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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: JAC 16, IND 20

Update: I am not changing the projections but notable is that Jerry Porter remains out this week as expected. Both Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) and Fred Taylor (toe) are listed as probable and are expected to play though Jones-Drew was held out on Wednesday and only had a full practice on Friday. Taylor had full days both Thursday and Friday. Both center Brad Meester and OG Chris Naeole are ruled out this week so the blocking will not be any better and both the runners are banged up.

This is always a good game but it has been a while since it contain the AFC South leader. The Colts managed to squeak past in Minnesota and a happy enough just to be 1-1. The Jaguars haven't lost games by much but they are 0-2 and can ill-afford yet another loss. But injuries to the line have decimated the Jaguars rushing game and that was the foundation of the entire offense.

The Colts swept the Jaguars last year, winning 29-7 in Jacksonville and later clipping them 28-25 at home.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TEN 10-17 -3 37
2 BUF 16-20 -6 38
3 @IND - +5.5 42
4 HOU - - -
5 PIT - - -
6 @DEN - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 CLE - - -
9 @CIN - - -
10 @DET - - -
11 TEN - - -
12 MIN - - -
13 @HOU - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 GB - - -
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 20   180
RB Fred Taylor 50    
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 50,1 20  
TE Marcedes Lewis   20  
WR Dennis Northcutt   30  
WR Matt Jones   70,1  
WR Reggie Williams   30  
PK Josh Scobee 3 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars get no favors this year from the schedule maker since their beaten up offensive line still has to face the Colts, Steelers and Broncos before reaching their week 7 bye. The defense is still decent but thrown off balance by an offense that cannot get the lead or control the ball. Opponents no longer fear the pass and load up against a bad offensive line to stuff the Jaguars. Until the passing game gets some respect and the offensive line can hold their blocks, the offense will continue to struggle.

Quarterback: David Garrard was a good game manager who could pass when needed last year. Now he has been sacked nine times over two games and thrown three interceptions but only one touchdown. Garrard only had three interceptions during the entire 2007 season. He has lost a fumble now as well. Outside of a few passes to Matt Jones, there has been almost nothing happening with the pass. And that has allowed defenses to shut down the rushing game.

Garrard only passed for 72 yards and Quinn Gray added 56 yards in the home meeting with the Colts last season. Garrard later threw for 257 yards and two scores in the road meeting.

Running Backs: For an offense that has ranked among the best at rushing the last two seasons, the results so far are dismal. Maurice Jones-Drew only has 12 carries for 30 yards and one score on the year though he has caught seven passes for 62 yards. Fred Taylor has been the primary runner and only gained 67 yards on 23 carries - over two games. The lack of good blocking and the defenses teeing off against the run has slowed this offense down to a crawl.

Jones-Drew left last Sunday's game with a sprained ankle but returned and I will assume he is fine this week. Updates if warranted.

Taylor ran for 55 yards on 11 carries while Jones-Drew gained 52 yards on 13 rushes and scored once against the visiting Colts last year. Taylor later gained 104 yards on 14 carries and Jones-Drew had 52 yards and a score on 11 carries in Indianapolis.

Wide Receivers: Jerry Porter has yet to play a down for the Jaguars and there is no certainty that he will show up this week. The team also lost Troy Williamson last week to a leg injury and both could miss this week. The only bright spot so far has been the play of Matt "something's on your nose" Jones who has a big lead over all other team receivers. Jones has caught 11 passes for 130 yards. That's more than twice as much as the next best receiver. No receiver other than Jones has managed to gain more than 36 yards in a game.

There was no wideout of note in the first meeting but Reggie Williams gained 69 yards on four catches and Ernest Wilford had 72 yards on five receptions in Indianapolis. Dennis Northcutt only had four catches for 37 yards on that game but scored once.

Tight Ends: No appreciable fantasy value with Marcedes Lewis. And no touchdowns either.

Lewis had four receptions for 37 yards and one touchdown at Indianapolis last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts have given up over 120 rushing yards in each game this year but Adrian Peterson had 29 carries last week and the split between Jones-Drew and Taylor will make their output much less. The Colts defense was playing better in the second half of the game so look for only moderate numbers from Taylor and Jones-Drew with a chance to score once.

Garrard is the key here but he hasn't been getting the protection he needs to play well. The Jaguars will make a game of this but the offense just isn't able to sustain drives and that leaves them at the mercy of the Colts offense controlling the clock.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 21 24 23 27 16 21
Preventing Fantasy Points    IND 2 27 1 23 31 26


Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 13-29 -9.5 44
2 @MIN 18-15 -2 43.5
3 JAX - -5.5 42
4 BYE - - -
5 @HOU - - -
6 BAL - - -
7 @GB - - -
8 @TEN - - -
9 NE - - -
10 @PIT - - -
11 HOU - - -
12 @SD - - -
13 @CLE - - -
14 CIN - - -
15 DET - - -
16 @JAX - - -
17 TEN - - -
IND vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     250,2
RB Joseph Addai 50 20,1  
TE Tom Santi   20  
WR Marvin Harrison   30  
WR Reggie Wayne   90  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   70,1  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Colts may have saved their season - at least emotionally - when they came back to beat the Vikings last week. The rusty Peyton Manning finally looked sharp in the second half and the Colts defense finally started to stop the onslaught of Ryan Longwell field goals. A win here over divisional rival Jacksonville and they enter the bye week 2-1 and feeling much better about themselves. The offensive line is a concern still and OT Tony Ugoh suffered a groin injury last week making it that much worse, but at least Manning is throwing the ball well again - even if the rushing game has all but disappeared.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning has struggled this year after missing training camp and needing to shake some rust off. He threw two interceptions last week but then got into a groove and ended with 311 yards and one score after only having 86 yards by halftime. Manning looks to be back but facing the Jaguars defense will prove if any rust still remains.

Manning passed for 259 yards and one score in Jacksonville last year and later had 288 yards and four scores in the home meeting with the Jaguars.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai continues to struggle and comes off a horrible effort in Minnesota where he only gained 20 yards on 15 carries. He scored one touchdown to salvage a little fantasy value but after two games he has 64 rushing yards on 27 carries for a 2.4 yard average. Manning doesn't even throw more than a couple of passes to him as well. Addai is proving what a great system running back does when the system starts to erode.

Addai gained 85 yards on 16 carries when the Jags came to town in 2007 but Kenton Keith took 15 carries himself for 56 yards and one score. Addai only had 67 yards and on scores on 21 carries in the road meeting.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne was the savior last week with his touchdown catch and 93 yards on five receptions. Manning has only thrown two scores this year and both went to Wayne. Marvin Harrison only had one catch for 16 yards and is clearly playing with eroded skills. He's lost his speed and burst and looks like just another receiver instead of a future Hall of Famer. Anthony Gonzalez also came up big last week when he turned in a career best 137 yards on nine receptions. The wideouts are stepping up but Harrison doesn't seem to be coming along for the ride.

Wayne caught nine passes for 131 yards in the Jacksonville game and later turned in 158 yards and one score on eight receptions at home.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark has a partially torn MCL and he will likely miss this week. Clark may try to practice but pending further reports I will assume he misses this week. Tom Santi had five catches for 29 yards last week in replacement of Clark.

Clark had big efforts against the Jaguars in 2007. He caught four passes for 66 yards and one score on the road and later seven receptions for 60 yards and two scores at home.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars rushing defense has been good though both weeks have seen a rushing score allowed. With the worries of Addai, look for only moderate rushing yards and likely not even that much. And he just is not getting many passes either. Once again, he'll need a score to have meaningful fantasy value this week.

Manning had a big game last year when the Jags showed up and while he won't be that good, he has returned to form enough to throw for at least two scores and decent yardage. This would be a good game for a healthy Clark but failing that, look for Addai on a pass or one of the replacement tight ends to join along with Anthony Gonzalez who is due for a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 11 29 6 22 24 27
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 12 28 6 24 14 27

The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
 
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Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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