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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket

Prediction: NYG 13, MIN 17

Update: Kevin Boss has been ruled out this week and is listed as doubtful. This will be a surreal game anyway with the traveling Giants having nothing to play for. Brandon Jacobs is listed as questionable but is not a safe play. Boss never practiced this week and Jacobs missed one day and has been limited in the others.

The Giants have clinched the #1 seed and have nothing to play for other than staying sharp. The Vikings can clinch the NFC North with a win here or a loss by the Bears. This is a great time to play the Giants - they won't care so much about the game score and will likely pull the best players at least eventually.

New York Giants (12-3)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 16-7 -3.5 41
2 @STL 41-13 -8.5 41.5
3 CIN 26-23 -13.5 42
4 BYE - - -
5 SEA 44-6 -7 43.5
6 @CLE 14-35 -8 43
7 SF 29-17 -10.5 45
8 @PIT 21-14 +2.5 42
9 DAL 35-14 -8.5 41
10 @PHI 36-31 +3 43.5
11 BAL 30-10 -6.5 42
12 @ARZ 37-29 -3 49
13 @WAS 23-7 -3.5 41.5
14 PHI 14-20 -8 44
15 @DAL 8-20 +3 44
16 CAR 34-28 -3 37.5
17 @MIN - +6.5 41
NYG @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     160,1
RB Derrick Ward 70,1 20  
TE Kevin Boss 40,1
WR Amani Toomer   60  
WR Steve Smith   50,1  
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: When the Giants played their last game of the regular season in full effort against the Patriots even though it did not matter to the playoffs, it made teams question what they were doing. When the Giants won the Super bowl as a road team each week, it made teams notice what staying in peak form in tough games can mean. That all said, this is a week that will likely rest at least Brandon Jacobs and Domenik Hixon. And by the game, no telling which players will be sitting.

Quarterback: Eli Manning will play this week and he'll likely play the entire game or close to it as long as he does not seem likely to be injured. If the Vikings start sacking him, Manning will sit out. That makes him a major risk to rely on this week.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs still has sore knees could really use a few weeks off to heal up for the playoffs. He is expected to at least sit out most of the game and possibly all of it. Derrick Ward needs 52 rushing yards to reach 1000 yards and join Jacobs as only the fourth backfield in NFL history with dual 1000 yard rushers. But beyond those 52 yards, the risk of him not playing is there.

Figure on Ahmad Bradshaw getting some work in this game that could be significant depending on the whims of Tom Coughlin.

Wide Receivers: Domenik Hixon has a sore foot and will be questionable to play. This week that means you probably do not see him. Amani Toomer and Steve Smith should get the starts and likely will play for the entire game. Playing in New York means that the rushing game will likely be handled and the passing game will need to win this contest. That will fall on the wideouts and Kevin Boss.

Tight Ends: Kevin Boss has actually been much more productive in road games this year where he has scored three times and been above 40 yards in almost all recent games. His best two games happened in away games.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings need this game to go to the playoffs - simple enough. And they will be able to handle a rushing attack which is certain to be stripped down if only in the second half. Look for no runner to be worthy of a fantasy start.

Manning has to win this and yet the Vikings have allowed only seven passing scores by opponents in Minnesota. Expect Boss or a wide out to score a touchdown this week with moderate yardage.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 20 4 16 17 2 15
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIN 10 4 7 16 11 30

Minnesota Vikings (9-6)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 19-24 +3 38.5
2 IND 15-18 +2 43.5
3 CAR 20-10 -3.5 37
4 @TEN 17-30 +3 36
5 @NO 30-27 +3 47
6 DET 12-10 -13.5 47
7 @CHI 41-48 +3 38
8 BYE - - -
9 HOU 28-21 -4.5 47
10 GB 28-27 -2.5 45.5
11 @TB 13-19 +4 39.5
12 @JAX 30-12 +2.5 40
13 CHI 34-14 -3 42
14 @DET 20-16 -9.5 46
15 @ARZ 35-14 +3 48.5
16 ATL 17-24 -3 43
17 NYG - -6.5 41
MIN vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson     210
RB Chester Taylor 40 40  
RB Adrian Peterson 110,2 30  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   10  
WR Bernard Berrian   60  
WR Bobby Wade   50  
WR Sidney Rice   20  
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Vikings have to win this game since the Giants are likely not going to give a 100% effort and the Bears have a great shot at beating the Saints and forcing the Vikes to win here or just stay home for the playoffs. Losing to the visiting Falcons last week stopped a five game home winning streak. Despite the winning record, HC Brad Childress is on a hot seat at least with many fans and a loss here will really turn up the heat on him. The Vikings catch a major break by facing the Giants on the only week of this year that they really don't care if they win or not.

Quarterback: Gus Frerotte remains out this week with a broken transverse process on his back and Tarvaris Jackson will take the start. T-Jack comes off one of his best games of the year when he passed for a season high 233 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons. He also ran for a season high 76 yards in the game as well. Jackson had been sticking with the sub-200 and one touchdown track but recent had more scores against the Cardinals (163, 4 TDs) and Falcons (233, 2 TD). This will be the best secondary that he has yet faced.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson remains the #1 running back in the NFL with 1657 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He only has 21 receptions all season but has been more productive than any other runner this year. He has also picked up a nasty habit of fumbling lately and leads all running backs with four. He's lost eight so far but only four were recovered by the defense.

Peterson has become the top running back in the league and he's young enough that he should remain there for many seasons. The offensive line has been so good that he's not only been a stud but Chester Taylor even produces fantasy relevant numbers as well.

Wide Receivers: Bernard Berrian has a sprained ankle from the Falcons game last week but is expected to play anyway, The Vikings wideouts have quickly been rendered ineffective once Jackson was back as the starting quarterback and his six touchdowns equals that of all other team wideouts combined.

If Jackson starts - and he apparently will - then there are no wideouts worthy of a fantasy start here.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe won more than a few fantasy championships last week when he had a season high of seven receptions for 136 yards and two scores against the Falcons to dwarf what any other tight end did, He has been more likely to hang around 20 yards per week but does have six scores on the year.

Match Against the Defense: Expect plenty of rushing against the defense that just allowed four touchdowns for DeAngelo Williams last week Peterson is always a start and should no less than a good game here with a really big one possible as well, The Vikes must win this at all costs.

Jackson may not hit is wideouts well or even score but he'll still have a role. Just not one you want to spend a fantasy start on. Shiancoe faces the best defense against tight ends - he's worth a sit this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 21 9 25 8 9 8
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 8 10 21 1 2 3

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