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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
CAR
Monday
NO
SD
*updated
SF

Prediction: GB 16, TEN 30

Update: Jordy Nelson turned his ankle in practice and was held out on Friday while being added to the injury report as questionable. He'll be a game time decision. CB Al Harris will be back this week but the Titans are hardly living on their passing game anyway.

This should be a great game since it features the only unbeaten team in the NFL that is just ripe for beating. The Packers are tied with the Bears for the NFC North title and are 2-1 in road games but the Titans are 4-0 at home and not about to let a visitor be "the one".

Green Bay Packers (4-3)
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 34-14 +1 47
8 BYE - - -
9 @TEN - +5.5 42.5
10 @MIN - - -
11 CHI - - -
12 @NO - - -
13 CAR - - -
14 HOU - - -
15 @JAX - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 DET - - -
GB @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     190,1
RB Ryan Grant 50    
TE Donald Lee   20,1  
WR Donald Driver   50  
WR Greg Jennings   80  
WR Jordy Nelson   20  
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The huge win over the Colts was followed by their bye week so the Packers are rested and ready to do what no other team has been able - beat the Titans. But so far their two road wins were over DET and SEA and in Tampa Bay they were not up to the task. This will prove a bad time to have an inadequate rushing game since the Titans are great against the pass.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers comes off his worst week of the year with only one touchdown and 186 passing yards against the Colts but the rushing game by Ryan Grant was enough to control the game. Rodgers has scored in all but one game this year but his yardage always has significant swings each week. He has two games with more than 300 passing yards and yet three games with less than 200 yards. Most of his road games have been the less productive weeks other than the trip to Detroit.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant is back on track of sorts. He rushed for 90 yards in Seattle and then had 105 yards and his first touchdown of the year against the Colts. But those two games had a total of 64 carries in them and Grant only averaged 3.0 yards per carry. He has no role as a receiver and even has been in hot water for fumbling the ball but the team is not looking to replace him at least not yet. Grant has been similar to Matt Forte except for all those touchdowns and receptions. And those make a huge difference to the fantasy owner. The next three games will be very tough on Grant.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings finally played against a team that could cover him and the Colts held him to just three catches for 32 yards after no opponent holding him to less than 84 yards. Jennings remains one of the elite wideouts in the league but these next few weeks should be tough on him as well going against TEN, MIN and CHI. Jennings remains the only wideout here with reliable value though Donald Driver has been "bye week replacement" good with around 50 yards in most games but not above the occasional horrible showing.

Tight Ends: Donald Lee has scored in two of the last three games but that has been the extent of tight end value in this offense. It is rare for any of them to get more than 25 yards in any game.

Match Against the Defense: Ryan Grant faces a defense that has held far better runners to moderate yardage and no scores this year. This is precisely where Grants struggles come to head. He'll do well enough just to get 50 rushing yards here and a rushing score is too much to hope for since he only last week got his first one.

Rodgers has to be the one to keep the Packers in the game but the Titans are a great secondary. Only Peyton Manning (2) and David Garrard (1) have managed to score any passing touchdowns against them. Five other teams had the goose egg. What is even worse is that not one wideout has scored against the Titans this year. None. A few have reached around 80 yards but none have scored. This is a very good secondary. Look for one score eventually to go to Donald Lee or some obscure player.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 30 5 19 14 1
Preventing Fantasy Points    TEN 3 11 2 24 1 1


Tennessee Titans (7-0)
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 JAX 17-10 +3 37
2 @CIN 24-7 +1 37.5
3 HOU 31-12 -5 38.5
4 MIN 30-17 -3 36
5 @BAL 17-10 -3 35
6 BYE - - -
7 @KC 34-10 -8 35.5
8 IND 31-21 -4 42
9 GB - -5.5 42.5
10 @CHI - - -
11 @JAX - - -
12 NYJ - - -
13 @DET - - -
14 CLE - - -
15 @HOU - - -
16 PIT - - -
17 @IND - - -
TEN vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins     170
RB Chris Johnson 110,1 10  
RB Lendale White 40,1    
TE Bo Scaife   40  
WR Justin Gage   40  
WR Justin McCareins   30  
WR Brandon Jones   30  
PK Rob Bironas 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Hard to argue with 7-0. Prior to the game against the Colts, the argument was that they had not played any tough teams but then Manning and company were sent packing with a double digit loss. The rushing game was not up to par last week but the defense continues to be one of the best in the league. After this week comes a tough two road trips and then the schedule is soft for another month. The Titans will lose a game but they may not lose very many at all.

Quarterback: Kerry Collins made some nice throws against the Colts but for the most part, he is just a game manager that still has not passed for over 200 yards this year. He only has three passing touchdowns and just one in the last four games. But he only has three interceptions and get this - Collins has been sacked only once this year. Now there is an offensive line... and a team that likes to run a lot.

Running Backs: It is starting to seem formulaic. Run Chris Johnson almost exclusively in the first half and then trot out Lendale White in the second half to pound the defense that is already tired from chasing Johnson everywhere. Before you know it, White has banged in a score or two or three and then suddenly Johnson breaks off a long scoring run. White leads the NFL with ten rushing scores in just seven games played. He has scored five times over the last two weeks. He has become the God of the Touchdown Only Leagues. There has been only one week without at least one touchdown being scored.

Chris Johnson has scored in three of the last four games and already has two 100 yard games to his credit. This duo works as well as any tandem backfield in the league.

Wide Receivers: No real changes here. Justin McCareins returned after missing two games and had two catches for 30 yards in one of his better games of the year. Brandon Jones actually led the wide receivers with 40 yards last week while Justin Gage had his first game back since week four but only managed one catch. Gage had been the only productive member of this unit and has the only touchdown catch among the bunch. Just minimal fantasy value and none deserve fantasy consideration until there is a significant and reliable change.

Tight Ends: Kerry Collins makes good use of his tight ends with Alge Crumpler chipping around 30 yards per week and Bo Scaife acting as the primary receiver of the offense with eight target for five receptions and 44 yards last week. Not much in the way of scoring but Scaife typically has 40 or more yards each week.

Match Against the Defense: This is actually a bad week to have a below average rushing defense. The Packers have already allowed seven runners to score against them this year and at least White if not Johnson too will be adding to those totals. Look for a 100+ yard game from at least Johnson and a chance that White could assemble decent yardage to accompany a touchdown.

Collins could score here but he won't need to with the Packers soft against the run. The Titans defense at home will help with ball control and that means plenty of rushing attempts - not passing. I like the chance for a defensive touchdown here as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 32 1 32 10 11 4
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 14 22 7 26 21 10

The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
CAR
Monday
NO
SD
SF
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