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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: NYG 31, STL 13

The Giants started strong last Thursday and then just cruised to a win over the Skins and this week get a treat by facing the team that gave up the most yards and scores of any NFL team in week one. For winning a Super Bowl, the Giants are certainly starting out with a nice schedule since they host the Bengals next week.

New York Giants (1-0)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 16-7 -3.5 41
2 @STL - -8.5 41.5
3 CIN - - -
4 BYE - - -
5 SEA - - -
6 @CLE - - -
7 SF - - -
8 @PIT - - -
9 DAL - - -
10 @PHI - - -
11 BAL - - -
12 @ARZ - - -
13 @WAS - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @DAL - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     240,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 100,1 10  
RB Derrick Ward 40,1 20  
TE Kevin Boss   10  
WR Plaxico Burress   100,1  
WR Amani Toomer   50  
WR Steve Smith   40,1  
PK John Carney 1 FG 4 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Giants started 2008 with a bang when the offense came out and looked flawless - for a few series. And even then they couldn't punch in a touchdown after the first series and never scored in the second half. As with all first games of the season, it's hard to determine how much was the Giants and how much was the Redskins. In the end, they looked just like the Giants of last year... the regular season version.

Quarterback: The Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning seems to have settled down from his high flying ways last January. He completed 19 of 35 passes for 216 yards last week but his lone score came on a rushing play. Manning threw one interception and nearly had a couple more. In the end, he looked just like the Manning of last year... the regular season version.

Running Backs: The biggest surprise from the Giants last week was that Ahmad Bradshaw never saw the field. The player that was the leading rusher in the playoffs did not play. Brandon Jacobs bulled his way for 116 yards on 21 carries that included flattening more than one defensive back. But Derrick Ward was given nine carries and gained 39 yards. That is not to say that Bradshaw won't show up in different packages later in the year, but Ward is the relief back so far. I will only project for Jacobs but Ward is back to being the running back with five to ten carries per game in relief of Jacobs.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress must be feeling better. Now flush with cash and feeling better, he had no problem reeling in ten catches for 133 yards against the Redskins. Burress dominated the passing game and no other wideout had more than 23 yards or two catches for the Giants. Having a lead and a rushing game that was working helped, but there is no mistake that Burress is the heart and soul of the passing game, even more so now that Jeremy Shockey is gone. Amani Toomer (2-12) and Steve Smith (2-15) had the most plays outside of Burress but Sinorice Moss (1-23) also had a catch. So far it is a whole lot of Burress and just a little of everyone else.

Tight Ends: Now that Jeremy Shockey is gone, those expecting Kevin Boss to just step in were disappointed to see that he was thrown two passes and caught neither. While far too early to make specific assumptions, it does appear that Boss will be just another tight end for the Giants as he was all of last January anyway.

Match Against the Defense: This is the defense that just gave up three - THREE!!!! - 100 yard games to DeSean Jackson, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett. That's pretty hard to do without trying. The Rams defense gave up 38 points and currently rank as the worst pass defense. Expect a very nice showing here by all facets of the Giants team and enough that Derrick Ward even has a decent game.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 15 17 16 32 5 29
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 32 27 32 28 23 13

St. Louis Rams (0-1)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PHI 3-38 +7 44
2 NYG - +8.5 41.5
3 @SEA - - -
4 BUF - - -
5 BYE - - -
6 @WAS - - -
7 DAL - - -
8 @NE - - -
9 ARZ - - -
10 @NYJ - - -
11 @SF - - -
12 CHI - - -
13 MIA - - -
14 @ARZ - - -
15 SEA - - -
16 SF - - -
17 @ATL - - -
STL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     190
RB Steven Jackson 90,1 50  
TE Randy McMichael   40  
WR Torry Holt   50  
WR Keenan Burton   20  
WR Dante Hall   10  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: All things considered, the season opener could have gone better. It probably could not have gone worse. The Rams were slaughtered in virtually every statistical category by the Eagles and the offense that sputtered until the final preseason game is back to sputtering. Only this time it counts. The lone positive to come from the game, and it is a stretch, is that there were no turnovers by the Rams. Then again, they rarely had the ball to lose it. The new offense is going to take time to install and in the meantime - the defense looks as bad as it has ever been which is great news to the fantasy world.

Quarterback: While Marc Bulger never lost the ball, he only completed 14 of 26 passes for 158 yards and no scores in a game where they trailed badly from the start. He was sacked four times and his only success was using the tight end Randy McMichael more in line with a traditional Al Saunders offense. This minor positive came at the expense of every other receiver.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson's first game in the RB-friendly scheme had him only gaining 40 yards on 14 carries and adding 34 yards on three receptions. Worse yet he was thrown seven passes and could not catch half of them. Jackson will lead this offense back to productive ways but it has not happened yet. He doesn't share at all but there is nothing to share so far anyway.

Wide Receivers: The first game for the new offense had Torry Holt only catching one pass for nine yards - and he was only thrown two during the entire game. The new scheme is not great for wideouts but even Eddie Kennison never had a game like this. The entire wideout crew, during a blowout loss, only totaled six catches for 47 yards. And now Drew Bennett is out for a month and will be replaced by Keenan Burton most likely. It is nothing you want to raid the waiver wire to get.

Tight Ends: True to the roots of the Saunders scheme, the two main targets with seven passes apiece were the running back and the tight end. Randy McMichael led the team with five catches for 77 yards. At current rate, he has more fantasy value than Torry Holt. The Rams are going to need to throw in every game this year and McMichael makes for a great free agent pickup if available in your league. He won't become the next Tony Gonzalez but that'll not be because of a lack of passes.

Match Against the Defense: So far this year the Giants have only played the Redskins who have their own perplexing problems. But expect a slightly better showing here at home by Jackson who should have decent yardage, more receptions and a good shot at scoring.

He is the only Rams player that looks attractive though since the Giants are still getting great pressure on quarterbacks and Bulger is struggling as it is. Holt should definitely improve this week as long as Bulger gets time to throw. Expect a minor improvement and hope that Holt can break a long gainer.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 31 31 31 11 27 30
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 5 6 15 4 1 14

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