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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 15
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*updated

Prediction: CLE 6, PHI 27

The Browns are on a three game losing streak with considerations for a new head coach already being openly discussed around town. The Browns are 3-3 on the road and head to Philly where the Eagles are starting their own winning stretch that has rebounded them into potential wild card consideration - if a few things go their way. #1 - take down the weak Browns.

Cleveland Browns (4-9)
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 23-17 +6.5 41
9 BAL 27-37 -1.5 36.5
10 DEN 30-34 -3 46
11 @BUF 29-27 +4.5 42
12 HOU 6-16 -3 50
13 IND 6-10 +4.5 45
14 @TEN 9-28 +13.5

37.5

15 @PHI - +14 39
16 CIN - - -
17 @PIT - - -
CLE @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Ken Dorsey     150
RB Jamal Lewis 40    
TE Steve Heiden   30  
WR Braylon Edwards   50  
WR Donte Stallworth   20  
WR Josh Cribbs 20 30  
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The Browns have not scored a touchdown since week 11 and only the Bengals in week 16 appear as an oasis of possible points and a win in the future before the season mercifully ends and the new coaching staff starts to be assembled. The Browns get the advantage of most teams not preparing much before they play since they know they can beat them and usually are correct. But it keeps the overall game scores lower than the defense should be capable.

Quarterback: One start for Ken Dorsey and he completed 22 of 43 passes for 150 yards and one interception so the drop off from Derek Anderson is minimal here.This week is another road game against a good defense so expect similar results from a team that just doesn't have the talent to win this week let alone the desire. Since Winslow may miss another week with a high ankle sprain, Dorsey will be down to little more than throwing dropped passes to Braylon Edwards.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis only managed seven yards on seven carries last week with the defense coming after him and disregarding the pass. He had been good for around 60 yards in most games though but has not scored since week ten.

Jerome Harrison cracked his rib last week and may be out. That would promote up Jason Wright into being the primary backup for Lewis.

Wide Receivers: The season was already winding down poorly and then Anderson was knocked out for the season and Dorsey steps in. Last week Braylon Edwards was thrown 14 passes but only caught three for 38 yards. WIth Winslow out, Edwards is receiving even more attention from the secondary and is getting no help.

Donte Stallworth is likely playing out his final games in Cleveland so he can land with yet another team in 2009. It is doubtful that Stallworth ever bothered to get a phone installed in his home since coming to the league. He probably has a set of suitcases already packed.

Joshua Cribbs was used on several rushing plays last week and the plan is getting him more involved. But his receiving numbers are so low that he has no fantasy value yet.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow missed last week with a high ankle sprain but they have not placed him on injured reserve. There is speculation that he is done for the season and ends not with creaky knees but a bad ankle instead. Steve Heiden had four catches for 29 yards last week in replacement of Winslow

Match Against the Defense: Arguably the worse offense currently in the NFL faces an aggressive and motivated Eagles in Philly - not a prescription for a turnaround and a good reason to bench all your Browns this week. What ever may happen will likely be in trash time and even then the Eagles could still care too much to let it happen.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 30 28 31 10 10 18
Preventing Fantasy Points    PHI 8 5 11 28 11 9


Philadelphia Eagles (7-5-1))
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 26-7 -6.5 43
10 NYG 31-36 -3 43.5
11 @CIN 13-13 -9 42.5
12 @BAL 7-36 +1 38.5
13 ARZ 48-20 -3 47
14 @NYG 20-14 +8 44
15 CLE - -14 39
16 @WAS - - -
17 DAL - - -
PHI vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     210,1
RB Brian Westbrook 80,1 30  
TE L.J. Smith   30  
WR Jason Avant   20  
WR DeSean Jackson   60  
WR Kevin Curtis   30,1  
PK David Akers 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: If it was the benching of Donovan McNabb that caused a spark, it is too bad the Eagles did not know it a few weeks earlier. Taking down the visiting Cardinals was not a huge step up but beating the Giants in New York says something all together different. There is an outside chance that the Eagles can snag that final wildcard but it will require winning out and taking down the Cowboys in week 17.

Quarterback: Two weeks since the benching in Baltimore and Donovan McNabb is looking better than ever. After a four touchdown game against the Cardinals, he completed 19 of 30 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown against the Giants with no turnovers in either game and only one sack. This week is the last chance for a certain big win with the Browns coming to town but the Eagles may not bother to rack up a big score this week.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook became the Eagles all-time leader for yards from scrimmage last week when he had a career high 39 touches against the Giants. Westbrook rushed for 131 yards on 33 carries with a score and added six receptions for 72 yards and a second touchdown. After a month of mediocre performances, Westbrook has exploded once again and scored six times in just two weeks. This from a back who only had 34 total yards in week 12. Westbrook is healthy - obviously - and the Eagles need him to excel to have a shot at any post season play.

The part that we need to see again is Westbrook with the six catches. He has been stuck around three receptions in each of the previous four games and that had devalued Westbrook more than anything.

Correll Buckhalter is expected back this week after sitting out with a bum knee.

Wide Receivers: Just to illustrate why the Eagles receivers should never be used on a fantasy team, the big win last week came with both DeSean Jackson and Reggie Brown not having a single catch in the game. Kevin Curtis had 42 yards on two receptions but there has never been any reliable receivers in this group all year. Throw in Greg Lewis and Jason Avant and it is a wonder the offensive coaches can keep them all straight.

Tight Ends: While the wideouts were all having a bad game, L.J. Smith turned in a season best in New York when he had six catches for 44 yards. That reversed his trend of only showing up in home games but Smith has been unreliable most of the year with only three scores on the season.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles will look to win this game without resorting to Westbrook having 39 more touches. He's a lock for at least a good game and if course could turn it big yet again since they are not holding him back anymore. Good chance that Buckhalter shows up at least near the end of this one.

McNabb will want to remain sharp and the Browns secondary has always allowed a passing score on the road but McNabb won't likely had a big game here because he does not need one. Expect a score to a wideout (flip a coin) and I like a defensive score in this game for sure.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 8 11 9 22 4 5
Preventing Fantasy Points    CLE 15 24 24 10 5 10

The Huddle
WEEK 15
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
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