FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 @SEA 30000020010 ***
On one hand, Seattle's secondary can be had. On the other, Prescott likely isn't the guy to do it. One in 10 completions against the 'Hawks have found the end zone, or five in two games. The team has yielded 264.5 yards per contest. Seattle has tallied five interceptions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @SEA 7016200000 ***
Zeke faces a Seattle group that has allowed the ninth-most rushing yards but no touchdowns on the ground One of the eight receptions found paydirt, however. The Seahawks have granted the 12th-most offensive yards to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, DAL @SEA 003401000 ***
Thompson has a shot at contributing, but the return of Brice Butler only further clouds his role. The Seahawks have given up catches (3rd) and yardage (10th) but rank as the 10th-best defense at limiting WR touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL @SEA 004400000 ***
Seattle is a quality matchup for Beasley. The Seahawks have given up the third-most receptions to wideouts and 10th-most yards, making him a playable PPR asset. The downside comes from his irregular role, Dak Prescott's limitations as a passer, and the Seahawks ranking as the 10th-strongest defense at liming WR touchdowns.

Update: Beasley (ankle) was limited Thursday and Friday. He's questionable for Week 3 and should be a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, DAL @SEA 002300000 ***
Austin has just two catches on the year, including a 64-yard score. He has no immediate fantasy value in conventional formats but could be considered among the riskiest of gambles in large DFS contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Gallup, DAL @SEA 001200000 ***
None of Dallas' wideouts are playable outside of Cole Beasley, and Gallup isn't an exception with his whole two catches so far.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, DAL @SEA 001100000 ***
Despite a fairly good matchup for PPR purposes, Hurns has no business being in a fantasy lineup until this passing game evolves. The Seattle defense has limited wideouts from scoring as the 10th-best unit, so look elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brett Maher, DAL @SEA 1122 ***
All nine kicks -- six extra points -- against the Seahawks have been good. The Cowboys have provided Maher three field goals (two made) and a pair of extra points.

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
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 Alex Smith, WAS GB 10000030020 ***
Smith faces the No. 4 fantasy matchup of the week. Green Bay has given up 298 yards (7th) and two touchdowns per contest through the sky. Tack another one from the ground in what is a sweet matchup for the mobile Smith. Green Bay travels, and the Redskins face what is still the 11th-best matchup when the rushing score is scratched.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Thompson, WAS GB 1007601000 ***
Green Bay has been rock-solid vs. running backs on the ground (35-169-0) but just a 12-99-0 line through the air. This is the ninth-worst matchup in PPR scoring based on the last two weeks of stats. Thompson has been far too good to avoid, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Adrian Peterson, WAS GB 6003200000 ***
The Packers have done a good job at limiting rushing yards (84.5/game), and none of the 35 carries have found the end zone. Peterson is barely playable, and only in standard formats, this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Doctson, WAS GB 004500000 ***
Green Bay is a matchup capable of being exploited, and it may be down down Kevin King, a promising starting cornerback. The Packers have given up the sixth-most fantasy points in standard scoring, allowing four TDs to wideouts on 34 catches. It's also the seventh-best opponent for PPR results.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, WAS GB 004500000 ***
Receivers have done a number on the Packers through two weeks, and this defense could be short starting CB Kevin King in Week 3. Washington's receivers have little upside, despite a good matchup, but Richardson may have an outside shot at shaking free for brave DFSers.

Update: Despite Green Bay facing several defensive injuries, Richardson himself is a question mark with shoulder and knee ailments. He didn't advance beyond being limited all week and is questionable. Look elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS GB 004400000 ***
Green Bay provides a good matchup for PPR types, like Crowder. The position has managed to make this the fifth-best place to find receptions through two games, going for the eighth-highest yardage figure. One in every 8.5 receptions against the Packers has scored in 2018.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS GB 006601000 ***
Despite allowing 12 receptions (9th), none of them have scored against the Packers. Tight ends (CHI, MIN) have totaled 115 yards (14th) help make this a mediocre matchup for exploitation.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS GB 2222 ***
This could be as good as the No. 5 matchup to exploit if not for three missed field goal kicks. Instead, it falls down to No. 16. Green Ba has given up the sixth-highest number of combined kicking chances in the first two weeks.

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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