FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: DAL 13, BAL 24 (Line: BAL by 3.5)

Players to Watch: Joe Flacco

The Cowboys come off their bye with a 2-2 record that satisfies no one and start an even more brutal stretch of the schedule for the next five games.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI -----
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE -----
3 TB 16-10 12 WAS -----
4 CHI 18-34 13 PHI -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN -----
6 @BAL ----- 15 PIT -----
7 @CAR ----- 16 NO -----
8 NYG ----- 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Darren McFadden 100,1 6-40
RB Alfred Morris 80,1 2-10
WR Dez Bryant 5-80
TE Jason Witten 6-70
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 1 XP
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Take away the season opener (and by now you really should) and the Dallas defense has been good until when it breaks late in the game. And the Dallas offense has just remained bad from kickoff to the final gun. The rushing effort has disappeared behind faulty blocking and Tony Romo has struggled since that first New York game.

In the last three games he has only thrown for two touchdowns and has seven interceptions and two lost fumbles. His five interception night against the Bears equaled a career worst. The problem was hardly all Romo. He was knocked around constantly, no one respects the run anymore and his receivers drop passes frequently.

Dez Bryant ran the wrong route and gave away an interception returned for a touchdown. The passing yardage is not that bad - always over 250 and he averages 287 per week. But the scoring just not there. Bryant did finally have a 100 yard game but it is only the second of his career and the first one was back in week 10 of 2010. Bryant has no touchdowns this year. Miles Austin leads the team with three scores and has remained consistent with around 60 yards or more. In Dallas, Austin is about as good as it gets.

Jason Witten was terrible in his first three games dropping passes and never scoring. He was the focus of Romo against the Bears and caught 13 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown. It was a vintage Witten game but was just one of four. With a stretch of four road games in the next five weeks, Witten will be relied on heavily against some very good defenses that are going to be able to cover Austin or let Bryant run the wrong route.

DeMarco Murray is a sign how bad the offensive line is in Dallas. The last three games have only produced 44 rushing yards or less though they finally used him as a receiver with seven catches for 57 yards versus the Bears. Murray has only one score on the season and 14 plays with negative gains. That's one in every four or five runs never reaching the offensive line.

Dallas needed the bye week to regroup but the first game out is a road trip to Baltimore. That's not likely to be any help at all.

The Ravens have allowed three passers to exceed 320 yards but have only given up two passing touchdowns this year. Dallas does not fare well against "bend but do not break" defenses because that allows the Cowboys to do the breaking which so far they have been pretty good at doing. The Ravens have allowed four rushing scores but DeMarco Murray has been getting worse each week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 17 22 7 14 29 28
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 17 19 10 20 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Dak Prescott, DAL LAC 30000021011 ***
Regardless of LT Tyron Smith's status, Prescott is a dicey call for Week 12. It's a short week, and the Chargers have some momentum. Gamers should look elsewhere, if possible, since we are free of bye weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, DAL LAC 10011100000 ***
This is the fifth-best matchup in non-PPR (2nd in PPR). Most of the work has come via the passing game, which isn't exactly Morris' thing. Maybe he can add a few screen passes to inflate an already sound projection. At any rate, LA has given up only two rushing TDs over the past 86 totes by RBs (17th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL LAC 005801000 **
Bryant is seeing the looks and failing to generate meaningful fantasy production. The matchup likely won't redeem this, either, as the Chargers have surrendered a mere touchdown over the past 47 catches. This is the fifth-hardest opponent in PPR and fourth-worst in standard.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL LAC 004400000 ***
Williams is doing almost nothing with a reasonable target volume. The Chargers are too tough of a matchup to chance this being the week he makes the most of his looks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL LAC 004300000 ***
Beasley has been ineffective for fantasy purposes most of this year and half of last season. Avoid him with this difficult matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL LAC 002200000 ***
Witten has been erratic and has a mediocre matchup for catches and yardage. However, LA has permitted only one TD over the past 19 grabs by tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL LAC 3322 ***
Bailey has a good chance of returning this week. If he doesn't go again, Mike Nugent will continue to handle the duties. Los Angeles rates in the bottom half of the league while giving up the ninth-most field goal attempts.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 10 OAK -----
2 @PHI 23-24 11 @PIT -----
3 NE 31-30 12 @SD -----
4 CLE 23-16 13 PIT -----
5 @KC 9-6 14 @WAS -----
6 DAL ----- 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU ----- 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 240,2
RB Danny Woodhead 10 4-20
WR Jeremy Maclin 4-50
WR Mike Wallace 5-80,1
TE Benjamin Watson 1-10
PK Justin Tucker 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Pretty rare when you win despite never scoring any touchdowns but the Ravens made it three in a row thanks to an even worse offense by the Chiefs that smacked of a trap game the Ravens barely escaped from. Back at home this week against the Cowboys should help get the motivation up.

Like every season, Joe Flacco flirts with fantasy relevance and just when you think you can rely on him, he lays an egg. After two games of over 350 passing yards and at least two scores in each, Flacco only threw for 187 yards in Kansas City and had no touchdowns. On the year, he has seven touchdowns against four interceptions. He is generally good, occasionally great and not above a flop every now and then. It all totals to a mostly mediocre fantasy starter.

Ray Rice is the lone consistent player on this team. He produces around 100 total yards in almost every game if not rushes for that much and scored in two of the three home match-ups. Last week was a rare time he only had one catch. In most weeks he has at least five and up to eight. Rice also doesn't share the ball more than a time or two each week. There were good reasons why Rice was drafted #1 or #2 in almost every league. Those reasons still exist if not are even stronger.

The Dennis Pitta show has been placed on hiatus apparently. After opening the season with three efforts over five receptions each and totaling two scores, he has turned into yet another pumpkin. After being blanked by the Browns, Pitta only handed in 22 yards on three catches versus the Chiefs. He's only getting a few targets in games now and one more week of this means that mini-spree of catches is over for good.

The positive about Torrey Smith this year is that at least he has a big game when at home. Both efforts came in the wake of his brother's death but the defense was not being kind when it allowed him to post 127 yards and then 97 yards over the last two home stands. His three scores all came in those two games. Anquan Boldin is the one receiver who has surprisingly been the most effective over the last two weeks with 131 yards and 82 yards though he has not scored since the season opener.

The Cowboys rushing defense has been very good other than when on the road against a top back like this game. No quarterback has thrown for more than 275 yards on them and most remain well under 220 yards with only one score each. This is not likely to be a monster passing game for Flacco who rarely has them anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 14 7 14 16 11 5
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 5 10 2 15 10 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL HOU 0000026021 ***
Without bye weeks, it's awfully tough to see a path to playing time for Flacco in fantasy lineups. The matchup is wonderful, so DFS players may want to take a flier as a contrarian move.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Danny Woodhead, BAL HOU 1005400000 **
Despite allowing the fourth-fewest receptions per contest, the Texans have permitted the seven-highest weekly receiving yardage figure. He's a so-so play as he works his way back into game shape. None of those catches scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL HOU 400000000 ***
Houston is the second-worst matchup in both scoring formats and has not allowed a touchdown on the last 73 rushing attempts. Collins is a sketchy play in any setup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL HOU 005801000 ***
Wallace turned in a masterful touchdown grab last week and now draws the best matchup to exploit in fantasy. Houston has provided the second-most receptions, most yards, most fantasy points in both formats, and a touchdown every 7.3 snares (3rd).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL HOU 007701000 ***
Despite an ideal matchup for his skill set last week, Maclin turned in a dud. This go of it, the Texans bring fantasy's best matchup for wideouts to the table. The position has scored twice a game on the second-most receptions per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL HOU 005400000 ***
One in 5.3 receptions has scored, which is the best rate to exploit, but Watson is a huge risk in any fantasy format, even more so without bye weeks.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL HOU 3322 ***
All 21 kicks (8 FGAs) have connected, producing the seventh-best matchup. Only eight teams offer better theoretical matchups of possible points against.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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