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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 4 SF at STL (THU) CIN at CLE NYG at KC SEA at HOU
PIT at MIN (London) IND at JAC PHI at DEN WAS at OAK
CHI at DET NE at ATL BAL at BUF MIA at NO (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at TB DAL at SD NYJ at TEN On Bye: CAR, GB

Prediction: DAL 24, SD 23 (Line: DAL by 2)

Players of Interest: Dez Bryant, Philip Rivers

Update: Miles Austin is out with his hamstring and removed from the projections. Terrance Williams moves up to start and Dwayne Harris becomes the #3 though he has been nursing a sore hip. He is expected to play.

The 2-1 Cowboys hit the road where their only loss occurred and so far it is a much different team away from Dallas. The Chargers are just 1-2 though both losses were by only three points. This is a coin flip game and should help show if the Cowboys really are that bad away from home and if the Chargers can get over the hump of close but no cigar.

1 NYG 36-31 10 @NO -
2 @KC 16-17 11 BYE WEEK
3 STL 31-7 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 @ SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 320,3
RB DeMarco Murray 50 5-40
WR Dez Bryant 8-120,2
WR Dwayne Harris 2-30
WR Terrance Williams 4-70
TE Jason Witten 6-70,1
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Nothing like a big win at home to make the fans fell good again but the Cowboys have always matched up well against the Rams and apparently DeMarco Murray can only run when the Rams are around. The Cowboys lead the NFC East which says more about the struggling teams in the division. The Cowboys have to show that they can win on the road and this will be a good challenge. With the Broncos showing up the following week, the Cowboys can use a 3-1 start to the season.

QUARTERBACKS: Tony Romo has thrown for at least one score in each game and the bigger news is that so far he has only one interception. Romo still has not topped 300 yards so far and it is not because the rushing effort takes care of business each week. Romo has to show up big this week or the same road woes will continue to doom their season.

RUNNING BACKS: DeMarco Murray turns into Superman whenever he faces the Rams and comes off a 26 carry, 175 yard effort last week with one touchdown. That was his first catch of the year and his first two games combined for only 111 rushing yards. Worse yet, his only road game only produced 25 yards on 12 carries in Kansas City. Until Murray can do something good in a game not at home or involving the Rams, he's just another below average back.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Three games into the season and Dez Bryant only produced one week where he gained more than 40 yards. The good news is that his single decent game was in Kansas City when he left with nine catches for 141 yards and one score. Last Sunday, he wasn't needed to beat the Rams. This week he will be needed. Miles Austin injured his hamstring and left the Rams tilt but is expected to play this week. Troublesome is that his career has been plagued with hamstring woes and the hope was that he had finally cured himself. That lasted three weeks. Dwayne Harris replaced Austin and scored on his only catch in the game. This week will be interesting since the wideouts have just not done much so far this year.

TIGHT ENDS: After a big opening to the year by Giants-killer Jason Witten, he has not been that productive. In Kansas City he was limited to only three catches for 12 yards and then only turned in a moderate effort of five catches for 67 yards last week. The rookie Gavin Escobar has one catch every week and against the Rams it was a 24-yard touchdown down the middle. Escobar will eventually replace the aging Witten and contribute as the #2 in the interim.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Chargers have yet to allow a running back to score and only Chris Johnson ran for more than 57 yards on the Chargers who also held LeSean McCoy to just 53 yards. So far Murray has really struggled against a decent defense and more so when on the road. Romo is how the Cowboys have to compete since the Chargers have allowed no fewer than 299 pass yards to every opponent and never less than two scores. Each opponent has featured a 100 yard receiver and they allowed three scores ot the position this year. Murray looks to have another lesser effort but Romo, Witten and Bryant are all strong plays.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: If Dez Bryant is an elite wideout he should have a big game here like DeSean Jackson (9-193, TD) and Andre Johnson (12-146) both did.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 14 17 16 6 1 3
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 32 10 29 25 25 13

 

1 HOU 28-31 10 DEN -
2 @PHI 33-30 11 @MIA -
3 @TEN 17-20 12 @KC -
4 DAL - 13 CIN -
5 @OAK - 14 NYG -
6 IND - 15 @DEN -
7 @JAC - 16 OAK -
8 BYE WEEK 17 KC -
9 @WAS - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 240,2
RB Ryan Mathews 50 2-20,1
RB Danny Woodhead 20 8-60
WR Vincent Brown 4-30
WR Eddie Royal 6-70
TE Antonio Gates 4-50,1
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Chargers came close to a 3-0 start. Last week it was giving up a 34-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left in the game. Against the Texans it was a 41-yard field goal as time expired. Then again it was only a 46-yard field goal in Philadelphia as time expired that prevented a 0-3 start. The schedule is mostly pretty kind for the Chargers who need to prove them can just win a game without the theatrics or at least stop the final drive of their opponent.

QUARTERBACKS: After rolling up seven touchdowns over the first two games, Philip Rivers was held to only one score and 184 yards by the Titans. And passing for 436 yards on the Eagles ends up not so big of a deal. The Chargers are not going to surprise anyone now that there are three games worth of film to study and the quality of offensive weapons are still questionable at best.

RUNNING BACKS: The backfield remains a three-headed monster with Ryan Mathews getting the most carries - 12 to 16 per week. And while Ronnie Brown has been limited to only five runs at most, he has the lone rushing touchdown by the Chargers and comes in for short yardage. Danny Woodhead is the pass catching third down back and over the last two games caught at least seven passes in each. That's a potential flex in reception points league though the scoring by this unit is scant. Overall the running backs would be only marginal plays even if they could combine all their production.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This unit had a fast start to the season but then Malcom Floyd injured his neck and remains out for about the next month. Eddie Royal turned into a scoring machine with five touchdowns in the first two weeks and then only produced two catches for 34 yards in Tennessee. Vincent Brown has yet to exceed 26 yards in any game. The rookie Keenan Allen was pressed into duty and comes off a single catch for a four yard loss against the Titans. What this is looking more and more like is a really fast start to the year that surprised defenses. But losing Floyd and knowing to cover Royal near the endzone have really brought the unit back to earth.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates is currently one of the top fantasy tight ends currently thanks mostly to catching eight passes for 124 yards in Philadelphia. Other wise he had two games with around 50 yards and even that is a tad bit high based on last year. Gates may still have a little left in the tank but there is no way of knowing when he's going to pull the the side of the road and stop running.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cowboys are harder to gauge because the first two games were against the Giants who they always play tough, and the Chiefs who are really the Eagles West with Andy Reid there. The secondary has been playing better with every week and the defense is recording more sacks. How well Rivers does this week will help define if the first two weeks was just a fast start or not. The Cowboys are at least average in the secondary and maybe even better in the new Cover 2 defense. They have yet to allow any rushing touchdowns or any runner to gain more than 55 yards and that includes Jamaal Charles who has no equivalent on the Chargers (to be sure). This game almost certainly goes to the air and barring a defensive score, this is up to Rivers to compete.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The entire passing game is in question since it has declined so sharply and so fast. This week is mostly about Philip Rivers though. He will be the key to the offense and the outcome of the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 6 6 17 9 12 31
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 28 9 20 22 7 5

WEEK 4 SF at STL (THU) CIN at CLE NYG at KC SEA at HOU
PIT at MIN (London) IND at JAC PHI at DEN WAS at OAK
CHI at DET NE at ATL BAL at BUF MIA at NO (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at TB DAL at SD NYJ at TEN On Bye: CAR, GB


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