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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 1
2010
MIN at NO ATL at PIT* OAK at TEN* GB at PHI
MIA at BUF CLE at TB* CAR at NYG DAL at WAS
IND at HOU* CIN at NE* SF at SEA BAL at NYJ
*UPDATED DET at CHI DEN at JAC* ARI at STL* SD at KC

Prediction: DEN 17, JAC 20

Update: Knowshon Moreno has been in full practices this week and is expected to play in Jacksonville but may be limited in the game since his hamstring is still not completely healed. Buckhalter will be a factor and could end up splitting with Moreno if the coaches prefer to take it easy on his knee or if it acts up at all in the game.

Both these teams will be primed for a victory this week since both are on a four game losing streak from last year. The Broncos (8-8) and Jaguars (7-9) both ruined promising starts to last season and are hungry for a win. This is a coin toss game that likely is decided by the rushing of both teams.

Denver Broncos (0-0)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC -- 10 KC --
2 SEA -- 11 @SD --
3 IND -- 12 STL --
4 @TEN -- 13 @KC --
5 @BAL -- 14 @ARI --
6 NYJ -- 15 @OAK --
7 OAK -- 16 HOU --
8 @SF -- 17 SD --
9 Bye - - - -
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 260,2
RB Knowshon Moreno 60 20 -
RB Correll Buckhalter 20 20 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 90,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 60,1 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 50 -
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Yet another chapter for the Broncos who dumped Brandon Marshall in the offseason and tried to replace him in part through the draft (it is a process apparently). Kyle Orton saw his team use a first round pick on a quarterback and Knowshon Moreno spent much of the summer holding the back of his leg. This team continues to be formed in the image of what Josh McDaniels wants but so far, he apparently prefers to replace fantasy stars with mediocre players.

QUARTERBACKS: Kyle Orton had a career best season in 2009 when he passed for 3802 yards and 21 touchdowns but 1102 yards and ten of the scores now plays for the Miami Dolphins. Orton has the helm for this year but they did not spend a first round pick on Tim Tebow just to get a backup. Orton knows his job could be in jeopardy as early as next year. This week is a good way to start though since the Jaguars were very weak against the pass and to wideouts in particular.

Expect moderate to good yardage here and at least one passing score if not two.

RUNNING BACKS: The Broncos caught a break with one of the lightest rushing schedules in the league but so far it does not appear likely that they will take advantage of it. Knowshon Moreno is still looking for his first 100 yard game and spent most of the summer nursing a hamstring which apparently varies from badly sprained to somewhat torn depending on who is asked. Moreno dressed for the final preseason game but never played. The assumption is that he will be healthy for this week but there is no certainty especially given McDaniels use of the Patriot Way for reporting injuries.

Correll Buckhalter will share the backfield and he has suffered from neck and back injuries. He played in the final preseason game but only for three runs that gained three yards total.

This week is less likely to see a good rushing effort on the road in Jacksonville where they are best at stopping the run. But future weeks will provide nice opportunities and Moreno needs to heal up and play 100% to take advantage.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The departure of Brandon Marshall leaves a big hole that will be hard to fill. Jabbar Gaffney is poised to become the primary wideout and possession receiver but the drafting of DeMaryius Thomas as the first receiver taken in April has been a disappointment so far with the rookie nursing an injured foot for weeks and potentially missing this week. Eddie Royal heads to the slot where he should be most effective and there is still hope that he can return to the same form he had as a rookie when he caught 91 passes for 980 yards and five scores. But that was before when Cutler was the starter. Brandon Lloyd makes yet another stop in the NFL and so far has been good enough to become the starting flanker. At some point he'll give way to Thomas but he is safely entrenched for now.

The weakness of the Jags last year was the pass and especially to the wide outs where the defense ranked 31st. This should be one of the better games for the wideouts this year so play Gaffney and even take a shot at Royal if you have no better options. I like both scores to end up here and that should favor the two veteran Broncos.

TIGHT ENDS: The offense has reduced the use of tight ends as receivers and let Tony Scheffler leave for Detroit. There is no fantasy value in this scheme for the tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 18 19 12 24 8 5
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 27 9 31 13 19 19


Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DEN -- 10 HOU --
2 @SD -- 11 CLE --
3 PHI -- 12 @NYG --
4 IND -- 13 @TEN --
5 @BUF -- 14 OAK --
6 TEN -- 15 @IND --
7 @KC -- 16 WAS --
8 @DAL -- 17 @HOU --
9 Bye - - - -
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
JACKSONVILLE vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 30 - 200,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 100,1 30 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 20 -
WR Jarrett Dillard - 40 -
WR Mike Sims-Walker - 50 -
WR Mike Thomas - 50,1 -
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 TD -

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars are another team that used last season to make some changes and Maurice Jones-Drew was finally allowed to be the lone back with great results if you don't count his knee injury this summer. Garrard continues to hang on as the quarterback and the receivers are now looking better than they have since the days of Jimmy Smith. The Jaguars need to win this game because the season is going to get tougher in a hurry.

QUARTERBACKS: The team has never been thrilled with David Garrard who still hangs on not unlike his headcoach Jack Del Rio. To his credit, he has been very consistent with back to back seasons of 3620 and 3597 yards with 15 passing scores in both. Garrard also throws in some rushing yardage each week and scores on occasion. The interesting aspect to this year is that Mike Sims-Walker already had a semi-breakout last year and now the talk is about the second year Mike Thomas. Garrard needs to find a new, higher gear this year and may have the means to get there.

This week is a bad one though since the Broncos are one of the best defenses against the pass and wideouts in particular. Playing at home helps but this game is up to Jones-Drew.

RUNNING BACKS: Fred Taylor left and the Jaguars elected to just pump up the volume on Maurice Jones-Drew and the results were very good. Jones-Drew finished with 1391 yards on 312 carries and added 53 receptions for 374 yards and a total of 16 touchdowns. The fear of him being over-used is real but he is still only 25 years of age and can take some heavy use. The Jaguars did not bring in anyone to share the backfield and will rely on Rashard Jennings only as relief and backup.

Rumors were rampant that Jones-Drew had a knee procedure and was having a problem that was being covered up but Jones-Drew himself has addressed it as a non-event and an outright fabrication. He was wisely rested by the team before the season starts but should be fine to play.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This should end up as one of the best wideout units the Jaguars have ever had with Mike Sims-Walker turning it up in his third season to catch 63 passes for 869 yards and seven touchdowns. He is joined by second-year player Mike Thomas who was improving late in 2009 and then had a great camp and preseason. Jarrett Dillard has been on the PUP List this summer because of a stress fracture in his toe but has been cleared to play. He's lost out on a chance to be the #2 but will see at least some duty in the slot.

Once again - the Broncos are very good against the pass and wideouts as well. None of these guys are likely to have a big yardage game but I like a touchdown that should favor one of these players.

TIGHT ENDS: Marcedes Lewis remains the starter and he has been around 500 yards in each of the last two seasons with exactly two scores in each. He's being joined more by Zach Miller (not the OAK one named Zack) who enters his second season. There is nothing more than a marginal bye week filler here but occasionally they do score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 16 15 18 15 30 32
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 3 19 4 9 25 18

WEEK 1
2010
MIN at NO ATL at PIT OAK at TEN GB at PHI
MIA at BUF CLE at TB CAR at NYG DAL at WAS
IND at HOU CIN at NE SF at SEA BAL at NYJ
  DET at CHI DEN at JAC ARI at STL SD at KC
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