FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 

Prediction: ARI 17, PHI 24 (Line: ARI by 3.5)

Update: Andre Ellington sprained his knee in practice this week and will be a game time decision. I am removing him from the projections because of his risk.

The 7-4 Cardinals are currently in the lead for the #6 seed but are only 2-3 on the road. The 6-6 Eagles come off their bye with a 1-4 home record but are 4-1 in games where Nick Foley starts - which he will. The Cards play well at home and against bad teams but on the road against even an average opponent proves too much.

1 @STL 24-27 10 HOU 27-24
2 DET 25-21 11 @JAC 27-14
3 @NO 7-31 12 IND 40-11
4 @TB 13-10 13 @PHI -
5 CAR 22-6 14 STL -
6 @SF 20-32 15 @TEN -
7 SEA 22-34 16 @SEA -
8 ATL 27-13 17 SF -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 260,2
RB Andre Ellington
WR Larry Fitzgerald 6-70,1
WR Michael Floyd 5-60,1
WR Ted Ginn 2-30
TE John Carlson 4-50
TE Rob Housler 2-30

Pregame Notes: The Cards should remain in contention for a wild card only for so long since three of their last five games are on the road and they host the 49ers in the final game. It is certainly not impossible that they could win more than they lose and there is nothing special about anyone in the NFC wild card race. The Cardinals have been pretty hot lately but this will be their biggest challenge in the last five games.

QUARTERBACKS: Carson Palmer enjoyed that four game streak of weaker teams with two scores in each and usually decent yardage. He's scored in all but one game this year and finally went two weeks without a turnover. On the road against better defenses, he's been about as good with around 250 yards and one or two scores.

RUNNING BACKS: Rashard Mendenhall scored in three of the last four games but he never gets more than 13 carries in a game and the only time he ever scored on the road was against the Jaguars and he only ran for 14 yards in that game. He's topped out at 40 rushing yards over the last four away games. Mendenhall was praised by HC Bruce Arians for his 54 yards on 13 carries last week versus the reeling Colts. But he's never more than a marginal fantasy play and not even that in a road game.

Andre Ellington still gets around a dozen touches per week but that only means two passes per game for the last five matchups and it isn't enough to merit more than a desperation flex play. He's productive per carry but fails to get enough touches to matter much.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The yardage remains low but at least Larry Fitzgerald scored four times over the last four games including twice versus the visiting Colts. but he is only reliable for around 50 yards per week and he's only managing around 10 yards per catch in recent games. He's topped 68 yards in a game only once since the season opener. Michael Floyd perked up these last two weeks with games of 193 yards in Jacksonville and then 104 yards versus the Colts. The second-year player is coming around though so far only against weak opponents. But he has the yardage in the last two weeks to merit more confidence by Palmer in future games.

TIGHT ENDS: Robert Housler still doesn't merit a fantasy start since he scored just once all year but at least he is turning in around 50 yards in four of the last five games. In previous road venues against decent teams he's been lucky to record one catch.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Eagles are rested and ready after their bye week. They have only allowed six passing scores in their five home games but every opponent throws for at least 240 yards there. Palmer should turn in a respectable game with moderate to good yardage and a chance for two touchdowns but not likely any more. The Eagles are also decent enough against the run to keep Mendenhall and Ellington below their mediocre averages. Palmer, Fitzgerald and even Floyd merit consideration here but no other Cardinals. Housler is bad on the road anyway and the Eagles have allowed just one score to a tight end all year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 25 17 13 26 9 7
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 26 20 32 6 21 17

 

1 @WAS 33-27 10 @GB 27-13
2 SD 30-33 11 WAS 24-16
3 KC 16-26 12 BYE WEEK
4 @DEN 20-52 13 ARI -
5 @NYG 36-21 14 DET -
6 @TB 31-20 15 @MIN -
7 DAL 3-17 16 CHI -
8 NYG 7-15 17 @DAL -
9 @OAK 49-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 270,3
RB LeSean McCoy 50 6-60
RB Darren Sproles 20 4-30
WR Riley Cooper 4-70,1
TE Brent Celek 3-20,1
TE Zach Ertz 4-30,1
PK Alex Henery 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Eagles are on a three game winning streak, been resting on their bye and even Michael Vick admits that Nick Foles is the new starting quarterback. The Eagles are tied with the Cowboys for the NFC East lead with a good chance to win it since they have three very winnable home games, a trip to Minneapolis and then the big season finale in Dallas. For a team that started out poorly, the Eagles have not only turned it up a notch but their defense hasn't allowed more than 20 points in the last six games.

QUARTERBACKS: Nick Foles has cooled off plenty since throwing seven touchdowns in Oakland but he continues to perform strongly and still has never thrown an interception against his 16 passing scores. This will only be his second home game as a starter and he threw for 298 yards in the previous one. Michael Vick is healthy again but will take a backseat now that Foles has ingrained himself as the starter.

RUNNING BACKS: LeSean McCoy left the Redskins game injured with a sore hamstring but later returned and ended with 150 total yards and two touchdowns. Oddly enough, he's been only mediocre when playing the NFC East but otherwise has been stellar in every game with over 100 total yards or so. His scoring is lower than expected given his workload but he's still a fantasy gem who is never worse than a good play each week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: DeSean Jackson has been like McCoy - only average against the NFC East opponents but great in all other games. When Foles is the starter, Jackson has been consistently god for at least 80 yards in those games. Riley Cooper is less consistent though he had three efforts with over 100 yards and a total of six touchdowns in those games. But they were all in road venues and at home he's just been less successful if only because Jackson usually takes a bigger chunk.

TIGHT ENDS: No real fantasy value here for either Zach Ertz or Brent Celek since each only scored only once this year (and both in Oakland) and the yardage is always low.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cardinals always allow a passing score in all road games and usually two or more along with healthy yardage. The rushing defense is also very good with only three scores allowed and most opponents held under 50 rushing yards for their primary runner. Foles makes a decent start here and should throw a couple of scores if not three. That makes Foles, Jackson and McCoy obvious starts and the only other may be Cooper in a desperation play but he's just never done much at home. It is very hard to start an Eagles tight end but the Cardinals have already allowed 13 touchdowns to the position and tons of yardage. No doubt that Patrick Peterson is tasked with shadowing DeSean Jackson which could force Foles to use Cooper more. At least expect a lower game from Jackson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 13 10 21 18 21
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 18 3 6 32 6 18

WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 



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