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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
 
The Huddle
Wildcard
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Saturday
Saturday
Sunday
Sunday
4:30 P.M. EST
8 P.M. EST
1 P.M. EST
4:30 P.M. EST
NBC
NBC
FOX
CBS

Prediction: TEN 16, SD 31

The Titans sort of backed into the playoffs with no small amount of help coming from the Colts who benched most starters in the second half and allowed the Titans to squeak out a win. No doubt the Colts wanted to see the Titans in the playoffs instead of the Browns though it is highly unlikely they would see either team. The Chargers come in with just one more win than the Titans but have been building through the year with the new offense. The Chargers are 7-1 at home while the Titans are 5-3 on the road.

The Chargers won 23-17 when the Titans hosted the game just four weeks ago.

Tennessee Titans (10-6)
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @JAC 13-10 +6.5 37.5
2 IND 20-22 +7 46
3 @NO 31-14 +4 45
4 BYE - - -
5 ATL 20-13 -8 41
6 @TB 10-13 +2.5 37
7 @HOU 38-36 +2 37.5
8 OAK 13-9 -7 41
9 CAR 20-7 -4 40
10 JAC 13-28 -4 35
11 @DEN 20-34 +2.5 38
12 @CIN 6-35 -1.5 42
13 HOU 28-20 -3.5 43
14 SD 17-23 +1 41
15 @KC 26-17 -4 34
16 NYJ 10-6 -9 38
17 @IND 16-10 -4 39.5
P1 @SD   +9 40.5
TEN at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 20   160,1
RB Chris Brown 30 10  
RB Lendale White 50 20  
TE Ben Hartsock   20,1  
WR Justin Gage   50  
WR Eric Moulds   40  
PK Rob Bironas 3 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: Not only did the Titans lose to the Chargers a month ago, that game happened in Tennessee and this time it is in San Diego with several Titans banged up this time. Vince Young, LenDale White, Bo Scaife, Albert Haynesworth and Chris Brown are all nursing various injuries and by all appearances are about to live the "one and done" reality of the playoffs. The defense will be key in this game since the offense has struggled to post more than 20 points in recent weeks.

Quarterback: Vince Young left the game last week with a quadriceps injury but there is optimism that he will be able to play in his first playoff game. Young remains limited in practice but the Titans will use him if at all possible. There is a chance that Young will get replaced by Kerry Collins during the game as well since his quadriceps is not fully healed and could flare up at any time as it did last week.

Young only passed for 121 yards and no scores in the previous meeting with the Chargers. He only ran twice for a total of two yards.

Running Backs: LenDale White has been nursing a sore knee and could not finish the game last week in Indianapolis. That knee will at least limit him this week if not end up forcing him to miss the game. Chris Brown also could not finish last week because of a back injury and he too could be a question mark this week. Chris Henry was finally the last man standing last week and only gained 15 rushing yards on nine carries.

White rushed for 113 yards and one score on 30 carries in the last game with the Chargers and added two catches for 24 yards. Chris Brown also scored but only gained 16 yards on five carries.

Wide Receivers: The Titans wideouts have been a ragtag group again this year though Justin Gage and Roydell Williams had their moments during the season. Unfortunately, neither had one a month ago against the Chargers when Gage only had one catch for 12 yards and Williams caught just three passes for 30 yards as the best Titans receiver in the game.

Williams suffered a fractured ankle in practice and will miss the playoffs. Biren Ealy moves up and Eric Moulds will fill in for Williams.

Tight Ends: The Titans have placed Bo Scaife on injured reserve because of a lacerated liver and will now turn to Ben Troupe and Ben Hartsock to fill in. In the previous game against the Chargers, all tight ends for the Titans combined for just four catches and 20 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans rushed well against the Chargers a month ago though they still lost the game and now both White and Brown are playing injured. And this game is in San Diego where the defense has only allowed one rushing touchdown this year. The yardage allowed is far less at home as well so do not expect a repeat of the first game.

The passing game is an even bigger problem. Young had very limited success at home a month ago and now should have a lesser effective rushing game and no Scaife. This will be a game that illustrates why the Titans cannot go one more year without acquiring a true #1 quality wideout. The jury on Young cannot never come to a definite conclusion until he has some actual talent on the team and without it this week will be a painful reminder why they need one.

The projections assume that both Brown and White are able to play but Henry will figure in and the backfield for the Titans is always a mess unless White is healthy. The Titans really need a defensive score to remain in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points
TEN
26
15
24
28
3
16
Preventing Fantasy Points
SD
10
18
10
24
3
8

 

San Diego Chargers (11-5)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 14-3 -5.5 42.5
2 @NE 14-38 +3 47
3 @GB 24-31 -5 43
4 KC 16-30 -13 38.5
5 @DEN 41-3 -1 43
6 OAK 28-14 -9.5 44
7 BYE - - -
8 HOU 35-10 -11 45
9 @MIN 17-35 -7 41
10 IND 23-21 +3.5 49
11 @JAC 17-24 +3 41
12 BAL 32-14 -9.5 38.5
13 @KC 24-10 -3.5 43
14 @TEN 23-17 -1 41
15 DET 51-14 -10.5 45.5
16 DEN 23-3 -8.5 47
17 @OAK 30-17 -8 43
P1 TEN   -9 40.5
SDC vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     220,2
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 120,2 20  
TE Antonio Gates   70,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   30  
WR Craig Davis   20  
WR Chris Chambers   80,1  
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: There is no doubt that the Chargers will be focused to win this game after the disaster last year when the Patriots came to town. The Chargers also already defeated the Titans a month ago in Tennessee and the offense has been finally purring thanks to LaDainian Tomlinson running just as well as he did all of last season. That doesn't make this one a "gimmee" by any means, but it does mean that the Chargers can cruise to a win here if they just play up to the form of the last month.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers has thrown for at least one score in each of the last seven games but he hasn't turned in any big weeks if only because Tomlinson has been dominant enough to win most games. Rivers passed for 228 yards and two scores in Tennessee last month and had two interceptions. He was also sacked four times though Albert Haynesworth is nursing a hamstring strain and may not be full strength this week.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson started the year slowly but has been back on track for over a month now. He was topping 100 rushing yards in games for a month before being benched in the season finale. In week 14 against the Titans, Tomlinson gained 146 yards on 26 carries and scored one touchdown with an additional score and 27 yards on five receptions. It was the final game of the season when he did not end up giving Darren Sproles relief work. Tomlinson is an intense competitor and after last year's loss to the Pats ended his season, there is no doubt that he will be primed for a good game here.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts for the Chargers have not been much of a factor for several years with Tomlinson and Gates on the team but the addition of Chris Chambers has given Rivers a valuable outlet that he used for four receptions and 90 yards in the previous meeting with the Titans. That was actually one of Chambers' best efforts of the season. Vincent Jackson only had three catches for 37 yards in that previous meeting which falls in line with most his games since Chambers was added.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates was really turning in a record year with eight scores and 834 yards through the first 13 games but his final five have all been shockingly low. He caught six passes for 57 yards and one score against the Titans in week 14 but has not scored in the three games since. He wasn't at full healthy though and the Chargers won all three games in decisive fashion so it was more just resting him than depressing his numbers.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans have a good defense and they know what they have to do. But they were gashed by Tomlinson last time and now he is at home playing in the most meaningful game of the season so far. Expect a very good game here by Tomlinson with at least one score and likely two. The Chargers will want to post points as quickly as possible to force the Titans to throw and push them into relying on their weakness. That means Tomlinson may not have huge yards at halftime but after 60 minutes, he should post the best running back numbers of the weekend.

Rivers had a good game in the last meeting with the Titans and he has not bee pressed into throwing much in recent weeks. Look for Gates to be back into heavier use this week and to score and Chambers will be a big factor as well. This is why the Chargers acquired Chambers so that when defenses load up against Tomlinson and Gates, he can make them pay with Chambers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points
SD
23
2
31
4
12
1
Preventing Fantasy Points
TEN
9
8
18
7
6
16

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