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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 13
2011
PHI at SEA (thu) CIN at PIT * GB at NYG * OAK at MIA
* ATL at HOU DAL at ARI * IND at NE * STL at SF
BAL at CLE * DEN at MIN KC at CHI TEN at BUF
* Updated * CAR at TB * DET at NO NYJ at WAS SD at JAC (mon)

Prediction: DAL 24, ARI 20

The Cowboys are on a four game winning streak and at 7-4 are on top of the NFC East thanks to the Giants losing three in a row now. The Cowboys are just 2-3 on the road though and the Cardinals are 2-2 in home games. Dallas has not won a road game by more than three points and they have to avoid looking past this week to the visiting Giants in week 14.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 24-27 10 BUF 44-7
2 @SF 27-24 11 @WAS 27-24
3 WAS 18-16 12 MIA 20-19
4 DET 30-34 13 @ARI -
5 Bye - 14 NYG -
6 @NE 16-20 15 @TB -
7 STL 34-7 16 PHI -
8 @PHI 7-34 17 @NYG -
9 SEA 23-13      
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 280,2
RB Felix Jones 20 10 -
RB DeMarco Murray 70,1 20 -
TE Jason Witten - 50,1 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 80 -
WR Kevin Ogletree - 20 -
WR Dez Bryant - 70,1 -
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cowboys are in the driver's seat for the division with the Giants reeling in their loss streak and the lone remaining game with the Eagles happening in Dallas. The Cowboys are getting healthy at the end which is a good sign but have really struggled in road games this year and still have that season finale in New York. Nothing is given at this point but at least it looks brighter for the Cowboys than it has in recent years.

QUARTERBACK: Tony Romo continues to enjoy this lighter stretch of the schedule and has passed for two or more touchdowns in each of the last four games with higher yardage in all but one. This game will help show how much better Romo really is since his two games with just one touchdown score came on the road in Philly and New England. Romo still qualifies as a must start with his upside and higher recent production.

The Cardinals gave up major yardage and two or more scores to visitors like CAR, NYG and PIT which should translate well for Romo this week. Expect a healthy showing that could end up big.

RUNNING BACKS: Six weeks after his breakout game and DeMarco Murray is still cranking out 100+ total yards every week though he has only scored twice this year - both at home - and has been held to fewer than 90 rushing yards for the last two weeks. Felix Jones is back but plays a very minimal role well below any fantasy significance. Murray gets nearly all the running back work still.

The Cards are only average against running backs and have not faced many decent ones in Arizona. Murray has a nice shot at one score this week and his yardage should be moderate to good depending on the Cardinals offense and if the Cowboys get a bigger lead or not.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Dez Bryant has been a decent enough wideout with six touchdowns on the season and around 70+ yards in almost every game. But that pales in comparison to Laurent Robinson who has scored seven times over the last five games and always posted at least one per week. His yardage has been bouncing between 30 and 70 yards every matchup but those scores have been a constant. Notable - his two games with double touchdowns were both at home. Robinson has been a tremendous in-season addition to the Cowboys and has been every thing that we all thought Miles Austin was supposed to be. Austin may play this week but I will not put him into the lineup until he practices and he has not really been missed so the Cowboys may elect to give his hamstring one more week to heal before the Giants game.

There is nothing special about the Cardinals secondary that has allowed seven different wideouts to log 100+ yard games against them. In each case, it was the primary wideout for the opponent. That should translate nicely here but exactly who is the primary wideout? Laurent Robinson has been the most productive as of late but could be just the slot guy if Austin does return. I will assume Austin is out for now.

TIGHT ENDS:Jason Witten has been solid in most games this year though on the road his yardage tends to wane other than the recent trip to Washington when he posted 85 yards and a score on the Redskins. Witten has scored five times this year and yet has topped 50 yards only three times over the last seven weeks. The Cards have minimal experience with receiving tight ends this year so expect a good game by Witten.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 8 18 5 6 3 11
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 19 17 24 16 24 30


Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 28-21 10 @PHI 21-17
2 @WAS 21-22 11 @SF 7-23
3 @SEA 10-13 12 @STL 23-20
4 NYG 27-31 13 DAL -
5 @MIN 10-34 14 SF -
6 Bye - 15 CLE -
7 PIT 20-32 16 @CIN -
8 @BAL 27-30 17 SEA -
9 STL 19-13 - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Kevin Kolb - - 250,2
RB Beanie Wells 60 - -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 90,1 -
WR Andre Roberts - 50 -
WR Early Doucet - 60,1 -
PK Jay Feely 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals hope to return Kevin Kolb this week but at least the running game is coming off a franchise record and the Cardinals are back at home after a three game road trek. There is only one remaining road trip with four home games left so at least all but the Bengals matchup in week 16 should have very nice weather and with that a better chance for fantasy points than other December games.

QUARTERBACK: Everyone loved John Skelton when he posted 315 yards and three scores in Philadelphia but his next two games only produced 99 and 114 passing yards respectively with no scores and a total of five interceptions. Kevin Kolb's job remains safe when he can return which HC Ken Whisenhunt suggested could be this week. I will assume that Kolb can return and update as warranted.

The Cowboys on the road have given up exactly two passing scores to all five road opponents and all but one gained 270+ yards. Kolb will like this defense if he can play.

RUNNING BACKS: No matter that Beanie Wells twisted his knee during the game, he was not going to miss his chance to shred the Rams defense and ended with 228 yards and a score on 27 runs for a franchise record. But Wells has only one other 100+ yard game and that was back in week four. He also had not scored since week eight and was much less effective in his non-Rams games.

The Cowboys will have a far better rush defense this week and the game is more likely to end up passing than just running anyway. Expect a more sedate - and customary - effort from Wells this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The return of Kolb would figure in big here since removing the outlier of the Philly effort, the wideouts gain more and score more than Kolb under center and more so in home games. The Cardinals have struggled through an odd schedule with all but one road game coming in the first 12 weeks and this should be a step for them back at home against a secondary that can be beaten. Dallas plays much better at home so consider both Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet as viable starts as long as Kolb plays.Even with Skelton, Fitzgerald should still never be benched.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 24 15 12 26 30 16
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 13 6 9 27 12 8

WEEK 13
2011
PHI at SEA (thu) CIN at PIT GB at NYG OAK at MIA
ATL at HOU DAL at ARI IND at NE STL at SF
BAL at CLE DEN at MIN KC at CHI TEN at BUF
  CAR at TB DET at NO NYJ at WAS SD at JAC (mon)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t