled out this week, solidifying Burton's role as a total flier.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI PIT 1122 ***
Sturgis has no fantasy value for Week 3 in a matchup that shouldn't provide enough kicking chances.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN 13-31
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB 38-10
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS 16-17
5 CLE 41-27 14 NO 52-27
6 @SF 26-3 15 @ATL 0-34
7 WAS 27-23 16 @BAL 14-33
8 @DAL 29-24 17 PHI -----
9 PIT 20-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 250,2
WR Victor Cruz 6-70,1
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Going 2-4 in the final six games have all but sunk the Giants this season and they need to win this week to have at least a winning record of 9-7. The fortunate part is that this happens at home where the Giants have been far better and scored 90 points in just the last two games. But on the road - only about ten points per game since their bye week. This is a must-win sort of game but one that comes with a "plus all this unlikely stuff has to happen".

The main problem has been consistently Eli Manning and the passing offense that has really declined since week six. Take away two home games against the Packers and Saints (albeit good enough teams) and the Giants only threw for four touchdowns in eight games. Plus yardage was most often under 200 passing yards. It was speculated to be "tired arm" and he was much better after the week 11 bye in those two home games but even these last two weeks he has only passed for 161 yards at home and scored just once.

Hakeem Nicks is bothered by his knee really the entire season and comes off his first game with no catches. Nicks has been limited in practices this week and is not a lock to play. Rueben Randle will take his place if needed. Nicks did not play in the first meeting with the Eagles and Victor Cruz turned in nine catches for 109 yards and one score. Fortunately he has been much better in home games this year though overall his season has been disappointing after a fast start had him with seven scores over the first seven games. He has managed only two touchdowns since and just twice was better than 67 yards in a game.

Ahmad Bradshaw and the rest of the tailbacks did little in that first meeting but will face a different defense this time and one that knows it's all going to be rebuilt anyway. Bradshaw was able to play last week but only ran nine times for 39 yards. He is still being rested during the week but is expected to play the full game this Sunday.

Manning is still worth a start here but he's been a mediocre play in most games this year. At least this is at home where he and Bradshaw and Cruz should be worthy of a fantasy start in a game they need to win to have any hope of reaching the playoffs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 22 9 11 22 2 11
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 25 9 25 12 25 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG WAS 0000033030 ***
In two games versus the Redskins last season, Eli threw for 600 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. The 'Skins are allowing nearly 300 yards and 1.5 TDs per contest thus far. At home, Manning is a fine play -- arguably the best among quarterbacks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NYG WAS 4003300000 ***
Washington hasn't been kind to pass-catching backs, although Vereen is the best of the lot of the weeks under examination. DeAngelo Williams caught six balls in Week 1, so there's hope in PPR as a flier.

Update: Slightly bump Vereen since Rashad Jennings is wearing a cast and won't be used in the passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4001100000 ***
Feeling lucky? Touches based on game flow tend to hamper Jennings' productivity. The matchup is wonderful -- the third best for RBs. Perhaps you can catch lightning in a bottle with Jennings in your flex spot.

Update: A thumb injury has Jennings a limited practice participant Friday and questionable for Week 3. He is expected to play with a cast on his hand, forcing him to carry the ball only with his right hand. Lower him to the unplayable grouping of his positional mates.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG WAS 0061001000 ***
Shepard enjoyed a nice game in Week 2 (8-117-0) and a fine start to his career overall. Doubles for OBJ open up single looks, and Shepard is more than capable of exploiting them as a rookie. Washington has granted receivers three TDs in two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG WAS 005801000 ***
Washington ranks 24th versus PPR wideouts. Cruz has come back to life and is edging closer to weekly WR3 territory. He has played 91.9 percent of New York's snaps this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
Josh Norman reportedly will follow Beckham around (sans the slot), but Norman says this is all news to him. Either way, Beckham cannot be sat down in fantasy. Norman won this battle in 2015. It's a new year, a new team for him, and there's a chance OBJ faces Bashaud Breeland from time to time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG WAS 003400000 ***
Donnell needs more looks to matter, and as long as the Giants' trio of wideouts remain productive, the tight end won't be relevant in fantasy. The position is averaging five catches when facing Washington.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 2233 ***
Midrange play in a divisional match against a team that ranks 15th vs. kickers.

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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