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

Prediction: SEA 27, CAR 10

Update: Vinny Testaverde has been held out of practice this week and now HC John Fox says it will be a gametime decision on whether Testaverde or Matt Moore will start. Doesn't really matter in fantasy terms because either would be terrible fantasy plays and Steve Smith faces a very tough secondary anyway. No change to the projections but do not rely on Testaverde this week as he may not play or may play and then give way to Moore. Smith remains a marginal start this week as he has been pretty much every week since Delhomme left.

The Seahawks have wrapped up the NFC West already and really have little to play for since they are not likely to get a first round bye thanks to the Cowboys and Packers. Seattle is only 3-3 in road games but the Panthers are just 1-5 at home and have lost all offensive ability in non-49er matchups.

Seattle Seahawks (9-4)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TB 20-6 -6 41
2 @ARI 20-23 -2.5 42.5
3 CIN 24-21 -3 50
4 @SF 23-3 -1.5 40.5
5 @PIT 0-21 +6 41
6 NO 17-28 -6 43
7 STL 33-6 -9 40
8 BYE - - -
9 @CLE 30-33 +1 47
10 SF 24-0 -10 39.5
11 CHI 30-23 -5.5 37.5
12 @STL 24-19 -3 44.5
13 @PHI 28-24 +3 43
14 ARI 42-21 -7 44.5
15 @CAR   -7 38
16 BAL 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 @ATL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
SEA at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     250,3
RB Shaun Alexander 50    
RB Maurice Morris 40 20  
TE Marcus Pollard   20  
WR Deion Branch   60,1  
WR Bobby Engram   80,1  
WR Nate Burleson   40,1  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Seattle rushing attack may be worse than they have had for many years but it doesn't matter nearly as much when the passing game has been better than ever - even without D.J. Hackett or Darrell Jackson. The defense has been decent enough in most games but Hasselbeck has been on fire and these last three weeks go against some of the weakest teams in the NFL - CAR, BAL and ATL. What is interesting is how motivated the Seahawks will be given that really do not have anything to win or lose for the final three weeks.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck has always been a good quarterback that seemed stuck on not quite taking that final step up to being a great fantasy option. Not so anymore - he hath walketh into the valley of touchdowns. With 24 scores on the year, he would be much more discussed were it not for the astronomic numbers posted by Brady and Romo. Over half of his efforts have netted in excess of 270 passing yards and he has multiple scores in nine of his last eleven games.

Running Backs: How bad is it when the Seahawks score 42 points last week and yet Shaun Alexander only manages 38 yards on ten carries? It's not really bad- it's just the way things are now for a one-time great back who no longer has the offensive line, health or financial motivation to be productive. He always gets more than ten carries in his starts but he's almost worthless now in fantasy terms and rarely has even one catch in a game anyway. Maurice Morris is more productive but even he needs Alexander to step aside and give Morris all the action for decent results. The Seahawks are now a passing team and the rushing game is a memory here.

Wide Receivers: Perhaps most impressive of all is that Hasselbeck is having a career yet and not relying on any one wideout to get it done each week. Bobby Engram remains the most consistently productive player here and has scored five times this year but usually only has about 60 or 70 yards in most games. Nate Burleson gets fewer passes but has scored once in three of the last four games and Deion Branch bounces from 20 to 90 yards in any given game. It all works in total, but no individual wideout here is having a huge year.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard turned in a score last week but it was only his second on the year and he rarely has more than 20 yards in any game.

Match Against the Defense: The Panthers have been soft against the run lately but the Seahawks just do not have that firepower anymore and will resort to the pass more anyway. Look for minimal rushing numbers from Alexander who could score once but that is too unreliable to expect. There is a chance that the Panthers opt for Matt Moore at quarterback and get in trouble early so that there ends up more rushing attempts than usual by the Seahawks but again - too hard to rely on happening with Alexander in such a decline.

Hasselbeck faces a secondary that has given up at least two passing scores in each of the last four games and decent yardage in each. There should be three passing scores here that would favor any of the three wideouts. None should have a huge game but all should be decent this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 7 21 6 28 7 4
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 17 17 15 20 17 13


Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @STL 27-13 -1 42
2 HOU 21-34 -6.5 39
3 @ATL 27-20 -4 37.5
4 TB 7-20 -3 39
5 @NO 16-13 +4 43
6 @ARI 25-10 +6 38.5
7 BYE - - -
8 IND 7-31 +6.5 45
9 @TEN 7-20 +4 40
10 ATL 13-20 -4.5 36.5
11 @GB 17-31 +10 37.5
12 NO 6-31 +3 41
13 SF 31-14 -3 35.5
14 @JAC 6-37 -10.5 38
15 SEA   +7 38
16 DAL 22-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
17 @TB 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CAR vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde     180
RB DeShaun Foster 50 10  
RB DeAngelo Williams 50,1 20  
TE Jeff King   20  
WR Steve Smith   50  
WR Keary Colbert   30  
WR Drew Carter   20  
PK John Kasay 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Panthers are just playing out yet another bad year that started with minor promise that was completely washed away when Jake Delhomme was done for the season. The offense has struggled to score even ten points in most games since week six and after this week they host the Cowboys and then head to Tampa Bay. This team is a candidate for a major overhaul in the offseason.

Quarterback: Vinny Testaverde never looked worse than last week when he only competed 13 of 28 passes for 84 yards and one interception in Jacksonville. The season is over and now HC John Fox is noncommittal about who the starter will be this week. He may opt for Matt Moore if only to give him a look because next year is already on the minds of the Panthers. Moore has played sparingly this year in relief mode and going against the secondaries of SEA, DAL and TB would be a great way to shatter any confidence he may have.

I will assume Testaverde takes the start and update if there are any changes.

Running Backs: The recent revelation by HC John Fox is to involve DeAngelo Williams more this season but it still hasn't happened. DeShaun Foster had 11 carries for 46 yards in Jacksonville while Williams settled for three carries for just seven yards though WIlliams was much more often on the field. Expect an even split between the two backs that will be controlled by game situation. Foster has used up all credit on him being a promising back and is just recognized for the sub-standard back that he really always has been. Williams could do himself a huge favor with production in the last three games but the Panthers face three divisional winners. Should have thought about this more earlier in the year.

Wide Receivers: It has become so bad in Carolina that Steve Smith doesn't even complain anymore. He's like the captain of the Titantic who has realized that it really doesn't matter why the ship is going down, everybody is going to get wet anyway. Smith has not scored since week six and has not been above 61 yards in a game since then as well. Move to the rookie Matt Moore and that is highly unlikely to change.

Tight Ends: Remember Jeff King next year. Forget him for now.

Match Against the Defense: Seattle has been softer against the run and could allow some moderate yardage here but that will get split between Foster and Williams anyway. The lack of carries leaves both runners with marginal fantasy prospects this week at best.

Testaverde, or Moore for that matter, faces one of the better secondaries in the league which can shut this offense down like even average secondaries have recently, Stay away from all but Smith and expect nothing more than a marginal effort from him. Even he is a risk to bomb this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 28 23 22 20 27 26
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 6 23 17 3 6 5

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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