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Game Capsules: Weekend Game Caps

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Houston (+8) at Philadelphia, Thursday 8:20 p.m

Comments: The Texans ended a four-game losing streak with a 20-0 victory over the Titans last week, though facing an over-matched Rusty Smith at quarterback for Tennessee certainly helped. Matt Schaub has posted a 5:0 TD:INT ratio over the past three games, but he’ll have to deal with an Eagles defense that has recorded 32 sacks this season. Andre Johnson somehow managed to avoid a suspension after beating down Cortland Finnegan last week, and his prospects will largely hang on the status of shutdown corner Asante Samuel, who is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Arian Foster is on pace to finish the season with 2,327 total yards and 19 touchdowns, as he’s been fantasy football’s most valuable player in 2010... The Eagles’ three-game winning streak ended with a 31-26 loss in Chicago last week, and the game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated, as Philly entered the fourth quarter down 18 points. It’s safe to expect a strong bounce-back performance against a Houston defense that has allowed 8.1 YPA and an NFL-high 25 TD passes this season. Michael Vick threw his first interception of the year last week, and he’s fortunate not one of his four fumbles were lost, but he should rebound Thursday -- the home team generally benefits from the short week. After DeSean Jackson expressed his frustration with his lack of involvement in the offense this past week, expect him to be targeted heavily. Despite receiving 20 carries in just one game this season, LeSean McCoy is a borderline top-five fantasy back thanks to his involvement as a receiver. Like the rest of his teammates, he should have a big game Thursday night.

Predictions: Matt Schaub throws for 240 yards with a touchdown toss to Joel Dreessen, while Arian Foster totals 100 yards and scores. LeSean McCoy responds with 120 yards from scrimmage and a TD run of his own, while Michael Vick adds 50 rushing yards and 250 passing yards with scoring strikes to DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek, as the home team prevails. Eagles 30-20.


Jacksonville (+3) at Tennessee, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Jacksonville's three-game winning streak ended last week, though they played a desperate Giants team tough in New York. With the Colts more vulnerable than ever, the Jags have a legit shot at contending for the division title this season, but they have three games versus AFC South opponents on the road coming up, including Sunday's at Tennessee. David Garrard doesn't have an easy task, as the Titans have recorded 15 interceptions and 32 sacks this year. Expect another heavy dose of Maurice Jones-Drew, who has reached 100 yards rushing in four straight games and has totaled 613 yards over that span... Tennessee has dropped four straight games, and none was more embarrassing than a 20-0 loss last week in Houston. Getting shut out by a truly atrocious Texans' secondary isn't easy to do and reveals just how big of a downgrade Rusty Smith has been at quarterback. Good thing Kerry Collins is expected to return Sunday, which gives the entire offense a boost. Jacksonville has allowed an NFL-high 8.8 YPA with 22 passing scores, so Tennessee should be able to move the ball with ease. Chris Johnson, who is coming off a game in which he gained only five yards on the ground, should rebound in a big way.

Predictions: David Garrard throws for 210 yards with a TD toss to Marcedes Lewis, while Maurice Jones-Drew totals 80 yards and reaches the end zone. Chris Johnson answers with 150 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, while Kerry Collins adds 270 passing yards with a scoring strike to Nate Washington, as the home team prevails. Titans 27-20.

Washington (+7.5) at New York Giants, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Washington is just 1-3 over its past four games, but they have played better on the road and within the division this season. The backfield situation has become untenable for fantasy leaguers, and Donovan McNabb has a poor 11:13 TD:INT ratio on the year. He's fortunate none of his seven fumbles have been lost. Santana Moss is dealing with a knee injury, and Chris Cooley has a bad matchup, as the Giants have allowed a league-low two touchdowns to tight ends in 2010... New York got back into the win column last week thanks to a second half comeback, but the team's playbook was greatly scaled back thanks to all the injuries to their receivers. Expect more of the same Sunday, with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw the focus of the offense. Both are worth using in fantasy leagues against a Washington front seven that has been gashed for an NFL-high 4.9 YPC this season. Mario Manningham also has a favorable matchup facing a banged up Redskins secondary.

Predictions: Donovan McNabb throws for 200 yards with a touchdown to Anthony Armstrong, while Washington institutes a committee in the backfield that results in 70 yards and a TD run. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw both reach at least 75 yards and score, while Eli Manning adds 240 passing yards with a touchdown toss to Mario Manningham, as New York wins it. Giants 24-17.

Cleveland (+4.5) at Miami, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Cleveland pulled out a victory last week, but they nearly became just the second team to lose to the Panthers this season thanks to Jake Delhomme's prepensity to throw interceptions. Delhomme is likely to start again Sunday, which is good news for those who have Miami's fantasy defense. Still, expect a heavy dose of Peyton Hillis as usual, as the third-year back is on pace to finish with 1,919 total yards and 19 touchdowns this season despite not starting until Week 3... The Dolphins are coming off an impressive 33-17 win in Oakland last week, as Chad Henne played extremely well (10.2 YPA) during his return to the lineup. He is hoping to get back Brandon Marshall and has a favorable matchup this week, as the Browns are beatable through the air. Miami prefers to feature the run, but Cleveland has given up an NFL-low four rushing scores, so Henne will be given plenty of opportunities to make plays.

Predictions: Jake Delhomme commits a couple of turnovers and throws for 220 yards with a TD toss to Ben Watson. Peyton Hills adds 80 total yards and a touchdown run, while Miami's RBBC combines for 110 yards and a score. Chad Henne adds 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, as Miami comes out on top. Dolphins 24-20.

Chicago (-3.5) at Detroit, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: After taking a lead into halftime, the Lions were outscored 35-7 during the second half last week, as the team fell to the Patriots on Thanksgiving. Detroit has now lost four straight games and also its quarterback, as Shaun Hill is sidelined with a finger injury. Enter Drew Stanton, who has a career 52.9 completion percentage and has to face a Chicago secondary that has allowed an NFL-low 6.2 YPA and just eight scores through the air this season. The downgrade at QB hurts fantasy owners of Calvin Johnson... The Bears have won four straight and are in contention for a top seed in the NFC playoffs. There's an argument the defense is the best in football, and Jay Cutler has a 9:3 TD:INT ratio over the past four games. Still, he remains turnover prone, and after a two game respite, Cutler has been sacked seven times over the past two games. He's on pace to be taken down a whopping 59 times this year, and Detroit's front seven has greatly improved.

Predictions: Drew Stanton throws for 190 yards with a TD toss to Calvin Johnson, while Detroit's backfield timeshare results in 75 total yards and a touchdown run. Matt Forte responds with 100 total yards and scores, while Jay Cutler adds 275 passing yards and a TD strike to Johnny Knox, as Chicago continues to impress. Bears 23-20.

Denver (+8.5) at Kansas City, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Denver enters just 1-6 over its past seven games, with the lone victory coming against the Chiefs. That win was by a wide margin, 49-29, and afterward coach Todd Haley refused to shake Josh McDaniels' hand, so don't be surprised if Kansas City offers some payback at Arrowhead on Sunday. Kyle Orton has been fantastic this season, getting 7.9 YPA with a 20:6 TD:INT ratio, and his team's poor defense actually benefits Orton's fantasy owners. Brandon Lloyd is on pace to finish the season with 84 catches, 1,632 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns... The Chiefs have been one of the most pleasant surprises this year, but they can't let up with a strong Chargers team closing in. Matt Cassel has now tossed 10 TDs without getting picked over the past three games (while getting 8.2 YPA), and he hasn't been sacked in either of the past two. If you date back further, Cassel has posted a remarkable 21:2 TD:INT ratio since Week 3, while Dwayne Bowe has 13 touchdowns over the last seven games. The entire Kansas City offense is licking its chops to see a Broncos defense that has allowed an NFL-high 29.4 points per game this season. After getting embarrassed during their last meeting, don't expect the Chiefs to let off the throttle either.

Predictions: Kyle Orton throws for 260 yards with TD strikes to Brandon Lloyd and Knowshon Moreno, who also totals 90 yards. Thomas Jones rushes for 60 yards and a TD, while Jamaal Charles adds 130 yards from scrimmage and also hits paydirt. Matt Cassel adds 270 passing yards with scoring strikes to Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki, as KC wins handily. Chiefs 31-17.

San Francisco (+9.5) at Green Bay, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: The 49ers won for the first time on the road this season last week, beating the Cardinals 27-6 on Monday night. That game says more about Arizona's struggles than anything else, and San Francisco has a tough task traveling during a short week and having to play without Frank Gore (hip) for the rest of the season. Running back is typically one of the easier positions to replace, and the rushing attack didn't miss a beat without him last week, but that was against a porous Cardinals defense. Gore, who is the NFL's leader in yards from scrimmage since 2004, will be sorely missed. The 49ers' offense has a much more difficult test this week against a Packers defense that has allowed an NFL-low 15.1 points per game... Green Bay's four-game winning streak came to an end last week when the team fell to the Falcons in Atlanta. They continue to struggle during close games, and coach Mike McCarthy deserves plenty of blame. Aaron Rodgers fumbled for the first time all year last week, and he hasn't been intercepted since Week 7. He should have a big game Sunday.

Predictions: Troy Smith throws for 180 yards with a touchdown to Vernon Davis, while Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon combine for 100 yards sans a score. Brandon Jackson answers with 60 combined yards and a TD run, while Aaron Rodgers adds 275 passing yards with scoring strikes to James Jones and Greg Jennings, as Green Bay wins in a blowout. Packers 27-13.

Buffalo (+5.5) at Minnesota, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: Buffalo lost last week, but they nearly beat a strong Pittsburgh team, which would have been the third consecutive win for the Bills. Clearly, they are much better than their 2-9 record indicates. Steve Johnson dropped five balls last week, including a would-be game-winner, but he's been a revelation this year and is a borderline top-10 fantasy wide receiver. Fred Jackson is a borderline top-12 fantasy running back, as Buffalo is producing stats unlike in years past. The dome conditions in Minnesota actually suit Buffalo quite well... The Vikings will be attempting to win consecutive games for the first time this season Sunday, as Brett Favre didn't commit a turnover last week for the first time all year. Percy Harvin missed practice this week while continuing to deal with migraines, and Adrian Peterson is questionable with an ankle injury that knocked him out of last week's game. Expect both to suit up in a tasty matchup against a leaky Buffalo defense, but don't be surprised if Sunday's game is tightly contested.

Predictions: Ryan Fitzpatrick throws for 240 yards and two touchdowns, with Steve Johnson and Fred Jackson the recipients. Jackson totals 100 and also adds another TD on the ground. Adrian Peterson counters with 110 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown run, while Brett Favre adds 250 passing yards with scoring strikes to Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, as the home team prevails. Vikings 24-21.

New Orleans (-7) at Cincinnati, Sunday 1 p.m.

Comments: After a 2-1 start, the Bengals have lost seven straight, as the team's defense has taken a big step back this year. Carson Palmer has thrown seven interceptions over the past three games, and his 6.4 YPA mark is simply unacceptable, especially when you consider the playmakers he has at his disposal. The Saints have allowed just 6.5 YPA and a league-low seven passing TDs this year, so it's not a good matchup for the Cincy passing attack... New Orleans enters riding a four-game winning streak, although they nearly blew a 20-3 lead in Dallas last week. Pierre Thomas is inching closer to a return from his ankle sprain, but Week 14 looks more realistic. Fantasy owners should avoid the Saints' backfield in the meantime. Drew Brees has thrown an interception in seven straight games and has already been picked off 15 times this year compared to just 11 last season. Still, he should be able to move the ball against Bengals defense that has recorded an NFL-low 12 sacks on the year.

Predictions: Carson Palmer throws for 240 yards with a touchdown toss to Terrell Owens, while Cedric Benson runs for 75 yards and reaches the end zone. The Saints' RBBC produces 100 total yards but doesn't score, while Drew Brees adds 260 passing yards with TD strikes to Marques Colston and Robert Meachem, as New Orleans comes out on top. Saints 26-20.

Oakland (+13) at San Diego, Sunday 4:05 p.m.

Comments: After winning three straight and averaging 38.3 points over that span, the Raiders have lost their last two games by a combined score of 68-20. They have a tough task traveling to San Diego this week to face the Chargers, a team they beat earlier in the year. Jason Campbell once again takes over QB duties after Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder) was placed on IR, and it's imperative the team gets Darren McFadden back on track. Unfortunately, the Chargers have allowed just 6.4 YPA and 3.5 YPC this season, as their defense has been dominant... San Diego comes in riding a four-game winning streak, and none was more impressive than last week's 36-14 victory in Indy. While the defense continues to play well, Philip Rivers has played like an MVP, and he should shred an Oakland secondary that has yielded a 21:6 TD:INT ratio and has a hobbled Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle). Mike Tolbert has been impressive as lead back, but he's missed practice this week with a hand injury, and rookie Ryan Mathews (ankle) is expected to return to the lineup Sunday. Still, it's safe to expect Tolbert to get the majority of the carries in Week 13, although something of a timeshare may eventually develop. San Diego is a big favorite, but division games can sometimes be closer than expected, even if it's a mismatch on paper.

Predictions: Jason Campbell throws for 190 yards with a touchdown to impressive rookie Jacoby Ford, while Darren McFadden totals 80 yards and scores. Mike Tolbert responds with a similar line, while Philip Rivers adds 300 passing yards with scoring strikes to Legedu Naanee and Darren Sproles, as San Diego wins it. Chargers 27-17.

Atlanta (-3) at Tampa Bay, Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Comments: Atlanta has won five straight and is 9-1 since losing in Week 1 in Pittsburgh. An easy schedule has certainly helped, but last week's victory over Green Bay was impressive. Matt Ryan has a 12:2 TD:INT ratio over the past six games, but it's worth noting he's gotten just 6.4 YPA on the road this season. The Bucs don't field a dominant defense, but their pass rush has improved of late, and a matchup between Roddy White and Aqib Talib should be worth the price of admission... Tampa Bay is a surprising 7-4 this season, although they have been outscored overall. Still, while most question the Bucs since they haven't beaten quality opponents, the Falcons' schedule has been quite easy as well. Atlanta is not the same on the road, especially outdoors. Both teams win by limiting turnovers, and in a huge divisional matchup, home field is the difference Sunday.

Predictions: Matt Ryan throws for 230 yards with a touchdown to Tony Gonzalez, while Michael Turner runs for 90 yards and reaches the end zone. LeGarrette Blount answers with a similar line, while Josh Freeman throws for 220 yards with a TD toss to Mike Williams, as Tampa Bay pulls off the upset. Buccaneers 23-20.

Carolina (+6) at Seattle, Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Comments: The Panthers come in sitting at 1-10, although they nearly won in Cleveland last week. Jimmy Clausen leads a poor passing attack, but the RB tandem of Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson has impressed and should be productive against a Seattle run defense that has struggled after suffering injuries to their interior. Expect Carolina to focus its game plan on the rushing attack, trying to hide Clausen as much as possible, especially in a tough environment at Qwest Field... Despite losing four of their past five games, the Seahawks are tied for the NFC West lead, and since seven wins may win the division, Seattle is still playing important games. Matt Hasselbeck has just 10 TD passes over 10 games this year, and Marshawn Lynch has gotten a paltry 3.1 YPC since getting traded to Seattle. Home field should be the difference for a Seahawks team playing for more, but don't be shocked if there's an upset.

Predictions: Jimmy Clausen throws for 160 yards with a TD toss to Mike Goodson, who totals 70 yards. Jonathan Stewart also runs for 70 yards and hits paydirt, while Seattle continues to struggle running the football. Matt Hasselbeck throws for 225 yards with TD strikes to Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler, as the home team prevails. Seahawks 20-17.

Dallas (+5) at Indianapolis, Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Comments: Dallas lost for the first time since Jason Garrett took over at head coach last week, although they nearly made a remarkable comeback against a strong Saints team. They come in with 10 days to prepare after playing on Thanksgiving, but they get a Colts team that is sure to bring their A game after losing three of their past four. Jon Kitna has gotten 8.1 YPA with eight passing touchdowns over five starts, but he's also thrown eight interceptions and fumbled four times over that span, so he's been turnover prone. With Marion Barber out this week, Tashard Choice should receive more action, but Dallas struggles to run the ball, so neither he nor Felix Jones are great fantasy options despite the plus matchup. Owners of Jason Witten should keep expectations in check, as Indy has allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season... A scuffling Indy team is suddenly fighting for a division they usually have wrapped up by now, thanks to multiple injuries and a slumping Peyton Manning. Still, it's safe to expect a bounce back effort from them Sunday, with the help of a Dallas defense that has allowed opposing passers to compile a 101.4 QB rating this season. Don't be surprised if Mike Hart outplays Donald Brown and gets the majority of the carries with Joseph Addai (should) once again sidelined.

Predictions: Jon Kitna throws for 240 yards and two touchdowns, with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin the recipients. The Cowboys' backfield produces modest results, while Donald Brown and Mike Hart combine for 90 rushing yards and a score. Peyton Manning responds with 275 passing yards with TD strikes to Reggie Wayne, Jacob Tamme and Pierre Garcon, as Indy gets back on track. Colts 28-20.

St. Louis (-3.5) at Arizona, Sunday 4:15 p.m.

Comments: Arizona doesn't have the most losses in football, but there's certainly an argument they are currently the worst team in the league. They have lost six straight, including an embarrassing 27-6 defeat at home in prime time Monday night. If the team has anything at all in them, expect their best effort in Week 13. Derek Anderson might be the most inaccurate quarterback in the league, and we'll see how he responds to his recent tirade. He's simply killing Larry Fitzgerald's fantasy value... St. Louis won for the first time this season on the road last week in Denver, but three of their four losses away from home have been by three points or fewer. Sam Bradford has posted an 11:1 TD:INT ratio over the past six games, and he should enjoy facing a Cardinals defense that has allowed the most points per game (29.0) in the NFC. Danario Alexander is the Rams' most talented receiver, but it remains to be seen if his snap count will continue to be limited.

Predictions: Derek Anderson throws for 180 yards with a touchdown toss to Larry Fitzgerald, while Chris Wells manages 70 rushing yards and a TD run. Steven Jackson answers with 100 yards combined and a touchdown, while Sam Bradford adds 225 passing yards and finds Danario Alexander in the end zone, as St. Louis wins on a late field goal. Rams 23-20.

Pittsburgh (+3) at Baltimore, Sunday 8:20 p.m.

Comments: Both teams enter 8-3, so Sunday's game has huge ramifications. Baltimore won the previous matchup in Week 4, but that was without Ben Roethlisberger, although it was also on the road. Joe Flacco has a 10:1 TD:INT ratio with a 111.2 QB rating over five home games this season, but Pittsburgh has allowed just 6.6 YPA and 12 passing TDs. However, facing such a stout run defense (the Steelers have allowed an NFL-low 3.0 YPC), the Ravens may opt to air it out Sunday night... Pittsburgh suffered a scare last week, nearly losing in Buffalo. Ben Roethlisberger will be playing through a foot injury, but the Ravens' pass rush hasn't been as fierce as usual this season. Rashard Mendenhall has averaged just 3.2 YPC over four games against Baltimore during his career, and it's safe to expect a rather low scoring, physical affair. In a game likely to come down to the end, the winner has a huge leg up to win the division.

Predictions: Joe Flacco throws for 220 yards with a touchdown to Anquan Boldin, while Ray Rice adds 70 total yards but doesn't score. Rashard Mendenhall fights for 70 total yards and reaches the end zone, while Ben Roethlisberger adds 230 passing yards with a scoring strike to Hines Ward, as Pittsburgh evens the season series with an upset. Steelers 17-16.

New York Jets (+3.5) at New England, Monday 8:30 p.m.

Comments: The Jets are 9-1 since losing to the Ravens in Week 1, and they get a Patriots team this week they beat 28-14 the last time they met. Both teams could be considered fortunate to enter with 9-2 records, but both also come in with very talented squads. Mark Sanchez continues to develop, and he should play well against a New England secondary that has allowed 7.5 YPA and 21 passing scores this season. The Pats have also allowed nine rushing touchdowns, so New York can pick and choose which way they want to attack Monday night... Tom Brady has an 11:0 TD:INT ratio over the past four games and hasn't been intercepted since Week 6. This week's matchup isn't ideal, however, as New England's offense has become methodical since Randy Moss was traded, attacking on underneath routes, but the Jets have ceded an NFL-low 50.3 completion percentage, so they are best attacked deep. The season-ending injury to Stephen Neal (shoulder) is also a major blow. Still, the Patriots enter with the league's best coach and possibly its best player on their side, and the team has been incredibly tough at home recently. Monday night should feature the best game of the week.

Predictions: Mark Sanchez throws for 260 yards with a touchdown to Santonio Holmes, while LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene combine for 130 yards and a TD run by the former. BenJarvus Green-Ellis totals 60 yards and hits paydirt, while Tom Brady adds 230 passing yards with scoring strikes to Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead, as New England comes out on top. Patriots 24-20.