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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: PHI 24, SEA 13

This seems like an easy Philly win but the Seahawks come off a dominating road win and the Eagles could be open for a trap game after two straight wins. But Seneca Wallace versus Donovan McNabb? Gotta be Philly.

The Seahawks won 28-24 in Philadelphia last year.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-3))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 STL 38-3 -7 44
2 @DAL 37-41 +7 47
3 PIT 15-6 -3 45
4 @CHI 20-24 -3 45
5 WAS 17-23 -5 43
6 @SF 40-26 -5 43
7 BYE - - -
8 ATL 27-14 -8.5 46.5
9 @SEA - -6.5 43
10 NYG - - -
11 @CIN - - -
12 @BAL - - -
13 ARZ - - -
14 @NYG - - -
15 CLE - - -
16 @WAS - - -
17 DAL - - -
PHI @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     220,2
RB Brian Westbrook 60,1 50,1  
TE Brent Celek   20  
WR Kevin Curtis   40  
WR DeSean Jackson   60,1  
WR Hank Baskett   30  
PK David Akers 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Eagles lost both of their first road games before finally whooping the 49ers. At 4-3 they are still only two games out of first in the NFC East but have already lost to the Cowboys and Redskins. Games like this week cannot be taken lightly and the Eagles defense should be able to reassert itself going against Seneca Wallace and Julius Jones. If only for the week. With the Giants waiting on the other side, the Eagles cannot allow this to turn into a trap.

Quarterback: For the first this year, Donovan McNabb rushed in a touchdown on Sunday but that was about the extent of his fantasy value. He has only thrown eight touchdowns this season and just two over the last three games. The good news this week is that the has played in three road games and has passed for at least 260 yards and a touchdown in each. The return of Brian Westbrook boosts the passing game as well as Kevin Curtis. The question is always going to be - is Westbrook rushing enough to win the game? When the answer is yes, McNabb loses almost all fantasy value.

McNabb was poked in the eye in San Francisco last week but continued to play. It is not expected to be an issue.

A.J. Feely was the starter when the Eagles hosted the Seahawks last year and he passed for 220 yards and one score.

Running Backs: Apparently Brian Westbrook is healthy again. After sitting out week six, he returned to carry the ball 22 times for 167 yards and two scores against the visiting Falcons last week. He also added six catches for 42 yards. But he has missed two games already this year and lags in the stats so far. Correll Buckhalter has been a nice fill-in but has almost no role when Westbrook is healthy.

Westbrook rushed for 93 yards and one score with 76 more yards coming on seven receptions against the Seahawks last year.

Wide Receivers: Outside of the rookie DeSean Jackson, the wideouts have been rarely productive this year and even less healthy. Reggie Brown was inactive last week because if his lingering groin injury and that makes two games he has missed since returning in week three. When he plays and is healthy, he's had a couple of 80 yards games but that has only been two weeks this year.

Kevin Curtis finally showed up last week but only managed three catches for 45 yards against the Falcons in a game the Eagles did not need wideouts to win. I will assume that Brown is held out one more week along with Jason Avant who had back spasms in the game last Sunday.

Curtis had six catches for 111 yards and a score against the Seahawks last year. Brown only managed two catches for 26 yards.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith suffered a concussion last week and will likely miss this game. Brent Celek will fill in if needed but the tight ends for the Eagles have only had a minor role this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks have struggled equally against the run and pass so there is no one way that clearly stands out. But with Steven Jackson (5-62) and Frank Gore (7-65) already having nice games as receivers, it bodes well for Westbrook who will hurt them in more ways than one. Expect another nice effort from Westy this week with at least one score and possibly two.

McNabb faces a secondary that ranks among the worst in the league and that almost always allows a passing score to a wide receiver if not a couple. Jackson is due to score but it could go anywhere and as always, it comes after whatever Westbrook does.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 9 5 11 22 2 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    SEA 29 20 30 10 31 20


Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BUF 10-34 +1 39
2 SF 30-33 -8 38.5
3 STL 37-13 -10 44
4 BYE - - -
5 @NYG 6-44 +7 43.5
6 GB 17-27 -2.5 46.5
7 @TB 10-20 +11 39
8 @SF 34-13 +4.5 42.5
9 PHI - +6.5 43
10 @MIA - - -
11 ARZ - - -
12 WAS - - -
13 @DAL - - -
14 NE - - -
15 @STL - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @ARZ - - -
SEA vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Seneca Wallace     150,1
RB Julius Jones 60 10  
TE John Carlson   30,1  
WR Bobby Engram   50  
WR Koren Robinson   30  
WR Keary Colbert   20  
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks huge win in San Francisco was an upset but did come right after the 49ers had changed coaches. So far both wins have been against NFC West foes who both have losing records anyway. The Seahawks hope to get back Mat Hasselbeck and Deion Branch back soon but it doesn't look likely for this week. HC Mike Holmgren's swan song hasn't played well outside of the division and yet somehow a 2-5 record is only two games out of first place in the NFC West.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck continues to have issues with his back and was re-examined this week, There is no expectation that he will play any earlier than week 10 and it could obviously string on longer. Seneca Wallace will take the start again this week and he was actually impressive in San Francisco last Sunday when he passed for 222 yards and two scores. By comparison he only had 73 passing yards the previous week in Tampa Bay. He'll need to hold down the fort at least one more week.

Hasselbeck passed for 187 yards and two scores in Philly last year.

Running Backs: Those big games in Seattle to start the year are long gone and Julius Jones hasn't scored since. He gained 127 yards on 26 carries when the 49ers visited Seattle but last week in San Francisco he could only come up with nine yards on six carries for a season low. Other than playing the visiting Rams and 49ers when they were weak, Jones has not made much difference for the Seahawks and rarely tops 50 rushing yards in a game.

Of course last week was the freak career best game for Leonard Weaver who managed to take four catches and turn them into 116 yards and two touchdowns. Weaver was the only reason that Wallace was able to avoid another 73 yard kind of game. And it won't happen again. Maurice Morris and T.J. Duckett figure in as well but only to reduce the minimally relevant stats for Jones. The team that once had super-back Shaun Alexander now gets by mixing in four different running backs.

The Seahawks rushed for 129 yards and two scores in Philly last year using Morris and Shaun Alexander.

Wide Receivers: With Wallace as the starter, the wideouts have done next to nothing both weeks. Bobby Engram has the best performance in that time when he caught three passed for 40 yards. There is no reliable fantasy value here until and unless a healthy Matt Hasselbeck returns to play. Deion Branch remains out and should just be forgotten for this year. His heel isn't getting better and there is no quarterback anyway.

Engram caught five passes for 60 yards and one score in Philly last season while Nate Burleson turned in four receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown as well.

Tight Ends: On the plus side, John Carlson has caught a touchdown from Seneca Wallace and that is a very small, exclusive club. But two games with Wallace has only totaled four catches for 24 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Philly defense has been occasionally dinged but only by Portis, Barber and Gore. They have no equivalents on this team so look for Jones to have only moderate yardage and likely no score again this week.

Wallace has a nice showing in San Francisco against a team in disarray with a coaching change but the Eagles will bring the blitz packages and force Wallace into a game more akin to the 73 yards he had in Tampa Bay than the 222 yards in San Francisco. Expect one passing score that mostly favors John Carlson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 30 10 31 17 16 20
Preventing Fantasy Points    PHI 11 7 6 30 19 8

The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
CAR
Monday
NO
SD
SF
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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