FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9 CIN at MIA (THU) KC at BUF PIT at NE CHI at GB (MON)
ATL at CAR MIN at DAL SD at WAS On Bye:
BAL at CLE NO at NYJ TB at SEA ARI, DEN, DET
*UPDATED IND at HOU PHI at OAK TEN at STL JAC, NYG, SF

Prediction: MIN 17, DAL 34 (Line: DAL by 10.5)

Update: Christian Ponder has been named as the start this week and gets one of his better matchups of the year.

The Cowboys drop to 4-4 with their most recent heart-breaking loss but still have a one game lead over the Eagles in the NFC Least. They are also 3-1 at home where they always score 31+ points. The 1-6 Vikings are 0-3 on the road and only scored seven points in their most recent away venue. The Vikings can be sneaky and opportunistic but the Cowboys are at home and coming off a painful loss. Last time that happened they waxed the Skins 31-16 the next game.

1 @DET 24-34 10 WAS -
2 @CHI 30-31 11 @SEA -
3 CLE 27-31 12 @GB -
4 PIT 34-27 13 CHI -
5 BYE WEEK 14 @BAL -
6 CAR 10-35 15 PHI -
7 @NYG 7-23 16 @CIN -
8 GB 31-44 17 DET -
9 @DAL - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder 260,1
RB Adrian Peterson 80,1 3-20
WR Greg Jennings 4-60,1
WR Cordarrelle Patterson 3-40
TE Kyle Rudolph 5-50
PK Blair Walsh 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Vikings are on a three game skid and this week is not likely to change it. The lack of a quarterback continues to haunt the efforts and giving up the second most points per week is also a game killer. More than any other year, the Vikings are down to Adrian Peterson and virtually nothing else. Not even a defense that can slow down the opponent. With three of the next four games on the road, that's not going to change.

QUARTERBACKS: HC Leslie Frazier has not yet named the starting quarterback this week because he honestly does not know. It's like choosing between different types of hammers knowing all it is going to do is hit your thumb. I am guessing Josh Freeman gets the call this week only because they are actually paying big bucks (Vikings Big Bucks are much, much lower than on other teams) for him and Christian Ponder only threw for 145 yards last week in Green Bay.

I will update as if this matters to any fantasy team outside of the Minneapolis area.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson is nursing a hamstring injury but you would never know it watching him run. He gained 60 yards on 13 carries in Green Bay and scored once. His only limitation is an offense that has been unable to run the ball more than 13 times for the last three weeks. Peterson is adding three catches per game as well but his totals are well below expectations and with the state of the offense and schedule, there is no reason to expect any immediate improvement.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The stats here remain pathetic and all combined, only Greg Jennings has caught a score from this unit and that was in only one game. It has been three weeks since any receiver turned in more than 41 yards in a game. Jennings still gets the most targets but rarely catches more than three or four passes. So far the only notable wideout has been Cordarrelle Patterson and only because he returned two kickoffs for a touchdown.

TIGHT ENDS: The top receiver over the last thee weeks was Kyle Rudolph who posted nine catches for 97 yards and a score against the Panthers, then flopped in New York but then caught four passes for 51 yards against the Packers. On this team, that is astronomical.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The starting quarterback is very important because he'll get the softest matchup all year. The Cowboys secondary has allowed over 400 passing yards four times this year. The rushing defense in Dallas is going to be better than the ranking suggests and no runner has topped 100 yards on the Cowboys this year. But six different rushers have scored on them. Playing any Viking besides Peterson is not only risky it is usually just a waste but this week at least the situation is there if someone can take advantage of it.

WHAT TO WATCH: If the Vikings cannot appear to have a passing game here, they should just play with tight ends and H-backs and run the ball on every down.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 27 15 29 18 23 6
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 32 27 24 29 14 1

 

1 NYG 36-31 10 @NO -
2 @KC 16-17 11 BYE WEEK
3 STL 31-7 12 @NYG -
4 @SD 21-30 13 OAK -
5 DEN 48-51 14 @CHI -
6 WAS 31-16 15 GB -
7 @PHI 17-3 16 @WAS -
8 @DET 30-31 17 PHI -
9 MIN - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 330,2
RB DeMarco Murray 50,1 2-10
WR Cole Beasley 4-50
WR Dez Bryant 6-100,2
WR Terrance Williams 4-70
TE Jason Witten 5-60
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Yet another tough loss for the Cowboys who not only played great offensively, but also helped redefine just how great a player that Dez Bryant Calvin Johnson is. The Cowboys main problem is that the secondary can appear decent against an average quarterback but anyone who is even occasionally elite can have a monster game. Four different passers have topped 400 yards against them. This week should be about as soft of a matchup as they will get all year but then the next week in New Orleans will be one of the toughest. Pencil in 400+ yards for Drew Brees now.

The Cowboys also lost RG Brian Waters for the rest of the season and that hurts the rushing effort.

QUARTERBACKS: Tony Romo still scored in all games this year but has been inconsistent. as great as 506 yards and five scores against the Broncos and then as bad as 170 yards and one touchdown the very next week. The Cowboys lost in Detroit but it had nothing to do with Romo who passed for 206 yards and three scores with no sacks or turnovers. The offense did more than enough to win had the defense not been so monumentally inept stopping Megatron.

RUNNING BACKS: DeMarco Murray sat out last week as well though Jerry Jones later said he could have played. They were resting his sprained MCL to help ensure Murray doesn't have a chronic problem with his knee and instead will be forced to find some other manner to injure himself next. I will assume that Murray returns for this home game and he was on a two game scoring streak prior to injury.

WIDE RECEIVERS: One of the top units in the NFL features Dez Bryant with eight touchdowns and the ability to make highlight reels even when he is on the sideline. After his outburst in Detroit, it should be a slam dunk for him to have a big game here at home against a much weaker secondary. Terrance Williams is on a four game scoring streak and is getting up to ten targets per game. He's become the #2 wideout that Miles Austin's hamstrings could never be. Back at home after a painful loss should be just the thing for another big game.

TIGHT ENDS: One of the many disappointments in fantasy football is directed at Jason Witten who maybe should have retired last year with a bang than to play this year with such a whimper. He has only scored once since the season opener and remained below 50 yards in four of the last five games. He's become just another tight end and his 15 yard effort in Detroit wasn't even his worst. Aside from the Denver game, Witten has been in a tailspin. His best three games were all at home though.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Vikings allow at least two if not three passing scores each week along with an average of one rushing touchdown. This is one of the worst defenses in the league who is on the road. Expect solid efforts from Romo, Murray (if healthy), Bryant and Terrance Williams. Even Witten has a nice situation if only he can take advantage of it. The Vikings are bottom rung in most categories and this smacks of another 30+ point effort. And a big "oh shut up" game for Bryant.

WHAT TO WATCH: Just to make sure the Cowboys are not flat this week after another excruciating loss at the last second in Detroit. Home games are almost always very productive and the weak Vikings are coming to town.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 9 23 3 11 11 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 30 32 27 24 26 22

WEEK 9 CIN at MIA (THU) KC at BUF PIT at NE CHI at GB (MON)
ATL at CAR MIN at DAL SD at WAS On Bye:
BAL at CLE NO at NYJ TB at SEA ARI, DEN, DET
*UPDATED IND at HOU PHI at OAK TEN at STL JAC, NYG, SF


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