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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

Projections by Team
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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: SEA 17, DEN 23

Update: Mike Williams is nursing a thigh bruise and missed practice on Wednesday but returned for some work on Thursday. He is expected to play this week but has a bad matchup anyway with Champ Bailey. Eddie Royal has been limited in practice this week because of a thigh injury. If he can practice fully on Friday he should be fine but if not I will be downgrading him in what should be a good matchup.

Update #2 - Royal was back on Friday and is probable to play.

The Seahawks were the surprise team of last week when they dismantled the 49ers using mostly defense. The new Pete Carroll era started with a bang. The Broncos were less impressive losing in Jacksonville despite Tim Tebow standing on the sidelines. This game should be close but favor the home team over the visitor. At least the Broncos know more what to expect than the 49ers did.

Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF W 31-6 10 @ARI --
2 @DEN -- 11 @NO --
3 SD -- 12 KC --
4 @STL -- 13 CAR --
5 Bye - 14 @SF --
6 @CHI -- 15 ATL --
7 ARI -- 16 @TB --
8 @OAK -- 17 STL --
9 NYG -- - - -
Seahawks Report | Statistics | Roster
SEATTLE at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 190,2
RB Justin Forsett 40 30,1 -
TE John Carlson - 40,1 -
WR Mike Williams - 20 -
WR Deon Butler - 40 -
WR Deion Branch - 50 -
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Nothing like knowing your divisional opponent well and yet they could not know what to expect with a new offensive and defensive scheme being installed. This could bode well though in a division where the Cardinals had finally risen to the top only to now appear safely on the way south. Seattle already beat the 49ers. Rams arein the cellar regardless. This could be a surprisingly good year for the Seahawks who have a very kind schedule just not so much this week.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Hasselbeck had a solid showing in the home opener when he passed for 170 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers but with only 23 passes thrown he wasn't asked to do much. This week will be much more telling against a top secondary that will force Hasselbeck to use his running backs and tight ends much more.

Hasselbeck can still have a decent showing here as did Garrard last week when he scored three times on the Denver defense. Expecting that the Seahawks mishmash of running backs won't be nearly enough to stay in the game means Hasselbeck will be relied on to make this one close. He won't have a big game because the corners will limit long plays but he should be dinking and dunking most of the day.

RUNNING BACKS: Just to demonstrate how useless this backfield is likely to be this year consider that the Seahawks won last week by 25 points. But the running backs not only were limited to 21 carries, it was split out almost perfectly in three ways. Justin Forsett (7-43) had the biggest yards but Julius Jones (8-18) had the most carries and yet Leon Washington (6-12) had nearly as many runs as well. Only Forsett was used as a receiver but ended with just three catches for 17 yards.

This is a committee that will kill all fantasy value. I'll project for Forsett as the most productive but all three apparently are in the game plan in almost equal measures. It was as ugly as it could be and it was in a home game that was probably as good as it gets. I like one of the backs to catch a score but any of them might.

The Seattle offensive line is already getting baged up with both guards injured last week though Mike Gibson is expected to play.

WIDE RECEIVERS: None of the receivers had a big game but Mike Williams led the team with four catches for 64 yards. Both Deion Branch (3-11) and Deon Butler (1-13) had receiving scores. The natural matchups would place Champ Bailey on Mike Williams and Bailey held Mike Sims-Walker to no catches. Look for a big drop in production for Williams and Branch should see an increase in targets and catches. Even Butler may be involved again. Chances are the offense did not show all their cards last week because the game was quickly well in hand. There are still some new looks left to figure out.

The Broncos are very tough on wideouts and none of these guys are fantasy options this week. Bailey could end up moving over and taking Branch as well so there is risk with all of these wideouts.

TIGHT ENDS: The Seahawks only threw to John Carlson five times last week but there wasn't a need to do anything more in a game that had the team winning big. Carlson will need to be used more this week with the Denver corners likely to be a problem connecting with wideouts for Hasselbeck. Look for at least a moderate game here with a nice chance of one score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 8 26 13 15 12 5
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 24 15 14 31 15 19


Denver Broncos (0-1)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC L 17-24 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 vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 230,2
RB Knowshon Moreno 60 20 -
TE Daniel Graham - 20 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 60 -
WR Eddie Royal - 60,1 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 50,1 -
PK Matt Prater 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Broncos have now dumped both Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall but the first game had plenty of passing even if it wasn't in a winning effort. What was more disappointing was the defense that allowed three passing scores but back at home the Broncos are always tougher and the visiting Seahawks will actually be the easiest matchup for the next brutal month when Denver has to also face the Colts, Titans, Ravens and Jets. The world was impressed with the 6-0 start last year in Denver. Lose this week and it could end up 0-6 for 2009.

QUARTERBACK: Kyle Orton was productive last week throwing for 295 yards and one score against the normally soft secondary of the Jaguars. We have already seen Tim Tebow as he came in for two one-yard rushes and did not attempt a pass. Orton played well last week but he'll need to translate that success into more scores and kick it in even higher of a gear with some great defenses soon to show up.

The Seahawks held Alex Smith to only 225 yards and no scores last week but that was a very well know divisional foe and in Seattle. Expect better luck by Orton who will need to pass this week. The Seahawks completely shut down the running game of Frank Gore last Sunday and may limit Knowshon Moreno from contributing too much.

RUNNING BACKS: The Broncos welcomed back Knowshon Moreno after he had been out with an MCL injury. Moreno ran 15 times for 60 yards and one score while Correll Buckhalter chipped in six runs for 15 yards. This week facing an apparently improved Seattle defense should depress numbers here along with the sharing of the workload.

The Broncos just traded for Laurence Maroney but I won't include him yet as he was injured in New England anyway. This makes ongoing projections for the Broncos even less reliable thanks to the Patriot way of HC Josh McDaniels.

Figure on Moreno being worth a start and he could supplement his stats with a few more catches than the one he had last Sunday. I won't project for Buckhalter until he starts to produce fantasy relevant numbers. Look for Moreno to have a bit tougher job rushing this week but at least at home he has upside.

WIDE RECEIVERS: All three of the wideouts had a decent fantasy showing last week. Brandon Lloyd (5-117) had the biggest stats but Eddie Royal emerged from his one year hibernation to post eight receptions for 98 yards on the Jaguars. Even Jabbar Gaffney only had three catches for 34 yards but scored the only receiving touchdown. The important thing to note here is that the players were being moved all over. Denver was attacking the left side of the Jaguars and moved the three wideouts in and out of the split end spot. Lloyd had his long catch on the left side and Gaffney was there when he caught his touchdown. It is still too early to assume any particular pattern of preference by Orton.

Going against the Seahawks should prove tougher but it is hard to base that much from just one week of the season against a divisional rival. Both Royal and Gaffney are still decent starts but risky in the sense that the ball is being spread around and the receivers are swapping positions.

TIGHT ENDS: Daniel Graham had only two catches for 36 yards and along with the rookie Dan Gronkowski these players are mainly for blocking. Minimal fantasy value here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 11 17 4 22 21 29
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 7 5 5 28 13 8

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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