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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU* CIN at CAR* SD at SEA*
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC* IND at DEN*
DET at MIN* TEN at NYG WAS at STL* NYJ at MIA
*updated CLE at BAL* PIT at TB* OAK at ARI* GB at CHI

Prediction: DAL 26, HOU 27

Update: Dez Bryant has been limited this week but insists that he will play and not be limited by his ribs. As expected, Jason Witten has recovered from his concussion and will play this week. Andre Johnson missed some practice this week and was limited on Wednesday he also insists he will play this week and that his ankle will not be a problem.

Update #2 - Andre Johnson was limited each day in practice this week and is listed as questionable but all signs are that he will play and HC Gary Kubiak said he expected he would as well. Dez Bryant is probable and will play without limitation.

It isn't surprising that this game pits an 0-2 team against a 2-0 team. It is which team is which. The Cowboys have self-destructed for two weeks in a row against what was expected to be two of the easier matchups of the year. The Texans have done the opposite - taking down the mighty Colts in the opener and then holding on for an exciting overtime win in Washington where the Cowboys lost 7-13 and the Texans won 30-27.

This battle for Texas has to favor the suddenly emerging Texans but only in what should be a delightful shoot out with fantasy points for all.

Dallas Cowboys (0-2)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS L 7-13 10 @NYG --
2 CHI L 20-27 11 DET --
3 @HOU -- 12 NO --
4 Bye - 13 @IND --
5 TEN -- 14 PHI --
6 @MIN -- 15 WAS --
7 NYG -- 16 @ARI --
8 JAC -- 17 @PHI --
9 @GB -- - - -
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 320,3
RB Marion Barber 30 - -
RB Felix Jones 20 10 -
TE Jason Witten - 60,1 -
WR Roy Williams - 40 -
WR Dez Bryant - 70,1 -
WR Miles Austin - 130,1 -
PK David Buehler 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: They may need to wipe a tear from the eye of Big Tex when the state fair opens because these Cowboys so full of promise, potential and excuses are now 0-2 including getting beaten at home by the Bears. This week is not going to be any better as the Texans are better than the Skins and Bears and it is played in Houston. With a bye week waiting on the other side, the Cowboys are going to be talking about starting over in their new 13 game schedule. The Super Bowl is being played in Dallas this year and the team is still on track to appear there - only as beer vendors and parking lot attendants.

QUARTERBACK: It is not that Tony Romo is not producing. He had 282 yards in Washington and then 374 yards last week against the Bears. He had two interceptions but both came from tipped passes. The problem is that Romo is not "closing the deal". He has only one score in each game and along with the rest of the offense starts to sputter when the goal line is in sight.

This week he faces a Texans secondary that has allowed 433 (Peyton Manning) and 426 (Donovan McNabb) passing yards and a total of four scores. This should be a week to reap the rewards of starting Romo if only in yardage. It will be his scores that define this game.

RUNNING BACKS: The Cowboys rushing game has evaporated. Gone. Not only have they not rushed in a score, no runner has managed more than 39 rushing yards. And while the division of labor keeps everyone stat poor here, even the team total is only 140 rushing yards on 41 carries over two games. That's a 3.4 yard per carry average which seems high if you have watched them.

On the road, there is even less reason to rely on a runner from this team. The Texans have allowed two rushing scores to Clinton Portis but only 77 rushing yards over the two games. Bad sign for anyone wanting to use a Cowboy tailback.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The rookie Dez Bryant cooled down to only two catches for 52 yards last week but opened with eight receptions in Washington. Miles Austin is the only offensive component that has been productive let alone consistent. He has back-to-back games of 140+ yards on ten catches in each and scored once. Roy Williams still contributes and has actually been slightly better than when he was the starting flanker.

This is the group that has to perform this week and there is not reason why they shouldn't post big numbers against a secondary that has been lit up for two weeks. Austin should make it three weeks with monster yardage and Bryant is at least worth a decent game with upside for a big showing here. The Texans are currently ranked #32 in pass yardage allowed and here is where the bulk of it will go for the Cowboys.

TIGHT ENDS: Jason Witten was pulled from the game last week because of a concussion but says he is confident that he will play. Witten has not had a big game yet or scored and the Texans have allowed a tight end touchdown in both weeks of this season. Consider Witten more attractive to start this week barring any setback from his concussion.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 12 29 5 16 23 27
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 32 6 31 32 21 13


Houston Texans (2-0)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND W 34-24 10 @JAC --
2 @WAS W 30-27 11 @NYJ --
3 DAL -- 12 TEN --
4 @OAK -- 13 @PHI --
5 NYG -- 14 BAL --
6 KC -- 15 @TEN --
7 Bye - 16 @DEN --
8 @IND -- 17 JAC --
9 SD --   - -
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub - - 300,2
RB Arian Foster 70,1 30 -
TE Owen Daniels - 20 -
WR Andre' Johnson - 100,2 -
WR Kevin Walter - 70 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 50 -
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: If the Texans win over the Colts wasn't good enough, traveling to Washington and taking down the Redskins in a franchise first ever overtime win stamps this season as the one to get over the hump and reach the playoffs. Matt Schaub has started on a hot streak and this time he has a rushing game to support him and keep defenses from just loading up on the receivers. What is missing so far is a secondary that can keep an opponent below 400 passing yards and as far as you and I are concerned, let's hope that remains missing the entire season.

QUARTERBACK: Forget about how week one witnessed Matt Schaub just hand off to Arian Foster. Playing in Washington over the weekend, Schaub posted a career best 497 passing yards with three touchdowns. The beauty of the Texans so far is an inability to hold their opponents score down so a shootout ensues. The Texans got a scare when Andre Johnson injured his ankle last Sunday but he re-entered the game and caught the game winner. He's expected to be fine this week and that means Schaub will have a full arsenal this week.

The Cowboys secondary was decent against the Redskins but just gave up 277 yards and three scores to the Bears who also have a powerful and diverse passing attack. No reason to expect less than healthy yardage and two scores with the chance for another monster game very high.

RUNNING BACKS: Arian Foster had a big cooling off when he went from a career best 231 rushing yards against the Colts to only 69 yards on 19 carries in Washington. But he also added 69 more yards on three catches to salvage his fantasy value. Steve Slaton has posed no threat to take away carries and Foster has been a rare workhorse back.

The Cowboys have been very good against the run and not allowed any rushing scores. On the road, they should be a bit more forgiving though so expect at least a decent showing by Foster who should show up as a receiver again this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Andre' Johnson only has a "mild right ankle sprain" after turning in 12 receptions for 158 yard and a score against the Redskins. He finished the game and caught his touchdown after the injury so he should be fine this week after some rest. It was a big day for this unit when they played the Redskins because Kevin Walter also racked up 11 catches for 144 yards and a score. Even Jacoby Jones went for 53 yards on six receptions and a touchdown. Schaub had plenty of yards to distribute last week and still managed to feed all three receivers.

The Cowboys haven't allowed a wideout to gain more than 86 yards though last week two wideouts scored. Playing this in Houston helps as well. Expect no less than a decent showing by both starters and of course a chance for yet another big game because the potential this has to become a shootout.

TIGHT ENDS: Owen Daniels continues to ease back into his starting role but only has three catches on the season. Joel Dreesen has helped out primarily as a blocker. Daniels still should not be used as a fantasy starter yet and his slow progress suggests it may be weeks away.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 7 2 2 26 1 29
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 17 4 13 25 26 21

WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU CIN at CAR SD at SEA
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC IND at DEN
DET at MIN TEN at NYG WAS at STL NYJ at MIA
  CLE at BAL PIT at TB OAK at ARI GB at CHI
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