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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: PHI 20, DET 17

Update: Kevin Kolb still has not practiced this week and Michael Vick will be starting though they have not made it official yet. Kolb failed a couple of concussion tests and there is virtually no chance that he will suit up for this. Mike Bell is healed up from his toe strain and should see playing time this week. Shaun Hill remains the starter with Matt Stafford out this week. Jahvid Best has been practicing fully but appears on the injury report with an injured toe. He has missed no time and the Lions have not spoken about it so expect Best to be good to play this week.

Update #2 - Kolb has been officially ruled out as expected.

Like two ships that have lost their rudders, both teams come into this week off losses where they also lost their starting quarterbacks. The Eagles may be without Kevin Kolb but have Michael Vick to fall back on. Matthew Stafford is proving to be a fragile one again and will also miss this week giving way to Shaun Hill. The Lions were feisty contenders anyway in Chicago and should have won that game. The Eagles battled back to make their game close. What makes this one harder to call is that both teams are going to rely on their defenses and the Lions looked very good last week. This one is a coin toss.

Philadelphia Eagles (0-1))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 GB L 20-27 10 @WAS --
2 @DET -- 11 NYG --
3 @JAC -- 12 @CHI --
4 WAS -- 13 HOU --
5 @SF -- 14 @DAL --
6 ATL -- 15 @NYG --
7 @TEN -- 16 MIN --
8 Bye - 17 DAL --
9 IND -- - - -
Eagles Report | Statistics | Roster
PHILADELPHIA at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 60 - 210,1
RB LeSean McCoy 50 50,1 -
TE Brent Celek - 20 -
WR DeSean Jackson - 50 -
WR Jason Avant - 30 -
WR Jeremy Maclin - 40 -
PK David Akers 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Eagles have lost Kevin Kolb for this week but also placed their center Jamaal Jackson on injured reserve with a torn triceps muscle. Kolb was struggling before his concussion and the Eagles seemingly became better under Vick though it was an entirely different sort of offense that the Packers had not prepared to play. The Eagles are favored in this game but it won't be quite as easy as most Lion's games.

I like a defensive score here.

QUARTERBACK: Kevin Kolb failed his first concussion test and is almost certainly out this week and possible the next. That leaves Michael Vick in line to start and he did a good job against the Packers, throwing for 175 yards and a score and rushing for 103 yards on 11 runs. HC Andy Reid has already stated that Kolb remains the starting quarterback when healthy and his ten passes last Sunday are hardly enough to switch to Vick.

The use of Vick really changes the offense though as it did in Atlanta. The Lions play good defense at home against the run and less so versus the pass. But Vick is going to run even if it comes at the expense of LeSean McCoy. This may be the one game this year where you want to start Vick. The Lions gave up 372 yards to Jay Cutler last week and Vick is going to tack on rush yards.

RUNNING BACKS: The Eagles lost fullback Leonard Weaver for the year and even Mike Bell suffered a toe strain in the game last Sunday. I'll assume that Bell can play this week because they will need him to spell LeSean McCoy who was underused last week. The Packers went up on the score board and left McCoy with only a total of seven rushes in the game though he gained 35 yards and scored once. He also added five catches for 47 yards.

Playing the Lions means McCoy is a must start since he will gain yardage both as a runner and a receiver. He faces the same team that just gave Matt Forte 151 yards on seven catches and two scores. McCoy won't turn in big yardage as a runner but his total yardage should be solid and there is a nice chance for a score - particularly with Vick at the helm since he was less successful throwing to wideouts last week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Kolb was struggling to connect with the wideouts last week against the Packers secondary and then once Vick came in, it got no better. All three wideouts ended with four catches and both DeSean Jackson (4-30) and Jeremy Maclin (4-28, 1 TD) had two of their completions come from Kolb. Vick actually threw more to Jason Avant (4-41) than anyone else. Those are depressing numbers for fantasy owners who should see slightly better stats this week but with Vick there ready to run, no reason to look for a big increase. The Lions actually were better against the outside receivers and saw the Bears slot man Devin Aromashodu have the most success. That's hardly enough reason to start Avant this week but it is a reason to be concerned with what Jackson or Maclin might produce. The Lions forced the Bears to a very short passing game and that's not going to benefit the wideouts here if it happens in Detroit as well.

TIGHT ENDS: Fantasy leaguers were dismayed to see Brent Celek starting the year with only two receptions for 32 yards. He was only targeted four times and yet all did come from Vick. Still, Celek has to be considered a bad play until Kevin Kolb returns. Vick doesn't need a quick passing outlet - he just runs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 6 16 17 25 8 3
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 31 9 10 19 20


Detroit Lions (0-1)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI L 14-19 10 @BUF --
2 PHI -- 11 @DAL --
3 @MIN -- 12 NE --
4 @GB -- 13 CHI --
5 STL -- 14 GB --
6 @NYG -- 15 @TB --
7 Bye - 16 @MIA --
8 WAS -- 17 MIN --
9 NYJ -- - - -
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill - - 180,1
RB Jahvid Best 60,1 30 -
TE Tony Scheffler - 30 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 60,1 -
WR Bryant Johnson - 20 -
WR Nate Burleson - 30 -
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Losing Matt Stafford to injury again coupled with the "not a catch" play of Calvin Johnson sure seemed to stamp 2010 as a "here we go again season." But there were signs of positive change with the defense and Jahvid Best can at least punch in short touchdowns. The Lions could have won in Chicago were it not for just literally a play or two. Back at home this game should end up as a defensive struggle and losing Stafford with the Eagles showing up is going to be hard to compensate.

QUARTERBACK: No doubt that Matthew Stafford misses this week but his right shoulder injury is a Grade II sprain to the AC joint and he may not have a separation but just a bruise. Instead of missing four to six weeks, Stafford could be back in as little as two weeks. He was already 11of 15 for 83 yards when he left the game.

Shaun Hill will take the reins this week and OC Scott Linehan said he was not going to change the playbook for Hill. With the Eagles coming to town it will be a bigger challenge than last week and even then in limited playing time, Hill lost a fumble and threw an interception. But Hill knows enough to just throw it high to Calvin Johnson and see what happens.

Hill is not an attractive fantasy option this week but could see one score and moderate yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: Jahvid Best rewarded fantasy owners last week when he scored two touchdowns but he only gained 20 yards on 14 carries and had 16 yards on five receptions. He appeared slowed by the natural turf and should get more speed back at home this week. Though Best is not big, the Lions did not shy away from using him near the goal line and Best was able to score.

Best is sharing very little so he is getting the bulk of the load. This week against the Eagles will be better in yardage thanks to the fast track but short of breaking a long gainer his yardage won't be much more than moderate. Brandon Jackson only managed 63 yards on 18 carries against this defense and they were ahead in the game. Best is still worth a start and could surprise.

WIDE RECEIVERS: No matter which quarterback played last week, the results were not stellar and the ten passes thrown to Calvin Johnson only turned into four receptions for 45 yards. The long touchdown pass that was called incomplete would have made a dramatic difference for both Johnson and the Lions overall. No other wideout had more than one catch. The Eagles held Aaron Rodgers to just 188 passing yards so expect another game of weak wideout numbers here.

You have to start Johnson because of his perpetual upside and Greg Jennings had a decent game and score on this defense last week. No other wideouts are worth consideration.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Scheffler started his new job for the Lions with six catches for 63 yards in Chicago and was the second most targeted receiver behind Calvin Johnson. That's worth considering for fantasy depth and more if he can sustain it. That has to wait until Stafford returns to determine what his usage will be.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 30 13 27 13 30 4
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 19 22 24 17 30 17

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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