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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15
2010
SF at SD *CLE at CIN *KC at STL *DEN at OAK
BUF at MIA *JAC at IND ARI at CAR NYJ at PIT
*PHI at NYG HOU at TEN DET at TB *GB at NE
*UPDATED *WAS at DAL *NO at BAL ATL at SEA *CHI at MIN

Prediction: WAS 17, DAL 27

Update: Roy Williams has not been ruled out but has been held out of practice and is considered questionable. He is not worth the risk of a start. Marion Barber has practiced and may play a role this week. Anything he does would be at the expense of Tashard Choice. I am lowering Choice's numbers because of the risk.

Donovan McNabb has been benched and Rex Grossman will take the start. That makes the Redskins a bigger risk but the Cowboys have a weaker secondary and Grossman should have at least some success.

This is the rematch of the 13-7 win by the Redskins in the season opener. The Skins have lost five of their last six games and are 3-3 on the road. The Cowboys have lost their last two home games but have scored at least 27 points per game since Jason Garrett took over. The Redskins have scored that much in only one of their last eleven games.

Washington Redskins (5-8)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL W 13-7 10 PHI L 28-59
2 HOU L 27-30 11 @TEN W 19-16
3 @STL L 16-30 12 MIN L 13-17
4 @PHI W 17-12 13 @NYG L 7-31
5 GB W 16-13 14 TB L 16-17
6 IND L 24-27 15 @DAL --
7 @CHI W 17-14 16 @JAC --
8 @DET L 25-37 17 NYG --
9 Bye - - - -
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb - - 270,1
QB Rex Grossman - - 250,1
RB Ryan Torain 90,1 10 -
RB Keiland Williams 20 30 -
TE Chris Cooley - 50 -
WR Santana Moss - 80,1 -
WR Anthony Armstrong - 60 -
WR Brandon Banks - 10 -
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Skins lost their last game in part because of a botched extra point attempt and Graham Gano was injured on the play and may not be available this week. The Skins will audition kickers this week just in case but be aware that Gano may not be a safe play this week.

QUARTERBACK: Donovan McNabb scored in every game since the season opener when he only had 171 yards against the visiting Cowboys. But there is also speculation that Rex Grossman is going to get some playing time here at the end of the season and he shared first team reps with McNabb in practice last week. I will project for McNabb to play but be aware that he is not a safe start and maybe not for the rest of the season.

The Cowboys have the worst ranked unit against quarterbacks and even McNabb should manage to get his one touchdown. But he has never had more than one score in a road game.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Torain came back after missing five weeks with a hamstring injury and wasted no time. He rushed for 121 yards in the first quarter and settled for a career high 172 yards on 24 carries once he was shut down in the second half. Torain took over the backfield and left Keiland Williams only four carries in relief and a few catches on third downs. Torain goes against the Cowboys defense which has been about average against running backs.

But Torain has only scored in two of seven games played. And yet the Cowboys have allowed four runners to top 100 yards in Dallas so expect a decent game here by Torain with a chance for one score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Santana Moss has generally enjoyed big games against the Cowboys though he only had 77 yards on six carries in the season opener. Three of Moss' four touchdowns this year were in road games and the Cowboys secondary has been scorched by the faster type receivers like Moss. Anthony Armstrong should have a good game as well and has been pretty consistent in yardage this year. The slot receiver never matters for the Redskins and rarely makes more than one catch.

Dallas has allowed 13 touchdowns to visiting wideouts. If Moss does not score here it will be a miracle.

TIGHT ENDS: Chris Cooley actually had one of his best games of the year when he hauled in six passes for 80 yards in the opener against the Cowboys. He had only scored twice this year though and not at all since week four. The Cowboys have been pretty good against the position and only three tight ends have scored on them all year. Expect yardage but a score would be a surprise.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 18 13 27 9 19 17
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 31 14 32 9 25 24
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) WAS 13 1 5 0 6 7


Dallas Cowboys (4-9)
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 W 38-35
5 TEN L 27-34 14 PHI L 27-30
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 vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna - - 250,2
RB Felix Jones 50,1 30 -
RB Tashard Choice 50 - -
TE Jason Witten - 50,1 -
WR Roy Williams - 30 -
WR Kevin Ogletree - 40 -
WR Miles Austin - 90,1 -
PK David Buehler 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The only two losses by the Cowboys under Jason Garrett came by the same 27-30 score and were against division leaders which the Redskins are not. With the final game in Philly there is probably no way to avoid a ten-loss season but the least the Cowboys can do is take advantage of the next two weeks.

QUARTERBACK: Jon Kitna had trouble connecting with the wideouts since Dez Bryant was injured but Jason Witten has stepped up even more and the Cowboys already passed for 282 yards and one score in the loss up in Washington. The Redskins defense is ranked in the bottom ten for almost all positions and the Cowboys are at home for the last time. Expect a decent showing here by Kitna with moderate to good yardage and two scores. The Skins are weak against the run as well but the Cowboys prefer to pass.

RUNNING BACKS: Back in the season opener the Cowboys only rushed for 77 yards on 16 carries but the ground attack has been better in recent weeks. Tashard Choice gained 100 yards and a score in Indy though he was held in check by the Eagles. Felix Jones scored his first rushing touchdown of the year during the Eagles game but has been average at best in yardage.

The Redskins rushing defense is nothing special on the road and the Giants ravaged them for four touchdowns in the last road game. The Cowboys will split work up anyway but Choice has a shot at a score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Cowboys are using Kevin Ogletree to replace Dez Bryant but so far that has only been worth three catches for 34 yards. Miles Austin has been little more than a decoy for the last three weeks but that was against the better cornerbacks of the Saints, Colts and Eagles. Austin had one of his best games of the year in the last matchup with the Skins when he caught 10 passes for 146 yards and one score. Add in the Redskins just lost their safety and this should be a bounce back game for Austin. Roy Williams has been only good for two catches in most weeks and has not scored since back in week six. The Cowboys need Austin to reassert himself now that Bryant is out.

Ogletree injured his toe but x-rays were negative. He may be replaced by Sam Hurd if he does not improve during the week.

The Redskins are the weakest against the split ends and this is the best remaining matchup that Austin will get. Expect at least a decent game in yardage and a good chance for a score.

TIGHT ENDS: Jason Witten remains the consistent element in the passing game and has scored three times in the last two games. Since Dez Bryant is out, Witten has been able to step in and be the safety blanket for Kitna. He only had 27 yards on three catches in the opener but should figure much more prominently into this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 7 27 9 5 18 6
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 28 24 26 18 22 26
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DAL 21 -3 17 13 4 20

WEEK 15
2010
SF at SD CLE at CIN KC at STL DEN at OAK
BUF at MIA JAC at IND ARI at CAR NYJ at PIT
PHI at NYG HOU at TEN DET at TB GB at NE
  WAS at DAL NO at BAL ATL at SEA CHI at MIN
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