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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: CLE 17, JAX 23

The Browns head to Jacksonville with a 1-2 road record and the Jaguars have only won once at home but these Browns have already had their big bang back on Monday night two weeks ago. This could be a trap game but the Jaguars have nothing in coming weeks to be worrying about.

Cleveland Browns (2-4)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  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 35-14 +8 43
7 @WAS 11-14 +7.5 42.5
8 @JAX - +6.5 41
9 BAL - - -
10 DEN - - -
11 @BUF - - -
12 HOU - - -
13 IND - - -
14 @TEN - - -
15 @PHI - - -
16 CIN - - -
17 @PIT - - -
CLE @ JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     150,1
RB Jamal Lewis 60 10  
WR Braylon Edwards   40,1  
WR Donte Stallworth   40  
WR Syndric Steptoe   30  
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The notion that the Monday night game against the Giants was a sign that the offense was getting back on track has now been perceived for what it was - a freak good game against a team that wanted to mail it in. On the plus side, that is how most of the Browns opponents will be viewing their matchups but a daunting schedule lies ahead that will all but certainly cause a few personnel changes - players and coaches.

Quarterback: Hopefully you started Derek Anderson during week six since it has proven to be "the week" for the beleaguered second-year starter. Anderson finally had a decent game of 310 yards and two scores against the Giants but then went straight back to his mediocre ways with only 14 of 37 completed for 136 yards and one score against the Redskins. That makes five of six efforts falling short of 170 passing yards this season. Facing the Jaguars and Ravens is not going to help Anderson's cause. It may be just enough to get Brady Quinn onto the field.

Running Backs: The offensive news is not entirely bleak for the Browns since Jamal Lewis has rushed for around 80 yards in each of the last three games and scored twice in that time. He still has yet to exceed 90 rushing yards in any game and is rarely used as a receiver, but he has been running stronger in recent weeks. One small change as of late has been using Jerome Harrison as a change of pace back for a few carries each week. Harrison has run for 73 yards on nine carries in just these last three games.

Wide Receivers: After his monster 154 yard game against the Giants, Braylon Edwards was back to his middling numbers with just 58 yards on four receptions last week. He still had more yardage in week six than in the other five games combined. And a bad sign too that he was thrown a season high 13 passes last week for just four catches. Edwards had at least four big time drops in the game.

Donte Stallworth has been back for two weeks now and had bookend games with two catches for around 20 yards in each. Not only is Edwards the only wideout that matters here, even he rarely does.

Tight Ends: Kellen "I like kilts" Winslow healed up enough to play last week but only produced two catches for 17 yards. He had been suffering from a staph infection and complained to the media about the history of players being infected for the Browns who apparently built their training field on an old landfill site. This of course did not play well with Romeo Crennel since Winslow never addressed his concerns with the team first. It is all a sign of the dysfunction that has plagued the Browns this year. And every year for that matter. The Browns have responded by suspending Winslow for one game.

Match Against the Defense: The Browns face a defense that ranks only average against the running backs but much of that is because they have allowed big receiving yardage to backs and Lewis doesn't act in that role much. Harrison can and may but Lewis goes against a team that has allowed only one rushing score at home this year. Expect the normal here - moderate yardage at best and no score from Lewis. Harrison could be a sneaky bye week filler play here if the waiver wire is stripped bare but his involvement has been limited.

Anderson faces a secondary that has been average at best but who has faced better quarterbacks than him. There is no reason to rely on anything more than what Anderson has done five of six times this year - one score and mediocre passing yardage. That score should favor Edwards but he may drop it.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 28 27 31 12 26 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 29 20 22 23 7 5


Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TEN 10-17 -3 37
2 BUF 16-20 -6 38
3 @IND 23-21 +5.5 42
4 HOU 30-27 -7.5 42
5 PIT 21-26 -4 36
6 @DEN 24-17 +3.5 48
7 BYE - - -
8 CLE - -6.5 41
9 @CIN - - -
10 @DET - - -
11 TEN - - -
12 MIN - - -
13 @HOU - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 GB - - -
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     160,1
RB Fred Taylor 40 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 80,1 20  
TE Marcedes Lewis   20  
WR Dennis Northcutt   40  
WR Jerry Porter   30  
WR Reggie Williams   20,1  
PK Josh Scobee 2 XP 3 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars embark on the happier portion of their schedule now. The first six weeks were brutal facing four division leaders but the next three games - CLE, @CLE and @DET is why you own Jaguars on your fantasy team. The bye week has them rested and focused and at 3-3 on the season, there is no margin for error anymore and these easier games must be won.

Quarterback: David Garrard continues his game manager role with only one score in each of the last three games and just four on the season. Garrard has remained around 200 passing yards in most games but has been nearly error free with no interceptions for the last three weeks. He has not linked up with a receiver this year as he did with Reggie Williams in 2007 and the lack of a productive passing game is why the Jaguars are 3-3 since they cannot catch up when the rushing effort is not enough.

Running Backs: Yeah, a bit inconsistent here. Maurice Jones-Drew has scored five times over the last five games but his rushing yardage has been as high as 125 yards in the last game to only seven yards in the game prior to that one. Jones-Drew has propped up his fantasy value with those touchdowns but he only has two decent rushing game and both were on the road this year. At home so far, Jones-Drew has not rushed for more than 32 yards in three games.

But that is good compared to Fred Taylor who has no touchdowns on the season and only one game above 49 rushing yards this year. This rushing attack has become almost entirely Jones-Drew and even then only one in three games has been fantasy relevant.

Wide Receivers: Matt Jones has been the only consistent receiver for the Jaguars this year and has the only touchdown caught by a wideout. That is unfortunate given that he was just suspended for three games by the NFL who does not prefer players to be caught with cocaine. That leaves the door wide open for someone else to step up though no player has appeared capable this year, not even Reggie Williams who was a touchdown machine in 2007. Jerry Porter should see some playing time now and a chance to work on doubling that one catch he has as a Jaguar.

The only other Jaguars receiver with promise is Mike Walker who is out yet again with a knee sprain.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis has caught a score in each of the last two games but has been only minimally interesting in a fantasy sense with all but one game coming in with less than 30 receiving yards.

Match Against the Defense: This should be the week to use Jones-Drew against a defense that has allowed eight rushing scores and numerous 100 yard games. No reason why Jones-Drew should not have success here with his scoring and yardage in this matchup. Taylor is bothersome since he has been locked around ten carries in most games.

Garrard faces a weak defense but should maintain his caretaker role especially with Jones out. Look for moderate numbers and no more than one score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 19 9 26 18 16 18
Preventing Fantasy Points    CLE 4 23 11 11 1 4

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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