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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 6
October 11, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
BUF at DET NYG at ATL KC at PIT OAK at DEN CLE, GB
CAR at BAL PHI at NO MIA at NYJ
Monday
IND, JAX
CIN at TB SEA at STL SD at SF CHI at ARZ MIN, NE
HOU at DAL TEN at WAS     updated

Prediction: NYG 20, ATL 17

The Giants come in fresh off their win over the Redskins that did not require a comeback to happen. At 2-2, the Giants are already getting precariously close to getting pushed out of the race in the NFC East now that Philly has taken a 4-1 lead. They need every win they can get. The Falcons come off their bye week having last trashed the visiting Cardinals and this match-up should prove most interesting. On paper the Falcons are much better but they haven't faced IND, PHI or SEA yet either.

New York Giants (2-2)
1 21-26 IND 10 --- CHI
2 30-24 @PHI 11 --- @JAX
3 30-42 @SEA 12 --- @TEN
4 Open Bye 13 --- DAL
5 19-3 WAS 14 --- @CAR
6 --- @ATL 15 --- PHI
7 --- @DAL 16 --- NO
8 --- TB 17 --- @WAS
9 --- HOU - MON SAT
NYG at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 250,2
RB Tiki Barber 60 30 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 20 10 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 50,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 30 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 100,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 30 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants finally just plain win a game when they controlled the visiting Redskins last week. The next two weeks feature more of the nightmare schedule with road games in ATL and DAL but then softens up for just two games before back into the fire with CHI and JAX. The rushing game is back for the G-Men and the passing game never left. And it still comes down to that defense - can they be good enough on the road against Vick?

Quarterback: Eli Manning did not need to come up with big numbers last week but he still ended with 256 yards and one score. He remains good for around 250 yards or more in every game and had multiple scores each week until the Redskins last Sunday. Manning also finally had a game without a turnover. In tough match-ups on the road this year, Manning had three scores in each.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber finally got back on the right track after two weeks of low production. He ran for 123 yards on 23 carries against the Skins and added 16 yards on three catches. Problem here - he has two games over 100 yards and both were at home. On the road, he only had a high of 64 yards and regardless of where he was, he has yet to score a touchdown this year.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress remains the go-to guy for Manning with a team three scores on the year and the most consistent level of play. Burress only had one catch in week three when his back acted up but bounced back with seven catches for 69 yards and a score against the Skins. Amani Toomer also has three scores on the year but varies more each week depending on the match-up. David Tyree stepped in to cover for Burress when he was out but Tim Carter remains the slot receiver in either case.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey left the game in the fourth quarter with a sore foot and only caught only one pass for 13 yards last week. He's had problems from both feet already this year and I assume he will play but be a little limited until further information warrants an update. Shockey only has one score on the season so far.

Match Against the Defense: The oddity here is that the Falcons have allowed only one offensive touchdown this entire season - and that was a trick end around by Devery Henderson on a run. But they have allowed two scores to opposing defenses. No runner has topped 81 yards against them and Barber on the road has not been particularly effective this year. Look for a moderate game from Tiki without a score.

Manning goes against a defense that has not allowed any passing scores either but then again, CAR, TB, NO and finally ARZ came in with less weapons that the Giants have. Simms had 313 passing yards against the Falcons so it can be done and it won't likely happen in the rushing game. Amani Toomer draws DeAngelo Hall who has shut down all he has faced so expect most action to go to Plaxico Burress on the much easier side. Shockey would matter here in a big way against a team that has not faced a decent tight end this year but he is a question mark. Manning will likely throw for one score here but could have two if Shockey proves healthy enough.

Update: I am not changing the projections but there are two notables in this game. Jeremy Shockey has been listed as probable with his ankle injury and has attended practice. He will play but his ankle has been a constant problem this year and won't heal up. He is safe to start but it could end up with him leaving the game again if it gets twisted which is maybe a bit more likely playing on the carpet in Atlanta.

Jerious Norwood is listed as questionable with a shoulder sprain but has practiced both days, including getting "jacked up" in practice on that shoulder. He is not the starter anyway but will likely have a role even with his sore shoulder. Just something to be aware of.

Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
1 20-6 @CAR 10 --- CLE
2 14-3 TB 11 --- @BAL
3 3-23 @NO 12 --- NO
4 32-10 ARZ 13 --- @WAS
5 Open Bye 14 --- @TB
6 --- NYG 15 --- DAL
7 --- PIT 16 --- CAR
8 --- @CIN 17 --- @PHI
9 --- @DET - MON SAT
ATL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 60,1 0 170,1
RB Warrick Dunn 70 10 0
RB Jerious Norwood 20 10 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 40,1 0
WR Ashley Lelie 0 40 0
WR Michael Jenkins 0 30 0
WR Roddy White 0 20 0
PK Morten Andersen 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Falcons have toured the AFC South and ended up 2-1 in those important match-ups. The surprising thing is that they lost to the one team they were expected most to beat - the rebuilding Saints. Catching them in their home opener was indeed a bad sense of timing. That was compensated for by whipping up on the visiting Cardinals in week four and then taking a restful bye week to prepare for this game.

Quarterback: What Michael Vick lacks in passing production and efficiency (and he lacks quite a bit), he makes up for by rushing the ball better than he ever has. In just four games, Vick has 333 yards on the ground which would extrapolate out to an amazing 1332 yards on the season. That would be right around 10th best in the league - for running backs. Vick has not thrown for more than 153 yards in a game so far and hasn't scored since week two.

Running Backs: Warrick Dunn began the year with two bookend games of 130 rushing yards but only came up with 44 yards on 13 carries in New Orleans and then only 55 yards on 19 carries against the Cardinals. Vick still won't throw to him more than once or twice a game if that, so Dunn's monster start to the season is quickly eroding with mediocre production in the last two games.

Jerious Norwood doesn't get a lot of carries but he does quite a bit with what he does get. Norwood has just 26 carries on the season for 217 yards - 8.3 yards per carry. His 78-yard touchdown against the Cardinals had a rather significant effect on his production.

Wide Receivers: Michael Jenkins has the lone wideout touchdown of the year and that came back in week one. His 77 yards in that match-up with the Panthers was a team high for the season. No change here - Vick has never had any wide receiver with more than four catches in a game and they just don't offer any fantasy value.

Tight Ends: Alge Crumpler also scored in week one and then not again. He has been less productive than in any year with Vick and only has 11 catches for 128 yards over a four game period.

Match Against the Defense: Here is where this game gets interesting. The Giants rushing defense has given up three rushing scores but never more than 76 yards to any runner. After four games against IND. PHI, SEA and WAS, opponents are only averaging just under three yards per carry against the Giants and just 75 rushing yards per game. Then again, Michael Vick can really skew the equation. Expect moderate to good yardage from Dunn but probably not a big game here.

The Giants have been soft against the pass but only to Manning, McNabb and Hasselbeck - hardly the same class as Vick as a passer. Vick will have to win this game by either running or throwing better than he has this year. Look for one passing score and probably one rushing score as well. This comes down to a battle of field goals and turnovers but the Falcons are ripe for a loss and the Giants are improving.