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

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 @DAL 0000023022 ***
Primacy? Eli threw for 624 yards and six TDs in last season's series with Dallas, plus he has four multiple-TD efforts in his last five and faces a Cowboys secondary that's surrendered 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns twice in the past month. Recency? Eli looked awful in getting shut out by the Eagles last week, while the Cowboys have given up a total of 280 passing yards and zero TDs the past two games. The slight nod here goes to primacy with all parties involved trending back towards the norm.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG @DAL 5002100000 ***
Williams was less than impressive in his feature-back debut last week, and facing the Cowboys won't make things any better. Despite the anticipated high volume of touches, look elsewhere for your fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @DAL 005401000 **
Randle has had decent success against the Cowboys in the past--10-233 in three meetings--and he looks to take over as the Giants' WR1 with Victor Cruz out. But Dallas has held five of six foes without a WR TD and no wideout has topped 70 yards against them since Anquan Boldin went for 99 in Week 1. Temper your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Preston Parker, NYG @DAL 003500000 ****
It's not a particularly favorable matchup, and Parker is clearly a tertiary option in the Giants' passing game so no need to reach this deep for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG @DAL 004500000 ***
It's not a particularly favorable matchup for the Giants' passing game, but Beckham's speed could cause problems--much like Victor Cruz did with 118 yards and three TDs the last time the Giants visited Dallas. With Beckham in the Cruz role there's at least a modicum of upside to his fantasy prospects this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG @DAL 006501000 ****
It's been a couple weeks since Donnell did anything of fantasy note, but a date with a Cowboys' defense that's allowing more fantasy points to the tight end position than any other squad could be the cure for what ails.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @DAL 1122 ***
It was all going so well... until Brown was blanked last week. The Cowboys haven't been overly friendly to opposing kickers, so don't expect Brown to leap back into the saddle 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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