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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 2
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
*UPDATED

Prediction: NO 24, WAS 20

Update: Marques Colston will be out for several more weeks and has been removed from the projections. His absence will likely allow Robert Meachem to get some playing time though Brees is already locking onto Shockey as a favorite outlet and will spread the ball around to all receivers so there really is no 1:1 replacement for Colston.

The Redskins held Chris Cooley out of practice on Wednesday to rest his quadricep but he had some practice on Thursday and then a full day on Friday. He is listed as probable and will play.

The Saints come off a close win over their old nemesis of the Buccaneers while the Redskins have wondered what went wrong since last Thursday when their offense opened the NFL season by laying down for the Giants. This game could go many directions since the Saints have a great offense but the Skins also have a solid defense. And the Saints do not have much of a defense but the Skins do not currently feature an offense. Certainly the Skins need to regroup and figure out why the offense has yet to come together and the Saints should make it about as easy at is gets. But will that be easy enough?

New Orleans Saints (1-0)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TB 24-20 -3.5

42.5

2 @WAS - +1 42.5
3 @DEN - - -
4 SF - - -
5 MIN - - -
6 OAK - - -
7 @CAR - - -
8 SD - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 @ATL - - -
11 @KC - - -
12 GB - - -
13 @TB - - -
14 ATL - - -
15 @CHI - - -
16 @DET - - -
17 CAR - - -
NOR at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     280,2
RB Reggie Bush 60,1 60  
TE Jeremy Shockey   60,1  
WR Marques Colston 70,1
WR Robert Meachem   30  
WR Devery Henderson   50  
WR David Patten   40,1  
PK Martin Gramatica 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Saints are back at it with a great passing offense full of fantasy points, a rushing game that primarily relies on Reggie Bush to catch passes instead of running and a defense that makes all opponents gain "fantasy significance". Jeremy Shockey gets his only game against an old NFC East opponent this season and has already become a new weapon in the arsenal of Drew Brees. And he had plenty already.

Quarterback: It was a good sign for this year when Drew Brees was able to pass for 343 yards and three scores against the Buccaneers last week and he was only sacked once in the entire game. The Bucs took away Marques Colston but Brees simply switched to Shockey and Bush. The Saints started 2007 slowly for the first month before catching fire. 2008 has those fires already burning hot.

Running Backs: The Saints allowed Deuce McAllister to dress for the game last week but then never used him. Instead, Pierre Thomas carried the ball ten times for 52 yards and Reggie Bush used his 14 carries to gain 51 yards. But of course Bush also became the primary receiver with eight catches for 112 yards and one touchdown thanks to a 42-yard catch and run. I will continue to project for Bush but not Thomas because the roles of he and McAllister will change once the coaching staff feel better about letting Deuce hit the field again. McAllister is recovering from double-knee surgery, so it could be a while longer before he is a factor. Then again - they let him dress. It's all too much risk to consider for a fantasy start outside of Bush.

Wide Receivers: In what could be the "new look" of the Saints, a huge passing effort (343 yards and three scores) really had no reliable stats coming from any wideout. David Patten (1-39) and Devery Henderson (1-84) but scored on their only catch in the game. Marques Colston only had six passes thrown his way and caught just three for 26 yards. Jeremy Shockey has now become an equivalent to a wideout which only spreads the wealth out even more. Colston will certainly have better games, but it could be frustrating this year to use the Saints for receivers since they are all being used some. Except of course Robert Meachem who was inactive for the game by a coaching decision.

Tight Ends: In his first game as a Saint, Jeremy Shockey had six passes thrown to him and caught them all. He gained 54 yards and was second only to Bush in catches. He remains a solid fantasy tight end for yards and catches but still hasn't scored yet. That could change this week.

Match Against the Defense: With only one game this year to measure and that being a road trip against a very familiar opponent, the Skins defense is hard to gauge so far. Because of the problems on the Skins offense, the Giants were content to rush the ball 30 times for 155 yards last week but that is not going to happen on Sunday with the Saints. Look for a much better effort by the Skins who hope to have CB Shawn Springs back and a home venue which always helps the defense. Expect moderate rushing numbers here at best and a chance that they are only barely there. But Bush will figure in as a receiver as well and remains a safe start.

Brees has been made more difficult to stop with the addition of Shockey. The Skins already could not stop split end Burress and now get split end Colston who should have a bounce back game at least in yardage. Brees should total in the high 200's but how he gets there depends on what facet the Skins want to stop the most. Chances are they remember Shockey and yet they are used to receiving backs thanks to Brian Westbrook. It's like facing the Eagles and the Giants in the same game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 2 8 3 15 14 19
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 18 16 17 1 27 5


Washington Redskins (0-1)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NYG 7-16 +3.5 41
2 NO - -1 42.5
3 ARZ - - -
4 @DAL - - -
5 @PHI - - -
6 STL - - -
7 CLE - - -
8 @DET - - -
9 PIT - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 DAL - - -
12 @SEA - - -
13 NYG - - -
14 @BAL - - -
15 @CIN - - -
16 PHI - - -
17 @SF - - -
WAS vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell     230,1
RB Clinton Portis 110,1    
TE Chris Cooley   30  
WR Santana Moss   90  
WR Antwaan Randle El   70,1  
WR Devin Thomas   10  
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Redskins offense looked bad this summer. It has not stopped. First game out and the rebuild that HC Steve Zorn has started still has a ways to go. The Skins looked every bit as confused and out of synch as they had during the preseason. They did improve marginally as the game progressed and the defense overall did a nice job but with only seven points scored it will be a long year if they don't get the offense going.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell managed to throw for one touchdown and he did not have any turnovers. But he only completed 15 of 27 passes for 133 yards. He was only 2 of 6 for 25 yards at halftime. The Skins have not been an offensive force in many years but the showing on Thursday fell short of what was expected even considering the new scheme and coaching staff. Until Campbell makes a major turn around, he'll be hard enough to hold onto to cover a bye week.

Running Backs: If there was any bright spot in the game last week, and there really wasn't, it would be that Clinton Portis gained 84 yards on 23 carries but even that included a 23 yard run. Portis offered the only consistency to the offense and never shared the ball. The lack of a passing game will have a negative impact on Portis but he will hold up his part of the offense. Notable too was that he was not thrown any passes in the new scheme - that has a big effect on his value in point per reception leagues if it continues..

Wide Receivers: Campbell was trying to connect with Santana Moss more than any other receiver last week but his ten passes only resulted in five catches for 37 yards. Moss did have the lone touchdown for the Skins but Antwaan Randle El was the most productive wideout with 73 yards on seven catches. No other wideout had a catch and no one could blame this offense for running too deep of routes. Campbell rarely had the time to wait for a receiver to get too far down field and threw almost all completions underneath the coverage.

Last week should not be considered too much of a measuring stick since it was only one game but it was against a team that was very well known and not much came out of that game that was positive.

Tight Ends: Continuing the string of fantasy owners uttering "say what?" was Chris "Pro Bowl" Cooley only catching one passing for seven yards. And that was the only pass thrown to him. The new scheme so far has shown that Cooley is not a part of the offense when the team falls behind and needs to throw. Trailing on the scoreboard for the entire game and only getting one pass was a bad sign no matter how you spin it.

Match Against the Defense: The good news is that the Saints historically make all offense look better. And their offense is usually good enough to force other teams to need to score more. Expect a very nice game here by Clinton Portis who should break the century mark and score at least one touchdown. Both corners are soft and should allow at least decent yardage for Randle El and Moss with Randle El slightly more likely to score. Whatever the offense can do this week will be the best you can expect for the next month.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 28 27 18 29 32 21
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 14 19 19 7 24 24

The Huddle
WEEK 2
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
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Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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