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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2010
*CLE at PIT *BAL at NE *SEA at CHI *IND at WAS
*NO at TB KC at HOU *OAK at SF *TEN at JAC
*MIA at GB *DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
*Updated *SD at STL ATL at PHI *DAL at MIN CAR, CIN

Prediction: DAL 20, MIN 24

Update: Dez Bryant has been held out of both day's practices with his high ankle sprain and could be held out or limited in the game on Sunday. I am lowering his projections and he is not a safe play this week. Check the Sunday inactives if you need to play Bryant.

Brett Favre has been limited in practice because of his elbow and even Favre said he would consider shutting himself down to heal if it made the most sense but barring any change of heart, Favre is expected to start again this week. Vishante Shiancoe is limited by a bad hamstring but will still play this week.

Update #2: Brett Favre has proclaimed himself as healthy and will play as expected. Dez Bryant is listed as questionable and did not practice again on Friday because of his ankle and ribs but has not been ruled out. There is still a chance that he might play but would be limited if he does.

And here is the Freak Out Bowl because one of these teams will have gone from playoff favorite to 1-4 on the season with slimmer hope than you have of doubling the value of your house this year. The Cowboys have lost their games by a touchdown or less but did surprise the Texans on the road. The Vikings have also been pelted with close losses and a general lack of offense but the addition of Randy Moss could help. This is a coin flip game because both teams specialize in giving games away.

The Vikings won 34-3 when these teams met in the playoffs in Minnesota.

Dallas Cowboys (1-3)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS L 7-13 10 @NYG --
2 CHI L 20-27 11 DET --
3 @HOU W 27-13 12 NO --
4 Bye - 13 @IND --
5 TEN L 27-34 14 PHI --
6 @MIN -- 15 WAS --
7 NYG -- 16 @ARI --
8 JAC -- 17 @PHI --
9 @GB -- - - -
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 280,2
RB Felix Jones 60 20 -
TE Jason Witten - 50,1 -
WR Roy Williams - 50 -
WR Dez Bryant - 20 -
WR Miles Austin - 100,1 -
PK David Buehler 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Jerry Jones is watching his dream of both playing in and hosting a Super Bowl evaporate in the face of penalties, stupid plays and turnovers. But he won't changes coaches in mid season if only because he has done it before and it does not work. The only saving grace here is that the Cowboys still have five divisional games left to play and if they somehow sweep them (yeah, I know) they can remain in contention.

QUARTERBACK: Tony Romo comes off a career high 403 passing yards and he scored three times on the Titans before tossing away yet another interception that killed the team. Romo had three picks in the game and after only being sacked once this year, he was dumped six times by the Titans pass rushers. The Cowboys continue to shift the offensive line around to help.

Romo only passed for 198 yards and no scores in Minnesota last year.

The Vikings have allowed multiple passing scores in most of their games and that is where the Cowboys will end up anyway. Expect another good showing by Romo statistically but consider dropping negative points for interceptions in your league.

RUNNING BACKS: The Cowboys are looking to use Felix Jones more as a feature back and even gave him 15 carries that he turned into 109 yards against the Titans. He had not been allowed more than eight runs per game prior to that and his workload comes directly from Marion Barber who will have virtually no fantasy value aside from short yardage scores in easy home games.

Jones rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries in Minnesota last year.

The Vikings are very good against running backs and have allowed just two rushing scores and none at home. With too few carries to add up, look for a moderate game at best from Jones and no score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Miles Austin had yet another monster game when he ended with nine catches for 166 yards and one score against the visiting Titans and that makes him highly consistent so far. Dez Bryant injured his ankle again last week but returned later in the game but only produced 22 yards on three catches. Roy Williams came up with six receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown mostly while replacing Bryant. Practice should reveal how healthy Bryant's ankle is this week as he was a near non-factor last Sunday. I will assume it is not an issue this week.

All Dallas wideouts combined only had six catches for 51 yards in Minnesota last season.

The Vikings have been very good against wideouts and allowed only two receiving touchdowns with no player topping 71 receiving yards. But Dallas brings in the best pass attack yet seen by the Vikings and there could end up with some trash time at the end of the game.

TIGHT ENDS: The Cowboys are increasing the use of Jason Witten and he turned in a season best 84 yards and a score on Sunday, That was his only touchdown on the year though but he has been given eight or nine targets per game.

Witten ended with 98 yards on ten catches against the Vikings last year. He'll come close this year as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 5 27 3 13 20 24
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 3 9 8 5 13 31
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DAL -2 -18 5 -8 -7 7


Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO L 9-14 10 @CHI --
2 MIA L 10-14 11 GB --
3 DET W 24-10 12 @WAS --
4 Bye - 13 BUF --
5 @NYJ L 20-29 14 NYG --
6 DAL -- 15 CHI --
7 @GB -- 16 @PHI --
8 @NE -- 17 @DET --
9 ARI -- - - -
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre - - 270,2
RB Adrian Peterson 100,1 20 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 20 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 20 -
WR Randy Moss - 60,1 -
WR Greg Camarillo - 30 -
WR Percy Harvin - 100,1 -
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough loss in New York on Monday but then again the Vikings should be used to tough losses by now. The schedule remains very tough with road trips to Green Bay and Arizona waiting to be played next. Already three games behind the Bears for the division, the Vikings (like the Cowboys) are starting to become desperate but at least they have all the tools in place. They just need them to all work together.

QUARTERBACK: Brett Favre comes off his best game of the year when he passed for 264 yards and three scores on the Jets and only had one interception (returned to the goal line) and lost two fumbles. Between rubbing his elbow and wincing, Favre made it through the game though almost all success came in the second half. Getting Randy Moss can only help but how much remains to be seen. If nothing else, at least Moss is getting Percy Harvin single coverage.

Favre passed for 234 yards and four scores on the Cowboys last year.

The Cowboys should be giving up multiple passing scores this week but it depends on which Dallas team is playing. The one that throttled the Texans could be a problem but the Vikings have a complete team and won't fall short in areas like the Texans did. Expect a decent game here with two scores or more unless Favre's elbow proves to be a bigger problem.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson had two monster games this year with at least 145 rush yards and a score and they were also the only two home games. Peterson was effective with 88 rush yards in New York on Sunday but he's always preferred home games for bigger stats.

Peterson gained only 63 yards on 26 carries against the Cowboys last season.

The Cowboys have an above average rushing defense and only Chris Johnson has run in a score (he had two) but the Cowboys have allowed two runners to top 100 yards against them and Peterson also gets the benefit of Randy Moss softening up defenses. No reason to bench Peterson this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Just one game and already Randy Moss has 81 yards and a touchdown. Even more exciting is that Percy Harvin ended with five receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. The best thing Moss may do is to let Percy Harvin get single coverage and be the actual #1 wideout. Bernard Berrian never even had one pass last week. Bernard Berrian wasn't targeted by Brett Favre a single time in Monday's loss to the Jets. It seems a fair assessment to say Berrian and "the Greg's" only matter on special teams.

Sidney Rice was unstoppable against the Cowboys last year, catching 141 yards and three touchdowns on six receptions.

Barring complications from his elbow, I like Favre to connect on at least two scores in this game with healthy yardage.

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe started the year out with two big games but has since been a nonfactor after missing time with a knee sprain. Now Randy Moss appears to be taking all those old throws to Shiancoe away. Look for Shiancoe to have a reduced role.

Shiancoe only caught one pass for 11 yards against the Cowboys but it was a touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 25 9 18 14 32 28
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 14 10 18 10 26 14
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIN -11 1 0 -4 -6 -14

WEEK 6
2010
CLE at PIT BAL at NE SEA at CHI IND at WAS
NO at TB KC at HOU OAK at SF TEN at JAC
MIA at GB DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
  SD at STL ATL at PHI DAL at MIN CAR, CIN
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