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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: DAL 23, WAS 24 (Line: WAS by 3)

Players to Watch: Tony Romo, Pierre Garcon, Alfred Morris

This is the late game on Sunday and it has enough intrigue to make it worth watching. The announcers get another chance at prime time to slobber over Robert Griffin III and this game decides several things. If the Cowboys win, they take the NFC East title which says more about how bad the East is this year than how good the Cowboys are. If they lose, they are out plain and simple. The Redskins can win the NFC East with a victory here but a loss could still result in a wildcard if both the Bears (@DET) and the Vikings (@GB) both lose. Since this is the final late game, both teams know exactly what the case will be before playing.

This is a replay of week 12 when the Redskins won 38-31 in Dallas.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI 38-23
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE 23-20
3 TB 16-10 12 WAS 31-38
4 CHI 18-34 13 PHI 38-33
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN 20-19
6 @BAL 29-31 15 PIT 27-24
7 @CAR 19-14 16 NO 31-34
8 NYG 24-29 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL 13-19 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
PK Dan Bailey 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys are 3-1 in December which is opposite their typical results in previous years. The normal December slide was overcome in part because of a scheduling quirk that allowed them five home games in the last six weeks and both the Eagles and Steelers having fallen on hard times. The offense is scoring well and just last week Tony Romo could have had a legendary game when he brought the team back from 14 points down to overtime but once again the defense lost it for them. The loss of linebackers and safeties have been the bane of the defense.

Romo has been playing in top form lately but then again - almost all home games. Romo threw 12 touchdowns over the last four home games. He's only thrown five touchdowns over the last four road games. At home he had seven straight games over 300 yards. On the road, he had only one in the last six away venues. Romo passed for a season high 441 yards and three scores when the Skins visited in week 12.

DeMarco Murray missed six games this year and hasn't topped 100 rush yards since the season opener. He has been more involved as a receiver with four catches in each of the last four games. In week 12, Felix Jones was the starter but only ran for 14 yards on six carries and added 47 yards and one score as a receiver.

Jason Witten has already set the NFL record for tight end receptions this year and logged nine catches for 74 yards in the last meeting with the Skins.

Dez Bryant is on a seven game scoring streak and recorded eight receptions for 145 yards and two scores against the Skins this year. Miles Austin was held to no catches while Dwayne Harris (4-71) and Cole Beasley (7-68).

The Cowboys are 4-3 away from home but have a history of late season chokes. But that doesn't mean there won't be nice fantasy points along the way. This will move to the air sooner than later and the weather is not supposed to be bad other than a bit cold.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 7 24 3 9 11 24
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 29 11 30 31 19 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Dak Prescott, DAL SEA 20000023011 ***
Ezekiel Elliott's return should take some heat off of Prescott. The versatile passer is always a threat with his feet, but there isn't enough meat on this bone for a fantasy bonanza in Week 16. Seattle has allowed the 20th-most fantasy points, on average, since Week 10.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL SEA 11021200000 ***
Zeke returns to the starting lineup and is an obvious play for every gamer who had been stashing him. Seattle was obliterated by Todd Gurley last week, and while he represented four of the six RB touchdowns against them in the past five games, this is still a good matchup. Elliott could be slightly rusty, though reports suggest he is leaner and ready to go.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, DAL SEA 003400000 ***
Thompson was targeted a respectable eight times in the Week 13 game with New England, managing to land only two for 21 yards. He doesn't belong on a fantasy roster.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, DAL SEA 003400000 ***
Update: Hurns was limited in all three sessions this week and is questionable. Consider him closer to doubtful.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL SEA 004400000 ***
Williams has a fine matchup against a sinking Seattle defense, yet he doesn't do enough with his looks to matter in fantasy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL SEA 002300000 ***
Beasley's target count is too low to warrant fantasy inclusion.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL SEA 1133 ***
In the past five games, Seattle has faced 10 field goals, and all of them hit their mark. Thirteen of the 14 PATs were true to help create the No. 8 matchup to exploit in Week 16.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI 31-6
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL 38-31
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG 17-16
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL 31-28
6 MIN 38-26 15 @CLE 38-21
7 @NYG 23-27 16 @PHI 27-20
8 @PIT 12-27 17 DAL -----
9 CAR 13-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
TE Vernon Davis 2-20

Pregame Notes: The Redskins are on a six game winning streak since leaving their bye - a big change from being 3-6 and just an afterthought. A win there and the Skins are the title holders of the NFC East and RG3 will have already cemented his name in Skins lore. The change has been interesting since the Skins were consistently not good enough in the early games and now have been winning all the close ones. Encouraging too is that they are winning with less rushing from Griffin and more success passing to the wide receivers.

Griffin had his best fantasy game of the year when he threw for 304 yards and four scores in Dallas. That mostly happened with a wild 28 point second quarter that included two passing scores over 58 yards each and the Cowboys lost a fumble and an interception that led to Redskin scores.

Alfred Morris also ran for 113 yards on 24 carries in that game with one touchdown. He has been good for either a touchdown or 100+ rushing yards in every game since if not both. Morris completely stepped up starting with the game in Dallas and has scored five times over these last five games.

That game was also when Pierre Garcon came roaring back and proceeded to score in the next two games as well as in Dallas where he had 86 yards on four catches. Santana Moss scored once as well on his 42 yards on four receptions. Aldrick Robinson scored on a 68 yard catch that week. That game was all about the second quarter when it all fell apart for the Cowboys who battled back and came up short while holding the Skins to 10 points in the second half compared to 28 for Dallas.

The weakness of the Cowboys defense is more up the middle so Morris should see success this week and be relied on to control the game. Griffin only threw four scores over the last three games that he has played since the Dallas meeting. This game should end up close throughout and hopefully becomes a shootout later on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 15 10 26 12 10
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 12 21 20 24 26 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, WAS DEN 20000023020 ***
Quarterbacks have averaged 231.8 yards (19th) and 20.5 fantasy points (15th) per game vs. the Dolphins since Week 10. In this time, the position has thrown a TD every 12.5 completions (13th). Miami has tallied six interceptions, or one every 29.7 tosses. Over the course of the year, this matchup is squarely neutral.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kapri Bibbs, WAS DEN 4004400000 **
Bibbs is the next, next, next, next man up for Washington. He will see the receiving work and handle a few carries to spell Samaje Perine. Denver is no joke for running backs of any flavor. Look elsewhere.

Update: Perine (groin) did not practice all week and is unlikely to play. Bibbs should see the majority of work behind a banged up offensive line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Samaje Perine, WAS DEN 4001100000 *
Just two of the last 121 carries against the Broncos have found the end zone (25th) in the hands of a running back, and they're a matching 25th in the weekly rushing yardage column against this group.

Update: Perine (groin) did not practice all week and is unlikely to play. Kapri Bibbs should see the majority of work behind a banged up offensive line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Doctson, WAS DEN 003401000 ***
Denver has permitted four receiving TDs over the last 38 receptions by the position, which shakes out to be the the seventh-highest rate in football since Week 10. The rest of the matchup metrics are dismal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, WAS DEN 005600000 ***
Dallas has given up eight touchdowns to Richardson's positional counterparts in the last five outings, and there's a hint of upside for a big play. Otherwise, the matchup is neutral for the visiting 'Hawks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS DEN 004400000 ***
This is a terrible opponent for PPR types -- Denver has given up just 7.6 receptions (31st) for 106.2 yards (32nd) since Week 10. The upside is one in 9.5 snares found the end zone. Crowder was limited in Wednesday's practice with a hamstring strain.

Update: Crowder has been limited all week and is a true gametime call. Prepare for his absence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, WAS DEN 002201000 *
Denver generally does well at limiting tight ends between the 20s but has struggled most of the year at keeping them out of the end zone. One in nine catches over the last five weeks has resulted in a TD.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS DEN 2222 ***
Hopkins returns from IR to face Denver's stifling defense of his position. Kickers have attempted the fewest per-game field goals, resulting in the second-lowest weekly possibility for fantasy points.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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