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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: WAS 21, DET 16

Update: Clinton Portis is listed as questionable to play against the Lions because of his hip but after missing Wednesday, he practiced on a limited basis the rest of the week. His Friday workload was actually full and he is expected to play this week

The Redskins risk being "the one" this week when they face the winless Lions but the complete dysfunction in Detroit makes it hard to imagine. The Rams already taught the Redskins a lesson about trap games as the Browns nearly did again last week. The Lions keep getting closer to winning, but close doesn't show up in the standings.

The Redskins won 34-3 when the Lions visited during week five last season.

Washington Redskins (5-2)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NYG 7-16 +3.5 41
2 NO 29-24 -1 42.5
3 ARZ 24-17 -3 42
4 @DAL 26-24 +11.5 46
5 @PHI 23-17 +5 43
6 STL 17-19 -13.5 44
7 CLE 14-11 -7.5 42.5
8 @DET - -8 43.5
9 PIT - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 DAL - - -
12 @SEA - - -
13 NYG - - -
14 @BAL - - -
15 @CIN - - -
16 PHI - - -
17 @SF - - -
WAS @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell     270,2
RB Clinton Portis 110,1 10  
TE Chris Cooley   50,1  
WR Santana Moss   100,1  
WR Antwaan Randle El   80  
WR Devin Thomas   20  
PK Shaun Suisham 3 XP    
Pregame Notes: The Redskins looked to be a major force in the NFC when they had won in Dallas and Philadelphia but then a loss to the Rams was followed by a close win over the visiting Browns. The defense remains good here but the passing game has been the problem as of late. Clinton Portis has been running perhaps better than anytime in his career but the passing numbers keep trailing off. That may not matter this week but it will against the Steelers in week nine.

Quarterback: After an encouraging start to the season, Jason Campbell has struggled in the last three games with never more than 208 passing yards and no scores. To his credit, Campbell has not thrown an interception or lost a fumble this season but his numbers are waning and against what should be the easiest opponents. It's not just about Portis running well either since the Skins have only scored 31 points total against what should have been their biggest game.

Campbell passed for 248 yards and two scores against the Lions last season.

Running Backs: The passing game may be lagging but Clinton Portis ranks #1 in the NFL with 818 rushing yards and his seven rushing touchdowns tie him with Ronnie Brown for second best in the NFL. He's been on fire for the last four games with never less than 120 rushing yards and a total of four touchdowns. He's having a career best year.

Shaun Alexander was signed to offer backup and had three carries last week. He gained eight yards for a 2.7 yard per carry average so Alexander has not suffered any decline from his layoff.

Portis only gained 72 yards on 18 carries when the Lions visited last year.

Wide Receivers: After two quiet weeks, Santana Moss finally had a decent game when he caught four passes for 75 yards and one touchdown last week. That gives him four scores on the season and his first since week three. Antwaan Randle El continues with the possession role that is only worth around 35 yards in most games. The youth movement here has never taken form and Devin Thomas has been the most productive rookie with only four catches for 45 yards on the season.

Moss did not play against the Lions last year but Randle El had 100 yards on seven receptions. This would be a very nice week to play Moss.

Tight Ends: production has been all over the map this year, from as good as eight catches for 109 yards and a score to only four receptions for 32 yards on Sunday against the Browns (?). There really are no trends here with him, it just wildly varies from week to week.

Cooley caught four passes for 26 yards and one score against the Lions last year.

Match Against the Defense: Normally you would expect this to be a game where the Redskins merely choose how they want to win but they have recently struggled against the Browns and lost to the Rams. Now they are on the road. No doubt that Portis has a good game here though the Lions at home have been much tougher against the run. Look for 100 yards and a score.

Campbell has a chance to get some big stats and reconnect with his wide receivers. Figure him for good yardage and no less than two scores. It could be more but Campbell has been in a funk for three weeks and even projecting him for a couple of touchdowns is beyond what he has done this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 21 11 17 11 21 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    DET 32 28 30 29 19 31


Detroit Lions (0-6)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ATL 21-34 -3 41
2 GB 25-48 +3 45
3 @SF 13-31 +4 46
4 BYE - - -
5 CHI 7-34 +3.5 44.5
6 @MIN 10-12 +13.5 47
7 @HOU 21-28 +9 48
8 WAS - +8 43.5
9 @CHI - - -
10 JAX - - -
11 @CAR - - -
12 TB - - -
13 TEN - - -
14 MIN - - -
15 @IND - - -
16 NO - - -
17 @GB - - -
DET vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Dan Orlovsky     220,1
RB Kevin Smith 50 30  
RB Rudi Johnson 20 10  
WR Mike Furrey   70  
WR Calvin Johnson   70,1  
WR Shaun McDonald   30  
PK Jason Hanson 1 XP 3 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Lions allow an NFL high 31 points per game and are back at home where they have not lost by less than 23 points. Thanks to the bye week, the Lions are technically ahead of the 0-7 Bengals for a couple of more weeks and in the Lions world, that is something which gives comfort because nothing else here does. The entirety of the Lions offense has boiled down to heaving bombs at Calvin Johnson which actually worked once last week. But this team is already on a path for more upheaval this spring.

Quarterback: Dan Orlovsky has passed for a score in both of his starts and he even threw for 265 yards in Houston last week. This game will be his first as a starter in a home game which should help and he has yet to throw an interception or lose a fumble. He has been sacked eight times in the last two weeks as well. The reality behind those stats too is that the score in Houston came on a 96-yard completion to Calvin Johnson. That almost doubled his stats.

Kitna only passed for 106 yards and no scores in Washington last year.

Running Backs: Kevin Smith has been used sparingly for the last three weeks even though he has been productive. Consider that he ran 23 times for 154 yards (6.7 yards per carry) and scored twice. Rudi Johnson rushed 28 times for 69 yards (2.5 yards per carry) and no scores. Last week Johnson carried six times for eight yards while Smith turned in 61 yards on ten carries and scored once. That should get Smith some time as the primary this week.

The Lions only rushed for 63 yards against the Redskins last year.

Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson caught a 96-yard touchdown last week during the fourth quarter to give him two catches for 154 yards on the day. It is not normal for a wideout to average 77 yards per catch in game and yet it indicates that the Lions are unable to connect with him unless he is far down field with separation. Were it not for two throws, Johnson would have been blanked last week. Without Roy Williams around, Johnson will bear the brunt of the entire secondary whenever he is running a pattern.

Shaun McDonald filled in for the departed Roy Williams but was a complete nonfactor. What actually happened was Mike Furrey had a season high six catches for 89 yards from the slot. Look for more of that ongoing.

Roy Williams led all Lions receivers last year when he had three receptions for 36 yards.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The Skins have a top ten defense in all categories and have allowed only two runners to score a touchdown. Since the Lions still split carries, expect a mediocre day from both Johnson and Smith and likely no score.

Orlovsky goes against a secondary that has been solid at worst and has faced NO, DAL and PHI this year. Unless he can connect on another long bomb expect Orlovsky to throw for moderate passing yardage and a score that will favor Johnson the most since he gets the most passes.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 18 31 14 26 28 28
Preventing Fantasy Points    WAS 8 5 9 8 14 13

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
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