Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 1 BAL at DEN (THU) GB at SF *NE at BUF *TB at NYJ

Prediction: NYG 17, DAL 24 (Line: DAL by 3)

Players of Interest: David Wilson

The Giants open last year with a 17-24 loss to the visiting Cowboys but later won 29-24 in Dallas during week eight. The oddity here is that the road team has won five of the last six matchups. Neither team has changed that much so more of the same is likely. The Giants have not looked as good in the preseason - if that matters and it really doesn't - while the Cowboys continue to use the same approach and wonder why it doesn't work any better.

1 @DAL - 10 OAK -
2 DEN - 11 GB -
3 @CAR - 12 DAL -
4 @KC - 13 @WAS -
5 PHI - 14 @SD -
6 @CHI - 15 SEA -
7 MIN - 16 @DET -
8 @PHI - 17 WAS -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 220,1
RB Shane Vereen 40,1 4-30
WR Victor Cruz 4-70
WR James Jones 4-70,1
WR Rueben Randle 2-30
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Giants finally got Victor Cruz signed and in camp and everything looked in place again until Andre Brown broke the same leg again this year and now the rushing effort looks very much on the shoulders of David Wilson. Martellus Bennett left for the Bears but Brandon Myers is the latest Oakland tight end to shine and then leave. Hopefully he won't disappear like Zach Miller did in Seattle.

QUARTERBACKS: Entering his tenth season, Eli Manning has been right around 4000 yards and high 20's for touchdowns in each of the last four years other than pass-happy 2011 when he notched 4933 yards. He has longed played well against the Cowboys but last year was held to single score over the two meetings. He settled for only 192 yards and no scores in Dallas.

RUNNING BACKS: Ahmad Bradshaw was finally wheelchaired out of town and left behind the committee of David WIlson and Andre Brown that seemed solid as a "thunder and lightning" sort of attack. But then Brown once again broke his leg and is out PUP now. In the interim, it will be lots of Wilson and probably a dash of Da'Rel Scott mixed in. Brown cannot return until week ten at the earliest so Wilson is about to become a heavy use back. Like it or not, WIlson suddenly becomes the man for the Giants.

Bradshaw ran for exactly 78 yards in both meetings with the Cowboys last year. Wilson never had more than two runs for four yards in either game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Victor Cruz signed a six-year, $46 million contract to remain in New York and while he has been out with a bruised heel he is expected to play this week. Cruz has scored 19 times in the last two years and averaged around 1300 yards in those seasons. Hakeem Nicks is starting to fall from favor with only 53-692-3 from last year after two seasons of 1100 yard seasons. Problem is that he cannot remain healthy and has missed games in all four years he has played. He nursed a groin injury during the preseason and did not mesh well with Manning whenever he did play. This time around there is Reuben Randle who has impressed the entire preseason after a mostly quiet rookie year.

No wideout managed more than 68 yards in either meeting with the Cowboys last year.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Myers comes off a career year when he caught 79 passes for 806 yards and four scores as the primary receiver for the talent starved Raiders. He'll be added to the mix but by no means the primary anymore. Last season Martellus Bennett only caught 55 passes for 626 yards and five scores there and in pass-happy 2011 it was Jake Ballard settling for 38 receptions for 604 yards and four scores. Myers doesn't lose all value but he'll be capped in what he can do.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Same teams meet though DL Anthony Spenser is still out from a knee scope and NT Jay Ratliff is out with a bad hamstring. It is a new 4-3 scheme in Dallas brought in by Monte Kiffen that has to take shape but the defense improved last year with adding new cornerbacks and no longer being one of the worst secondaries in the league. These teams play twice a year, every year but at least the Giants catch the Cowboys installing that new scheme for the first time. Manning was uncharacteristically bad against the Cowboys last year and has not looked sharp in the preseason. But these players have been at it for several seasons and that makes Wilson and Cruz a must start and Manning/Nicks at least considerations.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: David Wilson as the lone back is what needs to be better known. He has mixed moments of brilliance with a few fumbles and getting stuffed at the line. As Wilson goes, so goes the Giants offense.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 19 11 8 24 2 12
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 14 23 12 22 22 22


1 NYG - 10 @NO -
2 @KC - 11 BYE WEEK
3 STL - 12 @NYG -
4 @SD - 13 OAK -
5 DEN - 14 @CHI -
6 WAS - 15 GB -
7 @PHI - 16 @WAS -
8 @DET - 17 PHI -
9 MIN - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 320,3
QB Brandon Weeden 190,1
RB Darren McFadden 70,1 2-20
WR Dez Bryant 7-110,1
TE Jason Witten 6-80,1
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys come off Disappointing Season XVIII with only an 8-8 record and two losses at the end to prevent them from reaching the playoffs or a winning record. All offensive players return with the addition of a new #3 wideout in Terrance Williams. Now HC Jason Garrett has yielded play calling duties to Bill Callahan but the offense remains the same. A new defense is being installed by Monte Kiffen but the personnel remains almost exactly the same from last year.

QUARTERBACKS: Tony Romo signed a new contract for a mere $108 million which is not bad money for an undrafted quarterback project of Bill Parcels. He comes off his career best season with 4903 yards and threw 28 touchdowns. Much of that success came when Dez Bryant apparently saw the light that has been shined in his eyes since he reached the NFL. Jason Witten is getting older and the Cowboys are loading up for yet another run at the playoffs. Eventually they may even reach them.

Romo passed for 437 yards and one score when the Giants visited last year though he had three touchdowns and 307 yards in the season opener in New York.

RUNNING BACKS: DeMarco Murray remains the starting running back despite the "injury prone" tag from college turning into a permanent tattoo. He missed three games as a rookie and then six games last year. An average of 779 rushing yards and three scores is not making anyone forget about Emmitt Smith. Lance Dunbar will normally be the #2 but is still nursing a sprained foot and may not play this week. That leaves the rookie Joseph Randle and Philip Tanner to help out this week and later when Murray is injured. The Cowboys rushing effort gets a little worse every year but the same players remain. Joseph Randle has yet to impress as more than just depth. Austin has struggled to remain healthy these last two seasons and his balky hamstrings led him to more rest and attention to his health that he hopes pays off big this year while defenses are chasing down Bryant and Jason Witten.

Murray gained 131 yards on 20 carries in New York last year though it was his only 100 yard game all year and he was out injured in the rematch in Dallas.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Three seasons into his career, Dez Bryant finally got the message "stay out of trouble, catch the ball". He ended 2012 with 92 receptions for 1382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He scored ten times in just the final eight weeks. He has zoomed to the top tier of elite backs and has continued to evoke confidence by the coaching staff this summer. Miles Austin is in a contract year and many expect he will move on in 2014. The Cowboys also added 3.12 pick of Terrance Williams from Baylor who has been better than expected. At 6-2, 208 lbs. he could take over for Austin if he ends up leaving next season.

Bryant caught five passes for 110 yards on the visiting Giants last year while Austin totaled nine receptions for 133 yards. Both had nice games in the opener in New York but Kevin Ogletree had his freakish eight catch, 114 yard and two touchdown career best game.

TIGHT ENDS: While he may be 31 years-old now, Jason Witten comes off a career best 110 catches for 1039 yards and three scores last year. The previous season in pass-happy 2011 he was only able to produce 79 receptions for 942 yards. He is an integral part of the offense and with Bryant now attracting so much attention, Witten is enjoying a bit more room to operate. Witten only managed two catches for 10 yards in the season opener against the Giants since he was recovering from a spleen injury. He later racked up a career best 18 catches for 167 yards when the Giants visited in week eight.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Giants defense took a step backwards last year though the players largely remained the same. Injuries in the secondary were especially telling. Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant will be every-week fantasy starters. At home, Murray is a consideration and his lone 100 yard game came in the season opener versus the Giants last year. Plus - he is currently healthy. No reason to bench any of the usual suspects here and Austin looks more attractive in a home game this week.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: No real changes to notice. How well the offensive line blocks will be about the most interesting part since it will have a big impact on all plays.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 9 24 3 3 11 25
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 25 17 25 19 18 4

WEEK 1 BAL at DEN (THU) GB at SF *NE at BUF *TB at NYJ

a d v e r t i s e m e n t