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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 7
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
DEN, JAC
Monday
DET, BAL
SEA, TEN
*updated

Prediction: ARI 23, NYG 27

Late Update: Bradshaw was limited on Friday but will play this week. Chris Wells is now questionable to play after being limited in practice because of his hip. I am not changing his minimal projections but he is not a safe start in New York in addition to being a bad fantasy start anyway. Anquan Boldin has been limited all week and is listed as questionable. He'll be a game time decision and this is the late game on Sunday so you may not have any other options. Steve Breaston has been limited in practice but is probable this week instead of the questionable he has been in recent weeks and played anyway. Breaston is a safe play but Boldin is a risky start this week.

Early Update: Ahmad Bradshaw was limited on Wednesday and held out on Thursday to rest his foot but is expected to play since he does this every week. Anquan Boldin is the problem since he has not practiced this week but has worked out with a trainer because of his sprained ankle. Friday will be key to setting expectations and he has not yet been ruled out or in.

Forget the boring Monday night game, this late Sunday matchup should be the fantasy game of the week. The Giants just lost their first game of the year after being dragged out of New Orleans wondering what hit them. The Cardinals come off their most impressive win of the year with a big victory in Seattle but that was after getting beaten at home by the Texans. The home team is appropriately favored but this game should produce some nice points along the way.

The Giants won 37-29 when they visited the Cards in week 12 last season.

Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SF 16-20 -6 46
2 @JAC 31-17 +3 43
3 IND 10-31 -2.5 48
4 BYE - - -
5 HOU 28-21 -5.5 48
6 @SEA 27-3 +3 47
7 @NYG - +7 46
8 CAR - - -
9 @CHI - - -
10 SEA - - -
11 @STL - - -
12 @TEN - - -
13 MIN - - -
14 @SF - - -
15 @DET - - -
16 STL - - -
17 GB - - -
ARI at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     280,2
RB Chris Wells 30    
RB Tim Hightower 40 40  
WR Anquan Boldin   50  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   90,1  
WR Steve Breaston   80,1  
PK Neil Rackers 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals remain tied with the 49ers for the NFC West crown and the tie breaker goes to San Francisco who have already beaten the reigning NFC Champions. This week should easily be the toughest game of the year and yet the Cardinals are a surprising 2-0 in road trips this year.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner entered the season with questions about his age and hip but he's answered them so far. He has thrown for a couple of touchdowns in three of the last four games while also remaining above 240 yards each week. His best three games came at home though and on the road he has not topped 275 yards but did have two scores in each of those games. Warner was rusty to start the year but has returned to the same level of play that saw the Cardinals become contenders last year.

Warner passed for 351 yards when the Giants visited in 2008.

The Giants have not faced many decent quarterbacks so far and at home have only hosted the Redskins and Raiders. But last week Drew Brees established the upper limit with 369 yards and four scores against the G-men. Warner won't reach that in a road game but should have decent yardage and a couple of scores.

Running Backs: Beanie Wells continues on his baby-step program and had 12 runs last week but only gained 29 yards in Seattle. He still has not scored and or topped 49 yards in a game. He caught his first NFL pass last Sunday but only gained seven yards. Tim Hightower remains the starter and has scored in three of the last four games but will be facing the best defense so far when he lines up in New York.

Hightower only gained 21 rushing yards on 11 carries against the Giants last season but scored twice.

The Giants have allowed six rushing scores but minimal rushing yards. In the last four games, no opposing runner has gained more than 72 yards and most remain below 50 yards. In New York, the Raiders combined for only 55 yards on 41 carries. The Cards are not running well and are not that committed to working on that aspect of the game anyway. Look for minimal numbers here unless Hightower is used for passes again.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin sprained his right ankle against the Seahawks and played with the injury though it limited him to only 54 yards on six receptions. An X-ray this week did not reveal any broken bones so Boldin becomes a watch player this week and probably a game time decision. I will assume that he can play with only minor limitation. His potential absence or even reduced load would directly benefit Steve Breaston who has been very solid for the last month and has one touchdown on the season. Larry Fitzgerald finally produced the first 100 receiving yard game by a Cards wideout when he caught 13 passes for exactly 100 yards and a score last week. Fitzgerald has scored in four of the five games played this year and only the Colts game held him without a touchdown.

All three wideouts had around 80 receiving yards against the Giants last year but only Boldin scored.

The Giants had been outstanding against wideouts but had hardly faced any talented players until last week when three Saints had big games. I like both Fitzgerald and Breaston to score regardless and Breaston will have big yardage if Boldin ends up not playing.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 12 16 1 32 14 15
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 8 7 3 23 1 2


New York Giants (5-1)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 23-17 -6.5 37
2 @DAL 33-31 +3 43.5
3 @TB 24-0 -7 44
4 @KC 27-16 -9 42.5
5 OAK 44-7 -16.5 40.5
6 @NO 24-48 +3 47
7 ARI - -7 46
8 @PHI - - -
9 SD - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 ATL - - -
12 @DEN - - -
13 DAL - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @WAS - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     280,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 60,1    
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 50 40  
TE Kevin Boss   10  
WR Steve Smith   100,1  
WR Hakeem Nicks   60,1  
WR Mario Manningham   60  
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Giants stumbled last week in New Orleans and were never really in the game but that's mostly just to credit the Saints. The Giants have slogged through the easier portion of their schedule now and at 5-1 have a two game lead over the Cowboys with the first tie breaker as well. An important trip to Philly lays on the other side of this game but the Giants have been very good about taking care of the game at hand and closing out wins on a strong note. This will be a challenge but at home should be handled, especially if Anquan Boldin misses the game or is limited.

Quarterback: After throwing for multiple scores in four straight games, Eli Manning only produced 178 yards and one touchdown in New Orleans - though David Carr did score once in mop up duty. Manning has scored in every game and was on a nice multiple touchdown streak until the Saints game. He only had three interceptions on the year and has been sacked just three times. It was a banner season until last week but with the Cards showing up, there's no reason not to get excited about Manning again.

Manning passed for 240 yards and three touchdowns in Arizona last year.

He now faces a secondary that has allowed nine passing scores and two games over 370 passing yards (Big Bro and Schaub). This should be a bounce back game for Manning with healthy yardage and at least two scores.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs continues his disappointing season that includes only one touchdown and so far not one game over 92 rushing yards. Last week he got a stinger and only had seven rushes for 33 yards. His 388 yards on 107 carries is only a 3.6 yard average. He had a 5.0 YPC average in both 2007 and 2008.

His loss is Ahmad Bradshaw's gain. He has scored three times in the last two weeks and had a monster showing when the Raiders showed up two weeks ago. This is only the Giants third game at home this season and just the second since the season opener. Bradshaw has been gaining in workload and productivity. Jacobs remains the primary back but has been only marginally effective, doesn't score much and does not catch. Bradshaw has been better.

The Giants rushed for 69 yards on 20 carries in Arizona last season and had one score.

The Cardinals have been top notch against runners and no opponent has rushed for more than 66 yards against them. Only Frank Gore and Chris Brown rushed in a touchdown against them. The Giants are at home which helps and will want to control the clock to control the Cards and that helps the rushing game as well. I like one score from here that has to favor the bigger Jacobs who is due to get a touchdown.

Wide Receivers: This is where all the scoring has been happening and their collective 11 touchdowns ranks as the best for wide receiver units in the league. Steve Smith has not scored in two weeks now but has four touchdowns and has been the most consistent player and clear #1 for Manning. Mario Manningham has scored in each of the last two games but his yardage tends to remain around 50 or so each week. Hakeem Nicks has scored in each of the last three games and had his first 100 yard effort just last week with five receptions for 114 yards in New Orleans. Manningham left the game with an undisclosed injury last week but he returned to play and nothing more was said about it.

No wideout had more than 57 yards against the Cards last year and Toomer scored once.

The Cardinals are weakest against the receivers and have allowed three 100+ yard efforts already and five touchdowns in total. Expect a nice game here by Smith as the #1 that the Cards have had problems stopping and the speed of Nicks makes him a good candidate as well. This unit is how the Giants must beat the Cardinals and going against the #27 secondary who is visiting should mean at least decent production for all three wideouts.

Tight Ends: The Cardinals are also very weak against tight ends but so far the Giants almost never use the position as a receiver and have not thrown a touchdown to a tight end this year. No reason to expect anything more than a marginal showing by Kevin Boss since that is all he has ever done this year.

Boss caught 4 passes for 48 yards and a score in Arizona last season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 8 20 2 29 1 7
Preventing Fantasy Points    ARI 27 4 27 24 6 13

The Huddle
WEEK 7
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
DEN, JAC
Monday
DET, BAL
SEA, TEN
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
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