FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16 ARI at SEA DEN at HOU NE at BAL PIT at GB
CHI at PHI IND at KC NO at CAR TB at STL
CLE at NYJ MIN at CIN NYG at DET TEN at JAC
*UPDATED DAL at WAS MIA at BUF OAK at SD ATL at SF (MON)

Prediction: CHI 31, PHI 34 (Line: PHI by 4)

Update: If the Lions lose to the Giants (unlikely) and the Packers win (more possible), then the Bears have nothing to play for and HC Marc Trestman said he would consider resting players if it happened. Also, if the Cowboys lose to the Redskins ( possible), then the Eagles will want to win and make week 17 meaningless. But if Dallas wins, then this game does not matter because no matter what, the Eagles would need to win in Dallas to prevent a tie (or fall one game back) in the standings because they would not have the tie breaker.

Chip Kelly says that he will play his starters regardless but is it prudent for, say, LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson to play if they would be critical players in week 17? And what if the Bears or Eagles get a sizable lead? Still play them? You cannot know either since this game comes after the aforementioned games are played. It is the late Sunday night game and you could do nothing about it.

This game may have showers but temperature is not a problem with an expected 61 degrees.

I do not recommend gaming this and not playing your normal Bears and Eagles. I think the Lions beat the Giants and make the Bears have to win. And I like the Cowboys to win (slightly). That makes both teams to play in earnest anyway.

The Bears are still in a fight with the Lions for the NFC North and the loser gets nothing. That makes every game important even though they only have a 3-4 road record. The Eagles are also in a fight for the NFC East and play the Cowboys next week in what will likely be for the title with the loser there also missing the playoffs. The Bears are only 3-4 on the road but the Eagles are just 3-4 at home. This is a coin flip game with big consequences since neither team can afford to lose.

1 CIN 24-21 10 DET 19-21
2 MIN 31-30 11 BAL 23-20
3 @PIT 40-23 12 @STL 21-42
4 @DET 32-40 13 @MIN 20-23
5 NO 18-26 14 DAL 45-28
6 NYG 27-21 15 @CLE 38-31
7 @WAS 41-45 16 @PHI -
8 BYE WEEK 17 GB -
9 @GB 27-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 310,3
RB Matt Forte 70,1 5-40
WR Alshon Jeffery 7-110,2
WR Brandon Marshall 7-90,1
WR Josh Morgan 50
TE Martellus Bennett 5-40
PK Jay Feely 1 FG
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bears have two tough final games to get to the playoffs but that may depend on the Packers returning Aaron Rodgers. Jay Cutler is back which helps though Josh McCown was plenty productive thanks to the wideouts. The team is still without any real defense and has to outscore opponents. And that is exactly what you want in week 16 of the season.

QUARTERBACKS: Jay Cutler returned from his high ankle sprain with no apparent problems. He passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns in Cleveland though he threw two interceptions as well. Here in the final stages of the season, the Bears are forced to score more to win games and that's resulted in high yards and scores each week.

RUNNING BACKS: Last month was very productive for Matt Forte who was already solid with 100 total yards per week and a shot at a touchdown. The last three games posted over 100 rushing yards alone and as many as seven receptions per week. Forte still loses the occasional score to Michael Bush but he is still one of the most consistently productive backs this year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The second half of the season has witnessed no better than the pair Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall/Jeffery scored in each of the last three games and is a near lock to turn in 80+ yards per week. He's scored seven times this year and topped 100 yards five times. He's exceeded 200 yards twice. Marshall has ten scores already along with six 100 yard games but he's been a but eclipsed by Jeffery in recent weeks. The duo never gets shut down completely. At worst only one has a big game.

TIGHT ENDS: While Martellus Bennett rarely scores - just two touchdowns since week two - he shows up with yardage in games where the Bears are playing a better than average secondary and Cutler/McCown opts to throw it to someone besides Jeffery and Marshall.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This should be a shootout. The Eagles allow multiple scores and high yardage to any top quarterback and no team allows more fantasy points to wide receivers. While tight ends have only scored twice on the Eagles this year, wide receivers account for 19 touchdowns and 17 different players turned in 80+ receiving yards on them. This is why you drafted Marshall and Jeffery. The Eagles are only average against running backs and Forte shows up as one of the best. This is a great week to own Cutler, Marshall, Jeffery and Forte. Bennett is less attractive this time.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 6 11 3 23 7 5
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 21 17 32 3 12 26

 

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 24-21
5 @NYG 36-21 14 DET 34-20
6 @TB 31-20 15 @MIN 30-48
7 DAL 3-17 16 CHI -
8 NYG 7-15 17 @DAL -
9 @OAK 49-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 230,2
RB LeSean McCoy 140,2 2-20
RB Darren Sproles 10 8-40
WR Riley Cooper 3-50
TE Brent Celek 2-20
TE Zach Ertz 4-30,1

Pregame Notes: The Eagles were on a five game winning streak before it all fell apart in Minnesota in a game that became sort of surreal. The Eagles missed out on a great chance to throw a two game lead between them and the Cowboys but now likely must win out in order to take the division. Thing is that the Eagles play in a late game and the Cowboys play the Redskins in an early game. That means that the Eagles could already have won their division if Dallas loses but HC Chip Kelly said he would not rest starters here if that transpires.

QUARTERBACKS: Nick Foles comes off his second 400 yard game when he passed for three scores in Minnesota. Oddly troublesome is how he throws for great stats in road games but at home - not so much. His four games there only resulted in four touchdowns and three of those all came against the Cardinals. Facing the Lions he only passed for 179 yards and one touchdown because the rushing effort was working so well. That could happen again here.

RUNNING BACKS: There is a large variation in how many yards that LeSean McCoy gains each week and that plays off how well the passing effort is. McCoy struggled at home during midseason but under Foles in recent weeks is always good for at least 100 total yards and scored four times over the last four games. Bryce Brown dropped to #3 on the depth chart with Chris Polk now being the primary backup who really doesn't get to do much anyway.

WIDE RECEIVERS: DeSean Jackson comes off his best game of the year when he caught 10 passes for 195 yards and one score in Minnesota. That gives him nine touchdowns on the season and five efforts over 100 yards. Jackson has tended to do much more in road games where all but one score and all but one 100 yard game happened. Riley Cooper usually only provides moderate yardage and has not scored since week ten. Jason Avant helps out from the slot but this offense thrives on passing to Jackson.

TIGHT ENDS: Both Brent Celek and Zach Ertz figure in and share eight touchdowns - four each. But Ertz is becoming more of a factor here at the end of the season. Ertz caught all four of his touchdowns in the last five games though he rarely manages more than 40 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bears pass defense is not that great - they lost most of their secondary but they are becoming so bad against the run that teams do not need to throw as much. The last five road games allowed eight rushing touchdowns and all five teams featured a rusher with at least 95 rushing yards. In week 13, Adrian Peterson gained 211 yards on them. Benny Cunningham gained 109 yards. This is a tremendous matchup for McCoy. The Bears have allowed 15 scores to wide receivers but only once did anyone turn in a 100 yard game. Expect a big game from McCoy and moderate efforts from Foles, Jackson and most likely Ertz who could score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 8 11 13 23 22
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 8 28 14 27 28 18

WEEK 16 ARI at SEA DEN at HOU NE at BAL PIT at GB
CHI at PHI IND at KC NO at CAR TB at STL
CLE at NYJ MIN at CIN NYG at DET TEN at JAC
*UPDATED DAL at WAS MIA at BUF OAK at SD ATL at SF (MON)


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