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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

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 @IND 20100025010 ***
Dak has been a fantasy bright spot since the acquisition of Amari Cooper. He showed signs of life before the deal, too, and the third-year pro is coming off of his best game as an NFL quarterback. He threw for 455 yards and three TDs on 77.8 percent passing over a crazy 54 attempts. Since Week 6, Prescott has only two games with fewer than 21 fantasy points and three with more than 30.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @IND 8017500000 ***
Zeke faces a fairly strong defense of his position, but this unit can be exploited. Since Week 9, we are looking at almost a perfectly average opponent. The Colts have given up four scores over 112 carries in the last five weeks and two more TDs have come via 33 receptions. This looks like a good week for a diverse return on investment.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Gallup, DAL @IND 003401000 ***
Gallup has 22 targets in the last three games, and while he hasn't scored since Week 7, the rookie has shown sign of life since Amari Cooper arrived to alleviate some pressure. Overall, Gallup isn't much of a playable option for conventional leagues, but he has shown enough to draw a deep dive in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Amari Cooper, DAL @IND 006700000 ***
Indianapolis has been among the league's tougher teams at slowing receivers, though most of the success has come against inferior competition. No one is hotter than Cooper of late. The former Raider is on a torrid pace and obviously belongs in all lineup configurations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL @IND 005500000 ***
The volume hasn't been there in many weeks now, and Beasley hasn't scored since Week 7. He has fewer than 60 yards in seven straight contests and should be avoided in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Blake Jarwin, DAL @IND 003300000 ***
Jarwin exploded -- well, relatively speaking -- in Week 14, landing all seven of his targets but for just 56 yards. Either way, it was nice to see someone step up at the tight end position in an offensive system that is not afraid to utilize it. Indianapolis offer a favorable matchup that corresponds to his skill set. Since Week 9, the Colts have yielded the fourth-most receptions and yards, although it's the worst matchup for scoring touchdowns.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brett Maher, DAL @IND 1133 ***
No writeup available

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
WAS vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 170
RB Adrian Peterson 120,1 5-30
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 Josh Johnson, WAS @JAC 40000014002 *
Johnson looked pretty good off the bench for a guy who hadn't thrown a meaningful NFL pass in nearly seven years. The Jaguars will present a much tougher opponent and have time to prepare for him. Look just about anywhere else this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Adrian Peterson, WAS @JAC 5002100000 **
Don't be fooled by Derrick Henry's big day vs. this defense last week. Peterson's offensive line and quarterback situation should once again keep him in check. Anything is possible with the way he has defied the odds this year, and maybe he gets lucky with a long TD like Henry last week or AD just two weeks ago himself.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Thompson, WAS @JAC 2003200000 **
The majority of the work vs. the Jaguars has been on the ground, and almost half of it came from Derrick Henry last week. Jacksonville has given up only modest numbers via receptions (59), limited gains in receiving yardage (422) and terrible results in the end zone (one TD). Keep Thompson on your bench.

Update: Thompson (illness) was unable to practice Friday and is a game-time call.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS @JAC 003300000 ***
Crowder game to life in Week 14 but still landed only two of his seven targets. He scored and added 87 yards to his totals, marking his best fantasy outings since Week 15 last year. The Redskins will start Josh Johnson this week and face the toughest matchup in football for wideouts. No team has given up fewer touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, WAS @JAC 004300000 *
In the past five weeks, four touchdowns have been scored against Jacksonville by tight ends. Using data since Week 1, the matchup isn't quite as appealing but is still useful. Davis has a glimmer of hope and should see the majority of looks at the position after -- wait for it -- Jordan Reed is injured.

Update: Reed has been ruled out.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS @JAC 0000 *****
No writeup available

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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