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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
 
 
*Updated

Prediction: JAX 6, BAL 27

Update: Derrick Mason did not practice this week because of his shoulder and is no lock to play though he has not been ruled out. I am removing him from the projections because he would not be healthy even if he does play.

All the Ravens need to do is win this game and they grab the final AFC wildcard. Then they get to play the AFC East winner which means a nice shot at advancing. If the Ravens win, they can still get in if the Patriots also lost since they own the tiebreaker. The Jaguars are only 3-4 on the road and have only won once in the last six games.

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TEN 10-17 -3 37
2 BUF 16-20 -6 38
3 @IND 23-21 +5.5 42
4 HOU 30-27 -7.5 42
5 PIT 21-26 -4 36
6 @DEN 24-17 +3.5 48
7 BYE - - -
8 CLE 17-23 -6.5 41
9 @CIN 19-21 -7.5 40
10 @DET 38-14 -6.5 44.5
11 TEN 14-24 +3 39.5
12 MIN 12-30 -2.5 40
13 @HOU 17-30 +3 48
14 @CHI 10-23 +6.5 40
15 GB 20-16 +1.5 45
16 IND 24-31 +6 44
17 @BAL - +12.5 35.5
JAX @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     150
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 50 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis   30  
WR Dennis Northcutt   60  
WR Reggie Williams   20  
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The season draws to a close and we've likely seen Fred Taylor as a Jaguar for the last time. The year started out with significant offensive line injuries and never got over that. David Garrard seemed to take a step backwards after an encouraging 2007 season and perhaps he no longer is the one to lead the Jaguars to the promise land. The only offensive player of any note has been Maurice Jones-Drew and even he has not been above the odd bad game. There are questions as to whether this season will send Jack Del Rio packing. Then there is the decision to upgrade the wideouts with Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson which only made matters worse if they even could play. The Jags are close to a complete overhaul and it may have already started.

Quarterback: David Garrard has been a flop this year with only 14 passing scores and yet 11 interceptions - he was noted last year for having no turnovers. He comes off his best game of the year when he passed for 329 yards at Indy but only threw for one touchdown and one interception. Garrard will probably last another season but he's not making it any easier for the Jaguars to want to keep him.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor has gone into injured reserve and that likely ends his career at least with the Jaguars. His effectiveness was obviously degraded this year and his absence really not felt.

Maurice Jones-Drew has scored 12 rushing touchdowns and two on catches but he only has three games with more than 70 rushing yards though he usually tossed in around 20 yards as a receiver. Recent weeks without Taylor haven't seen any significant increase to what Jones-Drew has done though he gets the full load now. Early in the season Jones-Drew was effective in road games early in the year but hasn't fared as well lately. Still - he is the best weapon that the Jags have and maybe the only one.

Wide Receivers: Jerry Porter proved to be a huge bust and never was able to get healthy and contribute if he could. Matt Jones was a surprise this year and became the only receiver with any fantasy value but is not suspended related to his cocaine conviction. Reggie Williams was the touchdown machine with minor yardage in 2007 and evolved into just being minor yardage this year.

Dennis Northcutt has been promoted up with Jones gone and has turned in back-to-back games over 100 yards with a score in each. Both of those happened in home games and the Jaguars are less effective away from home.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis has only scored twice this year but he's been above 30 yards in most games and been over 50 yards three times. He has minor consistency in games but has never warranted to be more than a bye week filler.

Match Against the Defense: This could be an ugly one since the lone strength of the Jaguars goes against the #1 defense in the NFL. Have to figure Jones-Drew will not be the first runner to score a touchdown in Baltimore this year. No runner has gained more than 56 yards there. That greatly decreases the offenses for the Jaguars.

The Ravens have only allowed four passing touchdowns in Baltimore and the Jags are getting worse in the passing game as the season wears on. No time to start any of these players, not even Northcutt,

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 13 11 21 20 29 26
Preventing Fantasy Points    BAL 3 1 5 10 5 21


Baltimore Ravens (10-5)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CIN 17-10 +1 39
2 BYE - - -
3 CLE 28-10 -2 38.5
4 @PIT 20-23 +6 34.5
5 TEN 10-17 +3 35
6 @IND 3-31 +4.5 39
7 @MIA 27-13 +3 36.5
8 OAK 29-10 -7 36
9 @CLE 37-27 +1.5 36.5
10 @HOU 41-13 +1.5 41.5
11 @NYG 10-30 +6.5 42
12 PHI 36-7 -1 38.5
13 @CIN 34-3 -7.5 36.5
14 WAS 24-10 -5 36.5
15 PIT 9-13 -2 34
16 @DAL 33-24 +4 39.5
17 JAX - -12.5 35.5
BAL vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco     160
RB Willis McGahee 40,1 20  
RB Le'Ron McClain 90,1 10  
TE Todd Heap   30  
WR Mark Clayton   60  
WR Derrick Mason 50
PK Matt Stover 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The big win in Dallas coupled with another this week and the Ravens are back in the playoffs with a rookie quarterback and a committee backfield. Joe Flacco has already earned his keep and is getting better with every week. In 2009, the Ravens will hopefully get him better quality wideouts and make his progress even faster next year. The Ravens are still getting a rushing attack by mixing three players and since it will likely get them into the playoffs, there is no reason to expect them to change in 2009. This week is all important though and at home should see the Ravens defense win this game almost by themselves.

Quarterback: Joe Flacco is not setting any rookie records with 14 passing touchdowns and 2674 passing yards but he only has 12 interceptions and showed impressive decision making for a rookie on a team that traditionally does not throw much. He doesn't have fantasy value yet but already has NFL value.

Running Backs: After mixing and matching the entire season, the current scheme has Le'Ron McClain as the primary runner and he has eight touchdowns on the season. The 82-yard scoring run in Dallas gave him his first 100 yard game of the year but he's been consistent around 80 yards each week for the last month.

Willis McGahee has become the third down back and relief player. Other than his long run in Dallas, he has not been fantasy relevant for a month though so I will not project for him. He usually only has around 30 or 40 yards per game for the last month. Ray Rice has been injured and little used even when healthy.

Wide Receivers: Derrick Mason re-injured his left shoulder in the first quarter of last week's game but returned and ended with a touchdown and 66 yards. Mason has always been more productive in road games with four his his five scores happening away from Baltimore as well as both his 100 yard games. At home the team mostly just runs.

Mark Clayton has followed the same track as Mason only with less scores (3) and less yardage.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap does get consistent use now but it is only for around 30 yards per game and his three scores all happened in road games. At home he sticks around that 20 yard make and mostly just blocks.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars rushing defense has been soft on the road where they have allowed seven rushing touchdowns and five runners to gain 90 or more rushing yards. Look for McClain to score once and have his standard 80 yards and a chance that even McGahee may have a score.

Flacco may score once but he won't need to and Mason is banged up anyway. I like a defensive score in this game but no passing game players have fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 24 10 23 24 12 1
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 24 16 20 27 20 12

The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
 
 
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
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