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

Prediction: CLE 26, ARI 30

Update: Braylon Edwards has not practiced this week because of his hamstring but is still expected to play by HC Romeo Crennel. Likewise, Larry Fitzgerald has been limited in practice this week to rest his groin but is also expected to play but if you need either receiver, be aware of the situation should either get worse or situations change. Unfortunately this is a later afternoon game this week but both players are currently expected to play without limitation.

This is a game that only a fantasy football fan could love. The high-scoring Browns are only 2-3 on the road and meet up with the Cardinals who are 3-2 at home. The Browns have a better offense and yet a worse defense, so let the fireworks commence.

Cleveland Browns (7-4)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PIT 7-34 +4.5 37
2 CIN 51-45 +7 41.5
3 @OAK 24-26 +3 40.5
4 BAL 27-13 +4 40
5 @NE 17-34 +15.5 48
6 MIA 41-31 -4 45
7 BYE - - -
8 @STL 27-20 -3 43.5
9 SEA 33-30 -1 47
10 @PIT 28-31 +9.5 47.5
11 @BAL 33-30 -2.5 43.5
12 HOU 27-17 -3.5 51
13 @ARI   +1 51.5
14 @NYJ 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 BUF 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @CIN 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 SF 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CLE at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     300,2
RB Jamal Lewis 60 10  
TE Kellen Winslow   60  
WR Braylon Edwards   120,2  
WR Joe Jurevicius   70  
WR Josh Cribbs   20  
PK Phil Dawson 4 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Browns have won five of their last six games and after this game get a sweet ending schedule of the Jets, Bills, Bengals and 49ers. There has to be at least three wins in the final five games and that would likely get the Browns into the... WHAT?!?... playoffs this year. Only one game behind the Steelers means with a bit of luck, the Browns could end up winning the AFC North though they would need a better ending record than the Steelers. Derek Anderson's agent is already being called about that impending restricted free agency and the Browns are just one entire defense away from being a complete team.

Quarterback: Derek Anderson has cooled down lately but only a bit thanks to tougher match-ups against the Seahawks and Ravens. He still has been scoring in every game except when he had 364 yards against the Seahawks. He's gone from second string waiting for Brady Quinn to pass him by to being the hot new quarterback for the Browns. And he laughs, oh how he laughs when he sees a commercial with Quinn in it. Anderson has been downright "Warner-esque" in his humble start to top dog status.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis has set an odd trend for himself. It always was that he did great when at home and terrible on the road. That still stands but with the caveat "except when he is in Baltimore". Otherwise he has never scored away from Cleveland and not rushed for more than 61 yards.

Wide Receivers: Braylon Edwards continues his break out season with a score last week that now totals eleven on the year. He not only has three games over 100 yards, two of them came in road games. He's no longer a superstar in the making, he's already "made".

Joe Jurevicius doesn't have the gaudy scores of Edwards but he has been a solid possession receiver with usually 60 to 80 yards in most recent games. The passing game largely revolves around Edwards and Winslow, but Jurevicius contributes each week as well.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow comes off his third 100 yard effort of the season and caught 10 passes for 107 yards against the Texans. That gives him five touchdowns on the year but he still has yet to score in back-to-back games. One notable - he has never had more than 88 yards in an away game though he has scored three times.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals are only average against the run but Lewis usually flops in road games. There is a chance that he could turn in a score but his yardage should be moderate at best.

Anderson faces a secondary that has given up two scores in each of the last three weeks and over 250 passing yards in each. I like Anderson to have a very healthy game here with the rushing attack likely to falter and to throw for at least two scores that should both end up with Edwards. The Cards have consistently been victimized by opponents #1 receiving threat. Winslow faces the #1 defense against tight ends but should still hold his own since the Cards have not faced any of the top tight ends this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 4 12 11 4 5 18
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 18 17 27 1 18 21


Arizona Cardinals (5-6)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SF 17-20 +3.5 45
2 SEA 23-20 +2.5 42.5
3 @BAL 23-26 +8 35.5
4 PIT 21-14 +6 42.5
5 @STL 34-31 -3 40.5
6 CAR 10-25 -6 38.5
7 @WAS 19-21 +7 37
8 BYE - - -
9 @TB 10-17 +3.5 37
10 DET 31-21 -1 45
11 @CIN 35-27 +3 48.5
12 SF 31-37 -10 38
13 CLE   -1 51.5
14 @SEA 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 @NO 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 ATL 23-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
17 STL 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
ARI vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     310,2
RB Edgerrin James 60,1 20  
TE Leonard Pope   40  
WR Anquan Boldin   80,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   120,1  
WR Bryant Johnson   40  
PK Neil Rackers 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals have now been swept by the 49ers. Not exactly a resume' builder. Even worse the loss drops them two games behind the Seahawks so that the pending trip to Seattle next week may not matter than much anyway. Ending games against the Saints, Falcons and Rams hold promise though so the Cards still have a shot at a winning season - or at least at .500 which alone is a victory.

Quarterback: It may have been in a loss, but Kurt Warner topped all week 12 quarterbacks when he passed for 484 yards against the 49ers with two scores, two interceptions and one very, very badly timed fumble in overtime that lost the game. He has been on a hot streak lately with multiple scores in each of the last three weeks. Warner suffered bruised ribs during the loss Sunday and is hopeful that he will play this week. I will assume he is available and update if needed. Tim Rattay will replace him if needed.

Rattay came into the game to snake another touchdown pass from Warner. That gives Rattay three passes this year - all touchdowns from the 1 or 2-yard line.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James will score this week. At least he will if he follows the every other week pattern he established back in week two. He currently has six scores on the year but his yardage has waned in the later half of the season to never more than about 80 rushing yards and he rarely does much in the passing game.

Wide Receivers: Larry Fitzgerald had already surpassed Anquan Boldin as the primary receiver and his season high nine catches for 156 yards and two scores in Cleveland only drove home that point. After only scoring once in the first eight weeks, Fitzgerald has five touchdowns in the last three games. He is averaging around 96 yards per game and is on pace for 1500+ yards this season.

Boldin may pale in comparison, but he is nursing a bad hip and still has nice fantasy value with six touchdowns this year and around 70 yards in recent games.

Tight Ends: He's still not worthy of a fantasy start, but Leonard Pope has scored three times in the last five weeks and been over 30 yards in three games. He's not going to overtake the wideouts of course but is becoming a nice outlet for Warner.

Match Against the Defense: This is where it gets fun and why Warner needs to play. The Browns will let James continue his pace for one score but his yardage has not been more than moderate anyway.

But - the Browns are the worst against quarterbacks and wideouts. They have not allowed less than 250 passing yards since the Oakland game in week three. Opposing quarterbacks have scored 16 times in the last seven games. Look for a very healthy game here by Warner, Fitzgerald and Boldin.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 10 27 5 19 26 11
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 32 12 32 32 31 10

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

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