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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 6, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Nite
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   SEA at ARZ *updated

Prediction: SEA 27, ARZ 24

Seattle may have stumbled this year and suffered through injuries where it hurt the worst, but at 8-4 they are tied for the second best record in the NFC. The Cardinals are only 3-9 but come off their first road win since mid-season 2005. The Seahawks already beat the Cardinals 21-10 in Seattle this year during week two.

Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
1 9-6 @DET 10 24-22 STL
2 21-10 ARZ 11 14-20 @SF
3 42-30 NYG 12 34-24 GB
4 6-37 @CHI 13 23-20 @DEN
5 Open Bye 14 --- @ARZ
6 30-28 @STL 15 --- SF
7 13-31 MIN 16 --- SD
8 28-35 @KC 17 --- @TB
9 16-0 OAK - MON THU
SEA at ARZ Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 230,2
RB Shaun Alexander 80,1 0 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 20 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 80,1 0
WR Deion Branch 0 70,1 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 40 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Looking good for the Seahawks. The only remaining opponent with a winning record is a home game against the Chargers - otherwise it will be three weeks against some of the worst teams in the NFL. Alexander is back in gear and running well while Hasselbeck is showing no ill-effects from his knee injury. A win this week all but wraps up the NFC West with three games to play but as a contender for that first round bye, Seattle has every reason to continue to play hard every week.

Quarterback: While Matt Hasselbeck wasn't nearly as successful last week as he was in his first game back, there is a big difference between hosting the Packers and visiting the Broncos. In Denver, Hasselbeck only threw for 168 yards and no scores but he had no interceptions and relied largely on safer, short passes. A big change from when he threw for three scores against the Packers but he was facing one of the best defenses on their turf. This week is more a shot at what Hasselbeck normally is after facing the best and worst defenses in two weeks since returning.

Hasselbeck threw for 221 yards and one score against the Cardinals earlier this year.

Running Backs: The blocking fullback Mack Strong suffered an ankle injury of Sunday night. He tried to return, but could not play so the Seahawks used tight end Will Heller at fullback down the stretch. It did not seem to affect the level of play of Shaun Alexander who ran for a very respectable 90 yards on 26 carries in Denver. He also scored one touchdown when Darrell Jackson brought the ball to the one-yard line. In the last two weeks, Alexander has racked up 66 carries for 291 yards. He's back to healthy without a doubt.

Shaun Alexander ran for just 89 yards on 26 carries against the Cards this season but scored once.

Wide Receivers: Even though Hasselbeck had a low production game in Denver, Darrell Jackson still came up with 91 yards on six catches while Deion Branch ended with only three catches for 23 yards. He only had 38 yards and three catches the previous week so he hasn't rekindled any chemistry with Hasselbeck since he returned.

Jackson had a big game last time he faced the Cardinals, turning in 127 yards and one touchdown on just five catches. No other wideout scored or had more than 51 yards.

Tight Ends: Jerramy Stevens has been catching a touchdown every other week since he came back in week seven but last week was an off game with only 12 yards on two catches. This is his week to score again if he follows his trend.

Match Against the Defense: Shaun Alexander goes against a defense that is dramatically better when at home. Only three runners have visited Arizona and rushed in a touchdown and no runner has topped more than 87 yards there. Expect a good game here from Alexander that should challenge 100 yards but likely won't be a big game and for him to score once. Pretty much just what he did back in Seattle against the Cards.

The weakness of Arizona is with their secondary and Hasselbeck should leave with two passing scores. The Cards have been very good against tight ends so Stevens trend is likely stopped but both Jackson and Branch have a shot at good numbers this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 10 31 6 27 9 3
Preventing Fantasy Points ARZ 23 25 25 12 31 26


Arizona Cardinals (3-9)
1 34-27 SF 10 10-27 DAL
2 10-21 @SEA 11 17-10 DET
3 14-16 STL 12 26-31 @MIN
4 10-32 @ATL 13 34-20 @STL
5 20-23 KC 14 --- SEA
6 23-24 CHI 15 --- DEN
7 9-22 @OAK 16 --- @SF
8 14-31 @GB 17 --- @SD
9 Open Bye - - MON
ARZ vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Leinart 10 0 250,2
RB Edgerrin James 80,1 20 0
TE Leonard Pope 0 10 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 90,1 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 80,1 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 40 0
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The offensive line appears to finally be coming together for the Cardinals and the running game is looking much improved much to the dismay of every Boldin and Fitzgerald owner. The Cardinals come off a rare road win but the notion that they can put up back-to-back wins by hosting the division leader is optimistic. The Rams have their own problems and were susceptible to the loss last week but the Seahawks have already beaten them once this year and need this win.

Quarterback: Matt Leinart is a safe bet for throwing more than 200 yards each week but his scoring is down to just one per week. Leinart isn't even limiting himself to just throwing with a touchdown run in the last two home games. The rookie is settling down to what is an impressive rookie season but one that is just average in NFL terms.

In the first meeting with the Seahawks, Warner was still the starter and threw for 231 yards and one touchdown.

Running Backs: Sort of bittersweet really. Edgerrin James finally topped the century mark when he ran for 115 yards in 26 carries last week but he had no catches for the first time this season. And he surprisingly gave up goal line duty to Marcel Shipp who scored three times last week - he had only three carries in the previous 11 games this season. Even J.J. Arrington was given goal line carries over James.

Until this is proven as more than a one game event, I am only projecting for James as a running back. If Shipp shows up again, then those screams you hear will be the closest James owner.

James only gained 64 yards on 18 carries in Seattle this year.

Wide Receivers: This is plenty scary. The Cardinals actually win a road game and Anquan Boldin (2-32) and Larry Fitzgerald (5-46, 1 TD) had almost no role. Both should be good for around 80 yards or more in most weeks with Bryant Johnson throwing in about 40 or 50 yards but the pass happy ways went away in the win last week when James ran strong and Shipp scored. This week should show if that is just a blip this season or the beginning of a trend.

Boldin had six catches for 62 yards and Fitzgerald turned in four receptions for 52 yards but only Bryant Johnson scored in the previous meeting against the Seahawks and it was on his only catch in the game.

Tight Ends: Leonard Pope has one or two catches per week - no fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: If the Cardinals intend on pursuing this rushing-heavy attack, this is the week to do it. The Seahawks on the road have been very soft against the run this year and the last three opponents (Larry Johnson, Frank Gore and Tatum Bell) all had big games with more than 130 rushing yards. Since the Seahawks are likely to score more than the Rams, just running the ball is not going to be enough this week. Besides, I just cannot predict James to break 100 rushing yards without getting a rash.

I like the Cards to rush for one score but that could be James or Leinart or even Shipp.

Leinart will have to excel to win this game and that should see him throw for two scores as has road opponents in most of Seattle's recent games. Those have to favor Fitzgerald and Boldin both though Johnson could show up in the endzone with minimal yardage attached.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARZ 15 28 3 31 17 7
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 14 17 19 9 18 27