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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 14, 2005
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
TB at NE ARI at HOU* PIT at MIN CIN at DET ATL at CHI
KC at NYG CAR at NO* SD at IND CLE at OAK* Mon 9 PM
DEN at BUF DAL at WAS SEA at TEN* PHI at STL GB at BAL
  NYJ at MIA SF at JAC* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Seattle 27, Tennessee 10

At 11-2, the Seahawks are now the clear team to beat in the NFC this season and likely the recipient of the coveted "home field throughout". What's even better for fantasy fans is that these Seahawks are new enough to winning that they still try hard every week which has resulted in an 83-3 winning margin over the last two weeks. This team is starting to peak and yet is just about to get their star wideout back on the field after waiting almost all year. The Titans have not beaten a team with a winning record this year. Facing an 11-2 team is not likely to change that.

Update: Darrell Jackson is expected to play this week but it will be his first playing time since undergoing meniscus surgery. This game will likely more be a tune-up for Jackson in anticipation of the game next week against the Colts.

Travis Henry is not expected to play this week with a badly sprained ankle but should be back next week or at least for the season finale. Chris Henry will get the full load though he is nursing a sore elbow.

Seattle Seahawks (11-2)
1 14-26 @JAC 10 31-16 STL
2 21-18 ATL 11 27-25 @SFO
3 37-12 ARI 12 24-21 NYG
4 17-20 @WAS 13 42-0 @PHI
5 37-31 @STL 14 41-3 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 33-19 @ARI . MON SAT
SEA at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 220,2
RB Shaun Alexander 110,1 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 40 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 60,1 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 50 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 50,1 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The only reason that the Seahawks do not win big here is if they are looking past at the Colts in week 16. That game is likely the only chance that a team will derail the perfect aspirations of Indy this season and that game could well be a precursor for a rematch in the SuperBowl - does either team want to tip their hands in an otherwise meaningless game? Seattle can take the win here against the Titans, lose to the Colts and still end up with the best record in the NFC. No reason to expect a lackluster game this week.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck has been throwing for one score a week in almost every game this year but comes off a big four touchdown effort against the hapless 49ers last week - nice to see at least one team willing to step on their opponent's throat instead of playing a safe yet close win. Hasselbeck may have Darrell Jackson back this week but he won't need him. Not with Engram being the go-to guy already.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander just had a standard game last week when he gained 108 yards and one score. That gives him 23 rushing touchdowns on the season and only four away from the NFL record with three games left to play. His 1496 yards also is tops for the league.

Wide Receivers: Bobby Engram has scored in each of the last two games and he remains a solid option for Hasselbeck every week though he rarely gets more than 50 yards in a game. Joe Jurevicius has been more likely to turn in big yardage games but this could change with Jackson returning. I am assuming that Jackson holds out one more week until official word that he will be active. This could be a nice "tune-up" game for him before facing the Colts.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Stevens finally broke a nine game drought when he caught his third touchdown of the year last week. He still has been good for about 30 yards in every game despite rarely scoring.

Match Against the Defense: No reason why Alexander cannot notch another 100 yard game here as have many opponents this season with far lesser running backs. He'll likely score one touchdown but no team has rushed for more than one in a game against the Titans this year.

This should be another nice game for Hasselbeck against a team that has allowed 25 passing scores already this year. Figure on at least two being thrown with at least 200 yards and a chance for much more. This secondary has been so bad that the scores could go anywhere so figure on the most likely players - Jurevicius and Engram.

Tennessee Titans (4-9)
1 7-34 @PIT 10 Open Bye
2 25-10 BAL 11 28-31 JAC
3 27-31 @STL 12 33-22 SFO
4 10-31 IND 13 3-35 @IND
5 34-20 @HOU 14 13-10 HOU
6 23-31 CIN 15 Dec 18 SEA
7 10-20 @ARI 16 Dec 24 @MIA
8 25-34 OAK 17 Jan 1 @JAC
9 14-20 @CLE . . SAT
TEN vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 0 0 210,1
RB Chris Brown 60 10 0
RB Travis Henry 30 30 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 40,1 0
TE Erron Kinney 0 30 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 40 0
WR Tyrone Calico 0 20 0
WR Courtney Roby 0 30 0
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Titans have won two of their last three games thanks to facing the 49ers and Texans and that likely concludes the victories for the season with Seattle this week and then two road games against the Dolphins and Jaguars. The season is playing out with no real progress for the offense despite having a new offensive coordinator in Norman Chow from USC this year. Then again - the talent level of the offense has never been lower.

Quarterback: There is a slight chance that Steve McNair won't be listed as questionable this week but don't bet on it. By this point, McNair's name is just copied over from week to week and yet he always plays. Unfortunately, that has not meant any passing touchdowns for the last two games and other than the one game against the 49ers, McNair has never been anything more than average this season.

Running Backs: Chris Brown only ran for 53 yards on 16 carries last week and he still has never managed to exceed 100 rushing yards in any game this year (though he did have 105 receiving yards against the 49ers). Travis Henry has been getting enough carries lately - about 8 per game - to ensure that Brown does not have a big game.

Wide Receivers: Drew Bennett comes off his worst game of the year when he had only two catches for 15 yards last week and his only score was nine weeks ago against the Texans. He only had 52 yards when he faced the 49ers - a true measure of how worthless the Titan wideouts have become this season. Tyrone Calico has been getting more time lately with all the wideout injuries but that means he is up from nothing to about 20 yards per week.

Tight Ends: With Erron Kinney out, Ben Troupe was expected to assume the possession role but his 28 yards last week were not different than most weeks and Bo Scaife only had 12 yards. Even the tight ends are marginal now that Kinney is out.

Match Against the Defense: Seattle has only allowed three rushing scores this season so scratch off the chance that the Titans get anything from Brown or Henry. The recent ineffectiveness of Brown and the increased use of Henry spells no fantasy value here.

McNair will likely score once against this secondary - almost every team has and the Seahawks have been softer against tight ends when opponents relied more heavily on them. Look for the score to favor Troupe or Scaife here but only moderate yardage overall in the passing game.