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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 4
October 2, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at NOS IND at TEN* STL at NYG* MIN at ATL* SFO at ARI*
DEN at JAC* PHI at KCC* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
DET at TBB SDC at NE* NYJ at BAL CLE, MIA GBP at CAR
HOU at CIN SEA at WAS DAL at OAK PIT, CHI *Updated

Prediction: Seattle 14, Washington 17

The Redskins come off their bye week having spent the last several days trying to sober up from the party after they took down the Cowboys in Dallas back in week two. Their offense is still sputtering but with a great defense and Santana Moss to catch the bomb, it's hard to count this team out. The Seahawks are also on a two game winning streak with impressive victories over the Falcons and then a complete devastation of the visiting Cardinals. Seattle has not been a good road team for years and Washington has been preparing for two weeks.

Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
1 14-26 @JAC 10 Nov 13 STL
2 21-18 ATL 11 Nov 20 @SFO
3 37-12 ARI 12 Nov 27 NYG
4 Oct 2 @WAS 13 Dec 5 @PHI
5 Oct 9 @STL 14 Dec 11 SFO
6 Oct 16 HOU 15 Dec 18 @TEN
7 Oct 23 DAL 16 Dec 24 IND
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 @GBP
9 Nov 6 @ARI . MON SAT
SEA at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 240,1
RB Shaun Alexander 70,1 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 40 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 80,1 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 60 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 30 0
PK Josh Brown 0 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Nothing feels better than a huge win over a divisional rival. The Seahawks outlasted the Falcons in week two and then greeted the Cardinals with a 37-12 blowout. If Shaun Alexander was running any better he might tear a hole in the fabric of space-time.

Quarterback: After two straight games of 250 yards and two scores, Matt Hasselbeck threw for 240 yards last week but no scores since, of course, all touchdowns were directed to go through Alexander. The bigger concern here is that while Hasselbeck did have 246 yards and two scores as a visitor against the tough Jaguars defense, the Seahawks lost that game and he threw three interceptions. It's all fun and games at home but facing better defenses on the road is a far bigger challenge.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander has stacked up two straight games with over 140 yards gained and he scored a league high four touchdowns last week. That leaves him with five scores on the year and only second to Carnell Williams for rushing yards. Like Hasselbeck, his one trip away from Seattle did not fare nearly so well and he ended with only 73 yards and no scores in that game.

Wide Receivers: Everyone loves the home games. Darrell Jackson has gained 256 yards in the last two games but he only had 65 yards in Jacksonville though he had his lone score on the season. Bobby Engram seemingly turns in about five catches and 70 yards regardless of where or when he plays.

Joe Jurevicius scored in the first two games of the year but only had two catches for 16 yards last week. Notable is that his only good game (3-64, 1 TD) came on the road against the Jaguars. Peter Warrick also got into the game and had one catch for 42 yards. He's worth watching to see if he can fill in a slot role eventually.

Tight Ends: While Jerramy Stevens has hardly become the new Gates, he has turned into a rarity - a consistent tight end. In each game this season he has managed three catches for around 40 yards and scored once. Nothing higher but nothing lower.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins have only played two games this year, but consistent with 2004 they have been very good against the run. Expect Alexander to end up closer to that 70 yard road average than the 140 yard home game blowouts.

Hasselbeck is the key here and he goes against a secondary that can be very good. Expect Jackson to still turn in at least a moderate effort here but the ball will need to be spread among the receivers to remain successful passing. This is basically a replay of week one against the Jaguars except the Washington defense is slightly better and yet their offense is not as good. This will be a low scoring game because the Redskins are involved - simple enough.

Washington Redskins (2-0)
1 9-7 CHI 10 Nov 13 @TBB
2 14-13 @DAL 11 Nov 20 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 Nov 27 SDC
4 Oct 2 SEA 13 Dec 4 @STL
5 Oct 9 @DEN 14 Dec 11 @ARI
6 Oct 16 @KCC 15 Dec 18 DAL
7 Oct 23 SFO 16 Dec 24 NYG
8 Oct 30 @NYG 17 Jan 1 @PHI
9 Nov 6 PHI . MON SAT
WAS vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 200,1
RB Clinton Portis 100,1 20 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 20 0
WR Santana Moss 0 80 0
WR David Patten 0 50,1 0
WR James Thrash 0 30 0
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: No matter that the Redskins really only had two plays of any note against the Cowboys. They were both long touchdowns to Santana Moss at the end of the game and allowed the Redskins to win in Dallas for the first time since the advent of the players wearing helmets. It was a huge win for the franchise and in the home of their most hated rival. Life is good. Plus a whole week off just to smile and treat Santana Moss to dinner.

Quarterback: Mark Brunell ended with 291 yards and two scores against Dallas last week and though he almost ended with a forgettable sub-200 yard game with no scores and one interception, those final four minutes in week two assures him a spot in the lineup this week and possibly a new Hall of Fame dedicated solely to he and Santana Moss.

Running Backs: While Clinton Portis had a nice game against the Bears in week one with 121 yards on 21 carries, he only managed 52 yards on 17 rushes in Dallas. A newer feature was Portis turning in four catches for 25 yards in week two when he often has no catches in a game. Ladell Betts had 17 yards on four carries in Dallas but lost a fumble - no challenge there for Portis.

Wide Receivers: Santana Moss is supplying exactly the element to the offense he was supposed to - a deep receiver that can pick up chunks of yards even if only on a couple of passes per game. Moss had 159 yards and two scores against the Cowboys and will forever be an answer to the Redskins' version of Trivial Pursuit.

David Patten has been a non-factor so far with only four catches for 31 yards after two games this season. James Thrash has been more effective with 42 yards in week two but this unit will never turn in big numbers in a game since the offense prefers to only run - and throw way down field to Moss.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley had six scores in 2004 as a rookie but so far he's been just another tight end with two or three catches per game and never more than 34 yards. He still gets looks in the redzone but hasn't come down with a score yet.

Match Against the Defense: Portis should find some decent running room this week despite the Seahawks statistically looking great against the run. The Redskins have been preparing for two weeks and Seattle's rush defense is ripe for a letdown game that Portis can provide.

Mark Brunell won't be throwing much unless Seattle gets a big lead later in the game. That's not likely in Washington and means that the passing game will, as always, be underneath fantasy consideration. Santana Moss comes off a monster game and will get plenty of attention. That could leave Patten with more room and he has the better matchup but the Skins just don't throw more than they think they must.