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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
*updated

Prediction: NO 34, BUF 27

Saturday Update: Mike Bell and Lance Moore are already called out. Pierre Thomas will start and get some unknown amount of help from Hamilton.

Friday Update: Mike Bell has not practiced and while he has not been ruled out yet, it would be a big surprise to see him this week. There is speculation that he may be out several weeks. That means that Pierre Thomas will start and now there is a question - legitimate or media fabricated - that Lynelle Hamilton could get playing time and may even split with Thomas who has been out for several weeks now. That sheds some risk on using Thomas this week. We'll re-evaluate this tomorrow but for now the projections stick and you should just be aware that Hamilton may be a factor. HC Sean Payton is intentionally been vague about his plans. Lance Moore remains out with a hamstring strain.

So far, so incredibly good for the Saints who come off a 26 point win over the Eagles with an offense and have yet to score less than 45 points in a game. The Bills are now 1-1 thanks to hosting this year's surprise whipping boy of the Buccaneers. They are but a 5.5 yard underdog but it leads me to one question. If Byron Leftwich can throw for 296 yards and three touchdowns against the defense, what can Drew Brees do and can the scoreboard even handle it?

New Orleans Saints (2-0)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 45-27 -13.5 49
2 @PHI 48-22 +3 46.5
3 @BUF - -5.5 52.5
4 NYJ - - -
5 BYE - - -
6 NYG - - -
7 @MIA - - -
8 ATL - - -
9 CAR - - -
10 @STL - - -
11 @TB - - -
12 NE - - -
13 @WAS - - -
14 @ATL - - -
15 DAL - - -
16 TB - - -
17 @CAR - - -
NO at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     340,3
RB Pierre Thomas 30,1 10  
RB Reggie Bush 20 50  
TE Jeremy Shockey   50,1  
WR Marques Colston   110,1  
WR Devery Henderson   70,1  
WR Robert Meacham   50  
PK John Carney 2 FG 4 XP  
Pregame Notes: What's not to love about a team that has scored 11 offensive touchdowns in the first two weeks? The win in Philly was against the McNabb-less Eagles but their defense went from toast of the town to just plain toast in seven days. The Saints also have a pretty challenging schedule ahead of them with games against the Jets and Giants up next. Certainly the offense will cool down but we'll all be poorer for it. In the fantasy world where NFL wins and losses are not counted, the Saints are a dynasty.

Quarterback: Drew Brees. I would start him if I owned. Granted all he has done in two games is throw for 669 yards and nine scores, but he is warming up and may get the hang of this thing yet. His performance in Philadelphia was truly one of his most impressive games ever.

Now he faces a secondary that has allowed - get this - 674 passing yards in two games. That's five more yards than "Brees the Spectacular" has thrown and he faced the Lions. The Bills have given up five pass scores. Yeah, go ahead and start Brees. All of you Brees owners should know your time is coming up.

Just no way it is this week.

Running Backs: Mike Bell sprained his MCL and will likely be out at least this week. The same injury has kept other backs including Pierre Thomas out for a month or more but it depends on the severity of Bell's injury. An MRI showed no structural damage. Until he practices and is cleared to play, I will assume that Pierre Thomas takes the start and he already played last week for a few plays.

This will bear watching since Thomas was the backfield darling of last year until he injured his MCL as well while Bell was impressing in training camp and taking away his job. Thomas knows he needs a great game to hold onto playing time when Bell returns.

The Bills rushing defense has been outstanding so far and held the Pats to only 64 yards on 22 carries and the Bucs were limited to only 57 yards on 18 runs. Both teams had success throwing to backs but that will benefit Reggie Bush more. Expect marginal rushing numbers at best but Thomas has a short at a rushing score and Bush will buoy his numbers with receptions.

Wide Receivers: Lance Moore suffered a hamstring injury last week and could miss this game. I will hold him out of the projections until he is cleared. The diverse passing attack has benefited every receiver here at least once (excluding the injured Moore) and Marques Colston has three scores on the season already. Robert Meachem dropped a clunker in Philly bit Devery Henderson still had 71 yards after a 103 yard effort in week one. The passing game has been so prolific that it is hard to not start your Saints wideouts but so far Colston and maybe Henderson are the only two with consistent, reliable fantasy points and it has only been two weeks.

Surprisingly, the Bills have allowed five passing score but none to wideouts. They gave monster games to both Randy Moss (12-141) and Wes Welker (12-93) so the yardage is certainly there and this week, figure on at least two scores for this unit. Colston is the safest bet and Henderson has been solid as well.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey had almost the exact same catches and yards in the first two games but he scored twice in the season opener. Look for him to add another since the Bills have given up four of five passing touchdowns to tight ends already this year. Shockey is a very strong play this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 1 2 1 5 3 3
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 30 16 15 32 4 18


Buffalo Bills (1-1)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 24-25 +10.5 47
2 TB 33-20 -4 41
3 NO - +5.5 52.5
4 @MIA - - -
5 CLE - - -
6 @NYJ - - -
7 @CAR - - -
8 HOU - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 @TEN - - -
11 @JAC - - -
12 MIA - - -
13 NYJ - - -
14 @KC - - -
15 NE - - -
16 @ATL - - -
17 IND - - -
BUF vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     270,2
RB Fred Jackson 60,1 50  
WR Lee Evans   60,1  
WR Terrell Owens   90,1  
WR Roscoe Parrish   30  
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bills rolled up a solid win over the visiting Buccaneers though that seems hardly as impressive as it once was. The Bills are starting out on the right foot though and nearly beat the Patriots in the opener. With a road trip to Miami looming next and one to the Jets in week six, the Bills need to scratch every win they can get. The pass defense is doing the team no favors but Fred Jackson has run well and Marshawn Lynch is back for the Miami game.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards has been remarkably consistent with both games having around 220 yards and two touchdowns. He finally found Terrell Owens for a touchdown on Sunday and overall his play seems improved from last year though it has only been two weeks of a long season.

This week should make him look even better in what is likely a shootout against a secondary that just gave Kevin Kolb 391 yards and two scores. Look for a very nice game here from Edwards - it will not get any better than this all season long.

Running Backs: Fred Jackson is certainly making the most of his time as a starter with a career best 163 yards on 28 carries last week and 25 yards on six catches. He had 140 total yards and a score against the Patriots and is a must start this week because he his role as a receiver should yield another big effort. Jackson won't likely have a major game as a rusher because the Saints have a decent rush defense and will push the game into the air sooner than later. But Jackson could end up a primary receiver as he did in week one.

Wide Receivers: So far Terrell Owens has just one score and five catches for 98 yards in total - hardly the stuff of legends. He hasn't even managed to get Lee Evans to free up much but this week should be as good as it gets for Owens who has to smell blood in the water with the Saints coming to town. Lee Evans started out last week with a score but it was the only catch in the game.

it would be a major help if any other receiver would matter for this team but so far only Owens and Evans are worthy of any attention.

However good this game proves to be, it will be as good as it will get. If no other week, Evans and Owens are must starts. Consider too that the Saints have only faced Matthew Stafford and Kevin Kolb,

Tight Ends: The Bills may be fresh out of tight ends this week with Derek Schouman now on injured reserve and Shawn Nelson nursing a shoulder injury. Even Derek Fine is battling a hamstring injury so I will not project for any tight ends this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 10 16 19 11 2 5
Preventing Fantasy Points    NO 25 8 26 13 27 28

The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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