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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 16
December 21, 2005
Season Ticket
Sat 1 PM Sat 1 PM Sat 1 PM Sat 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at TB JAC at HOU* SF at STL* PHI at ARI MIN at BAL
BUF at CIN NYG at WAS TEN at MIA* IND at SEA* Mon 9 PM
DAL at CAR PIT at CLE Sun 5 PM OAK at DEN NE at NYJ
DET at NO* SD at KC* CHI at GB Updated* Times ET

Prediction: NY Giants 20, Washington 17

The Giants creamed the Skins 36-0 in week eight as the "send-off" game for the recently passed owner back in week eight. That could mean this will be a revenge game for the Skins who have to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Skins are just 5-2 at home and the Giants are just 3-3 on the road. A win here cements the NFC East title for the Giants and a chance to mail-in a meaningless game in Oakland in week 17. The Skins still would have a road game in Philly to play.

New York Giants (10-4)
1 42-19 ARI 10 21-24 MIN
2 27-10 @NOR 11 27-17 PHI
3 23-45 @SDC 12 21-24 @SEA
4 44-24 STL 13 17-10 DAL
5 Open Bye 14 26-23 @PHI
6 13-16 @DAL 15 27-17 KCC
7 24-23 DEN 16 Dec 24 @WAS
8 36-0 WAS 17 Dec 31 @OAK
9 24-6 @SFO . . SAT
NYG at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 250,1
RB Tiki Barber 90 20 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 10,1 0 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 100,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 60 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 40 0
WR Tim Carter 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants are on a three game winning streak which has included games against DAL, PHI and KC. Just one more win locks down the title and the offense is clicking with Tiki Barber who comes off a franchise record 220 yards against the Chiefs. That was his second 200+ yard game of the year, the first one came, of course, against these Redskins.

Quarterback: The one area of concern with the Giants is with the erratic play from Eli Manning who seemingly has regressed from his early season success. Manning has only thrown for two scores over the last three weeks and has six interceptions in that time with one lost fumble last week. Manning does have three games over 300 yards this year - all on the road.

Manning threw for 146 yards and one score against the Skins this season.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber ran for 206 yards and one score in the previous meeting with the Redskins and now he comes off a 220 yard effort last week with what was supposed to be a patchwork offensive line. Evidently - no problem there. RT Kareem McKenzie may be back this week as could LT Luke Petitgout. And if they don't - the Giants can still fill the cracks.

Wide Receivers: No wideout had more than 43 yards in the previous blowout of the Redskins since it was all about Barber running. Plaxico Burress only had 42 yards in that game and has been below 50 yards for the last three weeks. Amani Toomer only had 43 yards in that game but has been about 50 yards in almost every game since with a touchdown scored just last week - his sixth on the year.

Tight Ends: While Jeremy Shockey only had 29 yards but scored once against Washington in week eight, one thing to remember is that Shockey is a beast when the Giants are on the road. He has gained no less than 77 yards in every road game and has scored in three of them. All four of his 100+ yard games have been on the road.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins will have plenty of reasons to want revenge this week and they do come off a very big, emotional win over the Cowboys. Look for Barber to ring up close to 100 yards but he's typically only had really big games when at home this season.

Manning needs to stop the turnovers and get back to early season form. The Redskins have never allowed more than one passing score in any home game this year though several teams have managed decent yardage. The Redskins have intercepted the last two visiting quarterbacks - Bledsoe and Brees - three times each. This game hinges on the play of Manning and should result in yet another great game for Shockey with Burress drawing CB Shawn Springs who has already handled him this year.

Washington Redskins (8-6)
1 9-7 CHI 10 35-36 @TBB
2 14-13 @DAL 11 13-16 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 17-23 SDC
4 20-17 SEA 13 24-9 @STL
5 19-21 @DEN 14 17-13 @ARI
6 21-28 @KCC 15 35-7 DAL
7 52-17 SFO 16 Dec 24 NYG
8 0-36 @NYG 17 Jan 1 @PHI
9 17-10 PHI . MON SAT
WAS vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 150,1
RB Clinton Portis 120,1 10 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 40,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 70 0
WR Taylor Jacobs 0 20 0
WR James Thrash 0 10 0
PK John Hall 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Even if the Redskins get shutout in their last two games, it doesn't really matter. The win last week over the Cowboys alone has made their season a success and the hiring of HC Joe Gibbs worthwhile. The Skins are one a three game winning streak and with two more wins have a shot at the division title (long as the Giants lose to the Raiders in week 17 as well). The reality here though is that the three wins were the Cowboys, but also the Rams and Cardinals. And the two previous games at home were losses to the Raiders and Chargers.

A win here spells legitimacy for their late season push but a loss just means the Dallas game was a fluke and everything is back to normal. After losing in New York 35-0, the Redskins want this game and have a short week to prepare.

Quarterback: After posting only four touchdowns over the last seven games, Mark Brunell hooked up with Chris Cooley three times and hit FB Mike Sellers with a fourth score to rekindle the high scoring ways of the first half of the year. But he still only had 163 passing yards and has not topped 200 yards in the last five games.

The Skins only had 127 passing yards in the previous game against the Giants.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis has his first string of three straight 100 yard games since joining the Redskins and he's been far more effective than when he only gained nine yards on four carries in the surreal meeting against the Giants in week eight.

Wide Receivers: Though Brunell had four scores last week, he still is not using the wideouts to any real measure. Santana Moss has been the only wideout of note this year and while he continues to post around 70 yards in each game, he has only one score since week seven. Moss was held to just four catches for 34 yards back in week eight, the start of his less productive ways.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley comes off a career best game when he scored three touchdowns against the Cowboys and gained 71 yards on six catches. Cooley was held to only 19 yards on three catches against the Giants this season.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants rushing defense has been less than perfect this year but they have faced almost every stud running back in the NFL. There is a good chance here that Portis continues his 100 yard string and he has a great shot at one score this week.

Brunell may be smiling after last week but he still has not been very productive other than last week. Look for a standard 150 yard game from Brunell but there are only two receivers of any significance here - Moss and Cooley. Cooley has the best shot at a score here though he is hardly a secret weapon. The Giants defense still needs to get back LB Antonio Pierce and DT William Joseph to be at full strength. But the Redskins offense outside of Portis had not shown much in the last month beyond the one Dallas game.