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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 9
2011
* ATL at IND * DEN at OAK * NYJ at BUF TB at NO
* BAL at PIT * GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN * MIA at KC * SF at WAS Bye Week
* Updated * CLE at HOU * NYG at NE * STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

Prediction: CHI 14, PHI 27

Players to Watch: Brent Celek

The Bears come off their bye and last beat the Buccaneers in London which still only gives them a 1-2 road record. The Eagles last put the stomp on the Cowboys and are suddenly looking like we thought they would last summer. Played in Philly again favors the Eagles big. This is the Monday night game.

The Eagles lost 26-31 in Chicago last year.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 30-12 10 DET -
2 @NO 13-30 11 SD -
3 GB 17-27 12 @OAK -
4 CAR 34-29 13 KC -
5 @DET 13-24 14 @DEN -
6 MIN 39-10 15 SEA -
7 @TB 24-18 16 @GB -
8 Bye - 17 @MIN -
9 @PHI -      
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 230,1
RB Matt Forte 70 50 -
RB Marion Barber 30,1 - -
WR Dane Sanzenbacher - 30 -
WR Roy Williams - 40 -
WR Devin Hester - 40,1 -
WR Johnny Knox - 50 -
PK Robbie Gould FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The win in London keeps the Bears above .500 but the road record has not been good. Matt Forte continues to dominate the offense while Jay Cutler has been mostly game manager and none of the receivers have stepped up to distinguish themselves from the others. The Bears host the Lions next week which makes it harder to concentrate on this matchup. A win would be big if only to beat a quality opponent on the road but nothing so far suggests the Bears are up to it.

QUARTERBACK: We've come to expect more from a Mike Martz offense but Jay Cutler chugs along with one or two touchdowns per week and usually remains below 250 yards. Cutler has a total of nine touchdowns in seven games with six interceptions but at least his sack totals have been lower in recent games. After opening the season with 14 sacks in three games, Cutler has only been sacked seven times in the last four outings.

Cutler passed for 247 yards and four touchdowns on the visiting Eagles last year.

The Eagles have improved on defense and over the last three games allowed just two passing touchdowns. This week will be a test to see if the Cowboys beatdown was just about a divisional rival or if the Eagles truly have turned the corner. Cutler has been pretty consistent at one score and mid-200's for yardage in road games.

RUNNING BACKS: If you want absolutes in life, consider that death meets us all, that we have to pay taxes and that Matt Forte is going to be franchised next year. Forte already turned down one offer and the Bears have shelved it until the end of the year. But Forte has been on fire, gaining 672 rushing yards and 419 receiving yards. That's well over 1000 yards of offense in just seven games. He is a bit light on scores with only three touchdowns but he is rock solid on yardage.

Sadly Marion Barber has scored in three of the last four games as the goal line back so consider Forte could be even better.

Forte gained 117 yards on 14 runs and added two catches for 22 yards against the Eagles last season. The Eagles have been weak against the run this year and yet held Dallas to only 76 rushing yards (but on nine carries). Forte is a must start and will post the yardage as he has in every game thanks to being a dual threat but I like a rushing score to end up with Marion Barber.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Roy Williams finally scored for the first time when he caught four passes for 59 yards in London but like every other wideout here, it just means he had his one decent game. There has only been five touchdowns caught by the entire group and three of those went to Dane Sanzenbacher who is usually the lowest yardage each week. There just is no reliable fantasy value here aside from a few yards for each wideout.

The wideouts were effective on the Eagles last time. Knox gained 68 yards and one score on three catches while Earl Bennett scored two touchdowns on his four receptions for 56 yards. Even Hester turned in 86 yards on three catches.

The Eagles cornerback cannot take care of all four wideouts but that doesn't mean any of them are certain to do much. I like the passing score to end up with either Hester or Sanzenbacher since the slot or #4 guys are more likely to score on the Eagles. But hardly an guarantee.

TIGHT ENDS: No matter that Kellen Davis has two touchdowns this year, he is rarely good for more than one catch per week and has three games with no catches. No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 23 6 17 28 10 7
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 18 26 6 10 2 24


Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @STL 31-13 10 ARI -
2 @ATL 31-35 11 @NYG -
3 NYG 16-29 12 NE -
4 SF 23-24 13 @SEA -
5 @BUF 24-31 14 @MIA -
6 @WAS 20-13 15 NYJ -
7 Bye - 16 @DAL -
8 DAL 34-7 17 WAS -
9 CHI -      
Eagles Report | Statistics | Roster
PHILADELPHIA vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 50 - 290,2
RB LeSean McCoy 100,1 20 -
TE Brent Celek - 40,1 -
WR DeSean Jackson - 70 -
WR Jason Avant - 60 -
WR Jeremy Maclin - 70,1 -
PK Alex Henery 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Time to rethink the Eagles. After snapping their four game losing streak in their close win over the Redskins, the Eagles went on their bye. When they returned, they dismantled the Cowboys in every conceivable fashion in a game where the defense was stellar and the offense nearly flawless. Could it be that the Eagles are finally starting to gel behind new DC Juan Castillo? This week should help answer that.

QUARTERBACK: Michael Vick finally had a game like the season opener in St. Louis when he had no turnovers against the Cowboys. He has passed for two scores in five of his seven games and always been good for 50+ yards as a runner but finally had a game without a turnover - makes winning easier. At home Vick is at his best and the team has some new swagger since last week.

Vick threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns in Chicago last year. He added 44 rushing yards.

The Bears on the road have always allowed two or more touchdowns to an opposing quarterback. Figure this one for a nice afternoon for Vick.

RUNNING BACKS: LeSean McCoy is the reason why Michael Vick is no longer the fantasy stud of 2010. How could he be when McCoy has scored in every game this year and has ten total touchdowns? He has gained over 100 rushing yards four times and been over 100 total yards in all but one game. He shares almost no carries and adds in three or four catches every week. No matter the venue, McCoy has been a fantasy star this year.

McCoy gained 53 yards on ten carries and caught eight passes for 67 yards on the Bears last year.

The Bears have only allowed three touchdowns to the position but McCoy is at home - he will score at least once. Expect a very healthy game here by McCoy.

WIDE RECEIVERS:Jeremy Maclin has been the consistent wideout with at least 50 yards every week and four touchdowns on the year. Oddly enough, his best games tend to be on the road where he has twice exceeded 100 yards. DeSean Jackson is more a disappointment than anything with just one touchdown since the season opener and four games under 50 yards already. IT all depends on whether he catches the long bomb or not. Jason Avant never scores but has been solid with yardage nearly every week.

Jackson only managed 26 yards on two catches on the Bears last year while Maclin scored once on his four receptions for 47 yards.

The Bears secondary can be beaten and have allowed four 100 yard games to wideouts. Either starter could end up with a score this week and both should have at least decent yardage. They are good starts here at home.

TIGHT ENDS: Normally this has no fantasy value. But the last two games - both wins - had Brent Celek scoring. He gained 42 yards in Washington and then 94 yards on the Cowboys because they swung everything against Maclin and Jackson. The Bears have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in every road game so far - Celek runs a good shot at the hat trick this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 5 8 5 21 12 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 27 17 21 31 17 11

WEEK 9
2011
ATL at IND DEN at OAK NYJ at BUF TB at NO
BAL at PIT GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN MIA at KC SF at WAS Bye Week
  CLE at HOU NYG at NE STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

a d v e r t i s e m e n t