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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: NYJ 17, SD 24

Update: LaDainian Tomlinson was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday but returned for some limited work on Friday and was even reported to look sharp in individual drills but he will not be 100% even by Monday night so I am keeping the already lower projections I initially had for him. The problem is starting Tomlinson this week is that he will all but certainly play but how much will be the question and that too will be effected on game situation and how he feels. This is the Monday night game so you cannot fall back to Plan B unless you own Sproles and Tomlinson is reported to be out. Were he healthy, this would be a great match-up for him but he is in no way 100% healthy.

The Jets pick a very bad time to head into San Diego where the Chargers are 0-2 and growing desperate for a win. But all is not well in Boltland with a hobbled Tomlinson and the Jets are packing a Favre. But - the Jets do not travel well (ironically) and the Chargers are tired of coming up just short against two unbeaten teams.

New York Jets (1-1)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @MIA 20-14 -3 36
2 NE 10-19 -1.5 39
3 @SD - +9 44
4 ARZ - - -
5 BYE - - -
6 CIN - - -
7 @OAK - - -
8 KC - - -
9 @BUF - - -
10 STL - - -
11 @NE - - -
12 @TEN - - -
13 DEN - - -
14 @SF - - -
15 BUF - - -
16 @SEA - - -
17 MIA - - -
NYJ at SDC Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     250,2
RB Thomas Jones 80 10  
RB Leon Washington 20 20  
TE Dustin Keller   20,1  
WR Laveranues Coles   70  
WR Jerricho Cotchery   60,1  
WR Chansi Stuckey   40  
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Favre-effect evidently only lasted for one game and even then it was against 0-2 Miami. This week will be a good test since it will be out of the division and not against a rebuilding team or one that just lost their Hall of Fame quarterback. The defense has been good enough to stay in games so far but the Chargers ar averaging over 30 points per week.

Quarterback: His Holiness, his Light of Being, his Lord of Grass Brett Favre did not take long to get his first loss and so far he has topped out at 194 passing yards against a dismantled Dolphins team. Facing the Patriots last week, he passed for 181 yards and one score but had one interception as well. You know, Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens started the first two games for the Jets last year and they passed for 427 yards and three scores and that was against NE and @BAL. . So far Favre only has 375 yards and three scores with the one pick and one lost fumble. Lot of ink going on for even less stats than last year. That's all I am saying.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones came off his 101 yard effort over the Dolphins and gained 70 yards on 17 carries against the Patriots last week. Jones is running better to be sure, but neither he nor the rest of the team is Patriot good yet. Leon Washington only plays third downs now and only gets about six touches per game.

Wide Receivers: Favre finally connected with Laveranues Coles (3-72) last week but that came at the expense of Jerricho Cotchery (1-20). Once again, Favre ended up using Chansi Stuckey for the touchdown catch which has been the extend of Stuckey's fantasy value. This unit will get better as Favre becomes more familiar but for now it doesn't seem much different than last year.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value here yet. The rookie Dustin Keller had his first regular season catch last week but that was all.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers are less on defense with Merriman gone and have been uncharacteristically weak on both the run and pass. Once again, they have also faced two unbeaten teams and are back at home this week with more than a little sense of urgency about this game.

The Jets will fire up the run but eventually have to throw in this Monday Night affair where all mouths will be yapping about Favre. Expect a respectable rushing game from Jones but likely no touchdown. Favre will have to pass to be in this game and that will need more than the odd catch from Chansi Stuckey. Look for both Cotchery and Coles to have at least moderate to good yardage numbers and a chance either could score. I like Favre to end with two scores but on seems almost certain to end up with a tight end but that could be Baker or Keller of Franks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 14 23 12 19 29 23
Preventing Fantasy Points    SD 31 15 28 32 28 20


San Diego Chargers (0-2)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CAR 24-26 -9 42
2 @DEN 38-39 -1.5 45.5
3 NYJ - -9 44
4 @OAK - - -
5 @MIA - - -
6 NE - - -
7 @BUF - - -
8 @NO - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 KC - - -
11 @PIT - - -
12 IND - - -
13 ATL - - -
14 OAK - - -
15 @KC - - -
16 @TB - - -
17 DEN - - -
SDC vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     240,2
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 60    
RB Darren Sproles 50,1    
TE Antonio Gates   80,2  
WR Vincent Jackson   40  
WR Chris Chambers   70  
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: For the want of three points, the Chargers could be 2-0. For the want of a toe, they could have the best running back in the league ready to play full games. The Chargers have played two very good teams and have just barely loss. But they should have been that much better and were not. Both the Panthers and Broncos are vastly improved from 2007. The Chargers are only tending to injured players that excelled in 2007.

Quarterback: There is nothing to pin on Philip Rivers in the two losses. He's off to his fastest start every and has passed for 594 yards and six touchdowns in just two games this year. And he only has one interception and was sacked just once in each game. That is not the stats from a 0-2 quarterback... at least not a happy one.

Rivers has been impressive spreading the ball around in these two losses and he gives the team every reason to expect to survive with Tomlinson-Lite if his toe continues to be a problem.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson only lasted for ten rushes last week and gained a paltry 26 rushing yards before pulling himself from the game. He is hopeful that his ailing big toe does not become a chronic problem this season and HC Norv Turner assured the press that the toe is getting better. But Tomlinson will take it easy in practice this week so as not to impede the healing process. He is still expected to play but I will update as warranted. I would expect him to play but be less than 100% this week.

Wide Receivers: Rivers has been very good with connecting with Chris Chambers who already has three touchdowns on the season and is averaging a little over 60 yards per contest. Even Vincent Jackson had a score in week one followed by six catches for 73 yards last Sunday. This is all new highs for using the wide receivers but entering into shootouts has made them come into play more. With both Tomlinson and Gates less than 100%, the trend may not be over for a while here.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates has been thrown exactly six passes each week for exactly four catches for exactly 61 yards, He scored in week one though and he lost a fumble as well. Gates claims his toe is no bigger an issue but there has been some concern about a bruised hip. Expect Gates to take it a little easy in practice this week but still play without limitation,.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets defense has been outstanding against the run so far but a road trip to California should result in at least decent numbers for Tomlinson. The biggest concern here is that the Chargers get close and allow Mike Tolbert to punch it in. So far, the Chargers do not have any rushing touchdowns this season. Expect a decent game here by LT but not a big one.

Rivers goes against a secondary that allowed Chad Pennington to throw for 250 yards and two scores using receivers he had just met. Expect a nice game here from Rivers who is turning into a fantasy stud this year. Expect at least two passing scores and one if not two will go to Gates. The Jets are good against wideouts but bad against tight ends. That will be a major problem for them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 2 12 9 4 9 17
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYJ 14 8 3 31 18 15

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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