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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12 NO at ATL (THU) DEN at NE NYJ at BAL TEN at OAK
CHI at STL IND at ARI PIT at CLE SF at WAS (MON)
CAR at MIA JAC at HOU SD at KC On Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at NYG MIN at GB TB at DET BUF, CIN, PHI, SEA

Prediction: DAL 23, NYG 27 (Line: NYG by 2.5)

Update: Both Brandon Jacobs and Hakeem Nicks are both listed as questionable but are expected to play. There were limited in practices Thursday and Friday but Nicks himself said he was playing and Jacobs had the same situation last week when he stole a touchdown.

The 5-5 Cowboys are one game out of the NFC East lead with a very disappointing loss to the Saints still smarting. The 4-6 Giants are on a four game winning streak and are 3-2 at home. This is a replay of the season opener that the Cowboys won 36-31. This is actually a big game in a sense. A win by the Cowboys and they remain in contention with the Eagles with a season finale against them. A loss by the Cowboys drops them back further and ties them with the Giants. A loss by the Giants probably sticks the knife into what minimal hopes there are for the post season.

1 NYG 36-31 10 @NO 17-49
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 27-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 260,2
RB DeMarco Murray 60 5-20
WR Dez Bryant 5-70,1
WR Terrance Williams 3-40,1
TE Jason Witten 5-40
PK Dan Bailey 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys not only laid an egg in New Orleans, but they set the all-time record when the Saints attained 40 first downs in the game. The defense continues to be the Achilles heel of the team and that hasn't changed in more than a decade. Maybe two. The rest of the schedule isn't too bad since the Bears and Packers are both dealing with their own injury situations. But the Cowboys really need to win this one to have a realistic shot at winning the division so they can go get beaten by a wild card team.

QUARTERBACKS: Ex-defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is probably still laughing about what he did to Tony Romo (10-24, 128 yards, 1 TD). Otherwise Romo has been one of the highest scoring quarterbacks this year and in the season opener he threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Romo has thrown only one interception over the last three games and has just six on the year against 21 touchdowns.

RUNNING BACKS: DeMarco Murray ran for 89 yards in New Orleans and scored once but that was the first time he had a touchdown away from Dallas. Murray ran for 86 yards on 20 rushes in the season opener and added a season high eight catches for 39 yards. Murray was held to only a couple of catches in most recent games. He is getting almost all the running back workload but he has not been allowed more than 16 runs since week three.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The bye was spent trying to figure out how to get the ball to Dez Bryant more since his role as been in sharp decline for the last three weeks and too often he just serves as a decoy. Worst of all was the last game when he only caught one pass and only had two targets. The Cowboys are also bringing Miles Austin back from his most recent hamstring problem and intend on starting him this week over Terrance Williams. The rookie hasn't been much for yardage but caught a touchdown in five of the last six games. Austin started three games and never scored. His only decent showing was in the season opener when he reeled in ten catches for 72 yards. Bryant was held to only four receptions for 22 yards in that meeting.

TIGHT ENDS: Jason Witten has been pretty unproductive this season aside from three big games. He caught two scores one his eight catches for 70 yards in season opener against the Giants. He was huge in both the Broncos and Vikings games. But those were all at home. In road games he is averaging only 29 yards and never scores. His best game away from home was only 48 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Granted the Giants have hosted some bad teams, but they have only allowed four passing scores at home this year and that includes facing Big Bro Peyton (307, 2 TD). The Giants secondary has improved since their rocky start to the season and their offense is back to form. The rushing defense is top ten now and they have allowed only three rushing scores in the last nine games. This is not looking like a shootout that we used to see. The Giants have only allowed two wideouts to score in New York this year. This won't resemble what happened in week one. At least not from the Dallas side of the scoreboard.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 12 28 5 8 12 3
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 17 11 10 20 21 32

 

1 @DAL 31-36 10 OAK 24-20
2 DEN 23-41 11 GB 27-13
3 @CAR 0-38 12 DAL -
4 @KC 7-31 13 @WAS -
5 PHI 21-36 14 @SD -
6 @CHI 21-27 15 SEA -
7 MIN 23-7 16 @DET -
8 @PHI 15-7 -17 WAS -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 310,2
RB Rashad Jennings 100,2 2-10
WR Victor Cruz 7-110,1
WR Rueben Randle 4-70,1
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: This week will be a good test for the Giants since their four game winning streak covered only at Philly the one week that Matt Barkley played and Nick Foles was out. Plus three home games against the Vikings, Raiders and the injury-ravaged version of the Packers. The sad state of the NFC East has the Giants in contention for the division with only a 4-6 record. A loss here says the wins were just a function of the schedule and luck.

QUARTERBACKS: Eli Manning started the year with 450 yard and four scores in Dallas and has not been remotely close since. He hasn't broken 300 yards in six weeks and only threw eight touchdowns over the next nine games. A new found rushing game has been partly instrumental in lowering the need to throw but Manning connected for more than one touchdown only once since the opener.

RUNNING BACKS: Andre Brown returned in week ten and promptly ran 30 times for 115 yards and one score in the win over the Raiders. But he was held to only 66 yards on 18 runs by the Packers and worse yet, they trotted Brandon Jacobs out so he could take the short-yardage touchdown. Brown remains the primary runner until his next injury but taking away his scores really cuts into any potential fantasy value. At least he was given three receptions and gained 27 yards last week to help boost his production.

WIDE RECEIVERS:That season opener had 450 yards to dole out and all three wideouts came up big against the Cowboys. Hakeem Nicks (5-114), Rueben Randle (5-101) and Victor Cruz (5-118, 3 TD) were all great fantasy plays and it was the only 100 yard game for Randle. Cruz scored only once more this season. Nicks bounces around 50 yards in every game the past month. But Randle has turned into the scoring machine with six touchdowns over the last six games though his yardage tends to remain well under 50 yards most weeks. He was even blanked by the Eagles once. This unit has been inconsistent all year and this week is a very good measurement for all three since they all were successful in the season opener.

TIGHT ENDS: There has been no fantasy value here all season except for week one in Dallas when Brandon Meyers caught seven passes for 66 yards and the only touchdown by a Giants tight end all year. He'll either do nothing for the ninth straight game or prove he just has a thing for the Cowboys. He's averaged only 29 yards per week since the opener.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cowboys rank as the worst defense against quarterbacks and running backs. They have already allowed five quarterbacks to throw for more than 390 yards including Manning in the first meeting. On the road, they allowed seven touchdowns to running backs over the last TWO ROAD GAMES. The Giants may not be quite as good as their recent winning streak suggests but the Cowboys defense has been that bad. Away from home it gets worse. DeMarcus Ware may return this week to help with the pass rush but the Cowboys have lost so many players in the secondary that they might as well just print NEW GUY for the jersey names and be done with it. This is a defining game for both teams. Manning has not been as sharp passing and the Cowboys are hardly stopping anyone. Manning, Brown, Cruz, Randle and even Nicks are all worthy of a fantasy start with the Cowboys visiting. It just doesn't get any better than this.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 28 25 8 32 27 26
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 32 32 22 28 13 1

WEEK 12 NO at ATL (THU) DEN at NE NYJ at BAL TEN at OAK
CHI at STL IND at ARI PIT at CLE SF at WAS (MON)
CAR at MIA JAC at HOU SD at KC On Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at NYG MIN at GB TB at DET BUF, CIN, PHI, SEA


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