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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 12
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
*updated

Prediction: PHI 3, NEP 34

22 POINTS? ARE YOU KIDDING?

Yes, the battleship Brady pulls into port this week and the Patriots are favored by a mere 22 points which would be considered disrespectful against A.J. Feeley if it were not so incredibly likely to happen. The Patriots are mortals (I think) and could fall in any week but probably not going to be this one.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 13-16 -3 43.5
2 WAS 12-20 +7 38.5
3 DET 56-21 -6.5 44.5
4 @NYG 3-16 -2.5 47
5 BYE - - -
6 @NYJ 16-9 -4.5 43.5
7 CHI 16-19 -4.5 40.5
8 @MIN 23-16 -1 37.5
9 DAL 17-38 +3 46
10 @WAS 33-25 +2.5 37.5
11 MIA 17-7 -10 40.5
12 @NE   +22 50.5
13 SEA 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 NYG 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @DAL 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 @NO 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 BUF 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
PHI at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB A.J. Feeley     190
RB Brian Westbrook 40 60  
TE L.J. Smith   40  
WR Reggie Brown   30  
WR Kevin Curtis   50  
WR Jason Avant   20  
PK David Akers 1 FG    
Pregame Notes: Fortunately it was only the visiting Dolphins last week when McNabb went down so the Eagles still managed to eke out a win. But the Eagles have a rare chance now to face the worst and the best teams in the NFL in two consecutive weeks. And it really does not get much better from here on out with SEA, NYG, DAL up next. Enjoy that .500 record, Eagles fans because it will be 2008 before you see it again.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb had his ankle get rolled up against the Dolphins and while X-rays did not indicate anything structurally wrong, he is likely to miss this week. If he has any sense, which could be debated, he would intentionally limp all week rather than head to New England. I will project for Feeley to get the unenviable task this week.

Running Backs: No one can say that Brian Westbrook doesn't earn his money. He comes off a career high 32 carries for 148 yards against the Dolphins and he was so busy running that he only had one catch in the game. That could be problematic too because now that McNabb may be out, the entire Patriots defense can focus on stopping him. Westbrook will not have big yardage this week as a runner and now without McNabb, his role as a receiver comes into question since Feeley never used him as one against the Fins last week. Then again, against the Cowboys in week nine, Westbrook had a career high 14 catches. It all depends on whether Feeley can get him the ball.

Wide Receivers: As much as these wideouts will be needed this week, the outlook is glum considering that Reggie Brown only has one score on the year, Kevin Curtis hasn't scored in the last five games and now McNabb is gone. But even trash time against the Patriots is no fun either. Considering Feeley will be looking to throw quickly, whatever these wideouts can accomplish should be just off short passes.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith has turned in around 40 yards in each of the last three games and that could increase this week with Feeley needing a quick outlet near the line of scrimmage. But Smith only has one score on the year and a new quarterback throws a lot of risk on how much Smith is used.

Match Against the Defense: You have to like Westbrook's chances to catch a lot of balls this week since he won't run for much against a defense that has never allowed more than 59 rushing yards to an opposing runner in New England and Feeley will need to dump off passes early and often. Westbrook is still a decent play this week but only thanks to receiving yardage.

Feeley? This won't be pretty. I like the chance for the Bills to go for the shutout just because they can. Outside of Westbrook, none of these players are remotely tempting to start this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 12 2 15 28 13 30
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 11 6 6 12 1 1

 

New England Patriots (10-0)
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 -7.5 54
5 CLE 34-17 -15.5 48
6 @DAL 48-27 -5 52.5
7 @MIA 49-28 -17 51
8 WAS 52-7 -16 48
9 @IND 24-20 -5.5 56.5
10 BYE - - -
11 @BUF 56-10 -15.5 46.5
12 PHI   -22 50.5
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 PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady     320,4
RB Laurence Maroney 50    
TE Ben Watson   40,1  
WR Randy Moss   120,2  
WR Donte Stallworth   60  
WR Wes Welker   80,1  
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: Not only are the Patriots #1 in scoring this year with 411 points, they have a 87 point lead over the #2 scorer of the Cowboys. This is what happens when you give a machine gun to a blind guy. He just keeps pulling the trigger until the ammo is all gone and he never sees the white flags. Aside from setting themselves up for some nasty revenge games in the future when parity has a chance to live, the Pats are on a quest to shatter most offensive records this year.

Quarterback: Tom Brady is on a pace to throw 60 touchdowns and just shy of 5000 yards this year. He has never had less than three scores in any game and already has three games with five or more touchdowns. Most quarterbacks never have one in a career. Throw in his general air of smugness and opponents are dreaming of getting just one really clean shot at him... and yet no one seems to be able to get that anyway.

Running Backs: The humorous aspect to the Patriots is that fantasy owners continue to draft their running backs when there is not a shred of a chance that there is any predictability here if in fact there is any production. The group has only scored six rushing touchdowns this year and the primary back Laurence Maroney just had his first one last week. He may, or may not, have injured his foot and may, or may not, play this week. Kevin Faulk had an apparent concussion in Buffalo but according to the team every player is just questionable this week anyway. Last week the best player was fullback Kyle Eckel with ten carries for 40 yards and a score. Sure - try to bank on that happening again.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss already has 1052 yards this season and has scored 16 times. Imagine what would be had he gone to New England instead of Oakland? It all starts with Moss and either the defense gets killed by him or they somehow stop him and allows Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth to kill them. Last week, Moss was plenty with his four touchdown catches. Simply amazing to be sure and a fantasy gold mine.

Side note - Chad Jackson returned from his ACL injury to play for the first time last week but had no catches.

Tight Ends: Benjamin Watson has six scores on the year and that probably gets him ribbed in the locker room for being so unproductive on this team.

Match Against the Defense: There is no matching up the offense to the defense in this case and the Eagles are already reeling with the loss of McNabb. The only hope is that the Eagles can somehow find a blitz that can knock out Brady and that's just unlikely to happen.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 1 7 1 9 2 2
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 10 5 15 14 16 20

The Huddle
WEEK 12
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
*updated

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