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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF* CIN at CLE* IND at JAC* CHI at NYG
SEA at STL* BAL at PIT* HOU at OAK* NE at MIA*
CAR at NO* DEN at TEN* WAS at PHI DAL, KC
*updated DET at GB* SF at ATL ARI at SD* MIN, TB

Prediction: CHI 20, NYG 17

You can be sure this is a different season when the 3-0 Bears are visiting the 1-2 Giants. The Bears bring their winning streak to New York where the Giants were just shellacked by the Titans and while they opened their year with a close win over the visiting Lions, they just beat both the Cowboys in Dallas and the Packers. Something about Chicago is living life right because they have been able to overcome numerous turnovers and tough situations to eke out the win every week.

Chicago Bears (3-0)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET W 19-14 10 MIN --
2 @DAL W 27-20 11 @MIA --
3 GB W 20-17 12 PHI --
4 @NYG -- 13 @DET --
5 @CAR -- 14 NE --
6 SEA -- 15 @MIN --
7 WAS -- 16 NYJ --
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF --   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 270,2
RB Matt Forte 50 30 -
TE Greg Olsen - 40 -
WR Devin Hester - 80,1 -
WR Earl Bennett - 30 -
WR Johnny Knox - 70,1 -
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bears winning streak has been impressive and not because Mike Martz has installed an unstoppable offense. The Bears are winning largely because their defense has been good for the most part and opportunistic even when being struggling. This winning streak could extend for a while longer with this week being the biggest test left before the week eight bye.

QUARTERBACK: Jay Cutler comes off his lowest game so far. He only scored once against the visiting Packers and threw for just 221 yards after big games of 372 and 277 yards in previous weeks. He's been sacked eight times already and is being battered every game but keeps getting back up. It's hard to believe that Cutler will make it through the 16 game season taking such a pounding but then again - who thought the Bears would start 3-0?

The Giants have allowed all opponents to score via the pass and CAR and TEN hardly posed the biggest passing threat. More realistic is that Peyton Manning had no problem posting 255 yards and three scores on this defense. I like Cutler to score twice here with very solid yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: One thing is certain - the rushing game here is horrible. Matt Forte added scores and yards as a receiver but as a runner he has yet to exceed 50 rush yards in a game. These last two weeks as the primary back, he has only been taking ten or 11 carries each game. Forte only managed 14 yards on two catches last week and when he has no receiving yardage, he has no fantasy value this year.

The Giants have been weak against the run but Forte is hardly Chris Johnson. Expect a decent showing by Forte in this road game only from total yardage and he unlikely to score this week unless the Bears end up at the goal and unlike last week, Martz allows to run the ball.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Cutler has spread the wealth, such as it is, and left none of these wide receivers with much reliability or even good games. Three weeks into the season and there's only been one touchdown by a wide receiver. Johnny Knox has been the most productive with recent games of 86 and 94 yards and Devin Aromashodu is not even active for games anymore. Earl Bennett has taken over the slot and still not had more than 29 yards in a game. Devin Hester has the only score but settled for only one catch last week.

The Giants have been weaker against the pass and in particular the wideouts who have accounted for four of the five passing touchdowns allowed by the Giants this year. Hester should have the biggest effort here as have the other three split ends to face the Giants and I'll give out the other score to this unit as well. That has to be more likely to end up with Knox.

TIGHT ENDS: Martz offenses have never used the tight ends but now Greg Olsen scored in each of the last two games and is tied with Forte for the scoring lead. Olsen has been consistent with fantasy points each week and while he has been a bit meager compared to the stud tight ends in the league, he is still beginning to merit a fantasy start consideration from now on.

Dallas Clark had a big game on the Giants but no other tight has. On the road like this, his scoring streak should end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 5 11 19 9 9 7
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 10 25 16 10 30 31
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CHI 5 14 -3 1 21 24


New York Giants (1-2)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR W 31-18 10 DAL --
2 @IND L 14-38 11 @PHI --
3 TEN L 10-29 12 JAC --
4 CHI -- 13 WAS --
5 @HOU -- 14 @MIN --
6 DET -- 15 PHI --
7 @DAL -- 16 @GB --
8 Bye - 17 @WAS --
9 @SEA -- - - -
Giants Report | Statistics | Roster
NY GIANTS vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 300,1
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 40,1 20 -
TE Kevin Boss - 50 -
WR Steve Smith - 60 -
WR Hakeem Nicks - 70,1 -
WR Mario Manningham - 80 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Times are tough in New York where HC Tom Coughlin realizes his job is starting to become in jeopardy after two major losses in a row. He's taken to calling out players for dropped passes and poor play. The defense has ben shredded for 67 points over the last two weeks and that blowout win in the season opener ends up to be no big deal now that we know the Panthers are really, really bad this year. The G-Men need to catch a spark on both sides of the ball.

QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning has been part of the problem but in fairness his receivers have been dropping far too many passes. Last week Manning threw 48 times with 34 completions and 386 yards but never scored a touchdown and had two interceptions in the game which gives him six on the season.

The problem this week is that Manning could have a ton of yards once again as did Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers and yet not score more than once. The Bears have only allowed two passing touchdowns in their bend but do no break style.

RUNNING BACKS: Ahmad Bradshaw has been solid with around 80 rush yards per game and scores in the two previous home games. He finally had five receptions for 30 yards against the visiting Titans after only recording three catches over the first two weeks. He's joined by Brandon Jacobs for only four carries per game so Bradshaw is getting a nice workload even if he is stuck at only moderate success.

The Bears have not allowed more than 31 rushing yards to any runner so far and given up just two rushing scores to Jahvid Best in the season opener. But in this road game, Bradshaw has a decent shot at a score though his rushing yardage will decrease.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This unit seems to be having a collective sophomore slump after such an impressive 2009 season. Hakeem Nicks remains the best performer had has the team lead with four touchdowns but has been called out for dropping passes. Steve Smith finally showed up this year when he caught nine passes for 103 yards and more than doubled the output from his first two games. Mario Manningham remains surprisingly productive with about 80 yards in each game. These players have been contributing, just not enough to win games.

The Bears have only allowed one passing score to a wideout though Miles Austin (10-142) had his way with the secondary. The yards should be there but the score could end up anywhere.

TIGHT ENDS: Kevin Boss and the rest of the tight ends had only been good for one completion per week but then blew up with three catches for 88 yards and a score against the Titans. He should manage better yardage again this week but the score is too hard to rely on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 12 16 5 24 27 19
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 20 6 12 23 7 24
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NYG 8 -10 7 -1 -20 5

WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF CIN at CLE IND at JAC CHI at NYG
SEA at STL BAL at PIT HOU at OAK NE at MIA
CAR at NO DEN at TEN WAS at PHI DAL, KC
  DET at GB SF at ATL ARI at SD MIN, TB
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