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 Mark Sanchez, PHI @DAL 0000030022 ***
The Chip Kelly system has produced three straight 300-yard games for Sanchez, and while the Dallas D hasn't been as bad as anticipated they've given up 248 yards or better in five straight and three three-TD games in that span. Believe in the system, believe Sanchez can help your fantasy team this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @DAL 8011200000 ***
Two of the last three feature backs to face the Cowboys have carved out 100 combo yards, and Dallas has allowed five RB TDs in those three games. No reason to think McCoy can't follow up last week's big numbers with another solid fantasy showing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @DAL 1004400000 ***
Spirals should see double-digit touches, but he'll likely need to swipe another goal line look--and convert it--to be a fantasy factor. Against a Dallas defense that's allowed five RB TDs in the past three weeks, we're saying' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @DAL 007801000 ***
Matthews has bulled his way into WR2 status in Philly, sharing targets and productivity with Jeremy Maclin. The Cowboys have tended to allow only one WR to go off per week, so nudge the rookie back a bit--but not too far, as there's still upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @DAL 0061000000 ***
Maclin has scored in three of his last four meetings with the Cowboys, and after watching Dallas give up big games to Odell Beckham Jr., Cecil Shorts and DeSean Jackson over the past month you have to like the speedster's chances of extending that trend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brent Celek, PHI @DAL 005601000 **
It's worth noting that four of the past six TE TDs the Cowboys have allowed have gone to TE2 types--like Celek. So if you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for fantasy help, Philly's second TE target is an option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @DAL 004400000 ***
There's definite fantasy value here, as the Cowboys have allowed three TE TDs in the past four games. The concerns, however, are Ertz's health and the vulture capabilities of Brent Celek and James Casey.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @DAL 2233 ****
Dallas hasn't allowed a field goal in a month, but Parkey is such a consistent point producer--at least seven points in every game except one this year--that he remains a solid fantasy option despite the matchup.

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 @JAC 0000027021 ***
Hard to tell if the Jaguars are a decent pass D or their numbers are kept down because teams don't want to run up the score on them. The Giants may not have such a luxury, and Eli tends to put up good fantasy numbers regardless of foe so he's at least a serviceable fantasy start here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @JAC 8014300000 ****
Jennings lost some red zone touches--and ultimately a touchdown--to Andre Williams last week. However, he still put together 120 yards from scrimmage and is a solid bet to continue that success against a Jacksonville D that's allowed two 100-yard rushers and four RB TDs in the past three games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG @JAC 300000000 ***
Williams did next to nothing when Rashad Jennings was out, then swiped a touchdown once Jennings was back in the mix. Hard to figure, and you certainly can't count on Williams as the Giants' backfield is definitely Jennings' gig.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG @JAC 0081002000 ****
After watching Beckham last week you get the feeling there's nothing he can't do. So he could certainly follow in the footsteps of TY Hilton (122 & 1 against Jacksonville last week) or Dez Bryant (158 & 2 against the Jags).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @JAC 006700000 ***
The Giants passing game has become Odell Beckham Jr.'s world, and Randle and others are just living in it. Jacksonville has allowed multiple fantasy helpers to WRs just once in the past seven games, so with Beckham taking his cut off the top it's tough to trust Randle for help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG @JAC 002200000 ***
The Jags have allowed only one TE TD in the past six games, and with Donnell sharing looks with Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson it's tough to bank on him for a fantasy contribution here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @JAC 2233 ***
The Jags could open the door for Brown, having already served up six double-digit points games this season. But would Brown know what to do? He's been between three and six points each of his past five games, no reason to think there's a big leap in store 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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