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

Prediction: WAS 16, MIN 24

Update: Keenan McCardell has been limited in practice with a bad calf and is likely not to play. I have removed him from the projections and the reality is that beyond Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El, there is no reliable fantasy value with the Redskins wideouts (if it even happens with Moss and/or McCardell). I am removing McCardell from the projections and not bothering with replacing him. The Vikes have been softer against the pass, but that should only benefit the two wideouts and Cooley - possibly Portis as well.

Sidney Rice has a high ankle sprain and has not practiced this week. He is not expected to play and should be replaced by Troy Williamson.

The Redskins remain alive in the playoffs in that "well, it is not impossible" sort of way but at 7-7 on the season, one team they have to beat is the 8-6 Vikings to have a chance. Even then it is not a lock and the Skins are only 3-4 on the road this year. The Vikings are 5-2 in home games and are coming off a short week after their Monday night win over the Bears.

The Vikings won 19-16 in the season opener at Washington last year.

Washington Redskins (7-7)
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIA 16-13 -3 35
2 @PHI 20-12 +7 38.5
3 NYG 17-24 -3.5 40.5
4 BYE - - -
5 DET 34-3 -4 44.5
6 @GB 14-17 +3 40.5
7 ARI 21-19 -7 37
8 @NE 7-52 +16 48
9 @NYJ 23-20 -3.5 35.5
10 PHI 25-33 -2.5 37.5
11 @DAL 23-28 +10.5 47
12 @TB 13-19 +3.5 37.5
13 BUF 16-17 -5.5 37
14 CHI 24-16 -3 37.5
15 @NYG 22-16 +4.5 40
16 @MIN   +7 40
17 DAL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
WAS at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Todd Collins     250,1
RB Clinton Portis 50 30  
TE Chris Cooley   90,1  
WR Santana Moss   70  
WR Antwaan Randle El   40  
WR Keenan McCardell 20
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Nice win in New York last week kept flickering hopes alive and hidden in the recent weeks has been improved play by the defense that has not allowed more than 20 points in the last four games. With a home game against the Cowboys to end the year, it will be a rather challenging path to the playoffs but it ends this week if the Skins lose. More impressive than anything is that Todd Collins is 2-0 as a starter

Quarterback: The Skins are hoping that they do not have to place Jason Campbell on injured reserve since there is still an outside chance that they get to lose a wildcard game this year. Todd Collins has won both his starts though in the windy conditions in New York last week, he only threw for 166 yards and completed just eight passes. but he has 224 yards and two scores at home against the Bears. He's proving good enough so far but hardly enough to spark any quarterback controversy.

The Redskins were still starting Mark Brunell last year when he passes for 163 yards and no scores against the Vikings.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis ran surprisingly well last week when he gained 126 yards on 25 carries and scored once against the Giants. That was only his third 100 rushing yard game of the year and the first time he totaled over 68 rushing yards since week ten. Ladell Betts also saw increased playing time with eight rushes for 29 yards and a score. This week will be a far bigger challenge against an aggressive Vikings defense though Portis has logged as high as six catches in a game this year.

Portis only ran ten times for 39 yards but scored once against the visiting Vikings last season.

Wide Receivers: Not much new with the wideouts under Collins though Santana Moss had his best game in over a month with 75 yards on three catches in New York. Antwaan Randle El was held without a catch though but both wideouts go against a weaker secondary than usual on Sunday. No Redskins wideout has scored since week eleven and Moss only has one score on the year. James Thrash actually leads all wideouts here because he had two scores in week ten before being lost for the season..

No receiver turned in more than 46 yards in the Vikings game last year.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley did not fare so well last week with only 34 yards on two catches but he had over 80 yards in the previous four games and should come up big again this week since the rushing game is likely to falter.

Cooley only caught two passes for a net two yard loss against the Vikings last season.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings have been dominating against the run this year and no opposing runner has topped 60 rushing yards in Minnesota this year. Only two have scored a rushing touchdown as well. Portis won't likely total much on the ground this week but can make his fantasy value remain via catching the ball.

Collins has the opportunity for at least good fantasy numbers here against a weaker pass defense and knowing that that the running game should be held in check. That will result in nice numbers for Cooley who could have one of his best games of the year and even Moss should manage some fantasy value this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 17 8 29 6 14 26
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 25 2 27 20 17 10


Minnesota Vikings (8-6)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ATL 24-3 -3 36
2 @DET 17-20 +3 42.5
3 @KC 10-13 +3 33.5
4 GB 16-23 +1 38
5 BYE - - -
6 @CHI 34-31 +5 35.5
7 @DAL 14-24 +9.5 46
8 PHI 16-23 +1 37.5
9 SD 35-17 +7 41
10 @GB 0-34 +6.5 40.5
11 OAK 29-22 -5.5 35.5
12 @NYG 41-17 +7 41
13 DET 42-10 -3.5 44.5
14 @SF 27-7 -7.5 39
15 CHI 20-13 -9.5 43.5
16 WAS   -7 40
17 @DEN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
MIN vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson 30   160,1
RB Chester Taylor 40 10  
RB Adrian Peterson 100,2 20  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   10  
WR Robert Ferguson   50  
WR Troy Williamson   20  
WR Bobby Wade   30  
WR Sidney Rice 40
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Vikings can wrap up a wild card bid by winning out or a Saints loss. The defense has been outstanding lately with no more than 17 points allowed to an opponent. Winning this week in the final home game makes the road trip to Denver next Sunday a meaningless affair and a chance to rest players.

Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson has been a better passer in the second half of the season but having the best rushing attack in the league makes most defenses focus on Peterson, not whatever Jackson does. He has scored in each of the last three games and only has one interception in that time but his yardage has topped out at 204 yards this year. But he hands off a nice ball and the offense doesn't need much more than that.

When Brad Johnson was the starter last year, the Vikings passed for 223 yards and one score in Washington.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson started out slowly again last week but still ended with 78 yards on 20 carries and two scores. That means that the hot rookie has scored seven times in the last three home games and ever less than two. It was also only the second time this year that Peterson failed to gain at least 100 rushing yards at home. Chester Taylor still figures in heavily but all eyes are on Peterson who has already wrapped up the Offensive Rookie of the Year by now.

Chester Taylor rushed for 88 yards on 31 carries and scored once against the Skins in 2006.

Wide Receivers: Sidney Rice remains the most talented receiver in this crew but lately Robert Ferguson has been making plays from the slot and even Bobby Wade has a role. The lower passing numbers every week ensures that this unit never has a big game but at least there is usually one passing touchdown to distribute on a weekly basis. The receivers are merely window dressing for what the running game provides on this offense.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value. Ever.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins have been effective against the run this year but like Brandon Jacobs showed last week (25-130), they are not above getting run on. The unit has only given up five rushing scores this year but has also enjoyed playing mostly bad run teams. Peterson will get his and enough for Taylor left over for marginal fantasy value.

As always, Jackson will only provide relief to the running game and come in with mediocre passing numbers. The Skins secondary can be beaten but it will not happen here more than once. Too much emphasis on the run with good reason.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 31 1 27 30 22 1
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 24 9 8 18 16 15

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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