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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: NO 20, CAR 27

Update: Jeremy Shockey is probable to play this week but was limited in all practices and likely will split duty with Billy Miller I am adding in Shockey but you would be better off using someone else this week without the risk. Both Reggie Bush and Marques Colston were limited this week but are expected to play. Jonathan Stewart has been ill with a stomach flu and that could still be an issue on Sunday potentially. I am lowering his projections.

The Saints cannot afford to lose this game since they would fall to two games behind the Panthers and possibly the Buccaneers as well. But they are 0-2 in road games despite nearly winning both. In fact, for the want of three points in three different games, the Saints could be 6-0. The Panthers are 3-0 at home and have been much better there than on the road.

These teams traded road wins last year. The Saints won 31-6 in Carolina while the Panthers won 16-13 in New Orleans.

New Orleans Saints (3-3)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TB 24-20 -3.5

42.5

2 @WAS 24-29 +1 42.5
3 @DEN 32-34 +5.5 51.5
4 SF 31-17 -6 48.5
5 MIN 27-30 -3 47
6 OAK 34-3 -7.5 47.5
7 @CAR - +3 44
8 SD - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 @ATL - - -
11 @KC - - -
12 GB - - -
13 @TB - - -
14 ATL - - -
15 @CHI - - -
16 @DET - - -
17 CAR - - -
NO at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     270,2
RB Reggie Bush 30 60,1  
RB Deuce McAllister 40    
TE Billy Miller   30,1  
TE Jeremy Shockey   20  
WR Marques Colston   50  
WR Devery Henderson   60  
WR Lance Moore   40  
PK Taylor Mehlhaff 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Mopping up the Raiders last week took off a little of the sting from the loss to the Vikings but not much. The Saints offense ranks 4th in scoring but they are only 3-3 thanks to a defense that has too often folded and that has never been good enough on the road this year. That's all great for fantasy football since we all love a shootout but a loss here and then a tough home game against the Chargers could send them reeling at 3-5 into their bye week.

Quarterback: Drew Brees ranks #1 in the NFL with 1993 passing yards, almost 200 yards more than #2 Kurt Warner. Brees also has12 passing scores against only six interceptions. He has thrown for 320 or more yards in all but one game this year. His biggest problem? He only has one score in each of the road games.

Brees only passed for 252 yards and no scores in Carolina last year though that was week five before the Saints started passing well again. He later had 260 yards and three scores at home when the Panthers visited.

Running Backs: Reggie Bush already has 41 catches on the season for 361 yards which projects out to a 100+ catch season. Bush also leads all NFL running backs with six receiving scores. Deuce McAllister had his most effective day of the season when he rushed for 65 yards on 13 carries against the Raiders but he's only played in one road game so far and only had two carries for ten yards in that one.

Bush only gained 67 rushing yards in Carolina last year but had nine catches for 52 yards.

Wide Receivers: The big news is that Marques Colston should play this week after missing the last five games because of a torn ligament in his thumb. Colston practiced last week but was held out as a precaution. He'll bring back a better dynamic for the passing game that already is outstanding.

David Patten remains out because of his groin injury but he may not get the job away from Lance Moore even when he is better. Moore has been impressive for a month now and had seven catches for 70 yards or more in three of the last four games. Robert Meachem is stuck playing the long ball like Devery Henderson. But Moore is developing into an every down player.

Devery Henderson had four catches for 101 yards when the Panthers visited last year. Colston only managed 31 yards on four catches. In the later meeting, Colston managed seven catches for 93 yards and one score.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey remains out with his sports hernia and his status for week seven appears no better. HC Sean Peyton would not say he expected Shockey to play this week so I will count him out until cleared to play and in practice. Billy Miller has gained over 50 yards in both the most recent games.

Match Against the Defense: Bush and McAllister will have a tougher time this week against a defense that has not allowed more than 92 rushing yards by an opponent and only one rushing score in the three games played there. They will split carries but do not expect a score. No doubt Bush acts as a receiver a lot this week.,

Brees has struggled in Carolina in the past but does get Colston back this week. Look for a solid effort here with two scores possible but nothing more since so far no opponent has passed for a score there. But CHI, ATL and KC hardly throw as well as the Saints. The big problem is that the Panthers defense is great where the Saints are great. That should see Moore and Colston get handled by the corners and for Bush, Miller and Henderson to step up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 1 3 7 6 21 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    CAR 3 10 2 23 5 9


Carolina Panthers (4-2)
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SD 26-24 +9 42
2 CHI 20-17 -3 37
3 @MIN 10-20 +3.5 37
4 ATL 24-9 -7 39.5
5 KC 34-0 -9.5 38.5
6 @TB 3-27 +1.5 36.5
7 NO - -3 44
8 ARZ - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 @OAK - - -
11 DET - - -
12 @ATL - - -
13 @GB - - -
14 TB - - -
15 DEN - - -
16 @NYG - - -
17 @NO - - -
CAR vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme     230,2
RB Jonathan Stewart 20    
RB DeAngelo Williams 80,1 20  
TE Dante Rosario   20  
WR Steve Smith   110,2  
WR Muhsin Muhammad   40  
WR Dwayne Jarrett   20  
PK John Kasay 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Just when the Panthers looked like they were back in top shape the Buccaneers plundered them in Tampa Bay. The Panthers are 1-2 on the road but at least two very "winnable" home games should sent them into their bye with a 6-2 record. The Panthers enjoy a light schedule this year and last week was just one bad game that unfortunately knotted the NFC South into a three-way tie for first place.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme predictably had a down game in Tampa Bay but he threw for 242 passing yards. It was just that he had only a 50% completion rate and his three interceptions were more than the first five games combined. No matter this week - the Saints bring in one of the worst secondaries and they have been better against the run this year so Delhomme will want to pass more than usual.

The Panthers never passed for more than 161 yards against the Saints last year since Delhomme was injured for both.

Running Backs: Both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams were stuffed in Tampa Bay last week but back at home should be better this week. Williams is holding onto his "primary" role pretty well so far but games like this and next week against the Cardinals should be a better test to see which back is more productive.

The Panthers only ran for a total of 14 yards on 13 carries when the Saints came to town last year. They had 82 yards on 26 carries in the road meeting.

Wide Receivers: Even though the rest of the team struggled last week, at least Steve Smith remained productive with six catches for 112 yards and his first game over 100 this year. Muhsin Muhammad is considered day-to-day because of a sprained knee but I will include him in the projections for now. He's been a big part of the passing game and his absence would be felt.

D.J. Hackett remains out with a sprained MCL and Dwayne Jarrett replaced him last week but only had one catch for four yards and dropped his first pass. If Muhsin and Hackett miss this week, figure on Steve Smith being a very, very strong play.

Smith had 47 yards on both games against the Saints last year and scored in New Orleans.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The Saints have been very good against the run this year and still have not allowed any runner to top 100 yards yet. The Panthers will split duty anyway so that may still stand but depending on game situation and the healthy of Muhammad, there may be a lot of carries to try this week. Both Stewart and Williams are decent plays this week but probably not as good as they may seem.

Delhomme faces a familiar foe that a always has been allowing decent passing yardage and at least one score. This week he'll connect with Steve Smith at least once if not twice. The rest of the receivers are only support and there will be enough rushing attempts this week to depress what passing there could have been.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 22 19 16 18 17 25
Preventing Fantasy Points    NO 15 12 23 19 25 17

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
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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