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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 5
October 4, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
BUF at CHI STL at GB KC at ARZ PIT at SD CIN, HOU
CLE at CAR TB at NO NYJ at JAX
Monday
ATL, SEA
DET at MIN TEN at IND OAK at SF BAL at DEN  
MIA at NE WAS at NYG DAL at PHI   updated

Prediction: WAS 17, NYG 27

Here's a big game between two teams that have struggled much more this year than expected. The Redskins come off their overtime win thanks, as always, to Santana Moss while the Giants have been resting for two weeks. Home team usually wins these match-ups and that should continue with the Giants rested and hungry for a win.

The Redskins lost 36-0 in New York last year but later won 35-20 in week 15 at home. The initial win by the Giants was the game following the death of Wellington Mara.

Washington Redskins (2-2)
1 16-19 MIN 10 --- @PHI
2 10-27 @DAL 11 --- @TB
3 31-15 @HOU 12 --- CAR
4 36-30 JAX 13 --- ATL
5 --- @NYG 14 --- PHI
6 --- TEN 15 --- @NO
7 --- @IND 16 --- @STL
8 Open Bye 17 --- NYG
9 --- DAL - MON SAT
WAS at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 200,1
RB Clinton Portis 60,1 30 0
RB Ladell Betts 20 10 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 30,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 60 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 30 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 20 0
PK John Hall 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Redskins offense sputtered those first two weeks of the season without a healthy Portis but two 30 point wins later and everything looks much better. Granted, the Houston win was no major feat but the overtime win against the Jaguars plays big into the confidence in the passing game and Brunell in particular. Now the defense just needs to stop giving up points to make passing stop being a need each week.

Quarterback: Mark Brunell was shaky in his first two starts this year but turned in 261 yards and a score against the Texans. Far more impressive was the 329 yards and three scores against the Jaguars last Sunday that not only won the game but finally had Brunell connect for a score with Santana Moss for the first time this year - and he did it three times. What Brunell actually did was around 200 yards and no touchdowns but three passes to Moss made all the difference in the game.

Brunell never played a full game against the Giants last year though he had 112 yards and two scores in the week 16 game.

Running Backs: Even though Clinton Portis started the year injured, he still has scored in every game he has played and came up with 112 yards on 27 carries against a very stingy Jacksonville defense. LaDell Betts continues to figure in with about a dozen carries each week though his yardage has been nothing special other than in the Houston game.

Portis was stuffed for only nine yards in the first meeting but had 108 yards and one touchdown in the second game against the Giants.

Wide Receivers: Santana Moss rocketed up the rankings after turning in 138 yards and three scores against the visiting Jaguars. He needed that game as well since he had only been turning in around five catches for 50 yards in the three previous games and in reality, he has 303 yards on the season but only 13 catches and 120 yards came on just two receptions. Brandon Lloyd remains mired with a few catches each week for minimal yardage while Antwaan Randle El still mainly fields kicks and punts. Nothing much has happened in this group until last week and that was all Moss.

Moss only had 34 yards in the first meeting with the Giants last year but rallied for 160 yards and three touchdowns at home in week 16.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley finally got into the gameplan last week when he had four catches for 70 yards which is more than he had total from the three previous games.

Cooley had 41 yards and a touchdown in the second meeting with the Giants last year.

Match Against the Defense: Portis faces a defense that has not allowed more than 68 yards to a running back and that includes Alexander and Westbrook. Look for a lower rushing effort on the road this week but a decent chance for one touchdown.

Brunell goes against a secondary that just gave up five passing touchdowns to the wideouts so no doubt that Santana Moss will be getting plenty of throws - it just depends if he catches them. The Giants will blanket Moss without a doubt but the Jags tried to do the same thing. Expect Brunell to have some success here but only score once. The Giants are about to give up on CB Sam Madison who would have covered Moss on most plays. R.W. McQuarters will likely get the call this week.

New York Giants (1-2)
1 21-26 IND 10 --- CHI
2 30-24 @PHI 11 --- @JAX
3 30-42 @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 vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 250,2
RB Tiki Barber 100,1 30 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 20 0 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 60 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 80,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Giants are reeling with a 1-2 record but the reality was that they could hardly have drawn a tougher opening stretch hosting the Colts and then road games to Philly and Seattle. The offense has posted nice points even if most all came in the second half but the defense has been shredded via the pass in the last two games. With a bye week to tinker with the secondary, the Giants now face the one-man show of the Redskins.

Quarterback: Eli Manning has only managed to lead the Giants to one win this year but he's been a lot better than that for fantasy owners. In three games played he has eight touchdowns and never less than two per game and turns in 250 or more yards each week. Of course most of that comes in a furious attempt to regain the lead and he has thrown six interceptions but Manning has definite fantasy value - he just needs some help from his defense to win some games.

Manning threw for just 146 yards and one score in the first blowout over the Skins last year and later had 244 yards and one score.

Running Backs: After being a top rusher in 2005, Tiki Barber has been barely average so far but much of that has to do with the offense shifting into the passing game thanks to being behind. Barber's only home game this year was in week one against the Colts when he had 110 yards on 18 carries and added 61 yards. His role in the passing game will maintain his fantasy value but he is still looking for his first score of the year. Brandon Jacobs has one touchdown but has not had much play in the recent shoot-outs.

Barber ran for 206 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Skins and later had only 80 rushing yards in the second game.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress started the year out with scores in each game and 194 yards in the first two weeks but had a down game in week three thanks to a bad back. The bye week should heal that up and get him back into form this week. Amani Toomer has scored three times in the last two weeks including a big 137 yard effort against the Eagles. The duo is joined by Tim Carter who scored last game as well but normally has only a token role.

David Tyree filled in for Burress last game and had a score with 72 yards - there's been plenty of passing to spread around and all receivers have enjoyed at least one good game.

The only performance of note by a Giants' wideout against the Redskins last year was when Amani Toomer had 85 yards and one touchdown in the second game.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey only has one score on the year and has not been very productive in the last two games thanks too an ankle sprain but the extra week of rest has allowed Shockey to heal up. He'll be fine this week.

Shockey only had 29 yards in the first meeting with the Redskins but scored once and later had only 18 yards in week 16.

Match Against the Defense: Barber has excelled in the past when the Redskins visited and this defense gave up 94 yards to Julius Jones in the only road game of note. Look for a bounce back game here for Barber with good rushing yards and one score if Jacobs doesn't end up stealing it.

Manning faces a secondary that has given up at least two scores each week and never less than 210 yards this year. The Giants will want to feature the run more this week if they can but there's no reason to expect less than two scores and 240+ from Manning regardless.