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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN* CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR* PHI at DET* SEA at DEN* JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL* STL at OAK* NYG at IND*
*Updated MIA at MIN* KC at CLE* NE at NYJ NO at SF*

Prediction: JAC 14, SD 30

The Jaguars took down the visiting Broncos last week but now head to San Diego where they are still toweling off from their Monday night loss in Kansas City. Chargers look to get back on track.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DEN W 24-17 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 at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 10 - 190,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 80,1 20 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 10 -
WR Kassim Osgood - 30 -
WR Mike Sims-Walker - 60,1 -
WR Mike Thomas - 50 -
PK Josh Scobee 2 XP - -
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars played a very solid game last Sunday that took everything that the Broncos could give and played enough defense to get it done. David Garrard was both productive and effective and the rushing game wasn't relied on to carry most of the load. A good start that now gets put to the test with a challenging road game and then at home against the Eagle and Colt defenses.

QUARTERBACK: David Garrard may have never been better. Not only was he the winning pitcher, but he completed 16 of 21 passes (76%) for 170 yards and three touchdowns and no turnovers. Facing the Broncos secondary that eliminated Mike Sims-Walker, Garrard just turned to Mike Thomas and tight ends to get the job done.

This week in San Diego he'll throw against a better secondary without the home crowd helping. Figure on more of his mediocre yardage and step it down to one touchdown. He's not nearly as attractive on the road and the Chargers should be very focused.

RUNNING BACKS: While Maurice Jones-Drew was the subject of much rumors in the preseason with his sprained knee, there was no evidence of a problem last Sunday when he ran the ball 23 times for 98 yards and added three catches for 15 yards. Jones-Drew remains the primary back with almost no intervention by other backs. Rashad Jennings is nothing but a relief player. Jones-Drew still needs to work up to being in 100% game shape after missing time because of his knee.

In San Diego, the Chargers know to focus on him and were marginally effective against the run when it wasn't Jamal Charles breaking a long gainer. More relevant was the fact that no visiting runner topped 100 rushing yards in San Diego for all of last year. Only two rushed for more than 70 yards. Jones-Drew is one of the elite but look for another sub-100 outing with a chance for one score.

WIDE RECEIVERS : Mike Sims-Walker was shut out last week thanks to both Champ Bailey covering him and Garrard only throwing his way twice during the entire game. That left the second-year flanker Mike Thomas to turn in a very respectable 89 yards on six catches and Kassim Osgood managed to catch his only pass while standing in the endzone. These wideouts are at least average and perhaps a bit better since Thomas is developing nicely and Sims-Walker had a mini-breakout of sorts last year. The question that remains to be answered is if both Sims-Walker and Thomas can be productive in the same game? Or will Thomas rise at the expense of Sims-Walker? We're talking about David Garrard here so the supply of passes can be exhausted.

The matchup here is hard to measure since last week the Chiefs only passed for 68 yards against them in the rain. Both Sims-Walker and Thomas are upside plays but both come with risk. For now, it is still speculative how the Chargers cover them and who Garrard will prefer.

TIGHT ENDS: Likely the darling tight end of the waiver wire this week, Marcedes Lewis only caught two passes for 35 yards last week but both were touchdowns. To illustrate the likelihood of that happening again, consider that in his four previous seasons, he had never had more than two touchdowns in a year.. Garrard may use him again as a red zone target but it will be far too inconsistent to consider and come with no more than marginal yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 9 18 19 2 20 17
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 2 24 1 23 6 26


San Diego Chargers (0-1)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC L 14-21 10 Bye -
2 JAC -- 11 DEN --
3 @SEA -- 12 @IND --
4 ARI -- 13 OAK --
5 @OAK -- 14 KC --
6 @STL -- 15 SF --
7 NE -- 16 @CIN --
8 TEN -- 17 @DEN --
9 @HOU -- - - -
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 300,2
RB Ryan Mathews 90,1 10 -
TE Antonio Gates - 80,1 -
WR Malcom Floyd - 70,1 -
WR Buster Davis - 40 -
WR Legedu Naanee - 80 -
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough loss to open the season when the Chargers played in the driving rain and allowed a 56-yard rushing score and a 96-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Chiefs were very pumped up for their home opener and was able to bog down the San Diego rushing attack in the rain. It was more just the Chiefs night and the Chargers came up short. This week can turn that all around and the Chargers have a five game stretch where they will be the favored team. Could have made it six though...

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers may have been in a losing game but he passed for 298 yards and two scores in Kansas City with no interceptions in what usually was a driving rain with wind. If Rivers is going to miss Vincent Jackson, he needs to make it more apparent because it is not showing. What happens if Jackson finds out that he wasn't just good with Rivers, but that he was only good because of Rivers? Even the absence of LT Marcus McNeill only resulted in two sacks which was amazing in that weather when Rivers passed 39 times.

This is another week to start Rivers. The Jaguars have been weak against wideouts for a couple of seasons and even the Broncos had two receivers end up with 98 or more yards. If Orton can throw for 295 yards in Jacksonville, the only reason Rivers won't is that the rushing game goes nuts.

RUNNING BACKS: The debut of the rookie Ryan Mathews was bogged down and he only managed 75 yards on 19 carries with no score and just one reception. The Chiefs had a surprisingly good defense and were already well versed in the Turner offense. Look for Mathews to get his career going here at home in a game that should have plenty of reasons to run in the latter part of the game.

If Knowshon Moreno can score on them, then Mathews gets his first NFL touchdown here.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Life without Vincent Jackson is not that bad. While Malcom Floyd only produced three catches for 48 yards, the fourth year player Legedu Naanee led the team with five receptions for 110 yards and a score. And while Naanee was targeted only eight times, Floyd had 12 passes thrown his way. In fairness though, a blown coverage allowed Naanee to catch a 59-yard touchdown with nary a defender in sight.

In the good weather of San Diego and the soft secondary of the Jaguars showing up, both players are moderate starts this week and the Chargers will be more likely to roll up a score after last week. Both could score and have very nice yardage.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates recorded five catches for 76 yards and a score before the Chiefs literally took to triple teaming him on every play. The development of the two wideouts will help prevent that from happening in the future as well as a more respected rushing attack. Gates is an obvious must play each week and this should be better than usual.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 7 22 10 1 31 30
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 22 16 29 11 10 4

WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR PHI at DET SEA at DEN JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL STL at OAK NYG at IND
  MIA at MIN KC at CLE NE at NYJ NO at SF
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