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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
On Bye
ARI, ATL
BAL, DAL
KC, SEA
*updated

Prediction: GB 23, DEN 20

This game takes on a new look after the Broncos defense finally woke up last week and, yet again, Jason Elam kicked a final play field goal to win the game for the third time this year. Evidently the trick to beating the Broncos is to have a four point lead heading into the final minute. The Packers come off their bye week with a nice win over the Redskins and now hit the road for only their third road game. This should be a good game that should favor Denver but much of their success last week stemmed from switching their defense over the bye week and catching the Steelers off guard. The Packers are the rested and prepared team coming into this match-up.

Update: DeShawn Wynn is still nursing a sore neck but has returned to full practice so I will leave him as is on the projections.

Travis Henry has bruised ribs and was held out of practice. I am lowering his projections and bumping Selvin Young who will get playing time this week. Henry could go down to being a game time decision on Monday and he will be in pain even if he does play. He could wear a protective vest and he could be held out. Worse yet - he could start and then not play much. He is a big risk to rely on this week and the question here is more how much will Young play because he is certain to see the field.

Tony Scheffler is also expected to play this week and has practiced both days so far.

Green Bay Packers (5-1)
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 31-24 +5 43
4 @MIN 23-16 -1 38
5 CHI 20-27 -3 41
6 WAS 17-14 -3 40.5
7 BYE - - -
8 @DEN   +3 42
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 at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     260,2
RB DeShawn Wynn 60 10  
RB Vernand Morency 20 20  
TE Donald Lee   40,1  
WR Donald Driver   60  
WR Greg Jennings   50  
WR James Jones   60,1  
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Pretty hard not to feel giddy about going 5-1 on their start to the season but now the schedule tightens up with four road games over the next six weeks and two very good defenses - MIN and CAR - coming to Lambeau during that time. While the press all salivates over Brett Favre, the reality is that much of the winning has been thanks to a defense that has improved and kept four of the six opponents to 16 points or less. Encouraging too is that the Packers are 2-0 on the road this year with wins over the Giants and Vikings.

Quarterback: While Brett Favre fell to only 188 passing yards and two interceptions in the Redskins game, he had been on a streak of three consecutive games over 300 passing yards. He has thrown four interceptions against only one score over the last two games and he has just nine scores on the year but his yardage has been solid almost every week and that's the final record he wants to break anyway.

Running Backs: The Packers give plenty of lip service to wanting a better running game but after six games, "it is what it is". And that is not very good. DeShawn Wynn has been the most successful but that has never meant more than 78 rushing yards in any week though Wynn has scored in each of the last two games. Vernand Morency has been back for a couple of games but has settled into a third down role with about six catches for 30 yards each week. But even combined, this is one of the weaker rushing attacks in the league so... dang it... Favre is going to need to keep throwing.

Wynn suffered neck spasms during weight lifting this week and sat out of practice but is expected to play. As is Ryan Grant. Maybe even Brandon Jackson. Throw in Morency as well.

Wide Receivers: The Packers have received Koren Robinson back after he was reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and he could show up as early as this week though only as a kick returner and situational wide receiver. Robinson has been out because of... what was it last time?... Oh yes, leading the police on a lengthy chase because "he was late for curfew". He may be welcomed back, but the Packers know enough not to throw him a party with an open bar.

The wideouts could use some extra help since Donald Driver has settled down to only 50 yard performances in each of the last three games and he hasn't scored since week three. Greg Jennings scored in his first three games back but never had more than three or four catches and not much yardage which against the Skins was still just three catches for 20 yards but without the touchdown. James Jones had turned into one of the most consistent wideouts with yardage but failed to record a catch against the Skins. In combination this unit is good enough, but individually even Driver has been lagging the last several games.

Tight Ends: After the first few games, it appeared that Bubba Franks was returning to his old role as a dependable pass catcher but the last three weeks have been just more of the minimal production with no scores. Donald Lee has become the best tight end here and has turned in numbers that rival most the wideouts recently though he only has one score on the season. And the wideouts haven't been producing big numbers anyway.

Franks is unlikely to play this week because of his right knee sprain.

Match Against the Defense: The Broncos have been soft against the run this year but the Packers have no big back to use and could rely on three running backs to keep the ball moving. Look for Wynn to be the best bet though his neck spasms could call for a later week update.

Favre goes against what was the best secondary but the Broncos have been without Champ Bailey because of a quad injury and have allowed a surprising nine passing scores over the last three games. Bailey may be back this week since he could practice on a limited basis last week. Dre Bly suffered a slightly separated shoulder against the Steelers but remained in the game but Roethlisberger ended up with four passing scores. This game depends greatly on the health of Bly and Bailey. With them they can likely beat the Packers but without them it will be tough. Expect Favre to post at least a decent game here that could be big if either of the corners are out this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 7 20 9 9 10 10
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 25 28 2 31 13 28

 

Denver Broncos (3-3)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BUF 15-14 -3.5 37
2 OAK 23-20 -10 37.5
3 JAC 14-23 -3 35.5
4 @IND 20-38 +10 46.5
5 SD 3-41 +1 43
6 BYE - - -
7 PIT 31-28 +3.5 38.5
8 GB   -3 42
9 @DET 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @KC 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 TEN 19-Nov MON 8:30 PM
12 @CHI 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @OAK 2-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
14 KC 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 @HOU 13-Dec THU 8:15 PM
16 @SD 24-Dec MON 8:00 PM
17 MIN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
DEN vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     220,2
RB Travis Henry 30    
RB Selvin Young 50 10  
TE Daniel Graham   20  
TE Tony scheffler   20,1  
WR Glenn Martinez   30  
WR Brandon Stokley   70,1  
WR Brandon Marshall   60  
PK Jason Elam 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Broncos come off their best game of the year by taking down the visiting Steelers and the final drive was made possible by smart play by Jay Cutler. That stopped a three game losing streak and yet again came on a last second field goal. Were it not for Jason Elam, the Broncos could be 0-6 right now. Travis Henry continues to play with the sword of Roger Goodell hanging over his head and the Broncos know they must win this week since that concludes five home games in the first seven played and any advantage gained by playing in Denver is going away with six road games over the next eight weeks.

Denver switched their defensive scheme back to what it was last year and that initially was a problem for Roethlisberger who eventually figured it out. Just not quite in time.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler comes off his best game of the year with three scores and 248 passing yards against the visiting Steelers and he even had a long run at the end of the game that set up the winning field goal. Prior to that game, Cutler had not thrown for more than one score in any game this year and had been on a three game losing streak with only 230 passing yards at most. Losing Javon Walker is no help but Cutler managed to make do last week. He needs to make that a habit and not just an aberration.

Running Backs: Travis Henry is nursing sore ribs but is expected to play this week. If he is bothered by the injury, he could see reduced time this week. He's been wildly inconsistent this year anyway, rushing for over 128 yards three times and then staying under 65 in the other three match-ups. He has only one score on the season and has not been a factor as a receiver. Selvin Young has only been getting token carries the last couple of weeks and he too is waiting for that phone call from the commissioner's office.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Stokley comes off a 70-yard, one touchdown game against the Steelers but he had been held to less than 50 yards in the previous four games and only has two scores on the season. Brandon Marshall also had 77 yards on six catches last Sunday but was arrested for DUI this week. He will still play but has a little more on his mind now. With Javon Walker out for another five weeks, this duo needs to step up and did so last week but that was the first time this season.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler finally had a big game when he caught five passes for 50 yards and scored once against the Steelers but he aggravated the same ankle injury that forced him to miss most of the preseason. It will be later in the week before the Broncos know the extent of the injury so I will only project for Daniel Graham. The Broncos want to get Scheffler more involved but he cannot stay healthy.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers rushing defense has been solid this year and has only allowed one rushing score by a running back. Only Adrian Peterson notched a 100+ effort against them so expect that a bruised Henry has a tougher time running this week and does not score.

The Packers defense is underrated and has only allowed one passing score to most opponents. With Walker and likely Scheffler out of this game, it should result in Graham factoring in and scoring once. Though higher than usually allowed, I like Cutler to toss two scores in this game and end with moderate to good yardage. I like Stokley to score the second touchdown though only slightly.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 15 17 13 16 19 22
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 23 12 7 30 15 8

The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
On Bye
ARI, ATL
BAL, DAL
KC, SEA


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