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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week

Prediction: CLE 10 , BUF 24

Saturday Update: Man, what a mess. Phil Dawson is doubtful to play this week because of his calf strain and I am removing him from the projections. Jamal Lewis is questionable this week and was limited in practice but had a full day on Friday and is likely to return. That means mostly that Harrison is a less attractive play since Lewis will take some amount of carries from him. So far this week looks worse for the Browns only in the passing, rushing and kicking games. The punter Dave Zastudil is likely to play and apparently will get quite the workout on Sunday.

Friday Update: The Browns traded off Braylon Edwards to the Jets and part of the trade was getting Chansi Stuckey in return. It is too soon to project for Stuckey but the loss of Edwards has a big effect on the offense even though he had no catches last week. He was the #1 concern for defenses and the attention he took was part of the reason why Massaquoi had such a big game against the Bengals. I am changing up the projections significantly because Edwards is gone. Jamal Lewis is also back to at least limited practice but is not yet cleared to play and will not be added in. All he would do is decrease Harrison's stats anyway.

This should be a great matchup using lowered expectations and knowing that in the real world both teams would get beat up on the playground of life. The Browns are still searching for that elusive first win and hit the road where their losing margin has been no less than 21 points so far. The Bills already have their one win thanks to the Buccaneers and at home can have yet another chance to beat a win-less team. Injuries to the secondary could make this an upset.

The Browns amazingly won in Buffalo 29-27 during week 11 of last year.

Pregame Notes: The Browns changed quarterbacks and got closer to a win. Last week was an overtime heart breaker to the Bengals who tried to give it away but in the end reeled it back in. Now comes the brutal part of the schedule that matches up with the brutal start of the schedule. The Browns continue to run a gauntlet every week and by the time the regular season is over, there may have been turnover at every position. This team appears rudderless though management did new HC Eric Mangini no favors in replacing Kellen Winslow or building up the team. The Browns hit the road for the third time and still are waiting to get a touchdown away from home.

Quarterback: Derek Anderson was called up after Brady Quinn faltered in the opening weeks and he had a big game by Browns standards - 269 yards and one score. That was one more score and more yardage than Quinn produced in the two previous weeks. And why not? Anderson just faced the visiting Bengals. Quinn had to play in Denver and Baltimore - big difference. It is not like Anderson or Quinn have gained or lost any magic from a year ago when Quinn took over. Assumedly Anderson gets the next two road games to look badly and then he gets the hook as well.

Quinn passed for 185 yards and no score in Buffalo last year.

The Bills at home have allowed plenty of yardage and scores if the opponent so desires to take them instead of rushing. The Browns have no real rushing attack so expect Anderson to have a decent game here with at least one score and moderate yardage. The Bills secondary is banged up so Anderson could have some success and a second score is very possible.

Running Backs: James Davis was placed on injured reserve last week a

Cleveland Browns (0-4)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 20-34 +3.5 40
2 @DEN 6-27 +3 37
3 @BAL 3-34 +13 38.5
4 CIN 20-23 +5.5 38
5 @BUF - +6 40
6 @PIT - - -
7 GB - - -
8 @CHI - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 BAL - - -
11 @DET - - -
12 @CIN - - -
13 SD - - -
14 PIT - - -
15 @KC - - -
16 OAK - - -
17 JAC - - -
CLE at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     190,1
RB James Harrison 50 30  
RB Jamal Lewis 30    
TE Robert Royal   20,1  
WR Braylon Edwards 70
WR Mike Furrey   40  
WR M Massaquoi   50  
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP

nd Chris Jennings was brought up from the practice squad. Jamal Lewis missed last week with a hamstring strain and James Harrison got to experience life as a fulltime back. That meant 29 carries for 121 yards and five receptions for 31 more yards. He didn't score but he had the first showing by a Cleveland running back that had any fantasy relevance. Regardless of whether Lewis plays or not, Harrison will remain in the offensive picture. I will assume that Lewis is out this week and update as warranted.

Lewis ran for 65 yards on 18 carries in Buffalo last year while Harrison had 80 yards and one score on just three runs.

Harrison faces a defense that has been very suspect against running backs. Look for a decent yardage game here at the least.

Wide Receivers: The two big stories from last week were Braylon Edwards recording no catches on his five targets and yet Mohamed Massaquoi getting eight receptions for 148 yards. It was part a function of the secondary and also that Anderson is more likely to go deep with the ball. Mike Furrey is also adding four catches per week in addition to playing as a safety on occasion. Four weeks in and still not one touchdown caught by a wide receiver.

Edwards turned in 104 yards on eight catches in Buffalo last year.

The Bills have allowed only a few big games to wideouts so far but the secondary remains banged up and susceptible to the pass. Teams have chosen whether to beat them via the run or pass but it is more likely by the passing game. This should provide Edwards with some bounce back after last week's horrible outcome. It remains to be seen if the Anderson preference for Massaquoi will continue.

Tight Ends: Derek Anderson threw his lone touchdown to Steve Heiden who had a season high 33 yards on five catches. Robert Royal remained ineffective with his standard two catches for 13 yards. The Bills are weak against the tight ends and have allowed four touchdowns to the position.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 32 28 22 22 21
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 17 30 7 30 18 28

Buffalo Bills (1-3)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 24-25 +10.5 47
2 TB 33-20 -4 41
3 NO 7-27 +5.5 52.5
4 @MIA 10-38 -2.5 37
5 CLE - -6 40.5
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 CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards 20   190,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 60,1 20  
RB Fred Jackson 70,1 20  
WR Lee Evans   40  
WR Terrell Owens   60,1  
WR Josh Reed   20  
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Marshawn Lynch returned from suspension and looked like he had not played football for a while. The Bills were slaughtered by the Fins in Miami and have lost their last two games by a combined tally of 17 to 65 points.This week presents a nice opportunity for a win though and the Bills may not be favored again by six points this year. The offense has been sputtering but at least the incoming Browns have not allowed less than 23 points per opponent. This game is a must win because it will be one of the few that the Bills should win.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards has rather neatly spread out his five scores with one each to the three starting wideouts, the tight end and a running back. Problem is that the Bills needed more in three of those games and Edwards went from one interception per game to having three last week in Miami. He was also sacked six times for a total of 16 on the season. The offensive line is getting Edwards pummeled and he is clearly the sort of quarterback who needs plenty of time to throw.

Edwards passed for 148 yards and one touchdown when the Browns visited last year.

The Browns have allowed at least one passing score per opponent with solid yardage but it could be worse had it not been for the Browns making everyone's rushing game work better. Expect a touchdown throw here and moderate yardage but it could be double that if the Bills have any problems running.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch returned from suspension and then laid an egg when he gained four yards on eight carries. He added 43 yards on five catches but Fred Jackson gain 42 yards on only nine runs. This was already a planned time share to start with and so far Lynch is not doing much to justify the split. Starting out in Miami is a tough way to resume your career but Jackson made him look bad.

Lynch gained 119 yards on 23 carries and Jackson added 60 yards on 12 runs when the Browns came to Cleveland last season.

The Browns currently rank as the worse team against running backs. That includes allowing eight rushing touchdowns and well over 100 yards to every opponent. At home, this could not be a better stage for Lynch to step up and have a nice game. Jackson will remain involved which will shortcut any monster game but both Lynch and Jackson have to be considered decent plays this week against the worst defense at stopping running backs.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens now has a streak of one game with a catch. He ended his 185 game streak in week three but bounced back with three catches for 60 yards in Miami. He has only one touchdown on the season but it came at home against a weak defense so this game has a big attraction for Owens. Lee Evans remains the sidekick that has around 30 yards in most games and one score. Last week Josh Reed had the lone passing score during his only catch in the game.

Evans had no catches against the Browns last year.

The Browns have not allowed many big games to wideouts because they are the worst against running backs. Look for a score to Owens because it can happen and needs to happen. Lee Evans may have a decent game here but he's been ineffective in almost every game anyway. Start Owens and hope the Bills are into just shutting him up with a touchdown like his past employers.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value. Not even a catch in week four.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 23 24 24 26 20 11
Preventing Fantasy Points    CLE 15 32 24 12 30 30

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