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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2010
HOU at PHI *CHI at DET *CLE at MIA *DAL at IND
*JAC at TEN *ATL at TB *SF at GB *CAR at SEA
DEN at KC NO at CIN *OAK at SD *PIT at BAL
*Updated WAS at NYG *BUF at MIN STL at ARI NYJ at NE

Prediction: DAL 14, IND 24

Update: Mike Hart is practicing and expected to return and dig into the workload for Donald Brown. Neither runner is a safe pick. Joseph Addai still is not expected to play though he has been in limited practice this week. Austin Collie has been limited in practice but still has not been cleared to play from his concussion.

Update #2: Reggie Wayne is listed as questionable on the injury report because of a sore knee but he is still expected to play and nothing has been said about Wayne having an injury of any note. Joseph Addai remains out this week and Mike Hart was held out of practice on Friday but should still see at least some playing time this week. Collie remains questionable and did not practice on Friday so he should be out again this week. He never had a full practice this week.

The Cowboys mini-winning streak did not last long thanks to the Saints and now they hit the road where they are only 2-3 this season. The Colts come off a painful thumping by the Chargers that made them look more out of synch than ever but it was the first home loss for them. The Colts are now tied for the lead in the AFC South and cannot afford losing any softer matchups such as this.

Dallas Cowboys (3-8)
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS L 7-13 10 @NYG W 33-20
2 CHI L 20-27 11 DET W 35-19
3 @HOU W 27-13 12 NO L 27-30
4 Bye - 13 @IND --
5 TEN L 27-34 14 PHI --
6 @MIN L 21-24 15 WAS --
7 NYG L 35-41 16 @ARI --
8 JAC L 17-35 17 @PHI --
9 @GB L 7-45 - - -
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna - - 190,1
RB Felix Jones 50 20 -
RB Tashard Choice 30,1 10 -
TE Jason Witten - 40 -
WR Roy Williams - 40 -
WR Dez Bryant - 50,1 -
WR Miles Austin - 40 -
PK David Buehler - 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: It was the same sort of gaffs that led to the Saints loss that had been the bane of the Cowboys all along - penalties and ill-timed turnovers. But at least the Cowboys played them almost even and the offense has been much improved since Jason Garrett took over and started using the real playbook instead of the headcoach killing one. The remaining schedule is fairly murderous for a reeling team like the Cowboys who will spend their final two weeks on the road.

QUARTERBACK: Jon Kitna failed to score last week for the first time since becoming the starter but he did throw for 313 yards in the loss and the Cowboys scored twice on the ground. Kitna has been on only two road trips so far and the results have been diametrically opposed since the Packers crushed the Cowboys and the Giants made them look very good. The oddity here is that Kitna has three games with less than 200 pass yards and three games of over 300 pass yards and nothing in between. He's either very productive or has a low yardage game.

The Colts have been about average against the pass, slightly better while at home and only Carson Palmer had more than 200 yards there. The safest bet is for Kitna to throw no more than one touchdown and even that may be questionable.

RUNNING BACKS: Marion Barber injured his calf last week and is likely to miss this game though he has not been ruled out yet. Tashard Choice would replace him and his one carry last week resulted in a one-yard touchdown. Choice had been speculated to be getting a bigger role but it has not happened yet. Barber has been ineffective in every game but the coaches have stuck with him to a fault. The injury could do for Choice and the running game what the coaches were not willing to do.

Felix Jones has been marginally effective in games this year and even less so when away from Dallas. He'll still command the most carries but his only saving grace has been two games when they relied on him as a receiver.

The Colts are soft against the run and Choice could lend a spark to the dormant rushing attack. Neither runner is an attractive play but both have minor upside and there is the chance for one touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Despite getting six targets, Dez Bryant was held without a catch by the Saints and ruined what had been a nice run of games for the previous six weeks. Bryant had scored in each of the last three road games and had his two best yardage games away from Dallas. Miles Austin turned a simple end-around run into a 60-yard touchdown last Thursday which gives him three scores in the last two weeks even though he only totaled five catches for 32 yards over those games. Roy Williams came up big with five catches for 83 yards but one was the fateful 49-yard gain near the end of the game when he was stripped of the ball and the Saints drove in the winning touchdown.

The Colts defense has been pretty stingy at home with just four passing scores allowed but three of those came from the spit end which bodes well for Dez Bryant. All three wideouts should contribute at least moderate stats.

TIGHT ENDS: Jason Witten has been far less productive in road games this year and all three of his scores came at home. His four best yardage games were in Dallas as well and the Colts feature the stingiest defense in the league with tight end fantasy points allowed. Lower your expectations of Witten this week. A little more. There.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 6 28 9 9 26 15
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 11 25 7 1 27 10
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DAL 5 -3 -2 -8 1 -5


Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU L 24-34 10 CIN W 23-17
2 NYG W 38-14 11 @NE L 28-31
3 @DEN W 27-13 12 SD L 14-36
4 @JAC L 28-31 13 DAL --
5 KC W 19-9 14 @TEN --
6 @WAS W 27-24 15 JAC --
7 Bye - 16 @OAK --
8 HOU W 30-17 17 TEN --
9 @PHI L 24-26 - - -
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
INDIANAPOLIS vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning - - 280,2
RB MIke Hart 40 - -
RB Donald Brown 30,1 10 -
TE Jacob Tamme - 60 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 80,1 -
WR Blair White - 40,1 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 70 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts have now lost three of their last four games with the only win coming against the visiting Bengals. The Chargers came in and manhandled them last week and made the Colts appear old, injured and tired. Even Peyton Manning looked different, wincing before every expected hit from the pass rush while handing off to a non-existent rushing attack. The schedule is pretty kind though since the two remaining games against the Titans look to be well timed as they start to crumble and a game left in Oakland where they too have taken a recent step backwards. The Colts could easily win out and may need to do that to play in January.

QUARTERBACK: Peyton Manning has been money in road games this year with two or more scores in all but one and right at 300 yards each week if not up to 400 yards. But at home, Manning has only scored in three of the five games and never passed for more than 285 yards. This week his inconsistency should be cured against a secondary that has allowed five scores over the last two road games and very nice yardage. Expect at least a good game from Manning and he could post monster numbers here if the Cowboys can force a shootout of any sort.

RUNNING BACKS: Joseph Addai always seems to be getting closer to play each week but then his neck injury prevents him from more than anything other than light and limited practice. There is a chance he might return this week but until that seems very certain he is not worth fantasy consideration. Addai has been out since week five.

Donald Brown has been very marginal as a replacement and even then he has lost scored to Javarris James. Brown should handle the load again this week thought Mike Hart may be back as well. I like one rushing score this week and while I'll award it to Brown, it could end up with James or Addai if either of them play or even MIke Hart.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Although Austin Collie was able to practice on a limited basis Friday, the Colts did not play him and will not until he no longer exhibits any signs of his concussion aftereffects. Reggie Wayne appeared to be injured last week when he fell hard to the ground but no word has been given if that was an actual injury or just a sense of futility taking over. Blair White has been an adequate replacement for Collie and has scored three times in the last two weeks. Reggie Wayne is back to struggling to generate more than five catches or moderate yardage but he should find more success this week against a secondary that has been very kind to opposing split ends.

Expect a score by Wayne and at least decent yardage. The other score is a coin flip between White and Jacob Tamme though both could end up with a score if Manning needs to throw for more than two scores. Since the Cowboys have been better against tight ends, I'll give White the nod for the third week in a row.

TIGHT ENDS: Jacob Tamme has been good for at least 60 yards in every week that he has been a starter and has scored three times though only once in the last three games. The Cowboys have been decent against the position but Tamme is a must start each week anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 7 26 3 4 6 18
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 27 15 31 14 26 25
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) IND 20 -11 28 10 20 7

WEEK 13
2010
HOU at PHI CHI at DET CLE at MIA DAL at IND
JAC at TEN ATL at TB SF at GB CAR at SEA
DEN at KC NO at CIN OAK at SD PIT at BAL
  WAS at NYG BUF at MIN STL at ARI NYJ at NE
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