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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 2
September 18, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BAL at TEN* MIN at CIN SFO at PHI* CLE at GBP KCC at OAK
BUF at TBB NE at CAR Sun 4 PM MIA at NYJ Mon 9 PM
DET at CHI NYG at NOR ATL at SEA SDC at DEN* WAS at DAL*
JAC at IND* PIT at HOU* STL at ARI *Update Times ET

Prediction: New Orleans 24, New York Giants 23

Both teams come off big wins - the Giants demolished the Cardinals last week while the Saints held on and squeaked past the Panthers as a visitor. The Giants won on 9/11 at home and the Saints pleased their largely displaced fan base. Now only one team will remain happy. This game will be the "other Monday night game" played in New York while the Saints finalize their home venue this season.

Update: No changes here. Shockey is listed as questionable with his ankle sprain and has not practiced this week. Expect to see him out this week.

New York Giants (1-0)
1 42-19 ARI 10 Nov 13 MIN
2 Sep 18 @NOR 11 Nov 20 PHI
3 Sep 25 @SDC 12 Nov 27 @SEA
4 Oct 2 STL 13 Dec 4 DAL
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @PHI
6 Oct 16 @DAL 15 Dec 17 KCC
7 Oct 23 DEN 16 Dec 24 @WAS
8 Oct 30 WAS 17 Dec 31 @OAK
9 Nov 6 @SFO . . SAT
NYG Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 170,1
RB Tiki Barber 90 40 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 20,1 0 0
TE V. Shiancoe 0 20 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 40 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 60,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 10 0
PK Jay Feeley 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants actually struggled last week against the visiting Cardinals until the second half had a kick and a punt return for a touchdown and Cardinals remembered they were on the road. Manning was able to start out his season with a score to a wideout finally but this will prove a much tougher gig.

Quarterback: Finally Eli Manning connected with a wideout for a score and the acquisition of Plaxico Burress looks like it paid off. Troublesome were the two interceptions that Manning threw and one was returned for a touchdown and an early Arizona lead. Manning only completed 10 of 23 passes (43%) but did find Jeremy Shockey and Burress both for scores.

For such a big win, the internal numbers were really nothing special.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber ran for 62 yards and gained 60 yards via the pass thanks to two long gainers. He scored once on the ground and there's nothing wrong with 122 yards and a score on the afternoon.

What might be "wrong" in the fantasy sense was that Brandon Jacobs had 13 carries in the game for 39 yards and one touchdown. His first carry? Try in the first series when it was third and one. Three plays later it was third and one - hello Jacobs again. Twice more in the game when it was third or second and one he carried the ball. When the Giants were on the ten yard line of the Cardinals, Tiki gained six yards to the four-yard line. Then Jacobs came in and scored.

You can pretty much write off Barber matching his touchdown total from 2004.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress added a new dimension to the passing game (read as height) and had 76 yards on five receptions with one score. But he had ten passes - more than twice than any other player which includes Amani Toomer who had four throws and zero receptions. This is not really a new passing game, it is just focusing on Burress enough times to get some catches and all at the expense of Amani Toomer.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey had two catches for 29 yards and one touchdown last week but tweaked his ankle. Since those results are not yet available, I am assuming he needs a week off to heal. Shockey has a history of ankle problems and this is not the way he wanted to begin his season. I am assuming that Visanthe Shiancoe gets the start instead but will update on Friday depending on the news.

Match Against the Defense: The Saints made several moves to bolster their defense and it appears to have worked for the most part. Holding Jake Delhomme to only 212 yards and one score with two interceptions is indicative of the improvement and let's be serious - Delhomme and company are miles ahead of Eli Manning when it comes to passing. Expect, of course, a lower game for passing numbers from the Giants.

There should be some success running the ball with the duo of Barber and Jacobs. Even Stephen Davis gained 81 yards and a score on only 13 carries last week. Look for Barber and possibly Jacobs to have a good game here but unlikely any other Giant, especially with Shockey injured.

New Orleans Saints (1-0)
1 23-20 @CAR 10 Open Bye
2 Sep 18 NYG 11 Nov 20 @NE
3 Sep 25 @MIN 12 Nov 27 @NYJ
4 Oct 2 BUF 13 Dec 4 TBB
5 Oct 9 @GBP 14 Dec 12 @ATL
6 Oct 16 ATL 15 Dec 18 CAR
7 Oct 23 @STL 16 Dec 24 DET
8 Oct 30 MIA 17 Jan 1 @TBB
9 Nov 6 CHI . MON SAT
NOR Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Brooks 20 0 260,2
RB Deuce McAllister 70,1 20 0
RB Antowain Smith 10 0 0
TE Z. Hilton 0 20 0
WR Joe Horn 0 100,1 0
WR Donte Stallworth 0 80,1 0
WR Devery Henderson 0 20 0
PK John Carney 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: What a wonderful injection of excitement for the Saints fans last week that needed and deserved it. The Saints played solid across the board and on the road defeated the Panthers. Now that they are "home" this week, they either slow down from an emotional win or they use that as proof that they are legitimate and above circumstances. The offensive line changes have already shown a big improvement from last year and if the defense continues to play well, the Saints could actually surprise this year.

Quarterback: Aaron Brooks played a nice, controlled game in Carolina last week, going 18 of 24 for 192 yards and one score with no fumbles or interceptions. That's half the battle for the often error prone Brooks. The protection seems improved this year and that will help him reduce the turnovers this season.

Running Backs: Going against a very solid Panther front four last week, Deuce McAllister had only 64 yards on 26 carries and earned every yard. He also scored two touchdowns and had two catches. This offense is all about McAlister when it runs and when the schedule softens up, Deuce could be a fantasy goldmine this season.

Wide Receivers: Joe Horn (5-66) and Donte Stallworth (4-47) didn't have a huge game last week but it was the Carolina defense and both players were instrumental on that last drive for the winning field goal. They were also the only Saints wideouts with a catch last week.

That likely won't change much since Az-Zahir Hakim pulled a hamstring again, the same one that bothered him all summer. Devery Henderson will remain as the slot receiver that you rarely see do anything.

Tight Ends: Ernie Conwell had a concussion and partial displacement of his right jaw in the third quarter of the Panthers game last week but had already caught six passes for 71 yards and ended as the lead receiver. I am assuming that he will not play this week and will update on Friday if needed.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants rushing defense is very good - it completely shut down the Cardinals and it will keep McAllister from having a big game. Last week we saw that Deuce can still score the short touchdowns though, regardless of the defense.

Where this game should be decided is in the air with Aaron Brooks finding success with Horn and Stallworth. The Giants corners Will Allen and Curtis Deloatch (playing for Will Peterson) had all they can handle with Boldin and Fitzgerald last week. Stallworth plays the same flanker role as Fitzgerald though either wideout should shine here.