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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: MIN 13, NYG 17

Update: Brandon Jacobs will miss this week but Derrick Ward appears likely to play at least a limited role if not start. He is still limited in practice because of his lingering groin and ankle injuries but barring a setback should play. Neither he nor Droughns are attractive fantasy plays this week.

The Vikings come off a solid win at home but hit the road where they are only 1-4 and face the Giants who are 3-2 at home with their only losses there to the 9-1 Packers and Cowboys. The Giants should manage to tame Taylor this week and "that's all they have".

Minnesota Vikings (4-6)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ATL 24-3 -3 36
2 @DET 17-20 +3 42.5
3 @KC 10-13 +3 33.5
4 GB 16-23 +1 38
5 BYE - - -
6 @CHI 34-31 +5 35.5
7 @DAL 14-24 +9.5 46
8 PHI 16-23 +1 37.5
9 SD 35-17 +7 41
10 @GB 0-34 +6.5 40.5
11 OAK 29-22 -5.5 35.5
12 @NYG   +7 41
13 DET 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @SF 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 CHI 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 WAS 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @DEN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
MIN at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson 20   160,1
RB Chester Taylor 80 30  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   20  
WR Troy Williamson   20  
WR Bobby Wade   40  
WR Sidney Rice   40,1  
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Nothing like putting your money into the offensive line. The Vikings defense has slipped and they have never passed well, but at least a few obscene rushing efforts have secured the four wins. The Vikings are not out of contention for a wild card yet, at least not to hometown fans, but this week should seal that deal. On the plus side, remaining games are not against top-tier teams in the NFL, but then again neither are the Vikes.

Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson returned last week and only threw for 171 yards, one interception and one lost fumble. Yep - he's healthy again. Jackson has only thrown for two touchdowns this season in his five starts and has never had more than that 171 passing yards. His starting role is one of the greater mysteries of the NFL.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson remains out this week though there is optimism he may return soon. But in his place, Chester Taylor certainly made the best of the situation when he ran for a career best 164 yards on 22 carries and scored three times against the Raiders. He even added three catches for 38 yards. That was at home against a bad rush defense, but still Taylor showed that the Vikings blocking is perhaps better than all others in the league. Unfortunately, blocking fullback Tony Richardson suffered an MCL sprain in Sunday's game and may not be available this week.

Wide Receivers: Maybe the Vikings wideouts are a woeful lot with Jackson as the starter but at least HC Brad Childress showed a bit of offensive creativity when he had Sidney Rice complete two passes for 94 yards - one was a 79 yard completion to tight end Vishante Shiancoe on the first play from scrimmage. Rice ended with only 18 yards on two catches because he had to have Jackson throwing to him. With only three touchdowns thrown to wideouts this year, the Vikings passing game is a "steer clear" in fantasy terms unless they allow Rice to take over Jackson's job.

Tight Ends: That trick play by Rice last week gave Vishante Shiancoe the record longest catch by a tight end in team history. Unfortunately it also gave him more yards on that one play than Shiancoe had gained in the five previous games combined.

Match Against the Defense: The problem here is that the only strength of the Vikings - rushing - is the biggest strength of the Giants defense and with Richardson banged up, it only makes it tougher. The Giants have only allowed one runner to score in New York and most ring in only moderate yardage. Look for a decent game from Taylor since he gets all the work but likely no score.

Jackson faces a secondary that is better than the ranking suggests thanks to Tony Romo (twice) and Brett Favre. I like the Vikes to score once that could come on a pass but later in the game when it matters less. The score could end up defensive just as easily.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 30 1 31 30 23 6
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 23 7 25 27 3 10


New York Giants (7-3)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @DAL 35-45 +5.5 44
2 GB 13-35 -2.5 38.5
3 @WAS 24-17 +3.5 40.5
4 PHI 16-3 +2.5 47
5 NYJ 35-24 -3 41
6 @ATL 31-10 -3 43.5
7 SF 33-15 -9.5 40
8 @MIA 13-10 -9.5 48
9 BYE - - -
10 DAL 20-31 +1.5 49
11 @DET 16-10 -2.5 49.5
12 MIN   -7 41
13 @CHI 2-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
14 @PHI 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 WAS 16-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
16 @BUF 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 NE 29-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
NYG vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     270,2
RB Reuben Droughns 20 10  
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 20 30
RB Derrick Ward 40 20  
TE Jeremy Shockey   70,1  
WR Plaxico Burress   60,1  
WR Amani Toomer   30  
WR Sinorice Moss   50  
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: After flying high with a five game winning streak, the Giants outlasted the Fins in a close game in London, then got spanked by the Cowboys and then managed to nip the Lions for a 7-3 record which at least puts them in the driver seat for a wild card assuming Dallas doesn't flop. The remaining schedule will be tougher though with this game followed by road games in CHI, PHI and BUF - all winnable but certainly none are "gimmees". The season finale against the Pats may be the last chance to end their perfect season. But the Giants are definitely above average, if only in the NFC.

Quarterback: Eli Manning continues his streak of scoring at least once in every game this year but his history of late season slides is starting to look possible with the last three games only posting single scores and being sacked seven times in the last two weeks. What is even worse is that every remaining game is outside and subject to weather in the northeast part of the country. That'll hurt any quarterback's numbers.

Running Backs: The Giants keep moving back to square one thanks to the delicate nature of the man-beast known as Brandon Jacobs. He injured his hamstring against the Lions and his status is undetermined. Derrick Ward's status is also undetermined since he has been gone for three weeks with ankle and hamstring issues but may play depending on whom you ask. At worst case, Reuben Droughns and the rookie Ahmad Bradshaw would split carries here. I will assume the worst and project for that and then update on Friday when Ward and Jacobs status is clearer.

Bradshaw has the speed and size to suggest a third down back but has only one catch and no carries so far this year.

Wide Receivers: The Giants have gone to heavier reliance on Shockey and running backs because the wideouts here have just taken a nosedive lately. Plaxico Burress started the year with six consecutive games with a score and now has gone four weeks without one and has not had more than 47 receiving yards. Amani Toomer chugs along with the 35 yards a week production that spawns the question "why doesn't he retire?" and even Sinorice Moss has started to slightly emerge with four catches for 46 yards last week because Toomer and Burress are not effective.

The Vikings weakness is against the pass which should help this group but they, like Manning, seem to be heading in the wrong direction when the Giants need them most.

Tight Ends: The good news here is that Jeremy Shockey has three scores this year - each came in the most recent three home games. His yardage tends to be slightly higher in most road games but his role as the season progresses should continue to improve.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings have a solid rush defense but a healthy Jacobs would still have some success. But sans him, expect only moderate or less yards from the combination of Bradshaw and Droughns. What would be most interesting is if the Giants will resort to using Bradshaw as a receiver.

Manning faces a secondary that has given up five 300 passing yard games in the last seven weeks. The wideouts have been lagging lately but should see an increase here since the run will not work well and the passing lanes should be open. Have to like Shockey at home to score yet again and this could be a chance for Burress to finally get back into the endzone.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 15 6 19 12 14 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 27 3 29 25 26 12

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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