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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections |  Projections by Team | Game Predictions Summary

WEEK 1
2011
NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE * MIN at SD * SEA at SF
* ATL at CHI * DAL at NYJ * NYG at WAS TEN at JAC
* BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL * NE at MIA (mon)
*updated CAR at ARI * IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

Prediction: DAL 17, NYJ 27

Players to Watch: DeMarco Murray, LaDainian Tomlinson

Update: CB Terence Newman remains out and that only helps the NYJ passing game. Miles Austin has been limited in practices but is still expected to play. He matches up with Darrell Revis most likely and that is worse than having the hamstring strain.

Nothing like starting your season in the Lion's den. The Cowboys grabbed the short straw and get to go to New York and face that defense but at least they still have the same offense and players outside of Marion Barber. The Jets get to use their opener to practice their passing game that has newer and better parts. If this score gets high, it will not be thanks to the Dallas offense.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ - 10 BUF -
2 @SF - 11 @WAS -
3 WAS - 12 MIA -
4 DET - 13 @ARI -
5 Bye - 14 NYG -
6 @NE - 15 @TB -
7 STL - 16 PHI -
8 @PHI - 17 @NYG -
9 SEA -      
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 230,2
RB Felix Jones 50 20 -
TE Jason Witten - 60,1 -
WR Kevin Ogletree - 30 -
WR Dez Bryant - 80,1 -
WR Miles Austin - 30 -
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cowboys return a healthy crew and Tony Romo looks to resume his big stats after a year hiatus thanks to his shoulder. The offense should be better this year with younger runners and more experienced wideouts but the defense under new DC Rob Ryan has yet to fully form and will be without top cornerback Terrence Newman. it is doubtful that brotherly bonds between the Ryans will supercede the need to win.

QUARTERBACK: Tony Romo was already on a hot streak last year before injuring his shoulder and missing the final ten weeks. Romo was coming off a 4483 yard, 26 touchdown season in 2009 and should have the personnel to get back on that wagon. Problem is that it will probably have to wait a week with the Jets ensuring that Romo is challenged. Still Romo has enough weapons that taking away one or two will not be enough to shut them down.

RUNNING BACKS: Felix Jones gets the start again after gaining 800 yards on 185 carries last season and added 450 yards on 48 catches. But Marion Barber is no longer around and the Cowboys will rely on some mixture of Jones, the rookie DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice who made it past cuts to remain on the team. Barber ran 113 times last season and Choice tossed in 66 runs as well. There are plenty of carries to go around if Jones remains either a 14 carry a game player or if he gets injured. Choice will figure in but the Cowboys clearly want Murray stepping up into a bigger role when he can handle it.

That all said, the Jets have a dominating rushing defense and are at home with months to prepare for this game. Not likely to be pretty for Jones and Murray may not get many carries because of the game situation.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There are two distinct fantasy camps. One thinks that Dez Bryant is the new #1 receiver in Dallas and the other believes that Miles Austin will be that player. In fairness, Tony Romo only played in six games with Bryant and had been clearly favoring Austin when he was injured. And Austin rolled up 1320 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2009 with a healthy Romo. This week is no measure with Darrell Revis locked onto Austin but don't assume that Bryant is the guy from just this week. Kevin Ogletree takes the slot which is meaningless in this offense.

Bryant gets Antonio Cromartie which is no treat but should be the primary wideout this week thanks to Revis. Or they could move corners around.

TIGHT ENDS: Jason Witten comes off a career high nine touchdowns last season and has spent the last two years with nearly mirror seasons of 94 catches for around 1000 yards in each. Romo will end up on Witten with the corners in New York and that should make him a safe start.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 7 24 10 4 14 4
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 17 2 21 13 4 3


New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL - 10 NE -
2 JAC - 11 @DEN -
3 @OAK - 12 BUF -
4 @BAL - 13 @WAS -
5 @NE - 14 KC -
6 MIA - 15 @PHI -
7 SD - 16 NYG -
8 Bye - 17 @MIA -
9 @BUF -      
Jets Report | Statistics | Roster
NY JETS vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez - - 280,2
RB Shonn Greene 70,1 10 -
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 20 30 -
TE Dustin Keller - 20 -
WR Plaxico Burress - 40,1 -
WR Derrick Mason - 50 -
WR Santonio Holmes - 120,1 -
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jets look in good shape for another playoff run with the same coaches and schemes from last year and upgrades at wideout in case the team needs to throw. This will always be a run first team that lives on defense but this opening week should be a nice opportunity to try out passing against one of the worst secondaries in the league.

QUARTERBACK: So far Mark Sanchez has been mostly a game manager with average numbers - 3291 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. Entering his third season, he has a little more firepower at his disposal but will still throw only as much as needed. The Cowboys bring in a decent rushing defense and a bad secondary that is already missing the top corner. That should be enough to spark Sanchez into a better than normal game.

RUNNING BACKS: The plan this year is to use Shonn Greene as the primary runner and return LaDainian Tomlinson to being just a third down back. Greene only had 185 carries in 2010 and gained only 766 yards (4.1 YPC) and scored twice. Tomlinson ended with 219 runs for 914 yards and six scores along with 52 catches for 368 yards. If Tomlinson takes a back seat to Greene, he could become a valuable fantasy back. If Tomlinson ends up in a time share, both players will be marginal fantasy starts. At the age of 32, Tomlinson should slow down voluntarily.

WIDE RECEIVERS:Santonio Holmes had the big contract to remain a Jet and with that is the unquestioned #1 receiver in this offense. His first season in New York produced 52 catches for 746 yards and six scores but the Jets still gave him $50 million to be a Jet for five years. Holmes had 1248 yards in his final year at Pittsburgh. He's certain to be the focus of the passing game this week.

Plaxico Burress hopes to be the next ex-prisoner to become a fantasy darling but he has not played in two years. And he is 34 years old so his only saving grace is that he is 6-5 and can get red zone catches. Derrick Mason elected to go one more round in the NFL and comes to New York but he is 37 years old. This week should be a nice one for the wideouts but this aging group will be interesting in late season games in bad weather.

TIGHT ENDS: Dustin Keller is a good tight end in that he blocks and can catch when needed. But his 687 yards and five scores last year is more likely his ceiling in this offense and he never scored after week four last season. He got worse as the season progressed.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 21 11 13 19 7 7
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 31 12 32 7 24 24

WEEK 1
2011
NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE MIN at SD SEA at SF
ATL at CHI DAL at NYJ NYG at WAS TEN at JAC
BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL NE at MIA (mon)
  CAR at ARI IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

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