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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 9
November 2, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at MIA* DET at MIN* TEN at CLE* PIT at GB* PHI at WAS*
CAR at TB HOU at JAC* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
CHI at NO OAK at KC* NYG at SF BUF, DEN IND at NE
CIN at BAL SD at NYJ SEA at ARI* DAL, STL Updates*

Prediction: Seattle 20, Arizona 16

This is a rematch of week three when the Seahawks thumped the Cardinals 37-12 in Seattle. It's a safe bet that Alexander won't be gaining another 140 yards and four touchdowns this time... though I would not like bet a whole lot on that not happening...

Update: Kurt Warner has been named the starting quarterback and Anquan Boldin is out this week with a bone bruise but not a torn meniscus. I am changing the projections to reflect that the entire Seattle defense will be following Larry Fitzgerald around on every play. Bryant Johnson gets the start for Boldin.

Seattle Seahawks (5-2)
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 17-20 @WAS 13 Dec 5 @PHI
5 37-31 @STL 14 Dec 11 SFO
6 42-10 HOU 15 Dec 18 @TEN
7 13-10 DAL 16 Dec 24 IND
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 @GBP
9 Nov 6 @ARI . MON SAT
SEA at ARZ Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 220,1
RB Shaun Alexander 80,1 20 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 30 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 60 0
WR D.J. Hackett 0 20 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 70,1 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Seahawks come off their bye week and have won their last three games. Bobby Engram should be returning and Alexander is not going anywhere which means only Darrell Jackson is still missing the fun. And it should be some fun since the next three games are against the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers. The NFC West is the #1 preferred destination for offenses all over the league.

Quarterback: Since Alexander has ran so well this season, Matt Hasselbeck has not needed to be nearly so pass-happy this season. He only has nine scores on the season and only once has needed to throw for 300 yards. But Hasselbeck remains consistent at around 220 or more yards and at least one score each week. Remarkable too since he has not had his two best wideouts since week four.

Hasselbeck threw for only 242 yards and no scores in the week three game against the Cardinals because Alexander was busy "ripping them a new one."

Running Backs: The Cowboys were the first team to truly hold Alexander at bay this year when he only gained 61 yards on 21 carries but that doesn't really matter here. Alexander ran 22 times for 140 yards and four touchdowns in the earlier meeting against the Cardinals. Chances are they still remember.

Wide Receivers: While Darrell Jackson will still be out, the Seahawks are optimistic that Bobby Engram will return to the lineup this week and bump D.J. Hackett back to the slot. Joe Jurevicius and Hackett have done a nice job as fill-ins but they still are not nearly the duo of Jackson and Engram. This unit saw Darrell Jackson turn in 123 yards back in week three against the Cards but it's not likely that Jurevicius or Engram will replicate that this time around. With Alexander there, the need just doesn't exist.

Tight Ends: No matter if Jackson and Engram are there or not, Jeremy Stevens remains a solid part of the passing scheme in Seattle. He's generally good for around 30 to 50 yards a week but has only scored once this year. Stevens only had 34 yards on three catches in the previous meeting against Arizona.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals are always much better back at home and the ridiculous numbers turned in by Alexander earlier this year will tone down to only being delightfully amusing. Expect him to end close to 100 yards and score at least once. The Cardinals are still trying to operate an offense without any running game, so the games take longer and Alexander just has more carries.

Hasselbeck should score once here but he won't have a monster game by any means. The Cardinals play tough in the desert and the runs by Alexander will take up most of the plays here. Look for Jurevicius to catch the touchdown though Engram could almost as easily here.

Arizona Cardinals (2-5)
1 19-42 @NYG 10 Nov 13 @DET
2 12-17 STL 11 Nov 20 @STL
3 12-37 @SEA 12 Nov 27 JAC
4 31-14 SFO 13 Dec 4 @SFO
5 20-24 CAR 14 Dec 11 WAS
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 18 @HOU
7 20-10 TEN 16 Dec 24 PHI
8 13-34 @DAL 17 Jan 1 @IND
9 Nov 6 SEA . . SAT
ARZ vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 180,1
RB Marcel Shipp 40 20 0
TE Adam Bergen 0 20 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 60 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 50 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 70,1 0
PK Neil Rackers 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals come off a Grade-A spanking in Dallas and return home with a major sigh of relief upon hearing that Anquan Boldin only has a bone bruise instead of a meniscus injury. It was almost exactly like 2004 all over again, only this time with a rookie running back that has been considered a flop. After this home stand, the Cardinals have to hit the road for three of the next four games with only the Jaguars coming to visit. That's no way to make keep 2004 from happening again either.

Quarterback: After his first two weeks, Josh McCown was the toast of the town in Phoenix with two games of over 380 passing yards and two scores in each. Now McCown is mostly just toast because the last two games have been around 150 yards and only one score in each. They were the sort of games that prompted Denny Green to look to free agency for an upgrade last spring. McCown remains the starter, but that may only be written in pencil.

The previous meeting in week three against the Seahawks is when Warner left injured and McCown filled in. They only combined for 202 yards and one interception.

Running Backs: Marcel Shipp comes off his second best game of the year, gaining 44 yards against the Cowboys. Shipp ran for 41 yards in the previous game against the Seahawks, somewhat of a relative success as well.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin had his knee sore last week in practice and by the end of the Dallas game, trainers though that he had once again injured his meniscus which would likely cause him to miss the rest of the season. Ends up just to be a bone bruise and Boldin has not been counted out this weekend. If Boldin is lost, then the Cardinals offense boils down to Larry Fitzgerald and nothing else. Just like last year.

Boldin had 88 yards against Seattle this year while Fitzgerald was held to only 41 yards.

Tight Ends: If you thought a tight end here would eventually catch for more than 15 yards in a game, you'd be pretty wrong. They cannot even catch a tipped pass. They don't even block particularly well.

Match Against the Defense: There is no rushing game to review here and the passing game is completely limited to Boldin and Fitzgerald. That was good for only 125 yards in Seattle back in week three but should be slightly better back in the desert. Look for one passing score and the usual mediocre numbers from McCown. That score favors Fitzgerald in this game as the slightly preferred target for McCown.