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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL

Prediction: PHI 30, DAL 27 (Line: PHI by 2.5)

Update: Tony Romo is already called out and had surgery on his back so this cannot be his fault. Not directly. Dez Bryant was held out of practice but returned on Friday and is in no jeopardy of missing the game because of his back. He is probable to play but there has to be a least a slight risk that he tweaks his back during the game.

This was the late flex game that has it all - divisional rivalry, two teams that have no business winning a division, marginal to bad defenses and apparently both teams will be using different quarterbacks from their week one starters. The news that Tony Romo is injured really makes this one a tough challenge for a Cowboys team that is already legendary for choking in December.

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 54-11
8 NYG 7-15 17 @DAL -
9 @OAK 49-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 250,2
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 5-40
RB Darren Sproles 20 5-30,1
WR Riley Cooper 4-60,1
TE Brent Celek 2-20
TE Zach Ertz 5-40,1
PK Alex Henery 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Eagles' new offense stumbled in early weeks but since midseason is already coming together nicely. The Eagles are 6-1 since week eight with their only loss in Minnesota in probably their easiest matchup.The offense scored at least 24 points in each of the last seven games and averaged 35 points in that time.

It was not coincidental that Nick Foles took over as the starting quarterback at that time. Since week eight, he's thrown 19 scores over the last seven weeks and only tossed two interceptions. He's made Michael Vick a willing backup. And he's the most responsible player for taking a drowning team and bringing back into the lead for the divisional title.

LeSean McCoy remains one of the highest scoring fantasy backs and most likely to end up as the leading rusher for the league. McCoy scored ten times this year and not only topped 100 rushing yards six times, he went over 150 yards on four different occasions. He is still good for around four catches per week and is averaging 5.1 yards per catch.

The Eagles lost Jeremy Maclin back in July but have managed to fill in for him with Riley Cooper and Jason Avant. Once Maclin returns healthy, this offense kicks up another notch. DeSean Jackson enjoys a career season with nine touchdowns and 1304 yards going into the final week. The Eagles also drafted Zach Ertz who spent a normal rookie year learning the ropes but did score four times over the last six games and is sure to become a bigger factor for 2014.

This week provides a nice measuring stick for the offense since the Cowboys came to Philly and utterly dominated them in week eight. All you need to know is that Nick Foles first start ever only produced 11 of 20 completions for 80 yards. McCoy ran for only 55 yards and had 71 total yards. That game was everything that the last month and a half was not.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cowboys defense was freakishly good that week and since spends more time being freakishly bad. The news that Tony Romo is likely to miss the game only makes this even more likely to be an Eagles win. Foles was nothing short of amazing in his time as a starter and no doubt would like to make amends for that horrific start to his career. The Cowboys typically play far better defense at home though Sean Lee is gone and recent injuries to the secondary only make it more likely that the Eagles will be able to attack this secondary that allowed four touchdowns to five different quarterbacks this year including Matt Flynn. These two teams are familiar with each other though more so for the Eagles since the Cowboys offense is relatively unchanged. Load up your Eagles and play Foles, McCoy and Jackson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 11 9 13 20 23
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 32 32 27 29 15 3

 

1 NYG 36-31 10 @NO 17-49
2 @KC 16-17 11 BYE WEEK
3 STL 31-7 12 @NYG 24-21
4 @SD 21-30 13 OAK 31-24
5 DEN 48-51 14 @CHI 28-45
6 WAS 31-16 15 GB 36-37
7 @PHI 17-3 16 @WAS 24-23
8 @DET 30-31 17 PHI -
9 MIN 27-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton 270,2
RB DeMarco Murray 80,1 2-10
WR Dez Bryant 8-110,1
WR Terrance Williams 3-50,1
TE Jason Witten 3-30
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys classic December collapse can still happen with a loss here to make it 1-3 for the month and only a one point win in Washington against a team that has beaten no one in two months. Jerry Jones mentioned cleaning house if the Cowboys fail to reach the playoffs yet again and with news that Tony Romo is likely to miss this game that becomes more probability than possibility.

Tony Romo passed for 317 yards and one score in Philly and was good for multiple touchdowns in almost every game since. Switching to Kyle Orton will be a step down but how much remains to be seen. Orton is one of the highest paid backup quarterbacks and though he's not started a game in two years, he spent much time in Chicago and Denver under center.

DeMarco Murray missed his standard two games but was very effective in recent weeks. Since week ten, Murray scored seven times and topped 85 rush yards in all but the Raiders game when he ran in three touchdowns. He just turned in his first 1000 yard season and his nine scores are more than double his previous best. Murray is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Murray missed the first meeting with the Eagles when Joseph Randle ran for 65 yards on 19 carries.

Jason Witten scored eight times this year but his yardage really dipped to a level lower than any of his previous six years. He's only caught 61 passes for 716 yards going into the final week and ended three games with under 20 yards and no scores. He's better at home than away but rarely tops 50 yards in a game anymore.

Dez Bryant is winding down an outstanding season with 12 touchdowns already and four efforts over 100 yards. He enters the last game with 85 catches for 1134 yards and is on a four game streak with a touchdown. Bryant gets little help from the other wideouts. Terrance Williams went on a streak of four straight games with a touchdown but has been minimally involved for the last month.

In the previous meeting with the Eagles, Bryant gained 110 yards on eight catches and Terrance Williams scored once on his six receptions for 71 yards. Miles Austin continues to play though no one can remember why.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: You can be sure that DeMarco Murray takes a heavy load without Tony Romo there. There is more risk in any of the other Cowboys this week though because how well Orton plays in his first start cannot be certain. The Eagles have been outstanding against tight ends and allowed only two scores to the position this year. But they are as bad as the Cowboys against wide receivers and that is where Dallas must succeed. Oddly enough, the Eagles have only allowed seven wide receivers to score on them in road games and yet five times it was for two touchdowns. Murray and Bryant are must starts here even with Romo out. Orton is a risk with upside and Witten faces a bad situation.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 15 20 7 8 11 5
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 27 17 32 2 13 22

WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL


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