fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    


Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 22, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
  CIN at CLE NYG at TEN   Updated

Prediction: PHI 10, IND 27

My, oh my. How things change in just one week. The Colts no longer are unbeaten and the Eagles no longer have the fantasy football stud for a quarterback for the third time in the last five years. Shades of 2005 though at least Westbrook is still healthy. The Colts could be on a downer after losing their first game of the year but they could just as easily be glad that is over with against a non-conference team on the road. Back at home against the No-McNabb Eagles should be enough to be the first team to reach 10 wins on the season.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
1 24-10 @HOU 10 27-3 WAS
2 24-30 NYG 11 13-31 TEN
3 38-24 @SF 12 --- @IND
4 31-9 GB 13 --- CAR
5 38-24 DAL 14 --- @WAS
6 24-27 @NO 15 --- @NYG
7 21-23 @TB 16 --- @DAL
8 6-13 JAX 17 --- ATL
9 Open Bye - - MON
PHI at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 20 0 180,1
RB Brian Westbrook 90 40 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 60,1 0
WR Donte Stallworth 0 50 0
WR Reggie Brown 0 20 0
WR Greg Lewis 0 10 0
PK David Akers 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: What a heartbreak for the Eagles faithful. Already the team was struggling to remain in contention in the NFC East after letting several games get away from them that they should have won but now McNabb tears an ACL again? At least this year there has been no Terrell Owens blather in the Philly media but as soon as McNabb went down last week, there was silence followed by a collective "oh crap, not again". Yes, again. And with a brutal stretch of four road games coming up with just one home stand against the resurgent Panthers. If nothing else, at least fantasy league playoffs should have some interesting quarterbacks playing depending on who McNabb owners have on their roster and hoped to never use.

Quarterback: Now that McNabb is once again gone, the Eagles dust off Plan B. On the off-season they acquired Jeff Garcia who played last week and looked rather unimpressive when he completed just 26 of 48 passes for 189 yards.
The one bright spot was a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end L.J. Smith with nine minutes left in the game that pulled the Eagles to within 11. Then again, the Eagles were at home against the 2-7 Titans.

Now it is not certain who the starting quarterback will be. Garcia hasn't produced much confidence after last week and HC Andy Reid would not name him as the starter for this week after the loss. A.J. Feeley could once again come to the rescue. I will project for Garcia to get a second chance this week but that could change by game time. And if Garcia falters in Indy as he will likely do, it only makes Feeley even more attractive.

Running Backs: Obscured by the McNabb injury last week was that Brian Westbrook had his third 100 rushing yard game in the last four weeks. Without McNabb there to concern the defenses, no doubt Westbrook will be a greater focus by both the Philly offense and every opposing defense for the rest of the year. This week will give a better idea of how successful he can be post-McNabb since the Colts defense is weak against the run. It may not get much better than this week.

Wide Receivers: Donte Stallworth has been on a two game return to prominence but now has to get used to a new quarterback that is not even certain who it is though it will be someone who he has never played with. Stallworth had four catches for 75 yards last week and 11 targets. Of that, five targets and just two completions for 21 yards came from Garcia over three quarters of play. Not very encouraging. Until the passing game settles down, Stallworth and Reggie Brown have lost definite fantasy value.

Tight Ends: If there is any good news, and probably there isn't any, is that last week McNabb only threw two incompletions to L.J. Smith prior to the injury. But Garcia's first completion went to Smith who ended with his second best fantasy game of the year when he turned in seven catches for 57 yards and the lone passing touchdown. Garcia likes Smith.

Match Against the Defense: Fire up Westy - no doubt that the Eagles will run Westbrook as much as they can against the #29 rushing defense. Look for a decent game here but now that McNabb is gone, there is less reason for the Colts to focus on pass defense. Bob Sanders was inactive last week but may return and that would diminish what Westbrook could do with long gainers.

No matter which quarterback will start, playing in Indianapolis is not nearly as much fun as it may seem. No opponent has thrown for more than 226 yards there and any score will be a big success. Look for Smith to score this week against the only weakness the Colts have against the pass. Both Stallworth and Brown go against the #1 defense against wideouts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 1 10 8 8 15 5
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 8 29 1 16 6 9


Indianapolis Colts (9-1)
1 26-21 @NYG 10 17-16 BUF
2 43-24 HOU 11 14-21 @DAL
3 21-14 JAX 12 --- PHI
4 31-28 @NYJ 13 --- @TEN
5 14-13 TEN 14 --- @JAX
6 Open Bye 15 --- CIN
7 36-22 WAS 16 --- @HOU
8 34-31 @DEN 17 --- MIA
9 27-20 @NE - - MON
IND vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 260,2
RB Dominic Rhodes 50 10 0
RB Joseph Addai 60,1 20 0
TE Utecht/ Clark 0 40 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 70 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 100,1 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: It had to happen eventually and a road game in Dallas was about as good as anywhere for the Colts to finally lose a game. Now the only remaining opponent left on the schedule is the 6-4 Jaguars. But with a home field advantage left to pursue that could be interesting with the Ravens and Chargers doing well, the Colts are not nearly to the point of letting down their guard. Nice timing on facing the Eagles this week.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning is #2 in the NFL with 2781 passing yards and #1 with 20 touchdowns. Despite his heavy passing load, Manning only has five interceptions on the season and two came just last Sunday. The question this week is if Manning figures the game is a lock and only has a low effort knowing he can win or if he lights it up because he can. He just lost... no reason to rest this week.

Running Backs: The never-ending rotation changes in the Colt's backfield continued last week with Dominic Rhodes starting the game and ending with nine runs for 30 yards while Joseph Addai had 13 carries for 50 yards. The only apparent certainty is that Addai has favor at the goal line since Rhodes hasn't scored since week four and Addai ran in two touchdowns over the last three weeks. Neither back has topped 100 yards this season.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne is second in the league with 885 yards and comes off a nice 111 yard, one touchdown game in Dallas. Marvin Harrison had 94 yards last week but has only scored in three games this year while Wayne has crossed the goal line in five of the last six contests including the last three home games. Wayne has taken over as the primary wideout this year, just don't mention that to Harrison.

Tight Ends: The dual tight end attack continues to provide only marginal numbers though Dallas Clark just scored last Sunday for the third time this year. Ben Utecht typically has better yardage but has no touchdowns yet this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles only have an average rushing defense but that could drop lower now that McNabb and the high scoring could be over for the year. Look for the duo of Addai and Rhodes to combine for decent yardage here with one touchdown rushed in by Addai most likely.

Manning goes against a secondary that has ranked well thanks to playing mostly poor passing teams. Expect two scores at least here that will favor the usual suspects and around 250 passing yards because Manning won't need to do much more than that. The Colts should have decent field position in this one so the yardage won't need to be high.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 3 16 4 4 4 27
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 10 18 6 6 19 26