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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: Philadelphia 16, Arizona 20

Here's a coin flip game between two teams that are already making plans for January (and they have nothing to do with the NFL). The Eagles have won a game now post-McNabb/Owens/Westbrook and the Cardinals have only one win outside their division. Another coin flip game that likely favors the home team every so slightly.

Philadelphia Eagles (6-8)
1 10-14 @ATL 10 20-21 DAL
2 42-3 SFO 11 17-27 @NYG
3 23-20 OAK 12 19-14 GBP
4 37-31 @KCC 13 0-42 SEA
5 10-33 @DAL 14 23-26 NYG
6 Open Bye 15 17-16 @STL
7 20-17 SDC 16 Dec 24 @ARI
8 21-49 @DEN 17 Jan 1 WAS
9 10-17 @WAS . MON SAT
PHI at ARZ Rush Catch Pass
QB Mike McMahon 0 0 160
RB Ryan Moats 80,1 20 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 20 0
WR Greg Lewis 0 30 0
WR Reggie Brown 0 60 0
WR Billy McMullen 0 30 0
PK David Akers 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Eagles defense has kept the team in games for the last two weeks while the offense tries to figure out what actually works beyond one long scoring run by Ryan Moats each week. The Eagles have only won two road games this year and last week against the Rams was just a one point victory against a team without any hint of a defense.

Quarterback: Since becoming a starter in week 11, Mike McMahon has only thrown two touchdowns and the second one was just last week when he ended with only 97 passing yards against the Rams secondary that normally allows that much per quarter. The only quarterback controversy brewing in Philadelphia is which back-up gets to park Donovan McNabb's car next year.

Running Backs: Ryan Moats has scored three times in the two games since taking over as a starter and he has gained an impressive 192 yards on 23 carries over two games. This includes scores of 59, 40 and 18 yards. That means other than jaunts to the endzone and a couple of 10 yard runs, Moats is averaging about two yards a carry. But he makes it up with the occasional long gainer. He still has yet to carry the ball more than 13 times in a game.

Wide Receivers: McMahon has not throw a score to a wideout in the last three games and only Reggie Brown has been able to break the ever-elusive 50 yard barrier in a game with McMahon - Greg Lewis and Billy McMullen have been languishing around 25 yards per game.

Tight Ends: The switch to McMahon has taken a toll on L.J. Smith who finally bottomed out last week with no catches.

Match Against the Defense: Consider Moats as a decent candidate for a score here but that all depends if he will break that one long run or not. The Cardinals are softer against the run that most and Moats main limitation is that they have not used him much more than a dozen carries a week.

McMahon goes against a secondary that is underrated and that has allowed only five touchdowns by opponents this season with most remaining below 200 passing yards. Look for yet another minimal passing effort here with no score.

Arizona Cardinals (4-10)
1 19-42 @NYG 10 21-29 @DET
2 12-17 STL 11 38-28 @STL
3 12-37 @SEA 12 17-24 JAC
4 31-14 SFO 13 17-10 @SFO
5 20-24 CAR 14 13-17 WAS
6 Open Bye 15 19-30 @HOU
7 20-10 TEN 16 Dec 24 PHI
8 13-34 @DAL 17 Jan 1 @IND
9 19-33 SEA . . SAT
ARZ vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 0 0 240,2
RB J.J. Arrington 20 10 0
RB Marcel Shipp 30 0 0
TE Adam Bergen 0 10 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 80,1 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 90,1 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 30 0
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals dropped their game against the Texans, something not exactly evoking pride but Warner went out with a knee injury, then McCown had the flu and could not continue and eventually John Navarre had to finish the game. Arizona is hardly a good road team anyway but back at home in their last game there this season, even McCown as quarterback should be enough this week.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner is out for the rest of the year and while Josh McCown could not finish last week due to the flu, he is expected to be the starter this week. McCown had two big games as a starter this season before declining rapidly. Still, he has five scores in the three home games he started.

Running Backs: While HC Denny Green remains steadfast in his support for J.J. Arrington, the rookie back has only topped 50 yards in one game this season and has not scored in the last four games. Arrington also only managed to gain 11 yards on seven carries last week which is only his fourth worst game.

Marcel Shipp remains marginally more effective but is limited to around six carries a game for the last month.

Wide Receivers: While Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald may be the only offensive weapons that the Cardinals have, the duo are both top ten fantasy wide receivers in most league scoring scenarios. Boldin had 1236 yards and six scores this year while Fitzgerald had 1236 yards and eight scores. That's pretty even. And apparently very hard to defend.

Tight Ends: Not to be considered.

Match Against the Defense: There is no expectation that this won't be anything more than the 15th bad rushing game by the worst rushing team in the NFL. Look for good yardage and two scores here against a secondary that has allowed as much to teams willing to try hard enough. The Cardinals? That's all they do - just Boldin and Fitzgerald all game long and eventually one of them breaks for a score.