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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 7
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARZ
Monday
ATL
JAX
*updated
PHI

Prediction: IND 27, GB 16

The Colts passing offense is catching on fire now and the defense is coming back together. The Colts are also 2-0 in road games this season while the Packers have lost three of their last four games including two home matchups. This should be a decent game but Manning and company is putting it back together finally.

Indianapolis Colts (3-2)
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 21-23 -5.5 42
4 BYE - - -
5 @HOU 31-27 -3 47.5
6 BAL 31-3 -4.5 39
7 @GB - -1 47
8 @TEN - - -
9 NE - - -
10 @PIT - - -
11 HOU - - -
12 @SD - - -
13 @CLE - - -
14 CIN - - -
15 DET - - -
16 @JAX - - -
17 TEN - - -
IND at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     270,2
RB Dominic Rhodes 60,1 10  
TE Dallas Clark   60,1  
WR Marvin Harrison   50  
WR Reggie Wayne   100,1  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   30  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The first three weeks gave plenty to worry about - a 1-2 record and an offense that could not score more than 21 points. The defense was allowing rushing yardage again and nothing in the rushing or passing game was working that well. In that week four bye, Peyton Manning had three touchdowns against four interceptions. Wins over the Texans and Ravens show signs that the rust is gone and the old Colts are coming back but the next month will test that. Road trips to Green Bay and Tennessee are followed by a home stand against the Patriots and then a trip to Pittsburgh. The old Colts could have won them all and the early season Colts would have struggled. The next two games will indicate who the Colts will be this year.

Quarterback: While Peyton Manning is coming up short on 300 yard passing games, he has been above 250 yards in almost every contest and these last two weeks threw for a total of five touchdowns. The Ravens secondary was running out of cornerbacks and Manning made them pay with 271 yards and three scores in a rout. Encouraging too was the first sign that Marvin Harrison may have something left in the tank after all since he not only scored twice, he had CB Chris McAllister burned on several catches. The more receivers, the better Manning we get.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai injured his hamstring last week and HC Tony Dungy had little to say about it other than it was "OK". His injury does not appear to be serious but until he practices this week I will assume he will sit this game out. Dominic Rhodes was capable enough against the Ravens when he ran for 73 yards on 25 carries and scored one touchdown. Rhodes continued the lackluster rushing results that Addai has been saddled with this year.

The rookie Mike Hart also injured his right knee and left last week's game. His status is not yet know but it appears more serious in nature. The Colts could be down two running backs this week. Updates as warranted.

Wide Receivers: For those who dared to start Marvin Harrison last week, the reward was big when he only caught three passes but gained 83 yards and scored twice against the Ravens. That reverses his trend of remaining under 40 yards in games this year and his score wasn't against the injured side of the Ravens defense. Reggie Wayne remains one of the elites with at least 74 yards every week and a score in all but one game. The odd man out has been Anthony Gonzalez who has done almost nothing since week two. The passing numbers have been up lately but at least some of that has been related to playing either a soft secondary or an injured one.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark still has not scored this year after leading all NFL tight ends in that category for 2007. He has only one decent game so far when he has 81 yards on five catches - in the only road game he has played.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers have been soft against running backs and five different runners have scored against them. Rhodes is not likely to have a big game here but he should turn in moderate yardage with a great chance for a rushing score.

Manning faces a secondary that is still short CB Al Harris and that helps Reggie Wayne to maintain his high level of production. every team has thrown for at least one touchdown on the Packers and half have managed two. That should be the least of what Manning can do this week in a must win game. Look for nothing less than high 200's in yardage and two scores that will favor Wayne and Clark for his first score of the year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 10 28 5 15 28 11
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 17 20 9 26 26 13


Green Bay Packers (3-3)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 24-19 -3 38.5
2 @DET 48-25 -3 45
3 DAL 16-27 +3 51
4 @TB 21-30 +1.5 43
5 ATL 24-27 -3 41
6 @SEA 27-17 +2.5 46.5
7 IND - +1 47
8 BYE - - -
9 @TEN - - -
10 @MIN - - -
11 CHI - - -
12 @NO - - -
13 CAR - - -
14 HOU - - -
15 @JAX - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 DET - - -
GB vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     240,1
RB Ryan Grant 70    
TE Donald Lee   30,1  
WR Donald Driver   60  
WR Greg Jennings   80  
WR Jordy Nelson   30  
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Packers stopped a three game losing streak when they won in Seattle against the injury ravaged Seahawks playing without a starting quarterback. But otherwise - good game. On the plus side the Packers are tied for the lead in the NFC North but on the negative all but Detroit are tied as well and Green Bay is only 1-3 outside of their division. Aaron Rodgers has gutted out a shoulder injury with good results but the defense cannot get healthy and the rushing game cannot control the ball.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers is on a nice little streak even if he does grimace constantly from his injured shoulder. He has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of the last five games but his yardage varies wildly each week from as low as 178 to as high as 328 (successive weeks no less). Rodgers cannot claim to be a savior yet, but he can be confident that he has not been the problem this year.

Running Backs: Here is one of the problems. Ryan Grant is just not remotely close to being as good as he was last season. He has yet to score a touchdown and although he has taken almost every carry, he has only gained 359 yards on 106 carries for an average of 3.4 yards per run. He's basically half what he was in 2007 and without any of the scoring. He has only been thrown a pass in one game so far so there is not even any receptions to prop up his fantasy value. He comes off a Seattle game where he had 33 carries but only gained 90 yards.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings leads the league with 653 receiving yards and he has scored four times in the last three games. He has basically been the offense for the Packers this year. Donald Driver has been solid with around 50 yards in most weeks but has only scored twice and is not above having a bad game. Jennings never has a bad game. Never. In fantasy terms, his worst showing was week one with five catches for 91 yards. Jordy Nelson has been manning the slot with minor success but this offense revolves around connecting with Jennings.

Tight Ends: There is no reliable fantasy value here. Donald Lee does not get nearly as much work with Rodgers under center this year and has just one score. He's been inconsistent to use even to cover a bye week.

Match Against the Defense: Here's your problem. The Colts have only been weak against the run and yet the Packers are even weaker when they run. They slammed the door shut on the Ravens last week but the Colts had been allowing good yardage and often a score to runners. Sure, it could happen here for Grant but that refrain is getting old and Grant has yet to deliver. No reason to expect more than mediocrity.

Rodgers faces a secondary that has been outstanding. Only use Jennings really? Great - the Colts are #1 at stopping wide receivers and only Andre Johnson has scored against the Colts defensive backs. Wrap your head around this - the Colts have allowed only one passing score this year. Only one. Granted, a sad sack group of quarterbacks have faced them but none have been successful. Rodgers is good enough to manage one passing score here that has to favor either a tight end or a running back... no wait. The Packers no longer throw to their backs much. Either Lee of Tory Humphrey again.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 2 31 4 23 15 3
Preventing Fantasy Points    IND 2 26 1 12 28 20

The Huddle
WEEK 7
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARZ
Monday
ATL
JAX
PHI
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
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