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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

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David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 17
December 27, 2006
Season Ticket
Saturday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
NYG at WAS CAR at NO JAX at KC PIT at CIN ARZ at SD
Sunday
CLE at HOU MIA at IND SEA at TB SF at DEN
ATL at PHI DET at DAL NE at TEN STL at MIN Sunday Nite
BUF at BAL OAK at NYJ updated GB at CHI

Prediction: GB 10, CHI 17

The Packers, amazingly, can get a wildcard with a win here and a loss by the Giants and one loss by the Rams, Panthers or Atlanta. That actually could happen since the Bears have nothing to win here having clinched the #1 seed. But the Bears should know after last year how fleeting a playoff bid can be and will want to win one before taking a week off. This is the final game of the regular season and there is a chance of snow.

The Bears won 26-0 in the season opener at Green Bay this year.

Green Bay Packers (7-8)
1 0-26 CHI 10 23-17 @MIN
2 27-34 NO 11 0-35 NE
3 31-24 @DET 12 24-34 @SEA
4 9-31 @PHI 13 10-38 NYJ
5 20-23 STL 14 30-19 @SF
6 Open Bye 15 17-9 DET
7 34-24 @MIA 16 9-7 MIN
8 31-14 ARZ 17 --- @CHI
9 10-24 @BUF - MON THU
GBP at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 240,1
RB Ahman Green 60 20 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 20 0
WR Donald Driver 0 80,1 0
WR Ruvell Martin 0 30 0
WR Greg Jennings 0 50 0
PK Dave Rayner 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Packers played their final home game for the year and the potential last game for Brett Favre at Lambeau did not mean that much in the box score or score board. The Packers defense has looked much better recently but the last three games came against poor offenses and now on the road the team has to win in Chicago where their best weapon may be the fact the Bears do not have to care what happens in this game.

Quarterback: Brett Favre returned this year and yet again we will be faced with the annual offseason question - will he retire? Heading into his final game of the season, Favre has already passed Dan Marino with the most completions in a career (5000). But he trails Marino in yardage (61,361 vs 57,215), attempts (8,359 vs. 8,181) and touchdowns (420 vs 413). So unless Favre can end up with 4,146 yards, 178 attempts and 7 touchdowns in the final game, he will be short of owning those records. The attempts record is no big deal but the yardage and touchdowns certainly are. Unlikely that Favre has another 4000 yard season left in him but seven touchdowns is very doable next year.

The entire question revolving around Favre next year is whether or not he wants to return to get the touchdown record. He can throw for seven scores anywhere but unfortunately has to play all 16 games next year if he returns. Pretty bad form to start until he has his 8th touchdown and then retires.

Favre threw for 170 yards and two interceptions against the Bears this season.

Running Backs: Ahman Green only needs 54 rushing yards here to gain his sixth 1000 yard season in Green Bay. But Green has dropped off significantly the last two years and is in the final year of his contract. Hard to see him returning or being a primary runner elsewhere in 2007 and he turns 30 in February. This is likely his final game as a starter if not as a Packer. Vernand Morency has shown sparks this season but not enough to merit becoming a starting tailback.

Green ran for 110 yards on 20 carries when the Bears came to Green Bay this year. Noah Herron had one catch for 16 yards and a score in that game.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver ends up this season with a career high yardage already (1272) and his seven scores this year are solid enough. But Driver has had almost no help from any other wideouts which plays into why his season went so well. Greg Jennings had a big start to the year but sprained his ankle and never really recovered. He had three games over 85 yards and three scores in his first five weeks but never scored or had more than about 50 yards in any successive game. The Packers lost Koren Robinson and Robert Ferguson during the season, just like previous years where Packers wideouts were injured and only left Driver still standing. Driver too is in the final year of his contract.

Driver had seven receptions for 96 yards against the Bears in the season opener.

Tight Ends: The Packers tight ends were of little fantasy value this year. David Martin scored twice but no other tight end did and none had more than 51 yards in any game. There were only four times any had more than 35 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers are not likely to run well here so expect Ahman Green to have only moderate yardage and there could be a chance that carries are shared more this week because the Packers will already know what their chances will be this week. If the Giants have won, then the Packers won't be able to get a wildcard without a "strength of victory" tiebreaker that depend on other games which will all be done by this kick-off.

This may be Favre's final game and it would be fitting to have it be outside in the snow but last week in Lambeau was his big chance for a big send-off and it never really happened. Expect a touchdown pass here to Driver since no other receiver has much mattered but no big fireworks. That should have happened last week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 15 16 14 23 16 9
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 6 7 13 2 2 10

 

Chicago Bears (13-2)
1 26-0 @GB 10 38-20 @NYG
2 34-7 DET 11 10-0 @NYJ
3 19-16 @MIN 12 13-17 @NE
4 37-6 SEA 13 23-13 MIN
5 40-7 BUF 14 42-27 @STL
6 24-23 @ARZ 15 34-31 TB
7 Open Bye 16 26-21 @DET
8 41-10 SF 17 --- GB
9 13-31 MIA - - MON
CHI vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Rex Grossman 0 0 180,1
RB Thomas Jones 60,1 10 0
RB Cedric Benson 40 0 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 20 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 80 0
WR Rashied Davis 0 20 0
WR Bernard Berrian 0 50,1 0
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears have nothing to play for until the second week of the playoffs but this will be a home game and a national broadcast as the final game of the regular season. That should motivate the troops a bit and with a week off, the momentum does not need to be lost to the visiting Packers. The Bears defense has undergone many significant injuries this year and the offense still has not found a consistent groove, so a nice showing here can only help the playoffs hopes - long as no one is injured.

Quarterback: Last week the Bears turned to Brian Griese at the end of the game when the outcome was not even decided and the Bears were trailing. This week will likely see the same sharing of the load with a chance that Griese could get even more playing time.

Grossman threw for 262 yards and one score in Green Bay to open the season.

Running Backs: No matter that Thomas Jones is banged up or not, the Bears will always use him as a starter so expect Jones to take the start this week as well. He ended up sharing half the carries with Cedric Benson in Detroit with Benson taking most the late game carries. Adrian Peterson also had three carries and he scored one touchdown in what could have been a great chance to showcase what Benson could do. Seems the Bears are not interested in seeing that or already think they know what they have. Expect enough sharing this week that all the backs carry fantasy risk.

Jones rushed for 63 yards on 21 carries while Benson had 11 carries for 34 yards in Green Bay this year.

Wide Receivers: With a potential change at quarterback during the game, the outlook this week is harder to rely on despite playing against a week Packers secondary. Muhsin Muhammad has been used for yardage but Bernard Berrian has two scores in the last three games. Likely the Bears will throw less this week unless they specifically want Griese to get some action.

Muhammad turned in six receptions for 102 yards in Green Bay while Bernard Berrian had one catch for 49 yards and a score.

Tight Ends: Desmond Clark is winding down a career best year but that comes mainly from scoring four times in two games and then not much else this year.

Clark opened the season with five catches for 77 yards in Green Bay.

Match Against the Defense: With nothing to win, expect this game to have plenty of rushing which should be enough to control the ball and win the game. I will project passing numbers for Grossman but realize that there is a great chance he gives way to Griese at some point. The Packers are soft on defense but the Bears have nothing riding on this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 17 12 13 8 1 1
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 30 20 25 16 27 18