fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    


Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 9, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
BAL at JAC NE at MIA NYJ at CAR On Bye:  
HOU at IND* SF at CHI GB at ATL CIN, SD Updated *
KC at BUF WAS at TB* STL at SEA TEN. NO Times ET

Prediction: Arizona 13, Detroit 20

The Cardinals are evidently not any better without Anquan Boldin since that removed half of the offensive game plan and they have lost their last two games by 14 or more points. The Lions have lost their last four games and continue their trend of getting any and all decent players injured. Both teams are struggling but only one gets to play at home.

The Lions beat the Cardinals 26-12 during week 13 last year in Detroit.

Update: Bryant Johnson has been added to the injury report as questionable with a shoulder sprain and he was held out of practice on Thursday. I am lowering his numbers slightly though this is a very recent development and information is still not clear as to his playing status.

Kevin Jones has also practiced and will play this week.

Arizona Cardinals (2-6)
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 19-33 SEA . . SAT
ARZ at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 250,1
RB J.J. Arrington 30 20 0
RB Marcel Shipp 40 0 0
TE Eric Edwards 0 20 0
WR Reggie Newhouse 0 40 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 90,1 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 40 0
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The worst part about the Cardinals is not so much that they are only 2-6, it's that they really look no better than they did in week one when they were blown out by the Giants. Nothing has helped the rushing game and the offensive line has been sub-par at best. There seems to be little difference between Warner and McCown and the offense is stuck on using almost every play to throw at the split end or flanker. The defense looked almost improved for a time but now has given up 67 points in the last two weeks. The only positive from the entire season is that Neil Rackers is on a record-setting pace for kicking field goals because the Cardinals cannot convert a decent drive into touchdowns.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner returned to the starting spot last week and while he had a league high 334 passing yards with one score, he also threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. When a team is willing to throw on virtually every down, the passing yardage should be high - Warner had 48 pass attempts last Sunday. But he's never thrown for more than two scores in any game as a Cardinal and without Boldin for the next week or two, he may not get that high again.

The Cardinals were down to only John Navarre as quarterback in the game against the Lions last year and he threw for 168 yards and one touchdown.

Running Backs: J.J. Arrington finally had some success, relatively speaking, when he ran for 40 yards on five carries and added four catches for 22 yards against the Seahawks. Marcel Shipp still had the most carries with 13 runs but only netted 20 yards. There have been no touchdowns this season by a Cardinal running back and the best effort yet was only 54 rushing yards by Shipp. Since the team has split duties between Shipp and Arrington and rarely have more than 20 carries in a game, neither have any real fantasy value.

Wide Receivers: Without Boldin playing, Warner continued to give equal attention to Larry Fitzgerald (8-102) and Bryant Johnson (6-66) by throwing about a dozen passes to both players. Two of the passes to Bryant were intercepted because the defense understands where the passes are most likely to be thrown. Reggie Newhouse was used as the slot player and ended with two catches for 22 yards but the offense remains little more than throwing to Fitzgerald and now Bryant instead of Boldin.

Tight Ends: Interestingly enough, the Cardinals have never used the tight ends much this year but had a 63 yard catch by Eric Edwards last week. It was only his second catch of the year and now he is averaging 33 yards per reception (for just the two). While it is hard to rely on the Cardinals actually using Edwards again, his success may spawn at least a bit more attention.

Freddie Jones had the lone score against the Lions last year when he had three catches for 46 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals will continue with their lackluster rushing attack with no better chance that either Arrington or Shipp will actually score the first touchdown by a Cardinals running back this year. The Lions have only allowed two runners to do that in the eight games this year.

Warner could have some success throwing here since Dre Bly is still out. The Lions secondary has struggled recently without him and that is one matchup that Bryant Johnson will not miss. Look for Warner to get over 200 yards and possibly near 300 again because he will throw so often. Both wideouts have a shot a decent fantasy games here with a touchdown most likely for Bryant again. The Cards have not scored more than one touchdown in any road game this year.

Detroit Lions (3-5)
1 17-3 GBP 10 Nov 13 ARI
2 6-38 @CHI 11 Nov 20 @DAL
3 Open Bye 12 Nov 24 ATL
4 13-17 @TBB 13 Dec 4 MIN
5 35-17 BAL 14 Dec 11 @GBP
6 20-21 CAR 15 Dec 18 CIN
7 13-10 @CLE 16 Dec 24 @NOR
8 13-19 CHI 17 Jan 1 @PIT
9 14-27 @MIN . THU SAT
DET vs ARZ Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 220,1
RB Kevin Jones 70,1 20 0
RB Shawn Bryson 10 30 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 20 0
WR Roy Williams 0 30 0
WR Charles Rogers 0 20 0
WR Scottie Vines 0 60,1 0
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions have not scored more than 14 points for the last three games and the offense has sputtered and failed to catch fire regardless of which players were available. But this week they are at home facing a team that has only had three road games this year and has never allowed less than 34 points to an opponent who was at home. That hardly guarantees the Lions to break out of their low scoring doldrums, but at least this will be the best chance in weeks.

Quarterback: Joey Harrington returned to the starting role last week since Jeff Garcia continues to experience pain in his leg and is expected to take at least one more start and possibly more. Harrington managed to turn in the best performance yet by a Detroit quarterback when he threw for 263 yards and one score against the Vikings last Sunday. He had one touchdown but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble against the Vikings secondary. The matchup this week will likely be about as good as it gets for Harrington.

Harrington threw for 196 yards and one touchdown against the Cardinals in 2004.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones only made it through the first quarter last week before injuring his shoulder which evidently includes some nerve problems and he sat out the rest of the game. Artose Pinner stepped in and did score once but only gained 11 yards on six carries. Shawn Bryson actually fared better with only three carries for 15 yards and added six catches for 30 yards as well. Pending practice reports, I am assuming that Kevin Jones will miss this week and make you feel better about not starting him. Updates as warranted.

Kevin Jones rushed for 196 yards and one score against Arizona last season.

Wide Receivers: Pretty amazing to thing that the Lions have drafted a top wideout in the first round for each of the last three drafts and yet the best receiver last week was Scott Vines who was a free agent acquired a few weeks ago. Vines had nine catches for 109 yards while Mike Williams ended with only 43 yards on four receptions. Mike Williams was injured in the game largely because he is a Lions receiver and it is in his contract. He played through the injury last week but left the game wearing an immobilizing boot and now is feared to have broken a bone. Charles Rogers was not active last week and Roy Williams was not used. For this week, I am speculating that Vines, Roy Williams and even Charles Rogers gets some playing time though it could end up as just Vines and Glenn Martinez. Updates as warranted.

Roy Williams had four catches for 76 yards and Tai Streets had 54 yards and one score as the only two wideouts with receptions in the meeting against the Cards last year.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard only managed 35 yards on three catches last week and while he has a 105 yard game in week six, he usually has only one catch per game if that.

Match Against the Defense: Kevin Jones is likely a lock to miss this game since it would have been the best matchup of the year for him. If he does not play, expect only moderate games from Pinner and Bryson with a good chance that one of them rushes in a score.

Harrington faces a secondary that has never allowed more than 243 passing yards to an opponent or more than two scores, but that mostly has happened because everyone else mostly just runs the ball against them. Look for a moderate showing here by Harrington who should focus on not throwing interceptions more. He should manage one score but anything over 230 yards would be uncharacteristic for either team to witness.