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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: WAS 17, CIN 13

Update: Clinton Portis was not on the injury report for the first time in many weeks. I am bumping up his projections.

The Redskins have lost their last two games and hit the road where they are 4-2 on the season. The Bengals are just 1-4-1 at home and apparently are no longer trying. The Redskins have their own problems but they are miniscule compared to what is going on in Cincinnati.

Washington Redskins (7-6)
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 25-17 -8 43.5
9 PIT 6-23 -1.5 37
10 BYE - - -
11 DAL 10-14 +1.5 43
12 @SEA 20-17 -3.5 41.5
13 NYG 7-23 +3.5 41.5
14 @BAL 10-24 +5 36.5
15 @CIN - -6.5 36.5
16 PHI - - -
17 @SF - - -
WAS @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell     220,1
RB Clinton Portis 90,1 10  
TE Chris Cooley   70  
WR Santana Moss   60,1  
WR Antwaan Randle El   40  
WR Devin Thomas   30  
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The only teams that the Redskins have beaten in the last eight games are the Lions, Browns and Seahawks. Losing four of the last five has sent the Skins outside of contention for the division and probably the playoffs as well. The defense has been solid all year but cannot do it all. The offense has struggled in most games and now that Portis has finally succumbed to injury the outlook is even worse. This week is obviously a game that can be won but then going against the Eagles and even the 49ers will be a challenge.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell plods along and comes off a standard game of 218 yards and one score against the Ravens. He also threw two interceptions giving him six in the last five games after never throwing any in the first half of the season. The passing game just looks stale and surprisingly unimaginative considering Jim Zorn is the head coach but it could obviously be about Campbell not being able to take the next step.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis continues to barely practice if all during the week and yet still play but these last two weeks have been brutal with 11 carries in each game for either 22 or 32 yards. That's hardly the sort of production that Portis had been cranking out to be the leading rusher for much of the season. He's only managed one game over 68 yards in the last five weeks and that needed the Seahawks to happen.

Making matters worse and potentially catastrophically worse is that the Redskins lost LT Chris Samuels to a torn triceps and RT Jon Jansen has a sprained MCL and won't be healthy for this game if he even plays. The offensive line problems won't be compensated for in the near future and could be the final blow to any playoff aspirations. So a banged up Portis who was not even used in the second half of the Ravens game will have a significantly diminished offensive line.

Wide Receivers: There is not much here after fourteen games. Santana Moss has been the only player with any fantasy value and now he has not scored since week eight and has only averaged around 44 yards per game. While he enjoyed five touchdowns and three big yardage games in the first half of the season, that has disappeared now.

Antwaan Randle El has scored in two of the last three games but he almost never has more than 50 yards in a any game and only has three touchdowns on the season. He did score in Baltimore last week which is a feather in any receivers cap but it is the only one he has for the whole year. Randle El was supposed to be replaced by either of the rookies and that has never happened.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley remains the best fantasy bet because he will usually have around 50 or 60 yards each week even though he has just one touchdown this year and can turn in the odd bad game.

Match Against the Defense: This is actually an interesting matchup that will be hard to forecast. The Redskins offense has been sputtering for many weeks and now could have a decimated offensive line. Clinton Portis is being pulled from games and even when he plays has been far less effective in recent weeks. But these are the Bengals and a completely healthy team - any team really - could have run all over them. The defense of the Skins and the offense of the Bengals should keep the score low in this game. I will project for both Portis and Betts to play but the confidence is lower here because so many screwy circumstances going into this game.

Campbell should have a better game here but he's been so locked into mediocrity that anything is possible here. The rushing problems could make the Redskins want to throw more but the offensive line could make it even harder.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 24 18 18 13 24 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    CIN 26 21 29 24 21 29


Cincinnati Bengals (1-11-1)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BAL 10-17 -1 39
2 TEN 7-24 -1 37.5
3 @NYG 23-26 +13.5 42
4 CLE 12-20 +3.5 44
5 @DAL 22-31 +17.5 44
6 @NYJ 14-26 +6 45
7 PIT 10-38 +9.5 37
8 @HOU 6-35 +10 44
9 JAX 21-19 +7.5 40
10 BYE - - -
11 PHI 13-13 +9 42.5
12 @PIT 10-27 +10.5 35
13 BAL 3-34 +7.5 36.5
14 @IND 3-35 +14 42.5
15 WAS - +6.5 36.5
16 @CLE - - -
17 KC - - -
CIN vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick     170,1
RB Cedric Benson 60    
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   40  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   70  
WR Chris Henry   20  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: Apparently the only player that hasn't given up yet is Shayne Graham since he is responsible for all six points that the Bengals have scored over the last two games. Unfortunately the defense allowed 69 points in those two games. Carson Palmer remains out, mercifully so, and the Bengals lone saving grace to the season was surprising win over the Jaguars. The situation this week could be ripe for a win over a reeling Skins team but nothing recently says the Bengals can take advantage of it.

Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick gets at least one more start that can help him prove why he has been a backup quarterback and will be next year. He has only thrown for six touchdowns over nine games and has nine interceptions, five fumbles and 35 sacks allowed. Facing the Redskins means just another beating by a good secondary.

Running Backs: Cedric Benson only signed a one-year contract with the Bengals and he may have done enough to warrant a new contract but only in comparison to the rest of the offense. He has only scored once and has just one game with more than 57 rushing yards. But he is all the Bengals rely on each week and he's been saddled with the same horrific schedule that has doomed the Bengals this year. Benson is playing for a new contract with the Bengals or another team next year but this week is yet another tough matchup. The final two weeks could make him far more productive.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson comes off his best game of the year with five catches for 79 yards - a full 22 yards more than his previous best this year. He is still not worth starting in most leagues since he only has four touchdowns on the year and most games end up with fewer than 40 receiving yards.

T. J. Houshmandzadeh has been roughly the equivalent of Johnson only with four catches for 20 yards more every week. He typically ends up around 50 yards but has seven or eight receptions in most games.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: Benson goes against a rushing defense that has been remained top ten but one that has allowed roughly one rushing score per week. Benson has been so mediocre this year and the Redskins are hungry enough for a win that just another bad performance is most likely again this week.

Fitzpatrick faces a top ten secondary and back at home should be good for around his standard - 200 yards at most with a chance for one score. It has been three weeks since the last touchdown and the Bengals at home should be able to get one.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 28 32 20 29 32 30
Preventing Fantasy Points    WAS 5 10 5 6 8 21

The Huddle
WEEK 15
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
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