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

Prediction: NYG 30, CLE 10

Update: Okay, so Kellen Winslow has missed all practices this week because he testes are swollen. He could still be released from the clinic in time to play on Monday night so I am only going to downgrade him in the projections but he could play and be fine or he could miss the game all depending on his, um, testicles. If you also owned Kevin Boss, you could go into Monday night with someone else to use but failing that Winslow is a risky play this week.

Donte Stallworth is also expected to get his first playing time this season with his new team (Part IV) and practiced all week. I am adding him in but this will be his first action so hold down your expectations.

Update: Lawrence Tynes is now healthy and on the roster but so is John Carney who has not been released. So - the kicker for the Giants could be either on Sunday. Most likely Carney remains but that is not certain.

The Giants come off a major throttling of the Seahawks and at 4-0 they are the lone remaining undefeated team in the NFC. The Browns are also coming off their bye week and last beat the Bengals to finally get a win. While this could be a trap game, the Giants only have the 49ers visiting next week. This is, amazingly, the Monday night game so the Giants have added reason to play well.

New York Giants (4-0)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 16-7 -3.5 41
2 @STL 41-13 -8.5 41.5
3 CIN 26-23 -13.5 42
4 BYE - - -
5 SEA 44-6 -7 43.5
6 @CLE - -8 43
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     240,1
RB Brandon Jacobs 80,2 10  
RB Derrick Ward 60 20  
TE Kevin Boss   20  
WR Plaxico Burress   80,1  
WR Amani Toomer   60  
WR Steve Smith   20  
PK John Carney 3 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: It could not have gone better last week when the Giants racked up their biggest win of the year despite having Plaxico Burress suspended from the game. As it works out, this is only the second road game for the Giants and playing in St. Louis doesn't really count anyway. The cakewalk lasts two more games before the schedule becomes much more daunting.

Quarterback: Eli Manning is having his typical early season success, passing for over 260 yards in each of the last three games and with a respectable six scores on the season against only one interception. The lighter schedule has been a major positive for Manning who has seemed nearly flawless so far this year. The next two weeks are not going to change that perspective though the remaining ten games will.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs comes off a season high game of 136 yards on just 15 carries with two touchdowns. That makes every game by Jacobs to hold either 90 rushing yards or one score or both. Derrick Ward remains the capable back-up who rushes about eight times each week with nice results but the only rushing scores go through Jacobs. Ahmad Bradshaw shows up when the games get out of hand as he did when he had 11 runs for 65 yards last week and 52 yards and a score back against the Rams.

All three backs can play but it always starts with Jacobs and eventually uses Ward on about eight runs per week.

Wide Receivers: Domenik Hixon replaced Plaxico Burress last week and turned in 102 yards and one score on four catches by halftime before getting a concussion and leaving the game. Sinorice Moss played in only his second game this year and ended up with four catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns. Amani Toomer has been stuck around 65 yards for the last three weeks regardless what else is going on and Burress has been solid when playing so the main difference makers in the passing game are whether Smith, Moss or Hixon made a contribution.

Burress is back this week and apparently is making a point to let everyone know he is unapologetic about his behavior that led to his suspension. There's a team player for you.

Tight Ends: While Kevin Boss left the waiver wire in a few leagues thanks to his 51 yards and a score in week three, his next game was just two catches for nine yards. You can dump him back now.

Match Against the Defense: The Browns have been soft against the run this year and Jacobs should have at least one score here and could have two like both Barber and McClain did to the Browns. There should be enough work for even Ward to have some minor fantasy value this week.

Manning faces a secondary that has not given up a lot of stats because they have lost three games and their opponents just ran the ball. Plus Flacco and Fitzpatrick are not posting big numbers on anyone anyway. Look for a decent yardage game here with one passing score. There just should not be a need for much more.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 7 1 4 27 1 17
Preventing Fantasy Points    CLE 6 18 8 17 2 18

Cleveland Browns (1-3)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DAL 10-28 +5.5 49
2 PIT 6-10 +6 45
3 @BAL 10-28 +2 38.5
4 @CIN 20-12 -3.5 44
5 BYE - - -
6 NYG - +8 43
7 @WAS - - -
8 @JAX - - -
9 BAL - - -
10 DEN - - -
11 @BUF - - -
12 HOU - - -
13 IND - - -
14 @TEN - - -
15 @PHI - - -
16 CIN - - -
17 @PIT - - -
CLE vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     150,1
RB Jamal Lewis 60 10  
TE Kellen Winslow   30  
WR Braylon Edwards   30  
WR Donte Stallworth   30  
WR Syndric Steptoe   20,1  
WR Josh Cribbs   20  
PK Phil Dawson 1 XP 1 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Browns come off their only win of the year thanks to the Bengals and their bye week did not have nearly as many rumored firings and demotions. There is no doubt that the Browns are going through a schedule that can rival any other in the NFL as being the toughest and it is not going to get any better with the Giants, Redskins, Jaguars and Ravens up next. Unless they can pull an upset, the Browns could lose their next six games.

Quarterback: Derek Anderson saved his job with that win over the Bengals but he still only had 138 passing yards and one touchdown. He only threw one interception versus the five of the previous two weeks but there is still no resemblance between Anderson 2008 and Anderson 2007. He only has passed for 543 yards and three scores this year. At the same point last season, Anderson had passed for 1067 yards and ten touchdowns. He still seems a lock to lose his job at some point this year if only because the schedule is brutal.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis finally managed to score a touchdown but that score in Cincinnati is the only time he has had a decent game. Even then his season high 79 rushing yards came on 25 carries and Lewis is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry. He usually has around 20 receiving yards each week. He is usually a solid bye week filler for a team but the problem is that he was always drafted to be a weekly starter in every league and he is just not that good this year. He ends up with around 70 total yards each week.

Wide Receivers: The schedule is tougher this year and the ground game with Jamal Lewis has not done much to influence defenses to take it easier against the pass. But that still doesn't explain just how badly Braylon Edwards has played this season. After four games, Edwards only has a total of 11 catches for 95 yards and one touchdown. His best game so far has only been three receptions for 32 yards. And the worst part is that Edwards has been the most productive wideout by a large margin.

There is a chance that Donte Stallworth could actually show up this week after being out all year with a quadriceps injury but I won't project for him until he is cleared and even then - can anyone on this unit have fantasy value?

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow remains the only Browns player worthy of a weekly fantasy start but only because NFL tight ends are having a down year and Winslow's average of five catches for 40 yards is better than most tight ends. He only has one score on the year back in week one but has been over 45 yards in three of four games. On this team, it is consistent production.

Match Against the Defense: Jamal Lewis is catching no breaks this year and facing the #2 defense against running backs is not going to help. The Giants have only allowed one rushing score this year and never more than 84 rushing yards. Look for a mediocre game from Lewis with no score.

Anderson goes against a secondary that has been outstanding but in fairness, they have only gone against Campbell, Bulger, Palmer and Hasselbeck. That would have been tough a year or two ago but in 2008 - those were easy games. And Anderson falls into that trend as well. The Giants have only allowed three passing scores this year so look for one passing score and no more. Even that is hard to project since the Giants are #1 against tight ends and that is about all the Browns have this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 32 25 32 15 26 20
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 5 2 11 1 9 1

The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week
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