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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
Monday
On Bye
CHI, MIA
*updated
NYG, STL

Prediction: JAC 20, NOR 23

The Jaguars are 3-0 on the road this year but suffering through big issues at quarterback. The Saints are only 1-2 at home but have rediscovered theirs from last year. A great defense against an offense still coming together spells a close game but an opportunity for the Saints to stay on track.

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2)
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 23-24 -4 32.5
9 @NO   +3.5 40
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 NOR Rush Catch Pass
QB Quinn Gray 10   140
RB Fred Taylor 60 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 50,1 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis   10  
WR Dennis Northcutt   30  
WR Ernest Wilford   20  
WR Reggie Williams   20  
PK John Carney 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars have lost only once in the last six games and that went to the Colts. The defense has been great this year though a bit softer as it faces better offenses than those that opened the season. The loss of Garrard illustrates why it is important not to cut the starting quarterback in preference for the back-up and yet not get another player to take his place. Defense and rushing has always made the difference here anyway and that becomes even more important with the sub-standard passing now with Quinn Gray.

Quarterback: Quinn Gray's first week as a starter only resulted in completing seven of 16 passes for 100 yards and one rather important touchdown. Much of that came on the one scoring drive in the fourth quarter. Garrard is out with an ankle sprain and never practiced at all last week. Pending later information, I will project for Gray to start again this week.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor remains a solid starter with around 60 or 70 rushing yards each week but never more than 90 and never with a touchdown in any game. His dream of a big season was just that - a dream. He averages exactly 60 yards per week with around 14 carries. Maurice Jones-Drew came to life for three weeks where he had four scores but only was given ten carries last week for 48 yards. He is more productive than Taylor over the last month but remains the #2 in this offense and is relied on as a receiver more than Taylor as well. The Jags prefer to have at least 25 to 30 carries each week but they always get split between the two backs.

Wide Receivers: With Gray as the starter, the numbers here plummet but they were never that high to start with anyway. Matt Jones had his first score of the year to help win the game last week but it was his only catch for the day and he has never had any fantasy relevance this year if in fact he is even active for games. Until Garrard is back, do not touch a Jaguars receiver and even when he does play, only use them for a bye week filler. Outside of a couple early season games by Dennis Northcutt, these wideouts have been inconsistent and unproductive.

Tight Ends: With Gray playing, Marcedes Lewis never had a catch and was thrown only one pass. Greg Estandia did catch his lone pass and gained 30 yards on it but is not worth considering as any change in roles.

Match Against the Defense: As bad as the Saints defense has been this year, their run stopping has been very good and has only allowed a rushing score in the last four games while never allowing an opposing runner to top 59 rushing yards. The Jaguars bring a better 1-2 punch than previous opponents though and the duo should post at least one touchdown here and good yardage in another game with 30+ total carries.

Forget about Gray even though he faces a secondary that was terrible but has greatly improved lately. Gray could end up with a score here but it will come with minimal yardage. I like the chance for a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 25 8 24 16 26 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 26 9 29 14 24 9

 

New Orleans Saints (3-4)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 10-41 +6 51.5
2 @TB 14-31 -3.5 41.5
3 TEN 14-31 -4 45
4 BYE - - -
5 CAR 13-16 -4 43
6 @SEA 28-17 +6 43
7 ATL 22-16 -9 43
8 @SF 31-10 -2.5 40
9 JAC   -3.5 40
10 STL 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @HOU 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @CAR 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 TB 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @ATL 10-Dec MON 8:30 PM
15 ARI 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 PHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @CHI 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
NOR vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     260,2
RB Reggie Bush 50 50,1  
TE Eric Johnson   60,1  
WR Marques Colston   50  
WR Devery Henderson   20  
WR David Patten   60  
PK Olindo Mare 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Saints have been in good form for the last three weeks with wins that have placed them within one game of the division leading Panthers. Drew Brees has found his old ways once again and Reggie Bush is making up for the loss of Deuce McAllister. More important and less realized is the turn around of the Saints defense that has not allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points over the last four weeks. The fate of 2007 is in the hands of Brees and Bush now and the direction has been set.

Quarterback: In the first four games, Drew Brees only threw for one score against nine interceptions but the last three games have posted eight touchdowns against just one interception - now there is a turnaround. And the offensive line has kept Brees from being sacked since week three. With time to throw the ball and a receiving corps that is coming together, Brees once again is a good fantasy play each week. One caveat - this will be toughest defense to face the Saints yet this year and those three wins came over the Seahawks, Falcons and 49ers.

Running Backs: Reggie Bush still has only rushed in a score in just one game this year but he's been solid enough with around 60 or so rushing yards per week and then adding six or so catches. He is still only averaging 3.7 yards per carry this year but these last three weeks has seen him gaining 4.8 yards each run. The passing game's success has helped Bush - and vice-versa. Bush left the game against the 49ers with a bruised rib but is reported to be fine and will play this week without limitation.

Last week the Saints opted to use Aaron Stecker for a season high 12 carries for just 35 yards. Pierre Thomas' nice touchdown of week seven was followed up with only three carries for nine yards. Bush will get help, but who that will be and how much he will carry is still changing.

Wide Receivers: Marques Colston comes off his best game of the year with eight catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers. Colston had only caught four catches for 47 yards over the two previous games that were wins for the Saints so his role in week eight was a pleasant surprise. David Patten also had 109 yards on five catches for his second game over 100 yards though he has yet to score this year. Brees is throwing better because he is mixing up the receivers each week and none have strung together two consecutive good games. This unit has been productive but just not consistent on which player will be used each week - and that is a good thing.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson continues to figure in as a minor player but only has one score on the year. One key here is that Johnson has turned in exactly five catches in each of the home games this year and always less on the road.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars have a better than average rush defense that should keep Bush to his same level of production he has turned in most weeks this year. There is a chance that he could score once though since the speedy runners are more successful than the bruisers have been.

Brees will try to extend his win streak against a secondary that has allowed big yardage lately but never more than one passing score in any game this year. That could end this week with the diverse passing scheme that the Saints are evolving into. Johnson should be a good play this week since the Jags biggest weakness has been against tight ends and Johnson is at home where he always plays better.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 15 16 10 18 32 28
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 15 13 5 25 8 10

The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
Monday
On Bye
CHI, MIA
*updated
NYG, STL

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