DALLAS COWBOYS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS |
BOYS – 4.2 YPC allowed | 234 YPG passing allowed |
PACK – 3.5 YPC allowed | 186 YPG passing allowed
|What to watch for: GB is one of the worst defenses in the league at sacking the QB (13 sacks in 8 games). DAL QB Tony Romo(notes) should have the kind of time to operate that is essential for him being able to avoid mistakes. GB does have talented pass defenders and ranks 4th in the league with 12 INTs. But, again, Romo should have time to throw and there could be some deep-ball opportunities as GB has allowed the 9th-most pass plays of 20+ yards (25). WR Miles Austin’s(notes) fantasy points keep falling each week since his 250-yard, 2 TD breakout in Week 5, but he’s still managed to string together four straight games with a TD. GB has not allowed a 100-yard receiving game to a WR, but it has allowed the position to score 9 TDs, 6th-most in the NFL. Keep rollin’ with Austin, but WR Roy Williams, who has caught a sickly 42% of intended targets, seems likely to disappoint. DAL used him for more short stuff last week and he caught 5 passes for 75 yards. But that limits his upside and I think GB has the talent in its secondary to keep him in check. DAL is one of just three teams picking up more than 5 yards per carry (5.1). But GB is allowing just 3.5 YPC. RB Marion Barber(notes) has been fairly fruitless for fantasy purposes since his health went south after Week 2. Last week at PHI, he showed glimpses of his old self and he looks like he might be finally ready to turn the corner. As mentioned, the Packers have acquitted themselves well in rush defense, but they did allow 100-yard games to big, physical runners like Cedric Benson and Steven Jackson earlier in the year, and Barber fits the type. I wouldn’t be surprised if DAL commits Barber to a heavier workload than usual, at the expense of backups Felix Jones(notes) and Tashard Choice(notes). TE Jason Witten(notes) has been a big disappointment this year, but he is still delivering a steady 40-50 yards a week. GB has been on the generous side to TEs this year, so start Witten if that’s what you usually do.
GB has allowed the most sacks in the league (37), and it’s not even close. To make matters worse, it has injury issues on the offensive line that has helped keep the problem festering. DAL ranks 7th in the league with 21 sacks, and QB Aaron Rodgers(notes) will have to particularly beware of DE DeMarcus Ware(notes) and DT Jay Ratliff(notes), who have a combined 8 sacks in the past four games. Rodgers will have to hope TE Jermichael Finley(notes) can make it back from a knee injury this week to offer that safety valve option that proved so valuable at MIN in Week 4 (6/128/1). DAL has two superb talents at CB in Terence Newman(notes) and Mike Jenkins(notes), and the two could give WRs Greg Jennings(notes) and Donald Driver(notes) serious problems if they have to break off their routes because of the lack of time afforded Rodgers. I’d lean on the possession skills of Driver over the deep talents of Jennings – both have been targeted 59 times this season, with Driver delivering 3 FAN PPG more than Jennings on average. RB Ryan Grant(notes) has been beating up 90-pound weaklings of the NFL of late, facing TB, CLE, DET and STL in four of his past six games. For fantasy purposes, he’s the definition of average. He’s getting 12 fantasy points per game and I could see him delivering to his average in the same boring, yet serviceable, manner he did in Week 1 against CHI (16/61/1). No. 3 WR James Jones(notes) has scored in three of his past four, but he’s averaging just 2 receptions per game in that span and WR Jordy Nelson(notes) could be back on Sunday. I probably wouldn’t press my luck with Jones this week.
| || Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver, Tony Romo, Marion Barber, Miles Austin, Jason Witten |
| || Ryan Grant, Greg Jennings, Roy Williams, Green Bay Defense, Dallas Defense, Jermichael Finley |
| || James Jones, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice |
|Sleeper:|| Patrick Crayton(notes) |
|Injuries:|| DAL CB/KR Allen Rossum(notes) (hamstring) is questionable; GB TE Jermichael Finley (knee) could be questionable; GB WR Jordy Nelson (knee) could be questionable; GB C Jason Spitz(notes) (back) is out for the year; GB OT Mark Tauscher(notes) (sprained knee) is out; GB LB Aaron Kampman(notes) (concussion) is likely to be out; GB LB Brandon Chillar(notes) (hand) could be questionable |
|Prediction:|| Dallas 26, Green Bay 21 |