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
PHI @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 170
RB LeSean McCoy 90,1 5-30
RB Darren Sproles 10 7-70,1
WR Riley Cooper 2-20
WR Jeremy Maclin 6-70,1
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 Nick Foles, PHI STL 0000030021 ***
Foles ran into a motivated San Francisco buzzsaw last week, snapping his streak of 300-yard passing games. At home against a Rams D that's allowed multiple TD tosses to Tony Romo and Matt Cassel, he should get back in the saddle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI STL 8015300000 ***
The cure for what ails McCoy? The Rams let Bobby Rainey rush for 144 and DeMarco Murry hit the century mark as well; in addition, both contributed 30-plus yards as receivers. 'Bout time McCoy starts playing like the top fantasy pick he was, and the Rams provide an opportunity for him to do so.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI STL 3005400000 ***
Sproles was lightly used in last week's loss, but a Rams D that's allowed 30-plus RB receiving yards each of the past two weeks should provide a better opportunity--not a great opportunity, but at least a better one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI STL 006901000 ***
Maclin remains the most-targeted Eagle, which makes him the most likely to capitalize on Nick Foles' bounceback game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI STL 005600000 ***
Yes, Matthews has a two-TD game under his belt but he's essentially splitting secondary targets with Riley Cooper and can't be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI STL 004300000 ***
Cooper's targets are nudging back towards drawing even with Jordan Matthews, but the duo truly take a tandem back seat to Jeremy Maclin in the opportunity category. Only use Cooper if you're truly stuck due to injury and bye week issues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI STL 004400000 ***
Not an overly favorable matchup for Ertz against a Rams' defense that has yet to cede as much as 50 yards to an opposing tight end.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI STL 2244 ***
Parkey was denied so much as a field goal opportunity last week in San Francisco, but a Rams D that's allowed multiple trey tries to every opponent they've faced thus far should help him right the ship.

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 ATL 0000024021 ***
Eli's on a roll now that he's settled into the Giants' new offense, with multiple TD tosses in three straight and his first 300-yard game since Week 5 of last year. An Atlanta defense that just served up 317 yards to Teddy Bridgewater in his first NFL start doesn't look to be much of an impediment.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG ATL 11012200000 ***
Plenty of opportunity for Jennings against a defense that's allowed multiple touchdowns to Matt Asiata and Mark Ingram, 135 yards to Jerick McKinnon, and more fantasy points to running backs than any other club.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG ATL 5012100000 ***
In three of four games the Falcons have allowed multiple backs to either score and/or top 100 rushing yards. With Williams expected to see an uptick in workload, he's at least worthy of fringe fantasy consideration here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG ATL 005701000 ***
Cruz has back-to-back 100-yard games and seems to be settling into the same offensive groove as Eli Manning--and that's a good thing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG ATL 006500000 ***
Randle has back-to-back 10-target games, so while he hasn't been much more than a fringe fantasy contributor as of yet he's certainly getting the opportunity to become one. This isn't a particularly difficult matchup; maybe it's the week Randle turns those targets into fantasy success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG ATL 007601000 ***
You can't stop Donnell, you can only hope to contain him. The Falcons haven't allowed a TE TD yet this season so they may be able to contain him, but averaging eight targets a game Donnell should still carve out enough yardage to be a fantasy helper.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG ATL 1144 ***
Brown has benefitted from an offense that's put up 75 points the past two weeks. With this game one of the higher totals on the Vegas board, looks like there should be ample opportunity for Brown to swing the leg again this week.

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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