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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2010
*CLE at PIT *BAL at NE *SEA at CHI *IND at WAS
*NO at TB KC at HOU *OAK at SF *TEN at JAC
*MIA at GB *DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
*Updated *SD at STL ATL at PHI *DAL at MIN CAR, CIN

Prediction: SEA 6, CHI 20

Update: As expected, Jay Cutler has been in full practices and now has been removed from the injury report.

The Seahawks are revamping the offense at midseason for that feeling of working on your car while driving down the interstate. The problem this week is that the Seahawks are 0-2 on the road and go to face the 4-1 Bears who are 2-0 at home.

The Bears won 25-19 in Seattle last year.

Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF W 31-6 10 @ARI --
2 @DEN L 14-31 11 @NO --
3 SD W 27-20 12 KC --
4 @STL L 3-20 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 CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 180
RB Justin Forsett 10 20 -
RB Marshawn Lynch 50 10 -
TE John Carlson - 30 -
WR Mike Williams - 40 -
WR Deon Butler - 30 -
WR Golden Tate - 20 -
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG - -
Pregame Notes: Have to appreciate HC Pete Carroll who is not willing to wait until next year to tinker with the offense and try new things. The Seahawks will feature a new starter at tailback in Marshawn Lynch and without Deion Branch will be looking to rearrange the wideout depthchart. That's not enough to stem the tide of a bad road team but it is a step in the right direction.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Hasselbeck is not doing himself any favors with his level of play. He's thrown four touchdowns against five interceptions in four games and never had more than 233 passing yards. What's worse is that the team is letting Charlie Whitehurst take some first team snaps in practice now "just to keep him fresh in case we need him". At some point this season, expect to see Whitehurst get a shot. Carroll is freely switching every other position around.

Seneca Wallace passed for 261 yards and a score on the visiting Bears last year.

He'll be just as bad this time with the Bears sporting a top five pass defense that has only allowed two passing touchdowns this year. Look for more anemic numbers from Hasselbeck that just scream "Whitehurst".

RUNNING BACKS: The interesting part of the Seahawks is now Marshawn Lynch who comes over from the Bills and will step directly into a significant role with the offense. Lynch is described as the big back that Pete Carroll has been wanting for the running game and his presence sends Justin Forsett back to being a third down back where he is best suited. The offensive line still needs much work and Lynch was not an elite stud biding his time for the Seahawks to grab him, but he is a new starting tailback on a team with a very soft rushing schedule.

The Seahawks rushed for 109 yards on 25 carries against the Bears in 2009.

The Bears are very tough on the run in Chicago so expect marginal stats from Lynch's first action. This is worth watching but too risky to warrant a fantasy start this early.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Deion Branch is gone and his spot needs to be filled but he only accounted for 13 catches for 112 yards and one score over the first four games. It is not like he's leaving behind much. Golden Tate and Deon Butler will both be in the mix to take his place but both already had "Branch-esque" stats as it is. Mike Williams is already a starter and he only has seven receptions for 74 yards over the last three weeks. There is development to watch in this unit but not much in the way of fantasy points this week or anytime soon.

This is a rebuilding job and wideouts take longer than any other position.

Nate Burleson had 109 yards on nine catches versus the Bears last season. No other receiver managed more than 35 yards. Depress your expectations this week.

TIGHT ENDS: John Carlson offers only marginal fantasy value and his worst games have been on the road. Carlson only had three catches for 28 yards against the Bears last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 16 32 19 20 27 3
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 5 12 4 11 4 28
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SEA -11 -20 -15 -9 -23 25


Chicago Bears (4-1)
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 L 3-17 13 @DET --
5 @CAR W 23-6 14 NE --
6 SEA -- 15 @MIN --
7 WAS -- 16 NYJ --
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF --   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 290, 2
RB Matt Forte 50 70,1 -
TE Greg Olsen - 40,1 -
WR Devin Hester - 20 -
WR Earl Bennett - 40 -
WR Devin Aromashodu - 30 -
WR Johnny Knox - 70 -
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears rise to 4-1 and are taking a commanding lead in the NFC North for this early. They have already beaten the Packers who are looking more mortal every week and the defense has been top notch. Jay Cutler is due to return and if you only looked at last week's box score, you could even pretend there is a rushing game here in Chicago. The Bears are very likely to be 6-1 at their bye week.

QUARTERBACK: Jay Cutler was held out of the Panthers game because of his concussion but early signs point at a return this week. The Bears had a freakish success running the ball and really needed no quarterback anyway. Cutler has been scoring in each game he can finish along with healthy yardage.

Cutler passed for 247 yards and three scores in Seattle last year.

This year's version of the Seahawks are no better with each of the last three opponents passing for two touchdowns and at least 289 yards. Look for a nice game back from Cutler against the #28 defense against quarterbacks.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte had only gained 134 yards on 50 carries over the first four weeks and that's only a 2.7 yard rushing average. But in Carolina, Forte went nuts and gained 166 yards and two scores on just 22 runs. He had been held to less than 30 yards in the three previous games. BAM! There goes Forte. The Bears hometown fans are still wondering if it was just special effects because they have never seen that at Soldier Field.

Forte rushed for 66 yards on 21 carries and had 40 yards on six receptions in Seattle last season.

The Seahawks are only average against the run and they are on the road but Forte's major change of pace is not likely to happen again. They have yet to allow more than 73 yards to any runner.

WIDE RECEIVERS: As productive as Cutler is, that hasn't translated into star wide receivers. Johnny Knox is the most productive but he has never scored this year. Devin Hester has been decreasing weekly and finally turned in the blank last Sunday. Earl Bennett hasn't broken 30 yards in a game yet. It is a Mike Martz system, but it mainly feeds Matt Forte and Greg Olsen as receivers.

Hester (5-76, TD), Bennett (4-80) and Knox (1-7, TD) all had fantasy success in Seattle last year.

This is a good spot for the wideouts to step up and have a decent game. The Seahawks are one of the weakest secondaries - more so on the road like this - this unit should post at least moderate to good yardage. That is a risk to rely on given recent history but these receivers are facing one of their best matchups.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen was blanked last week with Cutler on the sideline but he's been good for around 40 yards in almost every other game and scored twice. Olsen accounted for five receptions for 44 yards and one score in Seattle last season so look for a repeat.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 24 12 29 18 12 8
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 28 15 28 23 12 15
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CHI 4 3 -1 5 0 7

WEEK 6
2010
CLE at PIT BAL at NE SEA at CHI IND at WAS
NO at TB KC at HOU OAK at SF TEN at JAC
MIA at GB DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
  SD at STL ATL at PHI DAL at MIN CAR, CIN
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