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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: JAC 16, TBB 13

The Buccaneers are 3-0 at home this year but the Jaguars are 2-0 on the road. This will be a big test for the Jaguars since they have only played in two road games this year versus four at home and they are the only team this year that plays in three consecutive away games. Losing David Garrard for a couple of weeks comes at a rather bad time. This is bound to be a very low scoring game so the winner will likely have a defensive or special teams score.

Update: Maurice Jones-Drew was held out of practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday but is expected to play - the question is how much his knee will affect him. I am lowering his projections a bit since he probably will not be 100% regardless on Sunday though the Jaguars will need him very badly this week with Quinn Gray starting for David Garrard. Jones-Drew insists that he will play this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-2)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TEN 10-13 -6.5 37.5
2 ATL 13-7 -10.5 34.5
3 @DEN 23-14 +3 35.5
4 BYE - - -
5 @KC 17-7 -2 35
6 HOU 37-17 -7 37
7 IND 7-29 +3.5 45
8 @TB   +4 32.5
9 @NO 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @TEN 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 SD 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 BUF 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @IND 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CAR 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @PIT 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 OAK 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @HOU 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
JAX at TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Quinn Gray 30   100
RB Fred Taylor 70 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 70, 1 20  
TE Marcedes Lewis   20  
WR Dennis Northcutt   10  
WR Ernest Wilford   10  
WR John Broussard   10  
PK John Carney 3 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars fall to 4-2 with the loss to the Colts but were playing them tough until David Garrard injured his ankle. So far the Colts are the only team to score more than 17 points on the defense but the Jags have not faced a terribly daunting schedule this year anyway. Maurice Jones-Drew is running well again and while Quinn Gray is not likely to challenge Tom Brady for the Offensive Player of the Year, all he has to do is not make mistakes and hand the ball off. Let the rushing game and defense do the rest.

Quarterback: While David Garrard never had a game with more than one score and his yardage typically was only average, he never had an interception and was a good caretaker of the offense. Now that he will miss a couple of weeks with a badly sprained ankle, Quinn Gray takes over. The same Gray that only completed 9 of 24 passes for 56 yards, two interceptions and one lost fumble against the Colts. Gray has only played in four games during this three years in the NFL and was definitely not someone that the Jags wanted to pin their hopes on. With Garrard back in a few weeks, the Jags may not acquire another quarterback but facing the Bucs this week could make them rethink that plan.

Running Backs: This unit once again resembles 2006. Fred Taylor still has not scored a touchdown but gets between 50 and 90 rushing yards each week to get the ball near the goal line. Maurice Jones-Drew started the year slowly but now has scored four times in the last three games and his rushing yardage is up as well. He averages about 80 yards per game over the last three games and is also a factor as a receiver as well. With Garrard out, the Jags will want to rely very heavily on this duo to keep the ball away from the defense and Quinn Gray.

Jones-Drew suffered a thigh bruise on Monday that forced him from the game and Taylor is bothered by a sore groin but both are expected to play this week.

Wide Receivers: When Garrard was playing this unit had little to no fantasy value and now with Gray as the starter it definitely means stay away. Most of Gray's completions went to tight ends and Jones-Drew last week and the Bucs in Tampa Bay are not going to make it any easier this week either since they are #1 against quarterbacks and #5 against wide receivers.

Tight Ends: The numbers were meager but most of Gray's completions went to tight ends on Monday. He completed four of his passes to three different tight ends so no bump here for Marcedes Lewis who only had two catches for 13 yards against the Colts.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars will run on Sunday like they are not allowed to pass. Gray is only going to get them into trouble and the Buccaneers big weakness is against the run. They have allowed five rushing scores already this year and three running backs have topped the 100 yard mark against them. Expect at least good numbers from both Taylor and Jones-Drew with a shot at big numbers from Jones if he can break a run or two.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 22 9 23 15 26 20
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 1 27 5 4 6 1

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 6-20 +6 41
2 NO 31-14 +3.5 41.5
3 STL 24-3 -4 38.5
4 @CAR 20-7 +3 39
5 @IND 14-33 +9 45
6 TEN 13-10 -2.5 37
7 @DET 16-23 +1.5 43
8 JAC   -4 32.5
9 ARI 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 @ATL 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 WAS 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @NO 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @HOU 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 ATL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @SF 23-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
17 CAR 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
TBB vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia     230,1
RB Earnest Graham 50 20  
RB Michael Bennett 50 10  
TE Jerramy Stevens   20  
WR Joey Galloway   50,1  
WR Ike Hilliard   80  
WR Maurice Stovall   20  
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers' offense continues to sputter contrary to what Jon Gruden wants to believe and has scored 16 points or less during the three last games including a road trip to Detroit. The defense has been great when facing a poor offense and catches a break with Garrard out for the week but the weakness of this defense has been against the run and they will get a test this week like they have never had. Garcia has been good but the lack of a solid ground game - against decent defenses like this week - is what determines the Buccaneers fate this week.

The Buccaneers also lost Mark Jones for the year which sends them searching for a new kick and punt returner.

Quarterback: Jeff Garcia had not thrown an interception until last week when he had two in Detroit. He still ended up with a season high 316 passing yards and two scores though and has scored in each of the last two games. He's been much better than any other quarterback in Tampa Bay for the last several years but he's still not a savior either.

Running Backs: The Buccaneers may feel good about Earnest Graham after he set career marks with 92 rushing yards on nine carries and 99 receiving yards on 13 receptions in Detroit. But this is the same Graham who only had 19 carries for 40 yards over the first two starts. Michael Bennett will start to be integrated and had three carries for 22 yards last week. He looks markedly quicker than Graham and adds a new dimension to the offense.

Wide Receivers: The Buccaneers have lost Michael Clayton for a few weeks due to a high ankle sprain but he wasn't adding much anyway. Joey Galloway remains the star here but has been held to 50 yards or less in four of the last five games. Ike Hilliard has enjoyed the lesser coverage and been far more productive. He scored his first touchdown on the year on Sunday and has been at around 60 yards each week at worse.

Tight Ends: With Alex Smith out last week with a sprained ankle, the Bucs went with Anthony Becht as the starter but he had no catches. Jerramy Stevens ended up with four receptions but only 19 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars defense is better against the run than the ranking suggest because they gave up 238 rushing yards in the season opener. Since then, no runner has turned in more than 85 yards and that was Addai just last week. Look for more pedestrian numbers from Graham that will be more split with Bennett anyway. Graham's heavy role as a receiver last week was very unusual and was just a product of the game situation. Do not expect nearly the same action this week against a stout Jags defense.

The Jaguars secondary has also been very good this year and has never allowed more than one passing score in a game. Look for decent passing yardage here but only that one score which has to favor Galloway. There could easily be a defensive score on either side this week and it will have a dramatic impact on the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 21 13 19 25 27 29
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 13 13 4 25 4 11

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


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