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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 8
October 25, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
ARZ at GB JAX at PHI STL at SD DAL at CAR BUF, DET
ATL at CIN SEA at KC IND at DEN
Monday
MIA, WAS
BAL at NO SF at CHI NYJ at CLE NE at MIN  
HOU at TEN TB at NYG PIT at OAK   updated

Prediction: NYJ 20, CLE 17

The Jets have now reached a winning record despite being nowhere nearly that good and this week won't change that illusion. The Browns have stumbled to a 1-5 record and now the offensive coordinator has been dumped - that's not usually the ticket for a quick turnaround. But this is still a coin flip game between two teams that struggled against good opponents.

Update: Laveranues Coles is, of course, listed as questionable and was held out of some practices but is expected to play. Dennis Northcutt is still bothered by his bruised ribs and has not practiced. I am removing him from the projections and inserting Tim Dwight who is banged up but expected to play. Brad Smith could also figure in.

New York Jets (4-3)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 --- @NE
2 17-24 NE 11 --- CHI
3 28-20 @BUF 12 --- HOU
4 28-31 IND 13 --- @GB
5 0-41 @JAX 14 --- BUF
6 20-17 MIA 15 --- @MIN
7 31-24 DET 16 --- @MIA
8 --- @CLE 17 --- OAK
9 Open Bye - - MON
NYJ at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 200,1
RB Kevan Barlow 30,1 0 0
RB Leon Washington 90 10 0
TE Chris Baker 0 10 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 80 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 20 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 80,1 0
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jets have not been passing nearly as well as they did in those first games of the season but now it appears a running back has been found in Leon Washington even if the team continues to use Kevan Barlow in equal measure. Adding an ability to the offense outside of throwing passes to Coles can only be good and this week in Cleveland should be deadly. The Jets have a great shot at going into their bye week 5-3 which alone should canonize Eric Mangini regardless what happens in the second half of the season. The schedule gets tougher but a 9-7 record is definitely in reach.

Quarterback: The Jets have won their last two games but that wasn't much to do with Chad Pennington really. He hasn't thrown for more than 190 yards in three weeks now thought he did notch two scores against the visiting Dolphins. He doesn't throw much to the backs or tight ends and only likes Coles and Cotchery. This week - that'll likely be enough yet again.

Running Backs: Leon Washington has brought in one sorely missing element from the Jets rushing attack - speed. Sure, he's small and light, but compared to Derrick Blaylock or Kevan Barlow, Washington is a bolt of lightning. He gained 129 yards on 20 carries and scored twice last week. That is miles better than any other game by a Jets runner this year and it came in a win. Cedric Houston could be returning soon but another nice game by Washington should make that meaningless.

Limiting Washington is Kevan Barlow though. Last week Barlow had 12 carries for 49 yards and one touchdown himself. He was used on a goal line run and score. At this point, the best assumption is that Barlow and Washington will continue to be mixed which just waters down Washington but by the same token, using Barlow on short yardage could actually help keep Washington healthy and productive.

Wide Receivers: There are only two of any consequence on this team and Laveranues Coles finally comes off a bad game. He only managed to catch four passes for 29 yards last week during Washington's running spree and yet Jerricho Cotchery had one of his better games with seven catches for 79 yards. Both wideouts have been a pleasant surprise this year but the improved rushing is bound to start to limit them.

Tight Ends: Just another one catch per week team.

Match Against the Defense: This is a below average rushing defense that is ranked only as high as they are because they have only allowed four scores this year and opponents have not bothered to throw to backs against them this year. Five different backs have topped 90 rushing yards or more against them. With the Browns in even more turmoil this week, expect at least decent rushing yardage here that could become good if Washington can break a long one or have Barlow stop stealing carries.

Pennington faces a secondary that has lost CB Gary Baxter for the year - that is a devastating blow to the secondary. His replacement last week immediately gave up a touchdown to the rookie Brandon Marshall. Jerricho Cotchery just caught a huge break. The Browns have allowed at least one passing score to every opponent and Cotchery should be the one this week thought Coles can never be counted out with sheer volume of passes in most games. I am assuming that Coles is questionable to play this week, that he will miss some practices and will play anyway. I am also assuming that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 23 18 13 26 29 15
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 7 18 14 18 26 30

 

Cleveland Browns (1-5)
1 14-19 NO 10 --- @ATL
2 17-34 @CIN 11 --- PIT
3 14-15 BAL 12 --- CIN
4 24-21 @OAK 13 --- KC
5 12-20 @CAR 14 --- @PIT
6 Open Bye 15 --- @BAL
7 7-17 DEN 16 --- TB
8 --- NYJ 17 --- @HOU
9 --- @SD - - THU
CLE vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Charlie Frye 10 0 190,1
RB Reuben Droughns 60,1 10 0
TE Kellen Winslow 0 50,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 50 0
WR Braylon Edwards 0 40 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 20 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 20 0
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: With their match-up against Raiders over already, the Browns have a fairly bleak outlook for the rest of the year. The schedule actually gets worse and then it becomes brutal. After this week, the Browns go against SD, ATL, PIT, CIN, KC, PIT and BAL and then maybe catch a break with the final two games against TB and HOU. A 3-13 record is not out of the question. Heck - a 1-15 record is not out of the question either. The one saving grace was that the defense had kept losses fairly close but losing Baxter is not going to help at all. The offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon has stepped down and now offensive line coach/assistant head coach Jeff Davidson takes over. After he looks at the schedule, he may be wise to step down now and avoid the heartache.

Quarterback: Now that Charlie Frye no longer rushes for touchdowns, he's back to being a fantasy non-factor this year that struggles to throw for 200 yards and that has only six passing scores on the year - three came in one game against the Raiders. Frye also has ten interceptions this year as his way to ensure that the Browns continue to falter.

Running Backs: If Rueben Droughns gets any worse, he'll be running backwards. Droughns had his lone decent game, of course, against the Raiders but has only scored once this year and had half of his efforts come in with less than 40 rushing yards. The schedule has not been kind in fairness but he's running exactly the same way that made him the second string fullback in Denver before he became Cinderella for a year.

The rookie Jerome Harrison is bound to get more looks but so far he has never had more than three carries in any game. As the losses mount, it is almost certain that Harrison gets more playing time in an effort to look like the Browns are still trying. And with that schedule, it is almost certain that Harrison is not going to look good either.

Wide Receivers: Three weeks into the season and Braylon Edwards looked like a stud with two games over 110 yards and one score. Three weeks later and he barely has 110 yards in those three efforts combined including a sad two catches for six yards last week. Joe Jurevicius has been back for three weeks now and he has scored twice, but he's never had more than 40 yards in a game and apparently just sucks the value out of Edwards.

Tight Ends: As the Browns offense continues to swirl downward, at least Kellen Winslow is holding onto some fantasy value. Last week was a season low 34 yards on three catches but he had been turning in 50 or so yards a week and has two scores on the year so far.

Match Against the Defense: Make no mistake here - the Jets have a horrible rushing defense. The worst in the league. Every team has had their running back score at least once. But the Browns also have a horrible rushing attack. Almost the worst in the league. It has only scored once the entire year. Look for a better game from Droughns which is not hard to do but a big game here is very hard to count on from a team in disarray.

Frye goes against a defense that has allowed at least one passing score each week and significant yardage when the opponent tried. Expect one score that favors Winslow or Jurevicius. This team is hard to quantify right now because of internal dissension and battling a natural inclination to think they are going to lose.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 11 31 29 4 30 30
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 24 32 24 20 12 16