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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 5
2011
*ARI at MIN *NO at CAR *SD at DEN CHI at DET (mon)
CIN at JAC *NYJ at NE *SEA at NYG BYE
GB at ATL OAK at HOU *TB at SF BAL, CLE, DAL
*UPDATED KC at IND PHI at BUF *TEN at PIT MIA, STL, WAS

Prediction: PHI 31, BUF 34

Players to Watch: David Nelson

Now this is a great game and one that should be been a national one. The 1-3 Eagles are reeling with three straight losses including the last two at home. The Bills are 3-1 after finally losing in a surprise upset in Cincinnati that may have been influenced by a letdown after they had beaten the Patriots the previous week. The Eagles are favored in this one if only since they are getting beyond desperate but injuries are going to play a factor in this game.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @STL 31-13 10 ARI -
2 @ATL 31-35 11 @NYG -
3 NYG 16-29 12 NE -
4 SF 23-24 13 @SEA -
5 @BUF - 14 @MIA -
6 @WAS - 15 NYJ -
7 Bye - 16 @DAL -
8 DAL - 17 WAS -
9 CHI -      
Eagles Report | Statistics | Roster
PHILADELPHIA at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 60,1 - 280,2
RB LeSean McCoy 60,1 40 -
WR DeSean Jackson - 110,1 -
WR Jason Avant - 40 -
WR Jeremy Maclin - 60,1 -
PK Alex Henery 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The frustration is making the Eagles weary after the losses and having the 49ers stage a rally and beat the Eagles in Philly is more than a mere embarrassment. The problem now is that the Eagles have two road games before their bye week and the only team they have beaten is currently 0-4. The biggest problem is a collapse of the defense that was considered top notch coming into the season but that has allowed 29 points per game over these last three losses. Making Alex Smith a top quarterback for the week? That's been hard to do until now.

And it gets worse. LT Jason Peters has a hamstring strain and will likely miss this week so the protection is not going to improve. The Eagles also lost two more defensive linemen including DT Antonio Dixon for the year which only makes stopping the run even more challenging. The Eagles are 1-3 and yet have been favored in every game.

QUARTERBACK: After a bad game against the Giants, Michael Vick at least posted nice fantasy points last week when he passed for 416 yards and two scores and added 75 yards on eight scrambles. The more remarkable part is that he has yet to score via a run and has been only moderate in passing yards until last week. The problem has really not been with Vick so much even though the losing is starting to get to him.

Vick should post nice fantasy points against a defense that has allowed ten touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks including two via the run. The last three opponents have passed for at least 298 yards and that includes Andy Dalton. Expect a nice game here by Vick.

RUNNING BACKS: LeSean McCoy was the leading rusher in the NFL coming into last week but was held to a paltry 18 yards on nine carries against the 49ers. He added six catches for 34 yards and one touchdown to salvage his fantasy value but it was a big surprise to see him so ineffective. The loss of LT Peterson is no help in the rushing game either. McCoy has still scored at least once in every game and has six touchdowns on the season. He should post good numbers again this week but it will more likely be as a receiver again. The Bills at home held Darren McFadden to only 72 yards and the Patriots combined for only 81 yards on 22 carries in that game.

McCoy is a must start every week and seems above a bad game because he is a dual threat. He should score at least once this week as well.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The loss to the 49ers wasn't because of DeSean Jackson who ended with six catches for 171 yards but he only has one touchdown on the season and was held to nearly no gains in the Falcons and Giants matchups. Jeremy Maclin had one monster game this year against the Falcons (13-171, 2 TD) but has not scored or topped 70 yards otherwise. No other wideouts here matter or have scored. Jason Avant usually throws 30 or 40 yards into the bucket each week.

The Bills are weak against wide receivers who have gashed the Bills in the last three games - Denarius Moore (5-146, TD), Wes Welker (16-217, 2 TD) and even A.J. Green (4-118) have been big. The Bills are mostly hurt with the long ball that should favor Jackson more. Both wideouts remain very attractive starters this week.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value here. Brent Celek is down to one catch per game and Clay Harbor was the surprise scorer last week because no one knew he could catch.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 6 8 8 21 8 12
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 28 24 20 26 5 1


Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC 41-7 10 @DAL -
2 OAK 38-35 11 @MIA -
3 NE 34-31 12 @NYJ -
4 @CIN 20-23 13 TEN -
5 PHI - 14 @SD -
6 @NYG - 15 MIA -
7 Bye - 16 DEN -
8 WAS - 17 @NE -
9 NYJ -      
Bills Report | Statistics | Roster
BUFFALO vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - - 230,3
RB Fred Jackson 110,1 40,1 -
TE Scott Chandler - 10,1 -
WR David Nelson - 70,1 -
WR Steve Johnson - 50 -
WR Donald Jones - 30 -
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: A ten point rally in the final four minutes in Cincinnati ended the Bills unbeaten streak that was probably partially about a let down after the very emotional win over the Patriots that had killed a 15 game losing streak between them. Another bad part of the game was losing LT Demetrius Bell right when the Bills face the always blitzing Eagles who are tied for the NFL lead with 15 sacks. And no doubt they will be coming hard and heavy again this week. The Bills are still not a great team but mainly because of the defense that still needs some work. But the Bills command a new respect and even more so when they are at home.

QUARTERBACK : Ryan Fitzpatrick was on quite the roll with nine touchdowns in the first three games and as many as 369 passing yards. But the Bengals held him to only 199 yards and no score in a game that the Bills came out flat in and allowed the Bengals to mount a comeback win. Fitzpatrick is missing his left tackle but he has only been sacked twice all year so the entire line is doing their job.

This week he faces a secondary that has given up ten scores in the last three games and that went to Matt Ryan, Eli Manning and Alex Smith. Not exactly Brady, Brees and Rivers. This game should end up as a shootout and that spells good times for Fitzpatrick owners. The Eagles are weak on the run to be sure, but Jackson cannot do it all.

RUNNING BACKS: The Fred Jackson train continues to chug along and he has scored in each of the last three games with never less than 98 total yards. How he is used this week will be interesting since he faces the #32 defense against the run. Jackson is already averaging 5.8 yards per carry and he has been catching up to five passes per game as well. With the Eagles coming in he is a must start that could end up with a monster game thought that would drain from with the passing game accomplished. The Eagles always give up at least one score to a running back every week along with very nice yardage - and Jackson hardly shares at all.

WIDE RECEIVERS: After opening the year with three straight games with a touchdown, Steve Johnson was held to none in Cincinnati though he ended with 58 yards on four catches. In both previous home games, Johnson had back-to-back games of about 95 yards and one touchdown. Both David Nelson and Donald Jones have turned in at least one or two good weeks but lack the consistency to merit a fantasy start. Like Johnson, Nelson too was golden in home games with around 80 yards in each and scoring once. This is a good set of wideouts led by Johnson but not dominated by his performances.

The Eagles have allowed a passing score to a wideout in each of the last three games including two for Victor Cruz. So far the only part of the Eagles defense that is delivering the goods are the cornerbacks. The only players with much success has been #2 and #3 receivers for the opponents who miss out on Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel. That should lock down Donald Jones who is not yet good enough to beat a good cover corner and Steve Johnson could have some trouble here as well. David Nelson is looking like the most attractive wideout.

TIGHT ENDS: Scott Chandler is a real feast or fast sort of player because he rarely has more than two short catches per game. It just depends if he is standing in the endzone or not (which he was four times already) but he only has six catches over the last three weeks for a total of 34 yards. And two scores. The Eagles have allowed three scores to the position already, Chandler is as good a touchdown risk as any Bills player - but if he doesn't he is a total bust for the week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 9 6 5 15 6 7
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 18 32 9 23 2 17

WEEK 5
2011
ARI at MIN NO at CAR SD at DEN CHI at DET (mon)
CIN at JAC NYJ at NE SEA at NYG BYE
GB at ATL OAK at HOU TB at SF BAL, CLE, DAL
  KC at IND PHI at BUF TEN at PIT MIA, STL, WAS

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