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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: CLE 13 , DAL 27 (Line: DAL by 7.5)

Players Updated: Miles Austin

Players to Watch: Brandon Weeden, Felix Jones

The 2-7 Browns are better than their record suggest but they are also 0-4 on the road and about to face one of the tougher defenses this year. The 4-5 Cowboys come off their win in Philadelphia but are only 1-2 at home. Dallas is far too desperate to take anyone lightly and need to win games like this big because everyone is getting more scrutiny this season.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL -----
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT -----
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG 27-41 14 KC -----
6 CIN 34-24 15 WAS -----
7 @IND 13-17 16 @DEN -----
8 SD 7-6 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL 15-25 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Josh Gordon 3-60,1

Pregame Notes: The Browns come off their bye already knowing that the season is over and that player evaluations will start to take precedence. Trent Richardson has more than justified his draft pick but Brandon Weeden is still no lock to continue next year in that fine Cleveland tradition that has witnessed eight different quarterbacks over the last ten years.

Weeden was on a nice streak with two scores in three straight games but then his stats fell apart for the last two games with only 176 yards at most and no scores. Of course both were at home and featured Richardson running the ball more. That's not going to be a big option for the offense until the Chiefs game in week 14. Weeden's been more than solid considering what he has to work with but he needs to show up even more in these final games in order to get the ultra-rare "two years starting" badge in Cleveland.

Richardson's scored six times this year and totaled over 100 yards three times including the last two. His first 100 yard effort was in a road game in Cincinnati but his second meeting with the Bengals only produced 54 total yards. Nice to see Richardson catch six passes against the Ravens when the three previous games saw him rarely used as a receiver. Richardson already has 31 receptions on the season.

The Browns wideouts are very hard to forecast because almost all of them are healthy again. Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin returned in week nine and joined Josh Gordon and Greg Little. Gordon has been the only hot hand with four touchdowns in three games but he turned back into a pumpkin in the last two weeks with fewer than 50 yards and no score in each. Again - when Richardson can run it really takes the wind out of the passing game but that should not be an issue for the next two weeks at the least.

The Browns face a defense that is top ten against all positions and one of the very best versus wideouts - particularly playing in Dallas. THe Cowboys have only allowed seven passing scores this year and only once more than one to an opponent. Add in that they've held visitors to only one rushing touchdown and this is certain to be a lower scoring game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 14 27 25 18 15
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 5 10 10 8 19 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB DeShone Kizer, CLE TEN 40100018012 *
The Browns will go with Kizer one week after benching him for Kevin Hogan, but there isn't enough upside to chance it, even against a weak pass defense. This is the eighth-best matchup in Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kevin Hogan, CLE TEN 0000022021 *
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE TEN 500000000 ***
Tennessee has been easy to pass against and not so friendly to running backs. This defense rates in the bottom half of football and has given up a rushing score once every 58 totes. Crowell is highly risky in fantasy and shouldn't be played if better options are present.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE TEN 1003400000 *
The Titans have been mildly kind to pass-receiving backs, giving up 4.6 catches for 52.2 yards per appearance, with one in 11.5 catches scoring. Johnson scored 13.4 PPR points last year vs. this defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ricardo Louis, CLE TEN 005600000 **
Receivers have scored seven times in the last five games when facing the Titans. Louis is a flier, sure, but there is plenty of upside with how poorly Tennessee has defended wideouts. This is the ninth-best matchup in PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, CLE TEN 003400000 *
Even if Britt is healthy enough to play, keep away in fantasy ... he's in the doghouse and doesn't have a defined role.

Update: Britt is questionable after three days of limited participation. He's a game-time call.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE David Njoku, CLE TEN 003301000 ***
TEs have averaged 4.4 catches for 46.2 yards and a TD every 11 grabs against. This is a negative matchup in every category but the TDs against, which rates as neutrally.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Zane Gonzalez, CLE TEN 1122 ***
Opposing kickers have missed three extra points against the Titans, which is preventing this from being a midrange matchup. Statistically, it leans negative by a touch. The position has converted eight field goals.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI 38-23
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE -----
3 TB 16-10 12 WAS -----
4 CHI 18-34 13 PHI -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN -----
6 @BAL 29-31 15 PIT -----
7 @CAR 19-14 16 NO -----
8 NYG 24-29 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL 13-19 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Alfred Morris 100,1
WR Dez Bryant 5-90,1
TE Jason Witten 7-60,1
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys are only 4-5 but since the Giants are losing games and are only 6-4, there is still a chance to win the division though they've lost the first head-to-head tiebreaker with the Giants. The Cowboys are about to start the easiest stretch of their schedule now with five home games and only two road games - both of those against average opponents at best. The Cowboys need a big win here to get back on track.

For all the bad press that Tony Romo attracts, he's been pretty much error-free in three of his last four games that had no turnovers and almost no sacks. When he is bad - sure. He can throw four or more interceptions which he has done twice now. In home games he's been limited to only one touchdown at most but this will be a weaker team showing up and Romo has yet to play in Dallas this season and throw for fewer than 283 yards. His problem has been one of fewer touchdowns with 13 scores so far this year and seven games of just one or no touchdowns.

DeMarco Murray's been out since week six and early reports are that he may miss his fifth game thanks to a foot that is slow to heal. Murray's always been tagged as injury prone and it was the main reason why he fell in the NFL draft. Felix Jones is running rather well lately with 71 yards on 16 carries last week in Philly where he scored on a pass reception. His last two games were both on the road and against decent defenses and he still produced 90+ total yards in each since the Cowboys have stopped using a committee as much and mainly just rely on Jones. This would be a very nice week for Jones at home against one of the weaker rushing defenses of the Browns.

Jason Witten is still a beast with receptions though his 15 catches in the last two weeks only gained 98 combined yards. His last two home games merely posted 18 (NYG) and 13 (CHI) receptions though he's not as likely to be needed as he was in those games.

The best news is that both Dez Bryant and Miles Austin have played well in every home game. Both wideouts have either scored a touchdown or turned in over 100 yards while in Cowboys Stadium. The Browns secondary allows scores to wide receivers but only two players notched 100 yard games against them. Add in the Cowboys likely success running the ball and while both wideouts are decent starts, neither should have a monster game here. LCB Pat Haden will match on Miles Austin and should hold him to lower stats this week but otherwise the usual suspects should see at least good results in this match-up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 16 21 9 3 21 20
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 23 25 28 3 10 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Dak Prescott, DAL @SF 20100025011 ***
A week off can't hurt, just as the return of Zeke after a brief reinstatement of his suspension. The 49ers have allowed the fifth-most yards (298.2) and fantasy points (24.4) per outing. Remove the two rushing TDs against and this is still a top-10 opponent. In 2016's Week 4, Prescott posted 20.6 fantasy points (245-2-0) vs. the Niners.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @SF 11014300000 ***
Will he or won't he ... anyone else getting tired of this soap opera? Elliott will play in Week 7 and has a brilliant matchup against the 49ers' second-worst defense of his position. Backs are averaging 92.6 rushing (16th), 77.0 receiving (1st) and a TD every 32.6 touches (11th). This is the fourth-best matchup in non-PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL @SF 0071001000 ***
Dez's opponent has given up a ton of catches (14) and yards (183) per contest, along with one touchdown per outing. This is a top-six matchup in non-PPR and reception-rewarding flavors.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL @SF 003400000 ***
Williams has seen quite a few targets and catches but has averaged only 9.5 yards per snare without a touchdown to his credit. San Fran presents a glorious matchup to exploit, so consider him in the deepest of flier situations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL @SF 003300000 ***
Beasley scored twice in Week 5 before the bye but had been one quiet dude prior to that game. The 49ers are a fine matchup in PPR (5th-best) and have permitted 14 catches per contest (3rd most).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL @SF 002300000 ***
The 49ers have given up a 19-191-0 line in the last five games, making this the second-worst opponent for tight ends. Being a volume tight end, Witten isn't an ideal play this week. Consider better options.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL @SF 2233 ***
Kickers have thrived against San Francisco. In the past five games, nine of 11 extra points were good. All 14 field goals connected.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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