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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
Update *

Prediction: DEN 14, NYJ 31

Update: Eddie Royal did not practice on Wednesday but then had limited practice on Thursday and Friday. His toe injury will likely not keep him from playing but they have been evasive about the exact prognosis and if it is actually a turf toe or not. If Royal plays he will not be 100% so I am lowering his projections and realize that he is not a lock to play yet. Selvin Young could see some playing time but he too is considered questionable and has been limited in every practice because of his lingering groin injury. He does not make an attractive start this week.

The Broncos have fallen to 6-5 on the season which includes losses to the Chiefs and Raiders and yet are still atop the AFC West with a two game lead of the Chargers. The Jets are fresh from knocking off the Titans and are now apparently anointed as the new team to beat in the Super Bowl by media types who gotta have their ration of Favre every year.

The Jets rank second only to the Giants with 323 points scored this season.

Denver Broncos (6-5)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @OAK 41-14 -3 41.5
2 SD 39-38 +1.5 45.5
3 NO 34-32 -5.5 51.5
4 @KC 19-33 -9.5 46.5
5 TB 16-13 -3 48
6 JAX 17-24 -3.5 48
7 @NE 7-41 +3 46.5
8 BYE - - -
9 MIA 17-26 -3 49
10 @CLE 34-30 +3 46
11 @ATL 24-20 +5.5 51
12 OAK 10-31 -9.5 42.5
13 @NYJ - +7.5 47.5
14 KC - - -
15 @CAR - - -
16 BUF - - -
17 @SD - - -
DEN @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     280,2
RB Selvin Young 30 10  
RB Peyton Hillis 30    
TE Tony Scheffler   60,1  
WR Eddie Royal   50  
WR Brandon Stokley   60  
WR Brandon Marshall   60,1  
PK Matt Prater   2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The same team that won in Atlanta and against the Buccaneers were just manhandled by the Raiders in Denver. And no matter what, the Broncos are still going to end up with the AFC West title where even a losing record could win the coveted playoff berth. Both Selvin Young and Champ Bailey are expected to return this week which will be a boost at least to the defense and yet make a bad situation in the backfield just that much worse.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler comes off a twilight zone game where he had only 43% of his passes completed for a career worst mark and only had 204 passing yards and no scores against the visiting Raiders. The same team that the opened the year against by throwing for 300 yards and two scores and that was without Brandon Marshall. Cutler started the year out on a hot streak but has since become wildly hot and cold just like the entire team around him. He already has 21 passing scores on the season but eight of them came in just the first three weeks.

Running Backs: That mess of a backfield with Peyton Hillis (17-74, 1 TD) and Tatum Bell (6-14) now welcomes back Selvin Young who has not played a full game since week five and should only make dividing the workload even less predictable. Hillis is likely to retain his role as the short yardage and goal line guy but all other work is going to be up to the ever-changing whim of Mike Shanahan.

I will project for a split between Young and Hillis and leave Bell out for now. A home game against the Chiefs next week could be a nice place for a running back if Denver will rely much on one guy.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall has remained remarkably consistent around 80 or 90 yards each week despite scoring only once in the last seven games and rarely catching half the passes thrown to him. Marshall missed week one but leads the league with 122 passes thrown to him. The problem is that he drops a lot and his 67 catches rank only sixth best.

Eddie Royal opened the year with 146 yards in Oakland but then only managed to gain 14 yards on two catches against the visiting Raiders. The key to Royal so far is that his three best yardage games all came on the road.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler is healthy now but for the last two weeks has only one catch to his credit. He scored in just one game so far this year and now has fallen outside of fantasy relevance,

Match Against the Defense: The Jets have not allowed any runner to gain more than 67 yards in game against them and only three teams have scored on the ground against them. Look for a mediocre showing here by the Broncos backfield that is already in flux.

Cutler faces a secondary that ranks poorly but that has been vastly different when playing at home than when they are on the road. In New York, they have only allowed four passing scores and yet 11 in road games. There is no doubt that the Broncos are going to be throwing a lot in this game and they could see decent success. I like Cutler to have healthy yardage and two scores that should be split between Tony Scheffler and most likely Royal since it is rarely the primary wideout who scores against the Jets.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 3 23 4 3 17 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYJ 28 6 14 31 13 26


New York Jets (8-3)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @MIA 20-14 -3 36
2 NE 10-19 -1.5 39
3 @SD 29-48 +9 44
4 ARZ 56-35 -3 45
5 BYE - - -
6 CIN 26-14 -6 45
7 @OAK 13-16 -3 42.5
8 KC 28-24 -13 38
9 @BUF 26-17 +5.5 43
10 STL 47-3 -8.5 44.5
11 @NE 34-31 +3.5 41.5
12 @TEN 34-13 +6 40.5
13 DEN - -7.5 47.5
14 @SF - - -
15 BUF - - -
16 @SEA - - -
17 MIA - - -
NYJ vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     220,1
RB Thomas Jones 110,2    
RB Leon Washington 40 30  
TE Dustin Keller   20  
WR Laveranues Coles   50  
WR Jerricho Cotchery   80,1  
WR Chansi Stuckey   20  
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: Big win over the Titans merely added on to beating the Patriots the previous week and now the Jets are the toast of the broadcast booth. They have won five straight and now get the easier part of their schedule. The Jets rank second only to the Giants in points scored this year and the Jets are starting to peak with a passing and rushing game coming to life for a balanced offense.

Quarterback: Brett Favre is maintaining his demigod status in New York by passing for 20 touchdowns already this season and his previous interception problem has almost entirely been lifted. Favre has been good for around two scores and 200+ yards each week though all three of his single score games came in New York. And though the weather in New York could be changing soon, Favre is one quarterback who is already very well versed with playing in inclement weather.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones has come to life around midseason and is not cooling off any time soon. Jones rushed for 96 yards in Tennessee to help secure that win and had 104 yards in New England. He has scored in each of the last five games and has 11 touchdowns on the season and three games over 100 rushing yards. His remaining schedule is soft and this week he only needs 50 rushing yards to break 1000 on the season.

Leon Washington had a big game last week with eight runs for 82 yards and two touchdowns and he had scored in the previous week via a pass as well. Washington still is not gamming many touches but has done much with the ones he has. He is not reducing Jones workload though.

Wide Receivers: Thanks to the success of the rushing game and defense, the Jets have not had as much need to throw recently and that has really affected the value of these wideouts. Laveranues Coles comes off a game with 88 yards and a touchdown but had been held under 40 yards and scoreless for three weeks. Jerricho Cotchery scored in week 11 but otherwise not at all since week four of the season. Both wideouts yardage varies greatly and typically not in synch as only one player has a really good or bad game.

This week Champ Bailey is slated to return and he'll cover Coles unless they use inventive formations specifically to avoid that matchup. That makes it more likely that Cotchery has the better game this week.

Tight Ends: Dustin Keller has been coming on strong in these last three weeks when he has had at least six catches per game and around 70 yards on average in those games. His last three weeks have been almost as good as his first seven games combined.

Match Against the Defense: Time to roll out Thomas Jones against one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL. This should end up as a 100+ yard game and likely have more than one touchdown as well which Denver has already allowed five times this year.

Favre faces a defense that ranks about average but that has played much worse considering the level of competition and the propensity of opponents to just run the ball instead of throwing it. Look for one score in this game with good yardage. I like the chance for a defensive score as well this week,.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 13 6 10 14 9 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    DEN 16 30 13 28 26 21

The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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