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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: WAS 13, NE 34

The Skins hung on last week to beat the visiting Cards and now head to New England where the current House of Horrors exists just in time for Halloween. The Skins are 4-2 and in contention for the NFC East but facing the juggernaut Patriots is not likely to make Jason Campbell into a better quarterback.

Washington Redskins (4-2)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIA 16-13 -3 35
2 @PHI 20-12 +7 38.5
3 NYG 17-24 -3.5 40.5
4 BYE - - -
5 DET 34-3 -4 44.5
6 @GB 14-17 +3 40.5
7 ARI 21-19 -7 37
8 @NE   +16 48
9 @NYJ 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 PHI 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @DAL 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @TB 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 BUF 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CHI 6-Dec THU 8:15 PM
15 @NYG 16-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
16 @MIN 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DAL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
WAS at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 20   230,1
RB Clinton Portis 60 20  
TE Chris Cooley   60,1  
WR Santana Moss   40  
WR Antwaan Randle El   60  
WR Brandon Lloyd   20  
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Even with a loss this week, the Redskins will remain in contention for the NFC East because everyone in the division has to play the Pats. The Skins defense has been outstanding so far this year and is only allows 14 points per week on average (bound to rise after this weekend). The passing game is only average on a good day and the rushing production is down sharply from 2006 but with a defense that can keep the score down, the Skins can hang in most games. Just not this one.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell has only played in two road games this year and they lost in Green Bay. He comes off his worst game of the year with only 95 passing yards against the Cardinals but he usually stays just above 200 yards each week with a score. Campbell has only thrown for more than one touchdown once and that was just two scores against the visiting Lions. He's a caretaker quarterback for the most part and only has five interceptions against five touchdowns so far this year.

Running Backs: While Clinton Portis plays with his knee condition, he has hardly been as productive as past years. He still has yet to run for 100 yards in any game this year thanks in part to sharing carries with Ladell Betts. At least Portis has scored five times this year and comes off his first two score game though he only managed 43 yards on 18 carries against the Cardinals. On the road this season, Portis has not gained more than 69 rushing yards.

Wide Receivers: The Redskins have only thrown for five passing scores this season and not one has gone to a wide receiver. Santana Moss has only two games above 30 yards this year and his last road trip was when he had no catches on six passes in Green Bay. Antwaan Randle El has twice topped 100 yards but on the road has never managed more than 44 yards. This is just a very weak passing attack that will be a problem against teams that can score points.

Tight Ends: The only receiver with any consistent fantasy value is clearly Chris Cooley who had four of the five passing scores by the Redskins and he did score in both of the road games this year. In most weeks he remains under 30 receiving yards but has scored in four of the last five games.

Match Against the Defense: While the NFL keeps waiting for the Patriots to take a game off, it never happens. Look for moderate rushing numbers from Portis at best and likely no score in this game. Campbell is no big passer but will undoubtedly be forced to throw more in this game than any other this year. Look for Cooley to have the best chance of a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 23 10 29 10 28 9
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 14 8 11 19 2 3

 

New England Patriots (7-0)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NYJ 38-14 -6.5 40.5
2 SD 38-14 -3 47
3 BUF 38-7 -16.5 41
4 @CIN 34-13    
5 CLE 34-17 -15.5 48
6 @DAL 48-27 -5 52.5
7 @MIA 49-28 -17 51
8 WAS   -16 48
9 @IND 4-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 @BUF 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 PHI 25-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
13 @BAL 3-Dec MON 8:30 PM
14 PIT 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 NYJ 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 MIA 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @NYG 29-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
NEP vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady     280,3
RB Laurence Maroney 40    
TE Kyle Brady   20  
WR Randy Moss   100,1  
WR Donte Stallworth   70,1  
WR Wes Welker   80,1  
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: It is not yet the middle of the season and the Patriots have already prompted talk of a 16-0 record. Why wouldn't they? Not only has this team scored at least 34 points every week, they have never won a game by less than 17 points. In the last two weeks in road games, Tom Brady has thrown for 11 touchdowns and the Pats have scored a total of 97 points. The rushing game is just as murky as before Corey Dillon showed up and it just doesn't matter because Brady has four receivers that he uses regularly and no team can cover all four. Opponents cannot even cover just Moss.

Quarterback: My suggestion is that you start Tom Brady if you have him. And then just give the rest of your team the week off because you probably do not need them anyway. He is on a pace to throw 61 touchdowns on the season and has no sign of letting up. Brady typically has lower games when at home but those are still better than most any other quarterback for the week.

Running Backs: This is the only part of the Patriots offense that has any questions and they are intentionally hard to answer. Laurence Maroney finally made it back onto the playing field on Sunday after missing three games but only ran six times for 31 yards. Fullback Kyle Eckel also had six carries but only gained 16 yards. Kevin Faulk was given six carries for 27 yards and had one catch. Heath Evans ran four times for 14 yards. All told, the Patriots scored 49 points and yet there were only 22 rushes and no player had more than six. Not exactly what you would expect in a game that was finished by the second quarter. Brady threw 25 passes - more than the numbers of carries.

Wide Receivers: Nothing new to report here other than the big three all scored in both of the most recent games and they combined for nine of Brady's eleven scores. Wes Welker may be the biggest sleeper wideout this year thanks to some difference making numbers the last two weeks - 20 catches for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Randy Moss has ten scores on the year and four times scored twice in a game. Donte Stallworth has scored in each of the last three games. Lately it is like Brady is throwing to three #1 wide receivers.

Tight Ends: Ben Watson missed last week with a badly sprained ankle and could miss this week as well. In his place Kyle Brady caught a touchdown because someone has to catch all these touchdowns.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins bring in one of the best pass defenses yet to face the Patriots but those match-ups always seem to favor the Pats anyway. Plus the Skins are only on their third road game of the year. None of the usual match-up dynamics seem to apply to Mr. Brady and his merry little band of sticky handed men. This should be a lower game than the last two weeks since NE is at home, but heck - who knows what Brady is going to do anymore? He roasted and toasted every defense.

As for Maroney, there still is no certainty how healthy his knee is because he was limited to just six carries last week. The Skins are very tough against the run and have only allowed two runners to score against them so expect Brady to do all the scoring again this week. I am projecting for Maroney, but realize that three other runners could end up involved again this week.

I like the chance for a defensive score in this game as well since forcing Campbell to throw is bound to cause errors.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 1 14 1 7 5 3
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 2 10 3 15 7 5

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


 

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