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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 3
September 20, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
CAR at TB JAX at IND BAL at CLE DEN at NE DAL, KC,
CHI at MIN NYJ at BUF NYG at SEA
Monday
OAK, SD
CIN at PIT TEN at MIA PHI at SF ATL at NO  
GB at DET WAS at HOU STL at ARZ   updated

Prediction: NYG 23, SEA 20

The Giants pulled an unusually challenging way to open the season, hosting the Colts and then road games in Philadelphia and Seattle. The Colts outlasted them in the Brother Bowl but the comeback win in overtime deserves its own section in the Eli Manning family scrapbook. The Seahawks are 2-0 thanks to barely clipping the Lions and then taking down the Cardinals in Seattle. This should be a great game to watch with many big fantasy players in it and the outcome should be in favor of Seattle because the Seahawks don't lose at home. But the Eagles were thinking the same thing just last week.

The Giants lost 21-24 in Seattle during week 12 of last season.

Update: Alexander has been held out of practices this week to rest his sore right foot but is listed as probable and is expected to play. I am leaving his projections as is but be aware that his foot has been at least a minor issue for him since week one. The Seahawks may use TE Will Heller this week if Itula Mili cannot play but his primary role will be blocking anyway.

Jeremy Shockey has re-sprained his ankle and was held out of practice on Wednesday but returned on Thursday and expects to play.

New York Giants (1-1)
1 21-26 IND 10 --- CHI
2 30-24 @PHI 11 --- @JAX
3 --- @SEA 12 --- @TEN
4 Open Bye 13 --- DAL
5 --- WAS 14 --- @CAR
6 --- @ATL 15 --- PHI
7 --- @DAL 16 --- NO
8 --- TB 17 --- @WAS
9 --- HOU - MON SAT
NYG at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 260,1
RB Tiki Barber 70 40 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 40,1 0 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 20 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 60 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 80,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 40 0
PK Jay Feeley 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Eli Manning battled the Colts well enough in week one but was looking like a loser by the third quarter in Philly last week. Then something magic happened and he led his team to a furious comeback that seemed almost fated in the way the team got the right breaks and bounces. The Giants saved themselves from an 0-2 hole but now heading into the home of the NFC champs from last year won't make this any easier.

Quarterback: Eli Manning was good with his 247 yards and two scores in week one but he hit the big time when he took the Eagles into overtime and ended with 371 yards and three scores. His brother threw for 400 yards that day but that's going to be a career long problem. Entering into his third season, Manning is poised for a true breakout year and last week could be the beginning.

Manning threw for 344 yards and two scores in Seattle during week 12 of last season.

Running Backs: After a monster 171 total yard effort against the Colts, Tiki Barber settled down to just 51 rushing yards last week with another 57 coming via seven receptions. Tiki still only gives way to Brandon Jacobs when it is short yardage or goal line plays but that's all Jacobs needs to create fantasy value for himself. He has only ran 13 times this season but has 89 yards and one touchdown - a 6.8 yard rushing average and each carry ending with a defender wincing from the collision. The thunder and lightning team are formidable and should Barber get injured or step down next year, there's going to be a lot of bruised defenders out there.

Barber ran for 151 yards against the Seahawks last season.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress has started the year hot, gaining 80 and 114 yards in the first two games with a touchdown in each - his score last week was the game winner in overtime. Amani Toomer only had 41 yards in the first outing but blew up for 12 catches for 137 yards and two scores to place him atop all fantasy wideouts in the league last week. Once this group gets Sinorice Moss into the fold, it will be even better. Moss missed most of training camp and the opening game with a quad injury but will be working his way into the offense as the season progresses.

Burress had six catches for 109 yards in Seattle last year while Toomer only had 62 yards but scored once.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey only had two catches for 17 yards last week thanks to aggravating a lingering ankle sprain and he was held out of the overtime period. While there is a chance that he could be held out this week and use their week four bye for an extended rest period, I am expecting him to play in a limited role this week.

Shockey turned in ten catches for 127 yards and one score in Seattle last year.

Match Against the Defense: Seattle has an outstanding rush defense - best in the league last year - and that has not allowed a rushing score this year nor more than 64 yards to an opposing runner. But then again, Kevin Jones and Edgerrin James (the ARZ version) are not the same as Barber and Jacobs. Barber ran very well in 2005 against the Seahawks. Expect him to end hear 100 yards but need some receptions to get there. Look for Jacobs to get one score here.

Manning goes against a reasonably good secondary that has only given up one passing score this season and that included Warner last week. Manning had a big game here in 2005 and it could happen again after the confidence builder of last week but safest and most likely is a moderate to good game with one score that should favor Burress.

Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
1 9-6 @DET 10 --- STL
2 21-10 ARZ 11 --- @SF
3 --- NYG 12 --- GB
4 --- @CHI 13 --- @DEN
5 Open Bye 14 --- @ARZ
6 --- @STL 15 --- SF
7 --- MIN 16 --- SD
8 --- @KC 17 --- @TB
9 --- OAK - MON THU
SEA vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 240,1
RB Shaun Alexander 80,1 10 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 90,1 0
WR Deion Branch 0 50 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 50 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 30 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Seattle is 2-0 but no one in the organization is satisfied with how it has happened. Facing DET and ARZ should have been near walk-throughs for games but the Seahawks struggled to post points in Detroit and even the solid win over the Cardinals was not nearly as dominating as expected. Facing the Giants this week and then traveling to Chicago will be the true test.

Quarterback: After two weeks, Matt Hasselbeck has only thrown one touchdown against two interceptions and turned in 210 and 221 yards. That would not be that surprising if Alexander had been turning in his typical obscene yardage and scores but he hasn't. Last week he even completed only 12 of 27 passes against the visiting Cardinals. That sort of performance won't win games with the Giants and Bears up next.

Hasselbeck had 249 passing yards and two scores against the Giants last year.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander comes off his mega-contract signing and NFL scoring record season and so far has performed as little more than an average back. With 51 and 89 yards in the last two games, he's hardly on a pace to lead the league again and while he did score once last week - so did Mack Strong. He's even lost a fumble this year. Alexander needs to resume his big game ways because the Seahawks are not blowing out opponents and the schedule just went through the easiest stretch of the year.

Alexander ran 31 times for 110 yards and one score against the Giants in week 12 last season.

Wide Receivers: The lower passing numbers has not helped any wideout here other than Darrell Jackson who had five catches for 127 yards and a score last week - the only passing score of the year so far. Deion Branch is slated to play this week and should replace the ineffective Nate Burleson but he'll still be learning the offense and gaining chemistry with Hasselbeck for several weeks to come. Bobby Engram should remain in the lineup, so Branch comes in at the expense of Burleson.

Tight Ends: Itula Mili suffered a knee injury last week and may not play. Add in Jerramy Stevens who is out until next month and the Seahawks may have no tight ends for the game. This also plays into the blocking for Alexander.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants have held opponents to under 70 rushing yards so far but Alexander is far better than either Rhodes or Westbrook and each opponent scored once on the ground. Look for a touchdown from Alexander and at least 80 rushing yards - more if he can get the volume of carries. But the absence of LG Floyd Womack and possibly Mili as a blocker is going to be felt.

Hasselbeck faces a secondary that has given up plenty of yards and three scores this year but Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb rank #1 and #2 so far this year and Hasselbeck's not bee on fire yet this year. Expect a moderate showing here that could turn into much more if a shootout happens - and it could.