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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
*updated

Prediction: CIN 10, NYG 27

The returning Super Bowl champions host the 0-2 Bengals in what is expected to be the biggest mismatch of the weekend. The Giants are just cruising through the easy half of their schedule while the Bengals have never looked worse. The best the Bengals can hope for is that the Giants try to mail this one in.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BAL 10-17 -1 39
2 TEN 7-24 -1 37.5
3 @NYG - +13.5 42
4 CLE - - -
5 @DAL - - -
6 @NYJ - - -
7 PIT - - -
8 @HOU - - -
9 JAX - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 PHI - - -
12 @PIT - - -
13 BAL - - -
14 @IND - - -
15 WAS - - -
16 @CLE - - -
17 KC - - -
CIN at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer     190,1
RB Chris Perry 60 20  
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   50  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   60,1  
WR Antonio Chatman   30  
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: How brutal is losing the first two games with a total of one offensive touchdown scored? While the weather has certainly been against the Bengals, it goes far deeper for a team that appears saddled with major bad mojo. If any team seems destined for a coaching change and general shake-up, it is the Bengals.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer comes off the two worst games of his career. Back to back. On the year he has 228 passing yards for no scores, three interceptions and three sacks. The windy conditions last week were much to blame but there's been nothing to suggest that the Bengals are turning it around yet. The rushing game has evaporated and Palmer is throwing with far less accuracy than in past seasons. This is not a week likely to see a turnaround.

Running Backs: Chris Perry did manage to get a touchdown last week (and the only one for the team this year) but as a starter he has rushed 40 times for 106 yards and a 2.7 yard per carry average. Kenny Watson only gets three runs per game so Perry continues to have 20 rushes per week with remarkably little to show for it.

Wide Receivers: That Chad Johnson would only have five catches for 59 yards by now is not a shocker given that he has spent the last two years with minimal efforts in most weeks and then an occasional monster game to boost his stats. But T. J. Houshmandzadeh has only totaled six catches for 70 yards himself and that one-time paragon of consistency just looks like a bad fantasy draft pick for now.

The passing yardage has been minimal, the opponents tough and the weather uncooperative, but that still doesn't completely explain how two of the most productive wideouts over the past several years have just completely fallen off the map.

Tight Ends: The Bengals acquired Ben Utecht on the hopes that he would become a major cog in the passing machine. So far that is two catches for ten yards and he is expected to miss the next few games with a chest injury.

Match Against the Defense: it all depends here on how committed the Giants are to stopping the Bengals. They have to know they can win this game and not need to prepare much but playing at home will help regardless and you cannot hope for more than barely moderate yardage from Perry without a score.

Palmer goes against a defense that sacked Bulger six times last week. The old Palmer could had produced some decent fantasy points here but the way the Bengals are playing, it is entirely too risky to expect more than yet another moderate showing at best. So far the Giants have only allowed about 155 passing yards per week. The score would need to favor Houshmandzadeh if it happens but on this offense, there is almost nothing worth relying on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 32 25 31 28 31 13
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 8 2 18 2 4 4


New York Giants (2-0)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 16-7 -3.5 41
2 @STL 41-13 -8.5 41.5
3 CIN - -13.5 42
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 vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     220,1
RB Brandon Jacobs 100,1 10  
RB Derrick Ward 50,1 20  
TE Kevin Boss   10  
WR Plaxico Burress   80,1  
WR Amani Toomer   50  
WR Steve Smith   30  
PK John Carney 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Giants went nuclear on the visiting Rams last week and that could happen again with the Bengals coming to town. The Giants are enjoying a schedule that just seems to become easier with every week. There is little to worry about facing Seattle and Cleveland these days and the Giants could easily end up 7-0 before facing the meat of their schedule. The Giants have historically excelled in the first half and then collapsed in the second half of the season. The schedule this year makes that almost an inescapable conclusion.

Quarterback: After an efficient yet scoreless season opener, Eli Manning feasted on the visiting Rams for three touchdowns and 260 passing yards on Sunday. Along with the rest of the team, Manning could look very good by midseason when the schedule quickly turns against him and he has his standard late season slide.

Running Backs: The Giants were more successful passing in St. Louis so Brandon Jacobs only ran the ball 15 times for 93 yards. Derrick Ward chipped in eight carries for 58 yards himself and Ahmad Bradshaw finally showed up this year with five carries for 52 yards and one late score. Playing the Rams in 2008 tends to give the entire depth chart a workout but this week should return to just Jacobs and Ward. If the Giants get an early lead of much significance, there is a chance the running backs all take turns again.

Wide Receivers: While Plaxico Burress only had five catches for 81 yards in St. Louis, he caught his first score of the season and is still averaging over 100 yards per week. Amani Toomer comes off his occasional good game when he caught six passes for 67 yards and a score but he only had two catches in the season opener. Burress remains the only consistent factor here.

Tight Ends: The assumption that Kevin Boss was going to replace Jeremy Shockey's production as a receiver has not exactly been paying off. Boss has only been thrown three passes this year and did not catch any of them. Drop Boss and move on to someone else.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals have been horrible against the run this year and though they have only allowed one rushing score, the Ravens and Titans just bulldozed the Bengals for their wins. In just two games, the Bengals have defended against 81 runs. Expect a very nice game here by Jacobs and Ward and sure, expect Bradshaw to show up late and get some action as well.

Manning faces a secondary that apparently has been great but the 128 yards per game allowed stems from facing the rookie Joe Flacco and then the 60 MPH wind game last week that limited Kerry Collins. There is no reason to expect more than a moderate passing game here with the obligatory score to Burress because the Giants won't need more than that.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 9 5 7 32 4 9
Preventing Fantasy Points    CIN 10 21 15 1 13 19

The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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