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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: WAS 20, CHI 19

Update: Chris Cooley has been limited in practice from his concussion but is going to play this week and is not expected to have any complications or limitations.

The Skins show up having fallen back one game in the NFC East but with a 1-1 road record this season. The Bears are 4-2 and just when you think they are a good team, they do something like lose to the visiting Seahawks. This is a coin flip but the Redskins defense is probably the difference maker this week.

Washington Redskins (3-3)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL W 13-7 10 PHI --
2 HOU L 27-30 11 @TEN --
3 @STL L 16-30 12 MIN --
4 @PHI W 17-12 13 @NYG --
5 GB W 16-13 14 TB --
6 IND L 24-27 15 @DAL --
7 @CHI -- 16 @JAC --
8 @DET -- 17 NYG --
9 Bye - - - -
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 30 - 220,1
RB Ryan Torain 80,1 10 -
TE Chris Cooley - 40 -
WR Santana Moss - 80 -
WR Anthony Armstrong - 50,1 -
PK Graham Gano 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Skins lost to the Colts and it was the fifth time this season that the game was decided by less than seven points. The Redskins defense has been playing better in recent weeks and the offense still has problems posting points so it inevitably comes down to Graham Gano in the fourth quarter it seems. The Skins are trailing the Giants and the Eagles but have already beaten those Eagles and the Cowboys. They remain in the thick of the division race.

QUARTERBACK: Every week, one touchdown. Donovan McNabb has passed for one score in each of the last five games though the yardage varies wildly from 426 down to only 125 yards. But McNabb is back on the road this week where his two previous season low games were. The Bears present an interesting matchup since they have only allowed three passing scores this year thanks in no small part to playing some bad teams.

McNabb should hang onto his one score per week trend and split the difference on the highs and lows that Chicago have allowed.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Torain looked very sharp when he rushed 20 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts last week. Torain exploited the defense with a surprising power rushing game and has already surpassed anything that Portis had done this year. Keiland Williams remains a third down back and even scored on his four receptions for 19 yards last week. Torain was seen with a wrap on his knee on Monday but he claims it was nothing. Torain has always been an injury waiting to happen but with such a nice showing, it would be a shame if his durability issues cropped up this quickly.

The Bears have allowed five different runners to score and most do not have big games because the Bears have faced few teams with a top rushing attack. As long as Torain is healthy, he should score once with healthy yardage. LB Lance Briggs is due back this week which could slow Torain down. Without him last week the Bears gave up two rushing touchdowns and 111 rush yards to the Seahawks.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Anthony Armstrong has taken over as the starting split end and while he only has one score on the season, he has been consistently turning in around 50 to 60 yards per week with a high of 84 yards against the Packers. That leaves Joey Galloway out in the cold but he has dwindled down to only one or two short catches per week anyway. Santana Moss has been the preferred target for McNabb with 77 yards or more in all but one game.

I like Armstrong to end up with the score this week like the other two split ends that have scored on the Bears this year. The yardage will be no more than moderate but could rise if McNabb prefers to focus on only one player. So far that would have to be Moss.

TIGHT ENDS: Chris Cooley had a mild concussion last week but may be able to play since he was lucid afterwards and Monday tests already showed he was close to normal. I will assume he can play and update as needed. Cooley has been good for at least around 40 yards or more each game and has a team high two receiving scores. The Bears have yet to allow a score via a tight end though.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 19 18 25 10 9 15
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 3 18 5 9 4 30
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) WAS -16 0 -20 -1 -5 15


Chicago Bears (4-2)
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 L 20-23 15 @MIN --
7 WAS -- 16 NYJ --
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF --   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 280,2
RB Matt Forte 30 40,1 -
TE Greg Olsen - 20 -
WR Devin Hester - 30 -
WR Earl Bennett - 30 -
WR Devin Aromashodu - 40 -
WR Johnny Knox - 70,1 -
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough loss to the Seahawks last week and it took a Devin Hester return touchdown to make the score close. The problem in that game was the same as every other game - Jay Cutler getting blasted. Getting a rushing score and a return touchdown is hard to rely on every week but the offensive line is going to be the limitation for this team all season. Cutler has already missed one game.

QUARTERBACK: After sitting out in week five, Jay Cutler came back to suffer six more sacks by the Seahawks and he ended with 290 yards and yet no scores. Given the typical struggles to run the ball, Cutler is lighting it up every week but he only managed one score against the Packers and then none this week. He already has 23 sacks in just four and a half games.

The Redskins have allowed at least one passing score to each opponent and plentiful yardage as well. This is a good chance to see Cutler get back to more productive ways against a team that is only averaging about two sacks per game.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte only managed to gain 11 yards on eight carries last week but he scored in a run for the third time in two weeks and added 40 yards on three receptions. The Redskins have been very good against the run until last week against the Colts. Forte has been locked into sub-30 yard rushing efforts in four of the last five weeks so expect his value to stem more as a receiver. And even that role has been on the wane since week two.

WIDE RECEIVERS:Johnny Knox had a season best 120 yards on five receptions last week and he had a couple nice efforts to start the year but otherwise the Bears wideouts have been shockingly ineffective and only have one touchdown to their collective credit this year. But the Redskins have allowed six touchdowns to the position already and four players recorded 100+ yard games against them. This is a good spot for Knox to finally get a score though the distribution could make it go anywhere.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen started the season with around 40 yards in each game and scored in weeks three and four but he has not had a catch in two weeks. He could come back this week and the Eagles have allowed three tight ends to score on them but Olsen's two straight goose eggs make it far too risky to rely on him.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 22 10 27 26 11 10
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 29 21 29 17 24 5
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CHI 7 11 2 -9 13 -5

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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