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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 8
2010
*GB at NYJ *CAR at STL *MIN at NE *HOU at IND
*DEN at SF WAS at DET *SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL *BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
*UPDATED MIA at CIN *TEN at SD *PIT at NO NYG, PHI

Prediction: WAS 17, DET 24

The Redskins remain one game behind the Giants in the NFC East but have a 2-1 road record this year. The Lions come off their bye week with a 1-5 record but hope to have Matt Stafford back. The Redskins lost in Detroit 14-19 last year during week three.

Washington Redskins (4-3)
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 W 17-14 16 @JAC --
8 @DET -- 17 NYG --
9 Bye - - - -
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb - - 240,1
RB Ryan Torain 120,1 - -
TE Chris Cooley - 60 -
WR Santana Moss - 90,1 -
WR Anthony Armstrong   50  
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: There's nothing flashy about these Redskins but they own a 4-3 record thanks to a good defense and their ability to keep games within reach. That means a dearth of fantasy points but at least they continue to win most games. With a bye waiting on the other side of this game, there should be no losing focus but the Skins gave the Lions one of their rare wins last year. The Skins have yet to score more than 17 points in an away game.

QUARTERBACK: For six straight weeks, Donovan McNabb has passed for exactly one touchdown per game but with wildly varying yardage as low as 125 and as high as 426. On the season he has six scores against seven interceptions and has been sacked ten times in just the last three games.

Jason Campbell passed for 340 yards and two scores when the Skins were in Detroit last year.

The Lions rarely allow much passing yardage but most opponents have thrown for a couple of touchdowns on them. McNabb is a lock to get that one touchdown but anything more would be his first of the season. His yardage is also more likely to be moderate since so far his three lowest passing efforts were in his three previous road games.

RUNNING BACKS: The Skins have managed to make Ryan Torain a fantasy surprise here in midseason since he has topped 100 yards in each of the last two games and scored three touchdowns on the season. Torain has almost no role as a receiver though his rushing totals are better than many because he really does not share with anyone. One small concern here - blocking fullback Mike Sellers injured his ankle last week and if he cannot play it would affect Torain.

The Lions sport the worst defense against running backs currently and Torain should be linking his chops at facing a team that has allowed four runners to gain over 110 rushing yards and they have given up seven rushing scores. This is a must start week for Torain.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The only fantasy relevant player here remains Santana Moss who has logged no less than 63 yards in all but one game and his two scores tie him for the team lead with Chris Cooley. Anthony Armstrong has taken over the #2 spot from Joey Galloway but he has been limited to 45 yards games these last couple of weeks while Galloway has completely fallen to the wayside.

Moss turned in 10 catches for 178 yards and a score in Detroit last season.

The Lions are better in the secondary than in years past but Moss should be looking at 12 targets minimum. He is a solid play for yardage and has a better than average chance for a score.

TIGHT ENDS: Chris Cooley no longer occupies the preferred target role in this new offense but he has been solid with around 50 yards in most games and has two scores on the season though none since week four. The Lions have been solid against this position but mostly from not facing many good receiving tight ends.

Cooley only gained 38 yards on three catches in Detroit last year.

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 DET 21 32 22 8 7 22
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) WAS 2 14 -3 -2 -2 7


Detroit Lions (1-5)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI L 14-19 10 @BUF --
2 PHI L 32-35 11 @DAL --
3 @MIN L 10-24 12 NE --
4 @GB L 26-28 13 CHI --
5 STL W 44-6 14 GB --
6 @NYG L 20-28 15 @TB --
7 Bye - 16 @MIA --
8 WAS -- 17 MIN --
9 NYJ -- - - -
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford - - 250,2
RB Jahvid Best 50,1 40 -
TE Tony Scheffler - 30 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 30,1 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 80,1 -
WR Bryant Johnson - 20 -
WR Nate Burleson - 30 -
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions have their one win and get a shot at their second with an incoming Redskins offense that hasn't scored more than 17 points on the road while the Lions have only played in two home games and posted 32 and 44 points in those. Matt Stafford is also expected to return and the team is rested and have been preparing for this game for two weeks.

QUARTERBACK: Matthew Stafford admitted that he has been out with an "AC separation" since week one and he is already back in practice and throwing well. This is fortunate since Shaun Hill fractured his arm and will be out for several weeks. Stafford may be a little rusty but has been practicing for two weeks now and will be an upgrade from Hill if only in a few weeks time. Hill did a very solid job manning the starter role while Stafford was out and posted several nice efforts.

Stafford threw for 241 yards and one score against the Redskins last year.

The Skins have allowed at least one passing score to each opponent this season but only twice given up more than one (during road games no less). Five teams have passed for 280+ yards on the Redskins who rank only 29th against quarterbacks and wide receivers. Hard to forecast a big game for Stafford in his first week back but no reason why he shouldn't post solid numbers.

RUNNING BACKS: While Jahvid Best has yet to rush for more than 78 yards and he has not scored since week two, at least his two best games were in his only two home venues thus far. He's also developed into as much of a receiver as he is a runner but how Stafford uses him remains to be seen. Best has 31 catches on the year in just six games.

The Lions rushed for 111 yards and two scores on the Redskins last year. Kevin Smith gained 101 yards.

The Skins have only allowed three running touchdowns but recent weeks have seen both Joseph Addai and Brandon Jackson roll up over 100 rushing yards on them. This should be a no less than a solid effort for Best who could surprise. He'll add receptions to the total and end up a good fantasy play.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The addition of Nate Burleson has made a difference and he scored in each of the last two games though never with more than 56 yards in any game. But he is enough of a threat to help Calvin Johnson from receiving the attention of the entire secondary like last year. Johnson has not skipped a beat with Shaun Hill as the starter. He has five touchdowns in the last five games and comes off his best effort of the year when he had 146 yards on five receptions in New York. The return of Stafford might start a little slowly since he has been out since week one but Johnson and he already had chemistry.

Bryant Johnson gained a team high 73 yards on the Skins in 2009 while Calvin only managed 49 yards on five catches.

The Redskins have allowed seven touchdowns to the wideouts this season and four players have topped 100 receiving yards against them. It is a small risk with Stafford returning but Johnson remains a must-start and should have at least a decent showing here in a home game.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew has assumed the primary tight end spot but Tony Scheffler gets plenty of use as well. Notable too is that in week one when Stafford played, Scheffler (6-43) was the better option than Pettigrew (1-6). This week should be a better indicator which player will be Stafford's favorite but in either case both will contribute. The Skins are about average against the position but the Lions often use two tight end sets and will throw to either.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 7 16 19 3 8 6
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 29 21 29 17 24 5
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DET 22 5 10 14 16 -1

WEEK 8
2010
GB at NYJ CAR at STL MIN at NE HOU at IND
DEN at SF WAS at DET SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
  MIA at CIN TEN at SD PIT at NO NYG, PHI
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