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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL *NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
*NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF *SD at HOU *IND at PHI SF, STL
*Updated *NYJ at DET *ARI at MIN *DAL at GB TEN, WAS

Prediction: NE 20, CLE 17

At 6-1, the Patriots own the best record in the NFL and lead the Jets by a full game in the AFC East. The Pats are 2-1 on the road. The Browns are only 2-5 but are coming off their bye and last beat the Saints in New Orleans for a confidence booster which was almost entirely made up of defensive and special teams scores.

New England Patriots (6-1)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN W 38-24 10 @PIT --
2 @NYJ L 14-28 11 IND --
3 BUF W 38-30 12 @DET --
4 @MIA W 41-14 13 NYJ --
5 Bye - 14 @CHI --
6 BAL W 23-20 15 GB --
7 @SD W 23-20 16 @BUF --
8 MIN W 28-18 17 MIA --
9 @CLE -- - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 220,1
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 60,1 - -
RB Danny Woodhead 30 30 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 40 -
WR Brandon Tate - 50 -
WR Deion Branch - 40 -
WR Wes Welker - 50,1 -
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Patriots are on a five game winning streak and could potentially try looking past this game to week ten in Pittsburgh. The offense has changed significantly in recent weeks as the running game has eclipsed the passing efforts of Tom Brady. And the passing game itself has been getting shorter and less productive with almost every week. All that won't matter at all on Sunday.

QUARTERBACK: The plus side of Tom Brady is that he has thrown for a touchdown in every game this year. The down side - it has never been more than one during the last four weeks. He's only once passed for more than 240 yards in the last month. Since Randy Moss left - and tearfully so apparently - Brady has been little more than an average quarterback leaning on his backfield to win games.

The Browns have played much better when at home and opposing quarterbacks have only produced three touchdowns in the three home games. The passing yardage can be high but the Pats don't do that anymore so look for a good and yet not great effort from Brady. Again.

RUNNING BACKS: BenJarvus Green-Ellis comes off his best game of the year when he gained 112 yards on 17 runs and scored twice on the visiting Vikings. That makes five straight games with a touchdown for Green-Ellis who finally lost a rushing score to Danny Woodhead who has taken over the "Kevin Faulk" role in this offense. Woodhead has never rushed for more than 63 yards but has been a factor as a receiver in each of the last three games. Once Moss left, Wes Welker's stats nose dived and passes once flipped over the line to Welker are now starting to end up with Woodhead.

The Browns have a very good rushing defense that has only allowed one rushing score all season. Four runners have ended up with 80+ rushing yards but none have topped 100 yards so far. Green-Ellis is a must start so long as his streak remains alive and Woodhead should prop up his value here with receptions.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Tate comes off his best game when he was left uncovered on one play and scored a 66-yard touchdown and ended with 101 yards on three receptions after totaling only one catch over the two previous games. Wes Welker continues to get worse with Randy Moss gone. Not only has he not scored since week two, but he has not had more than four catches for 25 yards over the last two games. Deion Branch is playing but is hampered by a tight hamstring. All the fun has left this group that has become just a gaggle of dink-and-dunk receivers aside from Tate's one fluke play.

The Browns biggest weakness is in the secondary where they have already allowed ten scores to wideouts along with four receivers gaining over 100 yards. This could be where Welker finally gets that next touchdown unless it ends up with Tate. Any receiver here is going to be a big risk but this is where the going gets easier when facing the Browns.

TIGHT ENDS: Aaron Hernandez still has not scored a touchdown but remains a solid possession receiver with around 50 yards or so in most games. The Browns have been mostly effective against the position and allowed just two scores. Opponents have more success using their wideouts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 13 11 20 3 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 26 6 27 19 12 18
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NE 13 -5 7 16 7 13


Cleveland Browns (2-5)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB L 14-17 10 NYJ --
2 KC L 14-16 11 @JAC --
3 @BAL L 17-24 12 CAR --
4 CIN W 23-20 13 @MIA --
5 ATL L 10-20 14 @BUF --
6 @PIT L 10-28 15 @CIN --
7 @NO W 30-17 16 BAL --
8 Bye - 17 PIT --
9 NE -- - - -
Browns Report | Statistics | Roster
CLEVELAND at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Colt McCoy - - 250,1
RB Peyton Hillis 60,1 40 -
TE Ben Watson - 50,1 -
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - 30 -
WR Josh Cribs 10 40 -
WR Chansi Stuckey - 30 -
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Browns come off their bye week pleased to have won in New Orleans but the remaining schedule is murderous outside of hosting the Panthers in week 12. The offense remains one of the worst in the league and the Saints game went well only because of the defensive effort that has been missing in most games. The Browns will spend the rest of the season waiting for a trap game but are unlikely to finish any better than 4-12 if that good.

QUARTERBACK: Both Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme have been out with high ankle sprains and pending practice reports I will assume that they remain out. Colt McCoy was a nice surprise with 281 yards and a score in Pittsburgh even if it was mostly trash time. He only threw 16 passes in New Orleans in that surreal matchup.

On the plus side here, McCoy is facing the #30 defense against quarterbacks and that has to help. Every opponent of the Pats have scored at least once via a pass and most often there are two scores. The yardage has remained above 250 in almost every game as well.

RUNNING BACKS: Peyton Hillis got back on the scoring streak against the Saints when he rushed in his sixth touchdown of the season and had 69 yards. He's been a nice surprise who not only has been nearly a constant scorer but he's increased his role as a receiver in recent weeks. Hillis has failed to score only once this year and never at home.

The Patriots are only average against the run and have been hurt as much by running backs as receivers as they have from runners. They have only allowed three rushing touchdowns and no runner has topped 92 yards against them. Figure Hillis for a decent game that has the potential to be a good one.

WIDE RECEIVERS: These wideouts rank as the most unproductive in the NFL. They have only scored twice all season and never had more than 74 yards in any game. They have been surpassed by both team tight ends and not even facing the Patriots #30 ranked secondary makes them an attractive play this week.

TIGHT ENDS: Fortunately for the Browns, the Patriots are even worse against tight ends who have scored four times on them and had four efforts that topped 50 yards. Expect a nice game here by Ben Watson with a very nice chance of scoring. Even Evan Moore could come up with notable stats in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 30 21 31 6 28 18
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 16 25 30 20 7
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CLE 0 -5 -6 24 -8 -11

WEEK 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF SD at HOU IND at PHI SF, STL
  NYJ at DET ARI at MIN DAL at GB TEN, WAS
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