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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 6
2011
BUF at NYG * HOU at BAL NO at TB * MIA at NYJ (mon)
CAR at ATL * IND at CIN * PHI at WAS ARI, DEN
CLE at OAK JAC at PIT SF at DET KC, SD
*Updated * DAL at NE * MIN at CHI STL at GB SEA, TEN

Prediction: DAL 27, NE 31

Players to Watch: None

Update: The Patriots are once again throwing everyone on the injury report. Aaron Hernandez was limited in all practices because of his knee and BenJarvus Green-Ellis was held out on Thursday and limited on Wednesday and Friday because of a toe injury but has not been ruled out. Danny Woodhead may be back as well after being limited in all practices this week. This only means there is a bit more risk with these players but none are expected to sit out this week and HC Bill Belichick is perhaps the worst when it comes to abusing the injury repot. I am not changing the projections since all seem likely to play but as always - using Patriots always comes with more risk than about any other team.

The Cowboys come off their bye still undecided if they are a powerhouse team or just a team getting punked in half of their games. Every game has been decided by four points or less and by the actions of Tony Romo. The Patriots remain tied for the AFC East with the Bills and their only loss was a three pointer to the same Bills. This game could go either way with a rested and healthy Cowboys team but no matter what - it should have plenty of points and probably end with a spectacular gaff.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 24-27 10 BUF -
2 @SF 27-24 11 @WAS -
3 WAS 18-16 12 MIA -
4 DET 30-34 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 NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 340,3
RB Felix Jones 40 20 -
TE Jason Witten - 70,1 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 40 -
WR Dez Bryant - 70,1 -
WR Miles Austin - 120,1 -
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cowboys have been good enough to win all their games even if that did not happen. But it speaks to an ongoing problem for the Pokes who are unable to put anyone away. The offense should be at top strength this week and that bodes well for the passing game but the defense has given up plenty of points already and never met any quarterback like Tom Brady.

QUARTERBACK: He's gone from goat to hero to goat again. But at least Tony Romo has maintained his fantasy value in three of the four games he's played. Romo passed for over 330 yards and at least two or three scores @NYJ, @SF and against DET. He was less effective against the Redskins largely because he was fresh off his lung and rib injury. With a bye week to rest up, he'll be good to go and while the Cowboys may shine or choke, at least Romo is posting points regardless.

This is bound to be a big week against a defense that has allowed over 340 yards in four of their five games and at least two scores in most. Considering the likelihood that the Cowboys are chasing the scoreboard, this should be a good fantasy effort from Romo.

RUNNING BACKS: This has been a disappointing season for Felix Jones who was given the clear #1 role and had 14 or more carries in all but one game and yet he has just the one score in the season opener and only once gained more than 57 rushing yards. His role as a receiver has been spotty at best and still shares enough the Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray to prevent Felix from being anything more than a marginal fantasy start. He's been far less productive in road games as well.

The Pats are nothing special against the run except they rarely allow their opponent that luxury. Figure on lower carries for Jones but a chance for a few catches.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Miles Austin is back after missing the last two games with a hamstring strain. Austin has been big when he plays with games of 5-90 and a score in New York and 9-143 and three touchdowns against the 49ers. Dez Bryant missed week two and has been nursing a quadricep strain since week one. He still has three touchdowns already but has lagged on yardage because of his injury. He too is healthy and Kevin Ogletree has lost out on the #3 thanks to Laurent Robinson who has outplayed him. In the Lions game, Robinson led the team with seven catches for 116 yards. This is a very effective set of wideouts finally healthy again.

Well hello Dolly.

This is where the Austin owners should be repaid for their patience against a secondary that has allowed seven scores to the position and five players with more 90 receiving yards. The only commensurate wideout to Austin to face the Pats so far was Vincent Jackson (10-172, 2 TD). Throw in a Dez Bryant with an equal chance to score and this should be a nice game for both. It may even dip down to Robinson depending if it ends up with trash time.

TIGHT ENDS: As the only receiver without any injuries, Jason Witten has racked up four nice games already and the worst he has done was 6-60 at San Francisco. His other three games all ended with over 94 receiving yards and at least six receptions. Tight ends have not fared will against the Pats but the only two with five or more passes both ended with 80+ yards.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 6 28 3 7 1 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 23 30 5 5 8


New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIA 38-24 10 @NYJ -
2 SD 35-21 11 KC -
3 @BUF 31-34 12 @PHI -
4 @OAK 31-19 13 IND -
5 NYJ 30-21 14 @WAS -
6 DAL - 15 @DEN -
7 Bye - 16 MIA -
8 @PIT - 17 BUF -
9 NYG - - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 360,3
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 50,1 10 -
RB Stevan Ridley 20 - -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 40 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 50,1 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 20 -
WR Deion Branch - 70,1 -
WR Wes Welker - 150,1 -
PK S. Gostkowski 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Pats only need to get past Dallas to reach their bye and so far the 30 point games have not stopped. The Patriots won by the rush against the Jets and can throw up points on the scoreboard in so many ways that it gets mighty hard to defend. The first three games after the bye will likely define the Patriots season - @PIT and @NYJ and both are very winnable. It could come down to week 17 when they host the Bills but the Pats are more likely to reach that game with minimal other losses.

QUARTERBACK: Tom Brady comes off his first game of the year with just a single passing score but he still posted 321 yards on the Jets. He has 14 touchdowns on the season and still is averaging 375 yards per game. That should be continued against a Cowboys secondary that has allowed multiple scores in most games and that has been good against the run. On the road, the Cowboys are only asking for Brady to crank up the passing yardage again.

RUNNING BACKS: The backfield is always hard to read given so many potential runners but BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been the only one with any consistency and has scored in all but one game. His one bad showing was on the road in Buffalo but otherwise he has remained golden with at least one touchdown. Stevan Ridley has figured in occasionally but likely not this week against what has been a very stout Dallas rushing defense.

The Cowboys have only allowed one rushing touchdown and no runner has topped 47 yards against them. Green-Ellis is the only reasonable play here and mainly because he always gets one touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Wes Welker has 740 yards after five games and no other wideout has ever done that in NFL history. He has been scoring much more than past years and has five touchdowns and is on a pace for 144 catches. That just might happen. Deion Branch has a score in each of the last two games but his yardage varies from 129 to zero in a game. Chad Ochocinco is a complete nonfactor with two small catches every week. He's not worth holding even in big leagues.

The Cowboys secondary has been their weak link for a long time and this year is no better. They have allowed only moderate yardage to most but have faced almost no stud wideouts except Calvin Johnson (8-96, 2 TDs). Welker is a slam-dunk but even Branch should figure in this week with a less effective rushing game to rely on.

TIGHT ENDS: Aaron Hernandez returned from his sprained MCL earlier than predicted and had five catches for 56 yards against the Jets. That was his first game without a touchdown. Rob Gronkowski was actually sick on Sunday but still played through his illness but ended with no catches for the first time. He had been red hot through the first three weeks but then cooled against the Raiders and disappeared last week. These two are extremely dangerous.

The Cowboys have been very good against the position though. No tight end has gained more than 64 yards on them and only two score. The Cowboys have been successful in taking the position out of the opponents game plan for Fred Davis (1-23) and Vernon Davis (2-18) but there's a lot more going on with the Pats offense besides the tight ends. They are at risk for a lower game but it all depends on the respective game plans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 3 8 2 1 11 25
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 14 3 12 27 27 28

WEEK 6
2011
BUF at NYG HOU at BAL NO at TB MIA at NYJ (mon)
CAR at ATL IND at CIN PHI at WAS ARI, DEN
CLE at OAK JAC at PIT SF at DET KC, SD
  DAL at NE MIN at CHI STL at GB SEA, TEN

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