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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 2
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
Monday
updated

Prediction: NYJ 7, BAL 17

Both these teams lost last week and will be hungry for a win but the Ravens have several players injured - Steve McNair (groin), Ray Lewis (triceps) and Jonathan Ogden (toe). The Jets have injury woes themselves with Chad Pennington nursing a bad ankle and Thomas Jones ineffective enough to merit questions about his recuperation from a calf injury.

Update: Steve McNair has not been ruled out for this week but he has not practiced because of his groin injury and it is only reasonable to assume the Ravens will not put him out there less than healthy. I am sticking with Kyle Boller as the starter for now but lowering his projections because Mark Clayton continues to heal from a toe injury and Demetrius Williams was also limited in practice with a chest bruise. They both are expected to play.

Chad Pennington has thrown a little in practice but his ankle injury should keep him out this week as expected. Playing in Baltimore is not a good place for a QB to be hopping around and the Jets are confident in Kellen Clemens..

New York Jets (0-1)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NE 14-38 +6.5 40.5
2 @BAL 16-Sep OFF OFF
3 MIA 23-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
4 @BUF 30-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
5 @NYG 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 PHI 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 @CIN 21-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
8 BUF 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 WAS 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 PIT 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @DAL 22-Nov THU 4:15 PM
13 @MIA 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CLE 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 @NE 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @TEN 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 KC 30-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
NYJ at BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Kellen Clemens 10   190,1
RB Thomas Jones 40 10  
RB Leon Washington 20 40  
TE Chris Baker   20  
WR Laveranues Coles   60,1  
WR Jerricho Cotchery   50  
WR Justin McCareins   10  
PK Mike Nugent 1 XP    
Pregame Notes: The Jets were pummeled by the Patriots last week and evidently there are plenty of pictures to prove it (along with their signals from the sidelines). The defense had no answer for the new Patriot passing game and the offense rarely had the ball or did much with it when they did. Taking a road trip to Baltimore is hardly going to improve the offense though Ray Lewis' injury could help.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington was playing pretty well last week when he had completed 16 of 21 passes for 167 yards and two scores but the Jets were already trailing by 14 points in the third quarter when Pennington suffered a high ankle sprain. Kellen Clemens finished the game and is almost certain to start this week. The Jets are not saying yet what the status of Pennington is since HC Eric Mangini groomed his communication style with the Patriots but a high ankle sprain could keep Pennington out for a while. Updates as warranted.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones returned from his calf injury but the free agent acquisition only managed to gain 42 yards on 14 carries - hardly what the Jets were hoping for. Then again, Leon Washington was held to just 15 yards on his four carries as well. Jones will be one week healthier now if nothing else though playing in Baltimore is never a measuring stick for any opponent's rushing game.

Wide Receivers: The duo from last year is still just as good but any injury to Pennington casts some doubt here in a week they play the Ravens. Jerricho Cotchery (6-57) and Laveranues Coles (7-59, 1 TD) were unable to catch anything more than intermediate passes against the Patriots and that could happen all over again this week. Clements' performance this summer fostered much confidence in using him so the passing game may not suffer too much more than if Pennington had to play against the Ravens.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker is only an occasional outlet though he can contribute more if the conditions are right.

Match Against the Defense: Ray Lewis wants to play even with a possibly torn triceps and he always makes a big difference even with one arm. But even without him, the Ravens are a very stout rush defense and the Jet so far haven't seen Thomas Jones show much. Expect only a moderate game here at most from Jones and it could end up with minimal fantasy value if he is not healthy. The absence of Pennington would only serve to make the rushing game more focused on by the defense.

Assuming Clements is playing, the production in the passing game almost certainly takes a hit though Clemens seems very talented. But getting a start in Baltimore is not where you want to show your stuff. Only expect minimal yardage here unless the Ravens got such a big lead that they would allow trash yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 10 29 10 18 30 32
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 22 2 24 8 14 31

 

Baltimore Ravens (0-1)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CIN 20-27 +3 40.5
2 NYJ 16-Sep OFF OFF
3 ARI 23-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
4 @CLE 30-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
5 @SF 7-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
6 STL 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 @BUF 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 BYE - - -
9 @PIT 5-Nov MON 8:30 PM
10 CIN 11-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
11 CLE 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @SD 25-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
13 NE 3-Dec MON 8:30 PM
14 IND 9-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
15 @MIA 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @SEA 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 PIT 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
BAL vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 10   200,1
RB Willis McGahee 110,1 30  
TE Todd Heap   40,1  
WR Mark Clayton   30  
WR Demetrius Williams   40  
WR Derrick Mason   50  
PK Matt Stover 2 XP 1 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Ravens come off a tough loss and the biggest worry now is how healthy Steve McNair is and if Ray Lewis can play with his injury according to a doctor - not Ray who insists he can. The schedule is pretty light in the first half of the season before becoming rather daunting, so if there was any time it would be okay to rest and heal players, now is the time.

Quarterback: Steve McNair left the game on Monday night with a strained groin and his status is still not known yet. I am assuming that he misses this week because this is a nice two game home stretch against opponents that they could beat without him. I will project for Kyle Boller to start but will update if needed.

Running Backs: The debut of Willis McGahee went reasonably well. He gained 77 yards on 19 carries and stayed below four yards a carry just like Lewis would have but at least McGahee showed some moves and burst that Lewis either lost or never had. Encouraging as well was using him on three receptions for 34 yards to give him his first 100 yard game as a Raven. What was troubling from a fantasy perspective was the use of Musa Smith who ran five times for 30 yards and scored the lone offensive touchdown last week. Smith has always been capable of being a goal line back but had injury woes the past few years. All McGahee owners are wishing the injury trend is not stopping. McGahee still is the clear primary here but Smith is decreasing what McGahee could do by himself.

I will not project for Smith until his use continues and is not related to one game.

Wide Receivers: As any fantasy owner can tell you, Mark Clayton never had a catch last week and was only thrown two passes. He was covered well by the Bengals and was returning from a sprained ankle. Just as surprising was the focus that McNair placed on connecting with Derrick Mason who was thrown a team high 12 passes with seven catches for 76 yards. The Ravens moved Mason to the slot and put Demetrius Williams in his normal flanker role though the roles could change within games. Williams was thrown nine passes himself though he only came down with three for 55 yards. This is as nice a trio of receivers that the Ravens have had in many years so long as they remain healthy and are used.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap only had four catches for 29 yards last week but remains a big component here.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets defense gave up gobs of yards to the Patriots but how much of that was just the Patriots will be more apparent after this week. Look for a lower scoring game here where both starting quarterbacks may be out and both sides already have injuries of note. Expect a nice game here by Willis McGahee regardless in his first home game as a Raven. He should score at least once with good yardage that could become big with enough carries,

Boller seems likely to start and even if he doesn't, there is always the chance that he comes in and plays even if McNair starts. Just expect moderate yardage here in what should be a largely defensive game because the Ravens can win that one.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 24 9 20 19 13 7
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 29 23 30 26 19 26

 

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