FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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: WAS 24, OAK 30 (Line: WAS by 3)

Players of Interest: Robert Griffin III, Terrelle Pryor

Update: Jordan Reed is questionable this week because of his quadriceps and now looks more likely to not play. I am removing him from the projections to be safe but check game time for his status if you have no other option. Fred Davis is more likely to play but will not be 100% with a bad ankle.

Terrelle Pryor's status from his concussion won't be known until Saturday at the earliest since he has a test to pass then. It may well be a game time decision. He is not a safe play until he is been deemed cleared of all tests. If he cannot play, then Matt Flynn will take the start and likely do a lot less with it. I like Washington to win the game if Flynn is the starter.

The 0-3 Redskins head out on their second road game still wanting to get within six points of their opponent. The 1-2 Raiders have only managed to beat the visiting Jaguars so far but their offense is showing signs of life and they're always better in the Black Hole anyway. This game probably turns on whether Terrelle Pryor plays or not.

1 PHI 27-33 10 @MIN -
2 @GB 20-38 11 @PHI -
3 DET 20-27 12 SF -
4 @OAK - 13 NYG -
5 BYE WEEK 14 KC -
6 @DAL - 15 @ATL -
7 CHI - 16 DAL -
8 @DEN - 17 @NYG -
9 SD - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 300,2
RB Alfred Morris 60,1 1-10
WR Pierre Garcon 8-90,1
WR Leonard Hankerson 3-30
WR DeSean Jackson 7-100,1
WR Santana Moss 5-70
WR Andre Roberts 4-50

Pregame Notes: Not unlike the Eagles, the Redskins are 0-3 not so much because of their offense but ranking as the #2 worst defense in points allowed (33 per game) would challenge any team. The only good thing here is that the Skins have become the new Saints. They are filling that void that happened when the 2012 Saints actually discovered a defense in the offseason and no longer enter every week as a certain shootout with plenty of fantasy points for both teams. That does get you a 0-3 record same as it did for the Saints. But at least we can hope that it takes a long time to correct.

QUARTERBACKS: Robert Griffin III is not completely healthy yet and that shows up with his 62 rushing yards over the first three weeks with no touchdowns. Griffin is not the dual threat he was in 2012 before the knee injury and it will take more time for him to get back to normal. He has thrown for over 300 yards in each game so far though and was throwing multiple touchdowns until last week. Griffin is still a good passer, but his lack of rushing and ordinary receivers cannot make up for what the defense gives away every week.

RUNNING BACKS: Alfred Morris scored twice this year but continues to be limited in carries every week when the Redskins must abandon the run and start throwing to get back into the game. Morris is still averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per carry but has yet to run more than 15 times in any game. The talent is there. The production could be there. The Skins just never have the luxury of rushing much in the second half.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This unit is limited mostly to what Pierre Garcon can do and even he has just one touchdown and one game over 73 yards on the season. Leonard Hankerson opened the year with two scores and 80 yards but ran back underneath his rock and again for no impact to the offense. Santana Moss combs the gray out of his hair before every game and then goes out to gain around 50 yards or so each week. No wideout has scored in more than one game. No wideout besides Garcon offers any consistency or production.

TIGHT ENDS: The bad news here is that Fred Davis injured his ankle last week in practice last week and did not play against the Lions. He is no lock to play this week and he's been a non-factor anyway. Jordan Reed comes off a season best 50 yards on five receptions but bruised his quad and may be questionable this week. I will assume he can play and update as warranted.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Raiders defense ranks well against the run because no running back has been used as as receiver against them as a coincident. Then again, Morris rarely catches anything anyway. The Raiders front line is good and the Redskins have a habit of abandoning the run anyway. Morris is still worthy of a start but there is no certainty he will be any better in a road game this week. The Raiders have been solid against the pass though going against Peyton Manning last week ruined their ranking. The Skins can get at least moderate success passing the ball against them and a chance for a very good game if they just stop running and throw it all the time. Morris, Griffin and Garcon remain good starts this week but the inconsistency of the others makes them too risky. The Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter suffered a concussion last week. If he does not play it would be a big help to the passing effort.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Three weeks in and there has been no developments of any note. Still waiting on RG3-2012 to show up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 8 24 3 10 30 9
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 19 1 17 16 3 6

 

1 @IND 17-21 10 @NYG -
2 JAC 19-9 11 @HOU -
3 @DEN 21-37 12 TEN -
4 WAS - 13 @DAL -
5 SD - 14 @NYJ -
6 @KC - 15 KC -
7 BYE WEEK 16 @SD -
8 PIT - 17 DEN -
9 PHI - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
OAK vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub 210,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 50,1 2-20
RB Darren McFadden 120,1 4-30
RB Marcel Reece 4-30
WR Vincent Brown 4-30
WR Denarius Moore 6-90,1
WR Rod Streater 4-50
WR Kenbrell Thompkins 3-40,1
TE Mychal Rivera 3-20,1
PK Sebastian Janikowski 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raider fell to 1-2 with the loss in Denver but inside that massacre were the budding flowers of an offense, the butterflies of progress up until Terrelle Pryor was violently crushed between two defenders and suffered a concussion. The Raiders still have a long way to go to return to respectability but there is no denying that seem to have struck gold for once with Pryor. Four of the next five games are at home so the offense could be posting some nice points until the schedule goes bad in week ten.

QUARTERBACKS: Terrelle Pryor comes off a surprisingly good 281 yard effort in Denver and while he only threw one touchdown, his accuracy and timing were hard to ignore. On several occasions, Pryor threw a dart that ruined the perception that he's just a rushing quarterback who can only throw deep.

Pryor was concussed and the Raiders are not saying who will start. Pryor will be there if he can play and while he could not actually remember getting slammed on each side, he did remain in the game and early reports are that he looks good. I will assume that Pryor can play because switching to Matt Flynn is likely to cause a loss here.

RUNNING BACKS: Darren McFadden has just one decent rushing game and that was the only other home game. He did score in both of the road venues this year but the yardage was scant in those meetings and he still has not been given more than 19 carries in any game. His role as a receiver was shifted to Marcel Reese in Denver and the fullback not only ended with 45 yards on four catches, he caught a touchdown on a pass thrown by McFadden. The Raiders have been much better at home in this young season and facing the Redskins this week is as good as it is going to get.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There have only been two passing touchdowns to the receivers this year and both ended up with Denarius Moore. None of the wideouts have exceeded 70 yards in any game until last week when Moore snatched the ball away from two defenders who banged into each other and Moore didn't stop running for 79 when he scored. Pryor has thrown several impressive passes and he is using all four wide receivers. None of them have reliable fantasy value besides Rod Streater who churns out at least 40 yards every week but never scores.

TIGHT ENDS: David Ausberry was placed on injured reserve because of his shoulder and the rookie Mychal Rivera is the starter. His production remains well below the fantasy radar.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Fire it up! The Redskins are coming to town! Darren McFadden is a must start versus a defense that allows the primary runner of every opponent to score once and gain at least 120 total yards. The secondary is giving up 356 yards per game so far though facing Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford helped that happen. No team has thrown for under two touchdowns on the Skins. If Pryor can play, he is an excellent 2 QB league start and should likely get a start even bigger leagues this week given that the Skins are so bad against everything. Starting any individual receiver is a risk here but one or two are bound to turn in fantasy relevant stats this week.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Terrelle Pryor holds the key to the future and looks impressive. He should really shine against the worst defense in the NFL.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 26 13 32 26 6 27
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 31 27 32 20 19 17

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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