The nominees are...
Ty Burrell, Modern Family "Lifetime Supply"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family "Leap Day"
Max Greenfield, New Girl "Control"
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live "Katy Perry"
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family "Baby on Board"
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family "Treehouse"
Let's work our way from the bottom to the top. Ed O'Neill is out of this. He has a very good scene with his granddaughter in his submission, but not much else. In the other MF episodes he really doesn't much at all but stand in the background. I'm wondering if O'Neill will be the Peter Boyle of the lineup, who can get consistently nominated, but not win. Stonestreet is probably not winning either. He won for the first season, in a hilarious television debut. Much of his work has felt like the same as before, and really, the scenes between him and Ferguson are now more Emmy-friendly for the latter. Bill Hader is also not a likely victor here as his submission, while longer than the rest, doesn't really showcase him as much as you would like him to be. His Stefon appearance on Weekend Update is not one of the more memorable ones and his brief Clint Eastwood impression isn't as strong as the Super Bowl ad one from a different episode.
That leaves us with the top three contenders. Ty Burrell could easily repeat here. Phil Dunphy is a character that I could easily see voters latch onto, like they did in the past with Ari Gold, Robert Barone, Nile Crane and Cosmo Kramer. Burrell is very good when he thinks he's dying, he tries to avoid the PMSing of his wife and daughters and building a treehouse. He's sorta just there in O'Neill's submission though. Max Greenfield was a breakout star from the past season and he wisely chose an episode that really showcases Schmidt in and out of his element. It's very good, but it might be too young-skewing for the Emmys. He's also not helped by New Girl missing out on a Comedy Series nomination. Which is why I think Jesse Tyler Ferguson will win. The arc of his character this season was a highpoint for the show, and I think the four tapes prove that. In addition to planning his partner's leap day birthday, he wins an award in another submission, bets Cameron can't get a woman's phone number and notably, gets emotional over not losing the chance to adopt another child. Plus, in the Emmys arc with this show, it's very West Wing of them to spread the love around the supporting actors of this Emmy-loved show.
Projected Winner: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Spoiler: Max Greenfield, New Girl