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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2010
PHI at TEN* STL at TB BUF at BAL MIN at GB*
CIN at ATL SF at CAR* ARI at SEA* NYG at DAL*
CLE at NO* WAS at CHI* OAK at DEN* DET, HOU
*Updated PIT at MIA JAC at KC* NE at SD* IND, NYJ

Prediction: ARI 6, SEA 20

Update: Both Steve Breaston and Stephen Williams have been limited but are expected to play. I am lowering Williams since the small fracture in his back will mean he is playing with pain and Early Doucet is probable to play and take a bit of work from Williams.

The Cardinals come off their bye now tied with these Seahawks for the NFC West lead but with only a 1-2 road record. The Seahawks are 2-0 at home and just won in Chicago. The Cardinals swept the Seahawks last year, winning 27-3 in Seattle and later 31-20 in Arizona. Kurt, where fore art thou Kurt?

Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @STL W 17-13 10 SEA -
2 @ATL L 7-41 11 @KC -
3 OAK W 24-23 12 SF -
4 @SD L 10-41 13 STL -
5 NO W 30-20 14 DEN -
6 Bye - 15 @CAR -
7 @SEA - 16 DAL -
8 TB - 17 @SF -
9 @MIN - - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Max Hall - - 170
RB Beanie Wells 50 10 -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 70 -
WR Steve Breaston - 30 -
WR Stephen Williams - 20 -
PK Jay Feely 2 FG - -
Pregame Notes: Big win over the visiting Saints in week five and that greeted the first start for Max Hall and saw the Cardinals finally feed Beanie Wells with a heavy load. But more than all that was the fact that the Cardinals scored on two fumble recoveries and an interception return so the offensive problems are still very much alive. Hall remains the starter and he's not going to be able to rely on three touchdowns from turnovers.

QUARTERBACK: Max Hall came out of his first start with a bruised shin and general soreness but logs his first career win against the reigning NFL champions. Hall passed for 168 yards and one interception while getting sacked four times. The one thing he did was the only thing required of any Cardinals quarterback - throw the ball to Larry Fitzgerald over and over. Fitzgerald actually ended with a season high 93 yards on seven catches in the game.

The Seahawks have allowed several big passing games but Hall is in his first road game so form no real expectations here.The last two Cardinals road games ended in 31+ points for the losing margin.

RUNNING BACKS: The Cardinals finally "unleashed" Beanie Wells in week five when he had 20 carries but only gained 35 yards against the visiting Saints. He only added one catch for five yards as well. Tim Hightower dropped to only four carries for six yards in that game so the rushing effort was going to be poor with a rookie quarterback scaring no one.

This week the Cardinals face one of the best rushing defenses, especially playing at home where no opposing runner has gained more than 73 yards. No doubt the Seahawks are going to load up against the run as the Saints did so expect very pedestrian numbers here. Tim Hightower has lost all fantasy value over the last two weeks and won't be projected for until he starts to show up in box scores again.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is a chance that the Cardinals get Steve Breaston back from his meniscus surgery this week but it will depend on how much he can practice after being gone three weeks. Early Doucet has a sports hernia that has kept him out since week one but he too may be back this week. Stephen Williams injured his back and ribs in the last game but healed up over the bye week and will likely play unless both Doucet and Breaston are back.

The good news is that Max Hall threw 9 times to Larry Fitzgerald and he caught seven for 93 yards against the Saints. It was a home game and the Cardinals already had the big lead, but for a first time effort it was encouraging.

The Seahawks secondary has been very good this year and more so when playing at home. The only player here remotely worthy of a fantasy start is Larry Fitzgerald who should produce at least moderate numbers. He's a risk in the road game but his upside alone means he should start.

TIGHT ENDS: Max Hall actually threw five completions to Ben Patrick for 30 yards, shattering the season high for the Cardinals. Still he's not worthy of a projection. The offense is not designed to use the tight end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 31 29 24 31 24 2
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 27 12 26 15 14 14
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ARI -4 -17 2 -16 -10 12


Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
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 W 23-20 15 ATL --
7 ARI -- 16 @TB --
8 @OAK -- 17 STL --
9 NYG -- - - -
Seahawks Report | Statistics | Roster
SEATTLE vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 220,1
RB Justin Forsett 50 10 -
RB Marshawn Lynch 90,1 20 -
TE John Carlson - 30,1 -
WR Mike Williams - 60 -
WR Deon Butler - 50 -
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Winning in Chicago was a shocker and doing it with defense was even more surprising. This game is a prelude to week ten when they meet again and the reality is that the winner of these matchups will no doubt take the NFC West easy as that appears to be this year. The Cardinals are bringing a green quarterback so this should be yet another good defensive showing.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Hasselbeck has kept Charlie Whitehurst on the sideline so far but it is only a matter of time before two share games if not swap roles. Hasselbeck only has five touchdowns on the season against six interceptions and has yet to top 242 yards in a game. His ground attack may be more supportive now but won't result in any more passing success.

The Cardinals secondary has been weak and allowed nine passing scores already but there is reason to expect more than an average sort of game here with very moderate yardage and one score. He could end up with two touchdowns as do most opponents of the Cardinals but that could just as easily end up with the running backs.

RUNNING BACKS: Marshawn Lynch had his first action as a Seahawk when he rushed for 44 yards and a score on 17 carries in Chicago. He added three catches for nine yards - an ability that the Bills never did exploit. But Lynch still shared with the "change of pace" back in Justin Forsett who turned in ten carries for 67 yards and a score as well. Forsett only had one catch in the game. It is encouraging to see Lynch with 17 carries in his first game but he'll need Forsett to drop back to a true "change of pace" role in order to have decent fantasy stats. Leon Washington has lost almost all his playing time now.

The Cardinals are weak against the run so this is a nice opportunity for Lynch to roll up decent numbers. The Cards have already given up five rushing scores and three games over 100 rushing yards. This game should slow down and give both runners enough work to have fantasy merit this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: With Deion Branch now a Patriot, the Seahawks went into Chicago intent on getting Mike Williams the ball and he had 15 targets that turned into ten catches for 123 yards. Basically it was the total of his first four games combined. Golden Tate had no catches on two passes and Deon Butler took his new starting flanker role and turned it into 47 yards and a score on four catches. It was the second score of the year for Butler who still has yet to total over 50 yards in a game this year. This is still a weak unit and even more so with Branch gone.

The Cardinals are, of course, weak against wideouts but the Seahawks are not going to throw more than they need to and the rushing effort is likely to take this day. If any of the wideouts have more than moderate numbers, it will be a coaches decision to try something out because they'll win this game without that.

TIGHT ENDS: John Carlson plugs along with a few catches every week but had only one score. But that came in a home game as have his better numbers so Carlson could have a decent game here. The Cardinals have allowed a score to each of the last three tight ends that faced them along with healthy yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 20 28 17 23 28 3
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 24 29 19 30 31 31
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SEA 4 1 2 7 3 28

WEEK 7
2010
PHI at TEN STL at TB BUF at BAL MIN at GB
CIN at ATL SF at CAR ARI at SEA NYG at DAL
CLE at NO WAS at CHI OAK at DEN DET, HOU
  PIT at MIA JAC at KC NE at SD IND, NYJ
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