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
PK Alex Henery 1 FG 3 XP

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 @DAL 0000025020 ***
Foles was knocked out of the earlier meeting with Dallas, a damn shame considering only one team has allowed more passing scores, passing yards, or fantasy points to quarterbacks than the Cowboys. With the NFC East on the line and Foles having five TDs and 658 yards in his past two games--not to mention insane numbers like 1,358 yards and 16 touchdowns in four road starts this year--you have to love his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @DAL 8015400000 ***
Somehow the Cowboys held Shady to 55 yards on 18 carries in the earlier meeting. Since that time Dallas has given up 15 RB and five 100-yard rushing efforts, including a score or 100-yard game to every feature back they've faced. No reason McCoy shouldn't get his fair share here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @DAL 2005301000 ***
Sproles hasn't had a fantasy helper since Week 10, as he's low man on the carries totem pole and ceding looks in the passing game to Pierre Thomas as well. There's always a chance he'll be the focal point of that week's game plan, but as it stands nothing suggests a fantasy helper is imminent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @DAL 004601000 ****
The Cowboys have allowed a secondary receiver to either score or top 50 yards in five of the last six, a total of seven fantasy helpers to secondary targets in that six-game span. While Cooper's numbers have tailed off since his hot mid-season run, he's set up to at least mirror his 88-yard output from the earlier meeting with Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @DAL 005401000 ***
The good news is, the Eagles have five TE TDs in the past four games. The bad news is, they're still being split between Ertz and Brent Celek, plus neither did much damage in the earlier meeting with Dallas and the Cowboys have allowed only one TE TD in the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brent Celek, PHI @DAL 002200000 ***
The good news is, the Eagles have five TE TDs in the past four games. The bad news is, they're still being split between Celek and Zach Ertz, plus neither did much damage in the earlier meeting with Dallas and the Cowboys have allowed only one TE TD in the past month.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Alex Henery, PHI @DAL 3333 ****
Henery has 10 points in each of the past two games after being shut out by Mother Nature and the Lions. He mustered only three in the earlier meeting with Dallas, and with just one multiple field goal game since Week 10 (and two since Week 5) he's no lock for big numbers here.

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
TE Kellen Davis 2-20
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 0000022021 ***
Manning continues to dribble easy matchups down his leg, so no matter that only four teams have given up more passing scores than Washington; Manning's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4005300000 ***
Jennings has been far and away the most productive back on the Raiders' roster; as a thanks for salvaging their ground game following yet another Darren McFadden injury, he got a kick-in-the-teeth score vultured by McFadden last week. No reason to think he'll do anything of note against a Denver defense that's motivated to lock down the top seed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
The Redskins have allowed only two WR TDs in the past month, none to the Giants in the earlier meeting. Between Eli Manning's foibles and the underachieving, injury-depleted Giants receiving corps, the frequently targeted Jernigan might be the best/only fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG WAS 00000000 ***
Randle continues to be frequently targeted, but with the Giants' passing game struggling mightily there just isn't enough here to bank on fantasy help. UPDATE: Randle did not practice Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable. Not enough upside to offset the risk of using him in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 1133 ***
Brown has been all-or-nothing this year: four double-digit games, yet he ranks 30th in kicker scoring. He managed six points against the Redskins a month ago, no reason to expect a significant uptick here.

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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