Game Predictions & Player Projections - IND vs DAL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - IND vs DAL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - IND vs DAL


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Prediction: IND 30, DAL 31 (Line: DAL by 3)

UPDATE: T.Y. Hilton has not practiced and while he has not been officially called out, I am removing him from the projections since he is unlikely to play and would not be healthy if he did. The Colts really have nothing to win here anyway and would be better served letting his hamstring heal for the playoffs. DeMarco Murray has been in limited practices and is expected to play despite the surgery to his broken hand on Tuesday. I am projecting for a slightly limited Murray and decreasing his receptions as well give he only has one good hand.

The Colts are 10-4 and have already clinched the AFC South but they trail the Broncos and Patriots by a game for a first round bye. There may be nothing here to win but they cannot know for sure. The Cowboys have climbed back atop the NFC East and has everything to play for since the division may end up with a winner and yet no wild card teams. Playing at home would normally be an advantage but the Cowboys are just 3-4 at home and may be without their best weapon.

Indianapolis Colts

1 @DEN 24-31 10 BYE —–
2 PHI 27-30 11 NE  20-42
3 @JAC 44-17 12 JAC 23-3
4 TEN 41-17 13 WAS 49-27
5 BAL 20-13 14 @CLE 25-24
6 @HOU 33-28 15 HOU 17-10
7 CIN 27-0 16 @DAL —–
8 @PIT 34-51 17 @TEN —–
9 @NYG 40-24  
News | Statistics | Roster
IND @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 20 300,3
QB Charlie Whitehurst 220,1
RB Frank Gore 60 4-30
RB Dan Herron 30 4-40
WR T.Y. Hilton
WR Donte Moncrief 5-70,1
TE Dwayne Allen 3-30,1
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 3 XP

The Colts finish out the regular season with two road games and the finale in Tennessee may not matter if both the Pats and Broncos win this week. The offense has adjusted to Dan Herron as the primary back though he’s still a shade less than Ahmad Bradshaw. Aside from a hamstring tweak by T.Y. Hilton, the Colts are in a healthy state for the playoffs to start.

QUARTERBACK : Andrew Luck is a lock for multiple touchdowns and has thrown for 294 yards or more in every road game this year along with 20 touchdowns in just six away games. He remains the #1 fantasy quarterback and by a large margin.

RUNNING BACK : Trent Richardson still gets about eight carries per game and still does little with them. He’s been more relief than starter now. Dan Herron is better but that’s not to say he is good. Herron has just one score on the year and never more than 26 rush yards in a road game. He does turn in between two and four catches per week but he’s been only marginally effective when they face a soft defense. He’s still not been allowed more than 12 carries per game.

WIDE RECEIVER : Reggie Wayne has struggled with injuries late in the season and has not turned in a game with more than 31 yards in over a month. He has just two scores on the year and is mostly playing because no one wants to tell him it is over. Donte Moncrief only had two big games but both were over 100 yards and featured a score. Moncrief needs to unseat Wayne since he’s just been a better playing lately though as the #3 or #4 receiver he doesn’t get the volume to have any value. Hakeem Nicks stumbles along with minor yardage every week but did score in two of the last four games – both at home.

T.Y. Hilton is clearly the start here with six 100 yards games and seven touchdowns but he tweaked his hamstring just last week and ended with only to yards against the Texans. He did score in each of the last four road games and his three biggest yardage performances came away from home. An MRI showed he had no damage but his leg still bothered him enough to get the MRI. If Hilton doesn’t play this week it should pay big for Moncrief. I will assume a slightly limited Hilton plays and update as warranted.

TIGHT END : While the yardage is not always that substantial, there is confusing the importance of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener to the offense. They have scored a total of 15 touchdowns on the season and at least once in nearly every game. Fleener has turned in a few big yardage games but that was when Allen was out of the lineup. Allen has been the slightly more consistent player with yardage though he’s clearly been less than 100% in the last two games since he returned with only 28 yards on four catches over those weeks. And a touchdown in each.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cowboys have been about average against the pass but allowed three passing scores on four different occasions and have faced several teams with less than sterling quarterbacks along the way. In Dallas they have allowed seven touchdowns to running backs and two 100 rushing yard games but the Colts won’t go that route. Where this game turns – and even more so if Hilton is out or limited – is with tight ends since the Cowboys are among the worse defenses against that position and allowed ten scores and several big yardage games.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 1 17 5 2 3 13
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 16 19 6 31 4 18

Dallas Cowboys

1 SF 17-28 10 @JAC 31-17
2 @TEN 26-10 11 BYE —–
3 @STL 34-31 12 @NYG 31-28
4 NO 38-17 13 PHI 10-33
5 HOU 20-17 14 @CHI 41-28
6 @SEA 30-23 15 @PHI 38-27
7 NYG 31-21 16 IND —–
8 WAS 17-20 17 @WAS —–
9 ARI 17-29  
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 270,3
RB Lance Dunbar 10 3-30
RB Alfred Morris 80 1-10
WR Cole Beasley 3-40,1
WR Dez Bryant 6-80,1
WR Terrance Williams 2-40
TE Jason Witten 5-60,1
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 4 XP

The enigmatic Cowboys paid the Eagles back for the Turkey Day Massacre with a beat down in Philly. That sent the Cowboys into the lead for the division and this week is the last major stumbling block that they face. Potentially losing DeMarco Murray poses a major problem since the offense is largely centered around him. Playing at home would seem to be an advantage but the Cowboys lost their last three home games. The win last week was huge but this is no time for a letdown.

QUARTERBACK : Tony Romo is enjoying a decent year that is far lighter on yardage but still contains 28 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Romo throws for multiple touchdowns in most games but has not topped 300 yards since back in week five. If Murray is gone or limited, the onus to win will fall on Romo.

RUNNING BACK : It depends who you ask. Most believe that DeMarco Murray can play this week despite having surgery on Tuesday to the fourth metacarpal in his left hand. Emmitt Smith had the same injury and missed one game. So did Terrell Owens and he missed no games but had a bye week to use. Murray dominates this offense and the Cowboys have ridden him like a rental car with unlimited miles. His fracture is not expected to completely heal for six weeks but there is no risk in making it worse. Murray is already a fumbler and leads the league with five lost fumbles. I will assume that he can play even though he may be a game time decision. I will update as warranted. Another consideration here is if a bad hand will reduce the number of receptions that Murray gets.

If Murray cannot go, the Cowboys will rotate Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar into the lineup.

WIDE RECEIVER : Dez Bryant comes off his first three touchdown game and totals 13 scores on the year. He topped 100 yards on four occasions but has been lower on yardage in many games because the Cowboys just run Murray and thrown in one score to Bryant for good measure. Bryant is the only wideout of any real concern for the defense. Terrance Williams has disappeared since midseason and Cole Beasley scored three times in the last three weeks but his yardage and catches remain low. That is not to say that this unit won’t come to life if Murray doesn’t play – we just cannot know since Murray has been so dominant to the gameplan.

TIGHT END : Jason Witten is showing his age and has really declined in catches and yardage this year though the rushing effort has not left so many third downs for Witten to convert. Witten spends most weeks with fewer than 40 yards but he has four scores on the year – three in road games and none in the last three weeks.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Colts secondary typically allows two or three passing scores and that goes to much lesser quarterbacks than Romo. This was one of the teams that Ben Roethlisberger laid down six scores against. Romo should be safe for a couple of scores and a great chance for three along with solid yardage so long as the wideouts all respond. Witten should be at least marginally better than usual against a defense that is almost as bad as Dallas at stopping tight ends. Romo, Witten, Bryant and Murray are starts here and Beasley could be a flex play with upside.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 11 2 7 12 11 21
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 12 26 4 28 3 27

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