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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
Monday
*updated

Prediction: SD 20, GB 13

This should be a fascinating game since the Packers are far exceeding everyone's expectation including Brett Favre's while the Chargers come off a loss like the defense knew exactly what they were going to do every play. This is the time for both teams to set the world back on it's axis again.

Update: James Jones could not finish practice on Thursday because of a pulled hamstring but at this point is likely to play this week. Greg Jennings tested his hamstring on Thursday and hopes for a full practice on Friday. A determination on his availability will be made on late Friday or Saturday. Bubba Franks missed some practice on Wednesday to rest his knee but is expected to play. I am not changing the projections but be aware there is a chance that Jennings could play and that Jones has a worse hamstring pull than initially believed. Check the Sunday Morning Report if you intend on using either. Notable too is that the defense has several players that are banged up like CB Al Harris and Charles Woodson but they are still expected to play.

Vernand Morency had hoped to play this week but has experienced soreness in his knee that will likely keep him out again on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers (1-1)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 14-3 -5.5 42.5
2 @NE 14-38 +3 47
3 @GB 23-Sep -4 43
4 KC 30-Sep SUN 4:15 PM
5 @DEN 7-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
6 OAK 14-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
7 BYE - - -
8 HOU 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 @MIN 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 IND 11-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
11 @JAC 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 BAL 25-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
13 @KC 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @TEN 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 DET 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 DEN 24-Dec MON 8:00 PM
17 @OAK 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
SDC at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     230,1
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 80,1 40  
TE Antonio Gates   80,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   40  
WR Craig Davis   30  
WR Malcolm Floyd   30  
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: It should have been a grudge match last week. It should have been redemption for the Chargers lost last January. It should have been proof that the Patriots have been playing like a team bound together with video tape. Instead it was a rout from the first series. That loss will be hard to shake but the Chargers are still learning a new offense that evidently is not as "good to go" as the last one. There's no time to worry about divisional games on the other side of this, the Chargers need a shot of confidence now.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers is clearly not comfortable yet in the new scheme that features largely the same players. He only managed 179 yards and two scores in New England with two interceptions in a game that was all trash time after the first half. He still has not broken 200 passing yards and looks like this is his first year playing. In a way it is - he already knew the offense last season but is still coming to terms with the new scheme.

Running Backs: No player in the NFL has caused as much head scratching or mournful wailing as LaDainian Tomlinson who has only ran for 68 yards total in two games played. The leader in nearly every category from last year has only averaged 1.9 yards per carry and Rivers problems have hardly given Tomlinson any more room.

Wide Receivers: This was supposed to be a new strength with Keenan McCardell gone and Eric Parker out but Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd and Craig Davis have yet to score just like the old crew. Jackson has been the most common target after Gates, but only has seven catches for 81 yards after two games. This unit does not have to be involved as it wasn't last year but Rivers needs more help.

Tight Ends: While nothing else is working, at least Antonio Gates has not suffered any drop off. He has scored in each game and has 16 catches for 184 yards already. Like Westbrook in Philly, Gates is the lone returning piece from 2006 that still works as it did.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers defense is solid but the reality now apparent is that they still haven't really played anyone yet. The Eagles were taken down because of McNabb's problems and the Giants fell with Eli Manning nursing a sore shoulder and losing Plaxico Burress before it was over.

This is a nice chance for the Chargers to get back on track. Look for much better numbers from Tomlinson who will, honest, score a touchdown this week and much more closely resemble his old self. The passing game should work better as well going against a defense that doesn't normally deal with productive tight ends and even Shockey had 60 yards last week even with dropping passes. The Chargers opened against two premier opponents and were caught last week by surprise. Not so this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 27 16 32 1 32 12
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 12 8 15 14 14 12

 

Green Bay Packers (2-0)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PHI 16-13 +3 43.5
2 @NYG 35-13 +2.5 38.5
3 SD 23-Sep +4 43
4 @MIN 30-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
5 CHI 7-Oct SUN 8:15 PM
6 WAS 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 BYE - - -
8 @DEN 29-Oct MON 8:30 PM
9 @KC 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 MIN 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 CAR 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @DET 22-Nov THU 12:30 PM
13 @DAL 29-Nov THU 8:15 PM
14 OAK 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @STL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @CHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DET 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
GBP vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     230,1
RB Brandon Jackson 30 10  
RB Deshawn Wynn 40 20  
TE Donald Lee   20  
WR Donald Driver   80.1  
WR Ruvell Martin   30  
WR James Jones   60  
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Packers have risen to the top of the NFC North and at 2-0 they are pinching themselves. The youngest team in the league has managed to hold off the Eagles and Giants while Favre works on the record book and the defense has been very solid if not great. This week will be a challenge on a new level though against a Chargers team that is looking to get back to business after a thumping in New England. The Packers still are not sure who the primary running back is or even who the best receiver after Driver might be. That will matter this week.

Quarterback: Brett Favre added three more scores to his total last week going against the Giants "set of guys standing in back". But even at 2-0 on the season, he still doesn't have wide receivers with set jobs outside of Driver and the next three weeks feature SD, MIN and CHI. His next three scores may take a while.

Running Backs: The Packers running backs are a mishmash of little known players who so far have not done much to move the offense. The Packers have only gained 129 rushing yards from all backs combined and averaged only 2.9 yards per carry. Brandon Jackson just gets worse and now DeShawn Wynn stepped in last week to score twice and gain 50 yards on 10 carries. Then there's Ryan Grant who the coaches have glowed about and yet not used yet. Oh yes, and Vernand Morency will be tested this week to see if he is ready to play yet after straining his patellar tendon in the summer.

I am projecting for a mix of Jackson and Wynn, but Grant could play, And maybe Morency. This smacks of a later week update.

Wide Receivers: Favre had a big game last week and Donald Driver (8-73) had his first score of the year in New York, But Greg Jennings was held out again because of his hamstring and will possibly miss this week as well. James Jones stepped in and had 75 yards on four catches but that was against the Giants. He only had 29 yards the previous week. Throw in Ruvell Martin as a contributor and you wonder how they are 2-0 now. Favre has only thrown three scores this year and two went to tight ends.

Tight Ends: While both Bubba Franks and Donald Lee scored last week, they neither have exceeded 35 yards in a game this year despite the need for receivers. They will contribute a few catches per game but two scores may not happen again this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers had little trouble bottling up Cedric Benson in week one but gave up some yards and a score in New England during the rout. With the unsettled situation in Green Bay's backfield, do not expect anything beyond minimal numbers from any running back.

Favre faces a secondary that has been very good in the past and held Grossman to 145 yards and no score. Favre is better than Grossman but his receivers beyond Driver are probably not. Look for decent games from both Driver and Jones here because the Packers will need to throw.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 14 13 22 6 19 11
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 14 12 19 24 9 28

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