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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 15
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Saturday
Monday
*updated

Prediction: PHI 17, DAL 37

This is the second meeting between these teams and the Cowboys won 38-17 in Philadelphia back in week 9. Dallas is 6-1 in home games while the Eagles are just 3-3 on the road. For the last three seasons, whichever team wins the first game, always wins the second one and the Eagles swept the Cowboys last year. This is always a big game between the two teams regardless of the standings.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-8)
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 28-31 +22.5 50.5
13 SEA 24-28 -3 43
14 NYG 13-16 -3 42.5
15 @DAL   +10.5 48
16 @NO 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 BUF 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
PHI at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     250,1
RB Brian Westbrook 60,1 70  
TE Matt Schobel   10  
WR Reggie Brown   70,1  
WR Kevin Curtis   50  
WR Jason Avant   30  
PK David Akers 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Eagles are on a three game losing streak and none of the losses were by more than four points. It's like the Eagles are still pretty good but rarely good enough. WIth two road games to end the year, there's almost no chance that this team can avoid a losing record and it probably doesn't set too well that this week they are playing the NFC East Champs - a title that they held annually for many years.

Quarterback: HC Andy Reid said that Donovan McNabb will make the start for the final three games and that he will be returning in 2008. But McNabb has never been close to his previous form this year and only passed for 264 yards and one touchdown when the Cowboys visited in week nine. Only twice in the last 12 games has he managed more than one touchdown in a game.

Running Backs: While the rest of the Eagles offense sputters, there has never been anything wrong with Brian Westbrook who has already scored 12 times this year and ends up with nearly 30 touches every week. He rushed for 65 yards and a score on 16 carries and added an astounding 14 catches for 90 yards versus the Cowboys this year. Everyone knows he is coming, no on has been able to stop him.

There is a chance that Correll Buckhalter misses this game because of a concussion he suffered last Sunday and if so, it will give the rookie Tony Hunt some playing action for the first time since week ten.

Wide Receivers: Kevin Curtis remains the primary wideout but that hasn't meant much in road games this year since he has only one touchdown in an away game and usually tops out at 70 yards. Reggie Brown has actually been more productive since his two scores on the season both came in the two most recent road trips and his best yardage efforts have been away from Philly as well.

Both Brown and Curtis settled for around 50 yards receiving in the first meeting with the Cowboys while Hank Basket caught a touchdown.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith injured his knee against the Giants but an MRI on Monday did not show any structural damage and he does have some torn cartilage in his ribs. He has not been counted out for this week yet but I will project for Matt Schobel pending that clearance.

Smith had two receptions for 34 yards against the Cowboys in week nine.

Match Against the Defense: A trip to Dallas may not be the way to get the ship turned around this year but the Eagles still have Westbrook who has just been golden in every game played this year. No reason to expect less this week though he won't likely have another 14 catches in the game. Then again.... maybe he will. It's Westbrook.

McNabb had only marginal success passing last time and his 268 passing yards included 90 yards worth of dump offs to Westbrook. That could happen again this week since the only difference in this game from week nine is that the Cowboys are at home. Curtis draws Terrence Newman and should be quiet again this time.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 12 2 13 29 17 32
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 12 10 21 15 12 11

 

Dallas Cowboys (12-1)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYG 45-35 -5.5 44
2 @MIA 37-20 -3.5 40.5
3 @CHI 34-10 +3 41
4 STL 35-7 -13 47
5 @BUF 25-24 -10 42
6 NE 27-48 +5 52.5
7 MIN 24-14 -9.5 46
8 BYE - - -
9 @PHI 38-17 -3 46
10 @NYG 31-20 -1.5 49
11 WAS 28-23 -10.5 47
12 NYJ 34-3 -14.5 47
13 GB 37-27 -6.5 52
14 @DET 28-27 -10.5 38
15 PHI   -10.5 48
16 @CAR 22-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
17 @WAS 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DAL vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     310,3
RB Julius Jones 50 10  
RB Marion Barber 60,1 40  
TE Jason Witten   70,1  
WR Terrell Owens   100,1  
WR Patrick Crayton   50,1  
WR Sam Hurd   30  
PK Nick Folk 3 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys have wrapped up the NFC East title but still have to win to retain the treasured #1 seed in the playoffs. After this week, the season ends with two road efforts in Carolina and Washington so winning out will be tough. No matter - as long as they do not lose more than one game or if the Packers lose one, the Cowboys still keep the #1 seed thanks to beating the Packers back in week 13. The Cowboys offense has been clicking well all year long but the defense has struggled a bit the last two games and most surprisingly in Detroit last week. Almost all NFL teams can claim to just match-up poorly with another team but no one else can say the Lions are their nemesis.

Quarterback: Tony Romo ranks #2 in the NFL with 35 passing touchdowns and #3 with 3654 passing yards. It's not enough that he is shattering all Cowboys single-season records, he has now led the Cowboys back to dramatic wins in Buffalo and Detroit to further canonize himself with the Dallas faithful. He's not only thrown for seven games over 300 yards this year, he's only once failed to have at least two scores in every game.

Romo threw for 324 yards and three scores in Philadelphia this year.

Running Backs: Julius Jones continues to be the starter here but each week has him used less while Marion Barber steps up to more work and more production. Last week was his best yet with 42 rushing yards and ten catches for 61 yards with a total of three touchdowns. Jones only had 42 total yards and only has two scores on the year. He is not being phased out completely, but he takes a back seat rather quickly in games recently.

Jones rushed for 57 yards on 13 carries and Barber gained 56 yards on 16 runs in Philly this year. Both scored a touchdown and Barber tacked on three catches for 50 yards.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens saw his seven game scoring streak end in Detroit and he had a season low three catches for 21 yards but he was smiling afterwards while wearing NFC East Champions gear. Now there is a change though it was only one game. Owens already has 14 scores this year and six efforts over 100 yards. Owens also enjoyed his game in Philadelphia this year, snagging ten passes for 174 yards and a score. Crayton did not have a catch in the game.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten now leads all tight ends with 80 catches on the season and his 955 yards is tops as well. His seven scores trail only Dallas Clark. Something about setting a Cowboys all-time record with 15 catches for 138 yards and one score seemed to help. Witten only caught three passes but gained 77 yards and scored once in Philly this season.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys already throttled the Eagles once this year in Philly and this game is played in Dallas. The teams have not changed much since week nine except the Cowboys have already clinched the division, But this is also the final home game of the regular season and the Cowboys want to leave it on a positive note against one of their biggest rivals.

Look for a good effort here with much the same results as the first meeting. Owens may not show up quite as much as he did in Philly since he has no axe to grind anymore but there's not a chance that anyone would not start any of the Cowboys fantasy studs from this game. No reason to expect less and the defense for Dallas may let the Eagles in the game more forcing them to score more.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 2 7 8 1 3 10
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 10 6 24 4 14 19

The Huddle
WEEK 15
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Saturday
Monday
*updated

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