FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 8 CAR at TB (THU) DAL at DET NYJ at CIN SEA at STL (MON)
ATL at ARI GB at MIN PIT at OAK On Bye:
BUF at NO MIA at NE SF at JAC BAL, CHI, HOU
*UPDATED CLE at KC NYG at PHI WAS at DEN IND, SD, TEN

Prediction: WAS 23, DEN 37 (Line: DEN by 13)

Update: Leonard Hankerson is listed as questionable with a sprained foot but returned for a full practice on Friday and is expected to play.

The Redskins finally secured their second win when they took out Jay Cutler but on the road it is not likely a streak is going to start here. The Broncos dropped their first game of the year in the Sunday night game against the Colts. There could be an emotional let down after that loss but even if it happened, these are only the Redskins visiting.

1 PHI 27-33 10 @MIN -
2 @GB 20-38 11 @PHI -
3 DET 20-27 12 SF -
4 @OAK 24-14 13 NYG -
5 BYE WEEK 14 KC -
6 @DAL 16-31 15 @ATL -
7 CHI 45-41 16 DAL -
8 @DEN - 17 @NYG -
9 SD - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 50,1 300,1
RB Roy Helu 40 3-20
RB Alfred Morris 60,1
WR Pierre Garcon 6-70
WR DeSean Jackson 5-100,1
WR Santana Moss 2-40
WR Andre Roberts 3-40
WR Aldrick Robinson 1-30
TE Jordan Reed 6-80,1
PK Kai Forbath 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Beating the Cutler-less Bears was still a challenge and even more so when the defense allowed 41 points. The offense is improving and even diversifying but the defense will continue to be the weak point of the team and the reason why a late season revival like 2012 is less likely. Facing the AFC West is also no fun this year.

QUARTERBACKS: Robert Griffin III leaves his best game since the season opener after throwing for 298 yards and two scores on the Bears and adding a season high 84 rushing yards. But his last two road games only totaled one touchdown and never more than 246 passing yards. His rushing made a major difference last week but he was facing a injury-ravaged Bears defense in a home game. And even then - it was just a three point win.

RUNNING BACKS: Last summer, Alfred Morris spoke about how he would improve on an impressive rookie season. And he was hard at work not only staying in shape but learning to receive. What they failed to tell him was that he would be halfway through the season without a single game of more than 19 touches and that Roy Helu would become a big part of a committee. Morris ran for 95 yards on the Bears on 19 carries but Roy Helu was mixed in liberally with 11 rushes for 41 yards and three touchdowns. Over the last four games, Morris scored only once while Helu racked up four touchdowns. Helu also adds in a couple of catches in most games as well unlike Morris. Helu does enough lately to merit minor consideration as a flex play but mostly he's ensured that Morris remains nothing but an average back this year. Take Helu out of the picture and Morris would be just as good as 2012. Not going to happen.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Even with the win, the wide receivers had little do with it. Aldrick Robinson caught a 45-yard touchdown but only managed one catch this year before the Bears game. Pierre Garcon is locked in around 50 to 60 yards in each of the last four games and scored only twice all season. Santana Moss was blanked in two of the last three weeks. This remains a very sub-par group and makes Griffin's success even more impressive.

TIGHT ENDS: This is the one spot where the Redskins have truly improved and did so by making Fred Davis inactive and turning to Jordan Reed. He comes off his breakout game with nine receptions for 134 yards and one touchdown. He's added a new element to the passing game that has generated the most yards and catches. He has the confidence of Griffin. For a team that needed a play maker to emerge, it appears that Reed is the only guy ready for the job.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Broncos allow plenty of passing yardage and trash time can be considerable. But no visitor passed for more than two scores in Denver. Those with the most success have been wide receivers and typically the split end but the Redskins set of wideouts are below average at best. They may look better in this matchup but are not consistent enough to merit a fantasy start outside of Garcon who's been mediocre. Reed is a must start at least for now though he faces a defense that contained all tight ends besides Jason Witten. There is a good chance a rushing score happens but flip a coin between Morris and Helu and their yardages will not be much. No runner gained more than 71 yards against Denver and that was Jones-Drew in a game the Broncos mailed in.

WHAT TO WATCH: Reed is no surprise anymore but the sizable sharing between Morris and Helu is. What to see here is which runner will be used more because chances are high that the Skins will be passing and not in that many run formations.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 9 10 7 12 28 5
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 31 21 30 23 24 8

 

1 BAL 49-27 10 @SD -
2 @NYG 41-23 11 KC -
3 OAK 37-21 12 @NE -
4 PHI 52-20 13 @KC -
5 @DAL 51-48 14 TEN -
6 JAC 35-19 15 SD -
7 @IND 33-39 16 @HOU -
8 WAS - 17 @OAK -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DEN vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 350,3
WR Emmanuel Sanders 4-60
WR Demaryius Thomas 7-110,1
WR Wes Welker 7-80,1
TE Julius Thomas 4-50,1
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Broncos were going to eventually lose a game and the Indy match-up proved to be too much. Peyton Manning's homecoming was marred by turnovers and other mistakes by numerous other Broncos. The good part is that the specter of a first loss no longer exists and this final home game before the bye can help the team prepare for a very challenging second half to the season.

QUARTERBACKS: The rest of the team may have faltered but Peyton Manning wasn't really to blame for the loss. He passed for 386 yards and three touchdowns in Indianapolis and his interception was the result of getting hit as he threw. Manning remains a lock for 300 yards and multiple scores every week.

RUNNING BACKS: In their first loss, the Broncos went with Knowshon Moreno for 15 carries and he scored once. He has eight touchdowns on the season but Ronnie Hillman was little used and ended up losing a fumble late in the game that likely killed what could have been a game winning touchdown. Montee Ball never saw the field let alone any carries. Moreno has all the fantasy value here and unless he gets injured, the other backs won't matter.

WIDE RECEIVERS: No changes here. Eric Decker (8-105, TD), Wes Welker (7-96) and Demaryius Thomas (4-82, TD) continue to provide great fantasy points every week without fail. Welker failed to score for the first this season. It all depends on what the defense gives Manning and whenever they make adjustments to take someone away, Manning just turns to another receivers. Decker tends to be hot early and Thomas does his damage late. Welker gets sprinkled in all game.

TIGHT ENDS: Julius Thomas topped 43 yards only once in the last six games but he scored in all but one. He's been much more used in the early part of games when defenses are trying to figure out how to cover three wideouts. He gets his touchdown and then usually stays mostly quiet.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Not much reason to ponder who to start. The Redskins defense is very bad, the secondary even worse and the Broncos are better than anything they have yet faced. The fantasy fortunes of the Broncos are more about what the team wants to do than what the defense will allow.

WHAT TO WATCH: Hopefully the Broncos won't come out flat this week after the emotional loss in Indianapolis. The Skins are good enough to post points so that should keep the Broncos in score-mode.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 1 3 1 3 1 14
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 24 29 26 19 13 19

WEEK 8 CAR at TB (THU) DAL at DET NYJ at CIN SEA at STL (MON)
ATL at ARI GB at MIN PIT at OAK On Bye:
BUF at NO MIA at NE SF at JAC BAL, CHI, HOU
*UPDATED CLE at KC NYG at PHI WAS at DEN IND, SD, TEN


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