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

Prediction: OAK 13, GBP 31

Update: Brett Favre has had limited practice this week but was not held out on either day. He remains an iffy start though because once he takes that first snap to continue his start streak, then all bets are off that he remains in the game for all 60 minutes. It will depend on his arm and how good it feels - and if he does injure it further. I am not changing the projections because they are realistic even if he sits out some of the game but realize the risk you are courting with Favre this week.

The Raiders are on a two game winning streak - 'whoo hoo! ' - while the Packers last game was a loss to the Cowboys. But Oakland is only 2-4 on the road and the Packers are 5-1 at home and have been preparing for ten days for this week. Okay, so maybe not the entire ten days since it is just the Raiders.

Oakland Raiders (4-8)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 21-36 -1 39
2 @DEN 20-23 +10 37.5
3 CLE 26-24 +3 40.5
4 @MIA 35-17 +3.5 40
5 BYE - - -
6 @SD 14-28 +9.5 44
7 KC 10-12 -3 37.5
8 @TEN 9-13 +7 41
9 HOU 17-24 -3 41.5
10 CHI 6-17 +3 38.5
11 @MIN 22-29 +5.5 35.5
12 @KC 20-17 +5.5 34.5
13 DEN 34-20 +3 41.5
14 @GB   +10.5 42
15 IND 16-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
16 @JAC 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 SD 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
OAK at GBP Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 20   170,1
RB Justin Fargas 70 40  
TE Zach Miller   50,1  
WR Jerry Porter   40  
WR Ronald Curry   30  
WR Tim Dwight   10  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Raiders have enjoyed winning in Kansas City and then taking down the visiting Broncos and they have done it with a great rushing attack and good defense. But this is when the schedule turns very dark with a trip to Green Bay, then host the Colts and then a trip to Jacksonville. How does 4-12 sound? Sounds like JaMarcus Russell gets a hot shot rookie running back or receiver next year.

Quarterback: The Raiders turned to Josh McCown last week with surprising results. He only had 141 passing yards but threw for a season high three touchdowns against the Broncos without a sack or interception during one of those freak fun games that happens every so often. JaMarcus Russell was trotted out for one series and threw four of seven for 56 yards. His arm strength was immediately obvious and could make 2008 a much more promising year than this one. But the Raiders passing game has been mediocre at best in most games this year regardless which quarterback gets the start.

Running Backs: Granted it was only the Chiefs and Broncos, but Justin Fargas has been a top NFL back for the last two weeks when he rushed for 139 yards on 22 carries in Kansas City and then 146 yards on 33 runs at home against Denver. He scored once in each game and has been nearly unstoppable. Those were two well known divisional foes though and this week will be a far bigger challenge. On the road in Minnesota, Fargas only gained 60 yards on 22 carries as a more fair comparison.

Wide Receivers: Other than in the Vikings game where Culpepper exorcised old demons, the wideouts here have been hard pressed to top 50 yards in most games though Jerry Porter has been the most consistently productive. He only has four scores on the season while Ronald Curry hasn't crossed the goal line since week seven. The poor passing numbers obviously impacts this group but then again, this group impacts the numbers as well.

Tim Dwight has been on the team since week nine and while he has scored twice, he only had five catches over his five games.

Tight Ends: A small positive has been the increased use of the rookie Zach Miller who comes off his career best game of 58 yards last Sunday which included his second touchdown on the year. Miller has been turning in around 40 yards in each of the last four games and gets equal use with either Culpepper or McCown.

Match Against the Defense: Justin Fargas goes against a defense that has only allowed three rushing scores by a running back this year and only one in Green Bay where no opposing runner has gained more than 87 rushing yards. These last two weeks were great but Fargas will see a marked decrease this week and almost no chance of a score. Expect Fargas to have a but higher receiving numbers since that is where most backs have had some success.

McCown faces a secondary that has allowed every opponent besides the Vikes to score at last one passing touchdown with average to good yardage but the Raiders are hardly a top passing team. Look for one passing score there that should again favor Miller against one of the worst defenses against tight ends.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 20 10 25 23 15 27
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 21 12 7 31 12 2


Green Bay Packers (10-2)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PHI 16-13 +3 43.5
2 @NYG 35-13 +2.5 38.5
3 SD 31-24 +5 43
4 @MIN 23-16 -1 38
5 CHI 20-27 -3 41
6 WAS 17-14 -3 40.5
7 BYE - - -
8 @DEN 19-13 +3 44
9 @KC 33-22 +2.5 38.5
10 MIN 34-0 -6.5 40.5
11 CAR 31-17 -10 37.5
12 @DET 37-26 -3.5 48
13 @DAL 27-37 +6.5 52
14 OAK   -10.5 42
15 @STL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @CHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DET 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
GBP vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     210,2
RB Ryan Grant 140,2 10  
TE Donald Lee   40,1  
WR Donald Driver   60  
WR Greg Jennings   50,1  
WR James Jones   20  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Packers held their own in Dallas despite losing Brett Favre. In the process, they may find new confidence whenever he does retire since Aaron Rodgers was impressive. The Packers should have an easy road for the rest of the season with OAK, STL and DET remaining but the road game in Chicago could be a challenge, particularly since it was the visiting Bears that beat them back in week five. All that matters for now is that Favre is healthy and he gets that passing yard record. Oh yeah, and win games.

Quarterback: Brett Favre entered the Dallas game only needing 507 passing yards to shove Marino out of the final all-time passing yardage lead but he left the game after only 56 yards so his deficit now stands at 451 passing yards needed. That is a problem. Either he throws for 451 yards this week - which is pretty unlikely since Oakland has a decent secondary - or he will break Marino's record on the road during the next two weeks. It would be a moment not unlike Emmitt Smith in Dallas broke Walter Payton's rushing record which happened in Dallas. But that moment of glory was derailed with the injury in Dallas. If Favre throws like a madman and doesn't stop even when the game is locked away, the record will be the reason but it's highly unlikely to happen.

In other news, Aaron Rodgers completed 18 of 26 for 201 yards and a touchdown in Dallas and he looked sharp in the process. Far better than any other spot play he has had.

Running Backs: It took half a season to get to him, but Ryan Grant has proven to be all the running back that the Packers were hoping for and more. He has already logged three 100 yard rushing games but perhaps none more impressive than when he ran just 14 times and gained 94 yards in Dallas with two touchdowns. Grant has been a blessing that the Packers needed and offers a balance to the offense and more importantly, a reason why the defense cannot load up against the pass.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings has been nearly impossible to keep out of the endzone this season and already has ten touchdowns - no other receiver has more than three. The Packers spread the ball around liberally among all wideouts so that few have big yardage games but Jennings has been the man when it comes to scoring in all but two games this year. He has only topped 90 yards once this year but has been a major boon to fantasy owners. Donald Driver remains the possession guy that never scores but has decent yardage. His last score was back in week three.

Tight Ends: Donald Lee has been little use in the recent road games but has most recent two home games had him scoring a total of three times and averaging around 40 yards per week.

Match Against the Defense: This game depends on if Favre really wants to shoot for 451 yards which would be almost 200 yards more than the Raiders have allowed any quarterback - just isn't going to happen. Look for a monster game from Grant here against a defense that is the worst in the league against running backs. This should be the season high game for Grant with at least one score if not two.

Favre won't have to pass much and now it is all dicey because of the record almost having to happen on the road this year. Expect just an moderate showing here with two scores. It's hard not to spend all the time rushing the ball when it is so easy.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 20 4 10 1 9
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 1 32 3 8 16 20

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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