Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs DAL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs DAL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs DAL

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Prediction: ARI 20, DAL 24 (Line: DAL by 4.5)

UPDATE: Tony Romo is a game time decision and will determine his own status prior to kickoff based on the pain he is feeling at that time. Problem is that even if he starts – will he finish? I am splitting the projections between Romo and Brandon Weeden as a way to say avoid the situation if you can.

The 6-1 Cardinals own the best record in the NFC but are 2-1 on the road. The 6-2 Cowboys just lost on Monday night to the visiting Redskins who have long been problematic. This game comes at a very good time because it will help define just how good either team really is.

Arizona Cardinals

1 SD 18-17 10 STL —–
2 @NYG 25-14 11 DET —–
3 SF 23-14 12 @SEA —–
4 BYE —— 13 @ATL —–
5 @DEN 20-41 14 KC —–
6 WAS 30-20 15 @STL —–
7 @OAK 24-13 16 SEA —–
8 PHI 24-20 17 @SF —–
9 @DAL —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 270,2
RB Andre Ellington 60 6-30
WR John Brown 3-60,1
WR Larry Fitzgerald 5-60
WR Michael Floyd 4-50,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 4-30
PK Chandler Catanzaro 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: There was nothing easy about beating the Eagles last week and the only good team that the Cards faced on the road were the Broncos who steam rolled them 41-20. Playing at home always perks up their defense but away from home they’ve been a lesser unit. At least the offense can make up the difference in most games. The Cardinals are going to be there at the end, the question is if they’ll take a bye in the first round or not. This week starts to answer that.

QUARTERBACK : Nothing like consistency. Carson Palmer played in four games and in each he threw exactly two scores and between 250 and 300 yards. Better yet, he has just one interception on the season. Palmer’s also getting much better protection than before and has just four sacks on the season.

RUNNING BACK : Stepfan Taylor injured his calf and will be out for two to four weeks. That leaves the undrafted rookie Marion Grice as the main backup but he’s never had a carry in the NFL. The relief job here is minimal anyway so long as Andre Ellington continues to dominate the workload for the backfield. Ellington ends up around 100 total yards in most games and scored three times so far. But he has yet to top 90 rushing yards in any game.

WIDE RECEIVER : Larry Fitzgerald exploded for 160 yards and one score on seven catches versus the Eagles and two weeks before it was 98 yards and a touchdown on the Redskins. But both games were played at home and on the road he’s never scored or had more than 57 yards in any game. Michael Floyd failed to catch any of his four targets last week and while that is shocking, it is not without precedent. Floyd was held to only one catch for seven yards in Denver. He sandwiched two straight games with 47 yards and a score in each before flopping on Sunday. John Brown caught the 75-yard game winning touchdown and ended with 119 yards on five catches but his previous best was only 57 yards and all four of his touchdowns this year came in home games.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cowboys have not yet faced that many decent quarterbacks aside from Drew Brees (340-2) who hasn’t quite been himself on the road anyway. Andre Ellington faces a good rush defense that has stopped all but the very best runners. Expect only a moderate game here by Ellington who’ll need his usual receiving yardage to save his game. The Cowboys have been sort against tight ends this year but that doesn’t apply here. What does is that only one wideout topped 100 yards on their secondary and just three have scored on them this season. Palmer is a moderate play as always as is Ellington. Fitzgerald is in a better situation but has been a nonfactor in road games so both wideouts carry risk this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 23 13 14 30 5 12
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 6 8 3 32 7 25

Dallas Cowboys

1 SF 17-28 10 @JAC —–
2 @TEN 26-10 11 BYE —–
3 @STL 34-31 12 @NYG —–
4 NO 38-17 13 PHI —–
5 HOU 20-17 14 @CHI —–
6 @SEA 30-23 15 @PHI —–
7 NYG 31-21 16 IND —–
8 WAS 17-20 17 @WAS —–
9 ARI —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 150,1
RB Darren McFadden 40 4-20
RB Alfred Morris 80,1 1-10
WR Dez Bryant 5-70,1
WR Terrance Williams 6-80,1
TE Jason Witten 4-50
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys were on a mighty roll and the Redskins were on the road with a third string quarterback so naturally they took the win. There are many who point at a Cowboys team on a six game winning streak that was ripe for a down game and there is likely truth in that. Losing Romo was a scary moment but he returned none the better. But even that bump in the road shouldn’t be enough to slow down the Cowboys whose schedule looks easier every week. Notable – after this game the Cowboys only have two more at home for the rest of the season and five away games.

QUARTERBACK : Though he comes off one of his worst games of the year, at least Tony Romo only has a muscle contusion in his back and is expected to play in this game. But what should be of a bigger concern is that the Redskins beat them and used constant blitzes to disrupt the play and allow Romo to be sacked a season high five times. No doubt opposing defenses are going to be coming after him just as much. Brandon Weeden is a capable backup and threw a touchdown when he replaced Romo for a bit. But Romo at home has been throwing multiple touchdowns and higher yardage until last week.

Early reports have Romo very questionable this week and he may not play. I will leave the projections as is for now but change as is warranted later in the week when more is known.

RUNNING BACK : DeMarco Murray continued his 100+ yard streak with 141 yards against the Redskins and he did that only 19 runs for a season low. He did add four receptions for 80 yards. He’s a fantasy point machine and hasn’t ended any game with fewer than 130 total yards. Both Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar are active in games and share the pitifully few non-Murray runs.

WIDE RECEIVER : Fortunately Dez Bryant catches a touchdown in most games because his catches and yardage is down since the rushing game came into prominence. He’s scored in five games but topped 100 yards only twice this year while turning in under 65 yards in half of his games. Terrance Williams actually scored six times but trails Bryant in yardage in most games. No other wideout has scored or even produced much more than 50 yards in a game. The stats here are good, but only because of those scores. And no wideout has racked up a monster game this year.

TIGHT END : Just when you are about to write-off Jason Witten he comes up with his best game of the year – 70 yards on five catches with one score. That makes two touchdowns over the last three games but his yardage still rarely registers on the fantasy radar any more and with only two scores on the year, he’s a bigger risk to flop every week than to offer much fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Patrick Peterson suffered a concussion last week and if that holds it helps Terrance Williams avoid a bad matchup. The Cardinals secondary has been hit by injuries this year and allowed multiple touchdowns to most opponents. The rushing defense remains one of the best but Murray has been the best runner and is a must-start. At home needing to make amends for last week, consider Murray, Bryant and Williams as good plays and Romo and Witten as just moderate risks.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 16 4 11 15 6 25
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 26 1 32 25 8 4

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