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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Bye Week
CHI, MIN
Monday
DEN, GB
 
* updated

Prediction: ARI 13, CAR 27

Update: Leonard Pope is out with a bad ankle but Ben Patrick is also still out with his knee injury so I am removing Pope and not replacing him. Jerame Tuman will get the start by default but only Pope has any measurable fantasy value. Anquan Boldin is questionable to play and was limited in practice but is expected to play at least part of the game. I am lowering his numbers slightly and realize that he won't likely play the entire game.

The Panthers are 4-0 at home and the Cardinals are 1-2 on the road. The Cardinals proved they were for real with their wins over Buffalo and Dallas but on the road they've been pummeled. They are better to be sure, but not quite road worthy yet.

Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SF 23-13 -2.5 41.5
2 MIA 31-10 -7 38.5
3 @WAS 17-24 +3 42
4 @NYJ 35-56 +3 45
5 BUF 41-17 -1 45
6 DAL 30-26 +5 50
7 BYE - - -
8 @CAR - +4.5 43.5
9 @STL - - -
10 SF - - -
11 @SEA - - -
12 NYG - - -
13 @PHI - - -
14 STL - - -
15 MIN - - -
16 @NE - - -
17 SEA - - -
ARI at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     200,1
RB Edgerrin James 50 10  
RB Tim Hightower 20 20  
TE Leonard Pope 10
WR Anquan Boldin   40  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   70,1  
WR Steve Breaston   40  
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals come off their bye week and at 4-2 with a lighter than usual schedule coming up, the Cards are in a nice position to actually win the NFC West. At 4-2, they are already two games ahead of both the Rams and 49ers while the Seahawks assume the cellar. The schedule is no cakewalk but there many games that the Cards can win if they will finally take the next step and become a decent road team. They have been impressive at home this year and yet still struggle away from Arizona.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner has been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks this year and has thrown for at least two scores in each of the last five games. He rarely has less than 250 passing yards and should be getting Anquan Boldin back which only makes him better. Steve Breaston has stepped up well in place of Boldin and now has more work with Warner - that expands what Warner will work with for the rest of the season. The bye week came at a good time since Warner had injured his hand but the swelling is gone and Warner is ready to play.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James plods along with an ever dwindling effectiveness and yet he remains as the primary ball carrier. He's only gained 3.6 yards per carry and hasn't topped 57 rushing yards since week three. Tim Hightower always figures in as the short yardage guy and he has scored five times this season but only when the matchups are against are softer. The two toughest games this year of @WAS and DAL had the Cards not scoring any rushing touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin has missed the last two games after the violent hit in New York but has returned to practice this week and awaits medical clearance to play. I will assume he gets that and will play at 100% and update as warranted. If Boldin can play, he should be back to normal since he doesn't need his face to run routes. Boldin has always been fearless and this should not affect him.

Since he has been gone, Larry Fitzgerald has not missed a beat and scored three times in the last two games. He didn't get more than 79 yards in those weeks thanks to even heavier coverage but he was able to score.

Steve Breaston filled in for Boldin with great success. Over the last three weeks, has has totaled 24 receptions for 301 yards and one score. He's been a better replacement than Bryant Johnson was and Breaston should be a part of this offense for many more seasons.

Tight Ends: Still no fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: The Panthers have only allowed two rushing scores this year and the Cardinals are unlikely to make it three. The Panthers have only allowed 16 points over their last three home games which included the normally productive offense of the Saints. Expect only mediocre rushing totals this week.

Warner faces a secondary that has not allowed any passing scores in Carolina this year. The opponents have not been that great so far but the Saints last week only had a season high 231 yards and no scores against the Panthers. Look for one passing score here but even that will be better than anyone else has managed in Carolina this year. The problem is that at home the Panthers do not let up even during trash time.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 3 14 1 32 20 8
Preventing Fantasy Points    CAR 2 9 2 24 5 6


Carolina Panthers (5-2)
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 30-7 -3 44
8 ARZ - -4.5 43.5
9 BYE - - -
10 @OAK - - -
11 DET - - -
12 @ATL - - -
13 @GB - - -
14 TB - - -
15 DEN - - -
16 @NYG - - -
17 @NO - - -
CAR vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme     220,2
RB Jonathan Stewart 60,1    
RB DeAngelo Williams 80 10,1  
TE Dante Rosario   10  
WR Steve Smith   100,1  
WR Muhsin Muhammad   60  
WR Dwayne Jarrett   20  
PK John Kasay 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Panthers remain tied with the Buccaneers but after this week is only their bye and then a nice stretch of OAK, DET and ATL that should help boost some fantasy numbers from these players. The NFC West is going to be a showdown between the Buccaneers and the Panthers with week 14 being the key game. The Panthers should take a win here but that will only make them 5-0 at home. The problem is the road games and three of the first four games after the bye will be away.

Quarterback: As long as Jake Delhomme remains in Carolina, he's been a very effective passer. In the last three home games, he's passed for two touchdowns each time. But his last two road games where both without touchdowns and you could also argue that facing ATL, KC and NO were soft defenses while @TB and @MIN were not. The Panthers have a nice schedule for now but Delhomme is not quite as good as he may seem - it depends on the quality of defense he faces.

Running Backs: DeAngelo Williams remains the primary back in this tandem but he has only had more than 18 carries once and usually ends up at 15 runs or less. Williams has caught a touchdown in two of the last three games to help his value but other than the one home game against the Chiefs, his yardage has been around 60 to 80 yards in most games.

Jonathan Stewart had a two week scoring drought but had a touchdown against the Saints for a total of five scores on the season. Stewart has been just as solid as Williams in most games but loses out when the Panthers use a lot of passing formations when they are behind in the game.

Wide Receivers: D.J. Hackett has never really stepped up, Dwayne Jarrett has yet to account for more than one pass per week and Muhsin Muhammad evidently only had a two game spree and is going to just be another possession receiver. But Steve Smith just keeps getting better. He has gained at least 96 yards in each of the last four games and comes off a season best six catch, 122 yard game against the Saints. He only has two scores on the year but he has been the only consistently productive Panthers receiver - no matter where they play or if they win.

Tight Ends: Remember how everyone grabbed Dante Rosario after week one? The tight ends here have not scored since and have just barely combined after six weeks to equal the 96 yards he had in the first game.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals have been solid against the run this year with no runner topping 100 rushing yards and only three have rushed for a score. But away from home, these Cardinals play much softer. This won't be a monster game but should have at least good numbers for both Stewart and Williams.

Delhomme is back at home where he has thrown for two scores in each of the last three games and the Cardinals have allowed eight passing scores in their last two trips away from home. It may prove a little high side since the rushing game should be enough but look for Delhomme to throw for two scores again which will strongly favor Smith of course.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 22 16 18 21 11 27
Preventing Fantasy Points    ARI 31 10 28 20 10 21

The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CHI, MIN
DEN, GB
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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