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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
SF at SEA CLE at BAL NYJ at MIN DEN at ARZ KC at SD
Saturday
DET at GB PIT at CAR PHI at NYG
Monday
DAL at ATL HOU at NE TB at CHI MIA at BUF CIN at IND
  JAX at TEN WAS at NO STL at OAK *updated

Prediction: WAS 10, NO 31

The Redskins have lost four of their last five games and at 4-9 the season was over long ago. The Saints are 9-4 and currently the #2 seed in the NFC. This would be a significant trap game were the Skins to win but they are only 1-5 on the road this year and the Saints are red hot.

Update: Santana Moss felt ill on Thursday and missed practice but he is not expected to miss the game this week and is listed as probable. Be sure his illness does not become any worse but there was no concern by the Redskins about it. Mark Campbell is battling a sore knee and has missed practices the last two days. He is questionable to play and appears likely to be replaced by Billy Miller this week.

Joe Horn is listed as questionable again this week and has not practiced due to his injured groin. He is not likely to play and Terrance Copper will replace him again. Marques Colston did not appear on the injury report and should be 100% this week. I am also shifting some production around as well. Colston was a strong contender for Offensive Rookie of the Year until he was injured and has been recently overshadowed by both Maurice Drew-Jones and Vince Young. This was brought up by Drew Brees who would like to see Colston regain some lost stature so I am expecting a bigger game now from Colston who is healthy. Henderson still has the better matchup but Colston has played very well almost regardless of who he goes against.

Washington Redskins (4-9)
1 16-19 MIN 10 3-27 @PHI
2 10-27 @DAL 11 17-20 @TB
3 31-15 @HOU 12 17-13 CAR
4 36-30 JAX 13 14-24 ATL
5 3-19 @NYG 14 19-21 PHI
6 25-22 TEN 15 --- @NO
7 22-36 @IND 16 --- @STL
8 Open Bye 17 --- NYG
9 22-19 DAL - MON SAT
WAS at NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 0 0 220,1
RB Ladell Betts 60 20 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 50 0
WR Santana Moss 0 80,1 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 30 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 50 0
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: On the plus side, the Skins under Jason Campbell are consistent but unfortunately that means that the offense is going to score less than 20 points every week while the defense could only once in the last five games hold an opponent to under that 20 point mark - and that was the one win. Can the Skins be one of only three teams that have kept the Saints under 20 points? Probably not.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell is just 1-4 as a starter and that comes with three games played at home, Campbell has thrown for at least one score in every game but the last two efforts - now that there is some game film on him - have seen him with one score and two interceptions in each game. He's only once thrown for more than 200 yards and now that he hits a two game road stretch that will likely remain a problem.

Running Backs: Ladell Betts has been a force in the last three games with each effort topping 100 rushing yards and last week turning into a career best 171 yards on 33 carries. But Betts has scored only once and has almost no role in the passing game. What will be even more interesting is this week will be his first in a road game since he last only gained 18 yards on seven carries in Tampa Bay. In that game he was a target for five receptions and 48 yards but the string of three games so far have been sterling - but they all came in home stands. This week will answer just how good he can be away from home.

Wide Receivers: After his big 123 yard game against the Falcons in week 13, Santana Moss was back to his norm last week when he only had two catches for 34 yards. Antwaan Randle El comes off his biggest game of the year with 85 yards on six catches with his second touchdown in the last three games. Randle El only had four catches for 32 yards in total over the previous three games with Campbell so it was just a freak high game on Sunday. Nothing much happens here unless it happens with Moss and that is about every eight weeks or so.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley had four catches for 46 yards last week and that was an uptick from the 12 yards he had against the Falcons. In the first two games with Campbell, Cooley was the preferred target but he's cooled down since then and hasn't scored in the last two games.

Match Against the Defense: Betts has been running strong in the last three games but none of those games came against an offensive powerhouse like the Saints that can force opponents to the pass rather quickly. Betts on the road so far has been a far lesser productive player. The Saints rushing defense is likely only average if opponents could run for most of the game but few have been able to do such. Look for only a moderate game here from Betts that has a better chance at lower numbers than higher.

Campbell goes against a softer secondary but that has never proven to be much of a boon for Campbell so far. Moss should enjoy a better game here against a secondary that just gave up a monster game to fellow flanker Terry Glenn and there's a shot at Cooley getting involved again this week. This looks like a game with ample trash time and that could benefit Campbell and company in fantasy terms.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 29 16 23 10 26 32
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 30 11 31 21 3 6

 

New Orleans Saints (9-4)
1 19-14 @CLE 10 31-38 @PIT
2 34-27 @GB 11 16-31 CIN
3 23-3 ATL 12 31-13 @ATL
4 18-21 @CAR 13 34-10 SF
5 24-21 TB 14 42-17 @DAL
6 27-24 PHI 15 --- WAS
7 Open Bye 16 --- @NYG
8 22-35 BAL 17 --- CAR
9 31-14 @TB - - MON
NOR vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 310,3
RB Reggie Bush 30 70,1 0
RB Deuce McAllister 80,1 10 0
TE Billy Miller 0 10 0
TE Mark Campbell 0 10 0
WR Terrance Copper 0 30 0
WR Marques Colston 0 100,1 0
WR Devery Henderson 0 90,1 0
PK John Carney 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: Evidently the Saints not only are the surprise team of the year, they can put together a monster game when they need it most. The win over the Cowboys last week secured the #2 seed in the playoffs currently and only a road trip to New York to play the Giants appears as a potential stumbling block. Being a Saints fan for the last two years must be a surreal experience. The offense has been explosive for the entire year and now the defense has not allowed more than 17 points in the last three games.

Quarterback: Drew Brees has now broken the 4000 yard mark with three games left to play. He has thrown for 4039 yards or an average of 310 yards per game. Should he maintain that average - which could be possible - he'll end up right at 5000 passing yards on the season. Dan Marino threw for 5084 yards - Brees is the only one that seems to have a realistic shot at breaking it this late in a season.

If that was not enough, and it should be, Brees is #1 in the NFL with 25 passing touchdowns on the season as well. Throwing for five touchdowns last week against a normally tough Cowboys defense in Dallas says about all you need to know about Brees this year.

Running Backs: Reggie Bush started the season looking like a first round bust and he still has only has 398 rushing yards on the season but he ranks #1 among all running backs now with 693 receiving yards. For the last two weeks he has turned in over 120 receiving yards and has scored five touchdowns. This is a bad time for the rest of the league to see Bush catch fire - or at least for the Saints to finally figure out just how to use him best.

What Bush does via the pass is what Deuce McAllister does on the ground. McAllister has not scored in two games but he's been over 110 rushing yards in both. When this all works - and it has lately - it is a devastatingly effective attack.

Wide Receivers: Joe Horn was inactive for the game with the Cowboys because of a groin injury and was replaced by Terrance Copper who had almost no role with just one catch for eight yards. Marques Colston returned last week after missing two games but he was not 100% and only had 48 yards on five catches. He should be better this week. Devery Henderson was again outstanding when he scored last week on a 42-yard pass and had a 50-yard catch as well. With plenty of passing yardage to divvy up each week, at least one of these wideouts cash in ever game.

I am holding Horn out of the projections this week until he appears likely to play.

Tight Ends: Dang - isn't Bush and those wideouts enough? No fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: Right now the Saints are playing so well that they typically exceed what defenses normally allow so the match-up is hard to forecast other than the Saints will have to fight a letdown of sorts after such a big win in Dallas. But even then - they are bound to win this game. Look for a just a moderate game here from McAllister with a shot at one score. Bush has been huge in the passing game lately which should continue.

Brees faces a secondary that gave 384 yards and four scores to Peyton Manning who is about the only quarterback appropriate to compare Brees to this season. This still smacks of a down game for the Saints coming off a big win but it should post good numbers here anyway. The Skins are especially weak against wideouts and the Saints are using three on most plays.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 2 3 2 22 6 24
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 22 13 29 27 31 3