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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: CHI 17, CIN 20

Late Update: Chris Henry is going to be a game time decision because of flu-like symptoms and now Chad Johnson has missed practice on Friday with a sore hip but is considered probable to play and did not appear until Friday. He worked out on the sideline though so he should be safe to play. There has been no concern by the Bengals that he will not play.

Both teams are coming off a loss and the Bears are only 1-2 on the road this year. But the Bengals are just 1-2 at home and are now in a tie for the AFC North lead. This is a coin flip game now that the Bengals have stumbled and the Bears have Jay Cutler.

Chicago Bears (3-2)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 15-21 +4 46
2 PIT 17-14 +3 37.5
3 @SEA 25-19 -2 37
4 DET 48-24 -10.5 38.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @ATL 14-21 +3 45.5
7 @CIN - +1.5 42.5
8 CLE - - -
9 ARI - - -
10 @SF - - -
11 PHI - - -
12 @MIN - - -
13 STL - - -
14 GB - - -
15 @BAL - - -
16 MIN - - -
17 @DET - - -
CHI at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     280,2
RB Matt Forte 50 40  
TE Greg Olsen   50,1  
WR Devin Hester   90,1  
WR Earl Bennett   50  
WR Johnny Knox   30  
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bears are still trying to get a handle on who they are this year but in all cases it does not appear to be a running team. Short of having the Lions visit, the rushing game has been ineffective so it all comes down to whether Cutler and the passing game can out duel what the Chicago defense is allowing. The Bears could do themselves a big favor with a win here since the next two games come at home and could potentially keep the Bears slim divisional hopes alive.

Quarterback: The rushing game may be lagging but Jay Cutler is doing his part by throwing for multiple scores in each of his last four games and coming off his first 300 yard effort as a Bear. Cutler has actually been more productive away from Chicago so far and catches a break this week since the Bengals just lost Antwan Odom for the rest of the year and he was the leading sacker in the league. Cutler has been given decent protection so far anyway since he has been sacked only twice - but always twice - in every game.

The Bengals are currently ranked 29th against quarterbacks but that mostly has to do with giving Matt Schaub 392 yards and four touchdowns last week. Prior to that, no opponent had scored more than once through the air and none had more than 276 passing yards which includes facing Roethlisberger and Rodgers. Cutler should have a decent game here but not like Schaub and the Texans who surprised the Bengals last week.

Running Backs: Matt Forte had five catches for 37 yards last week but only managed 23 yards on 15 runs and all too often was pancaked in the backfield before he had a chance. He has only one touchdown on the year and relies on catches to provide any fantasy value of note. His best two games as a receiver came in the last two road trips.

The Bengals are about average against running backs but mainly because they have allowed plenty of receptions and yards to them as receivers. They have given up only one rushing score but three touchdowns via a pass to a running back. Expect Forte to have moderate numbers this week thanks to those receptions.

Wide Receivers: This week bodes well for Devin Hester who has never had less than 76 yards in a road game and yet only 21 yards when at home. Plus his two scores both were away from Chicago. Earl Bennett still has not scored this year but hands in around 50 yards per week and Johnny Knox has been used only occasionally but has three scores in the last four games. His yardage is minimal but he's scored in most games.

The Bengals have only allowed three touchdowns to wideouts this year but four players have turned in around 100 yards or more. The Bears are not likely to score via the run so expect a passing score here that favors Hester only slightly. Bennett is a decent play if you are covering for a bye week.

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen has scored in each of the last three games while posting his best yardage in road games. He should have at least decent to good yardage this week with a shot at a touchdown. The Bengals have given up three scores to the position over the last three games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 11 29 15 5 18 11
Preventing Fantasy Points    CIN 29 15 15 28 9 20


Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 7-12 -5 42.5
2 @GB 31-24 +9 42
3 PIT 23-20 +4.5 37
4 @CLE 23-20 -5.5 38
5 @BAL 17-14 +8.5 42
6 HOU 17-28 -5.5 46
7 CHI - -1.5 42.5
8 BYE - - -
9 BAL - - -
10 @PIT - - -
11 @OAK - - -
12 CLE - - -
13 DET - - -
14 @MIN - - -
15 @SD - - -
16 KC - - -
17 @NYJ - - -
CIN vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer     220,1
RB Cedric Benson 90,1 10  
WR Chad Ochocinco   80,1  
WR Laveranues Coles   30  
WR Andre Caldwell   60  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bengals took a hit to their self-perception when they allowed the Texans to come to Cincy and win their game handily. That came on the heels of a win in Baltimore so at least partially a natural let down was to blame. The Bears are the only game to play before the bye week and reaching that 5-2 would still be a major success. The season then is decided in weeks nine and ten with games of BAL and @PIT.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer has thrown a score in each of the last five games and currently has eight touchdowns against seven interceptions but he's been better as the season progresses. His stats have tended to dip when at home mostly because the Bengals rely on the rushing of Cedric Benson. In last week's loss, Palmer passed for 259 yards and one score.

The Bears secondary has been roughly average in most games and every opponent has thrown for at least one touchdown. The Falcons passed for two last week but all others had just one. Expecting the Bears to just be average on defense in this road game, look for moderate yardage and a score from Palmer this week.

Running Backs: Cedric Benson had his first "off" game of the year when he only gained 44 yards on 16 carries against the Texans but he did score one touchdown and has four on the season. Benson had remained at 75 or more yards in every other game and receives very little help other than an occasional run by Bernard Scott. Taking last week as the aberration, Benson will be looking to get back on track on Sunday.

The Bears defense has been generally good against the run and no player has topped 100 rushing yards yet. But the Bears have not faced many good runners so far and allowed five scores to opposing tailbacks. Turner was held to only 30 yards in Atlanta but he did score once. I like Benson to have a better game this week but the Bears are just good enough to keep him from blowing up.

Wide Receivers: Chad OchoCinco comes off his first 100 yard game of the year when he gained 103 on five receptions against the Texans but he's been money in almost every game and has three touchdowns so far. Laveranues Coles had 40 yards on four receptions in that game and scored for the second time as a Bengal. He'll likely be quiet for another month. Andre Caldwell had six receptions for 57 yards last week and continues to grow as a receiver.

The Bears have only given up two scores to wideouts this year but three more went to tight ends which the Bengals rarely use. And Jennings, Calvin Johnson and Burleson all had more than 100 yards when they faced the Bears. Look for OchoCinco to be the most likely to catch a score but it could go anywhere just as easily.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 19 22 7 30 29 13
Preventing Fantasy Points    CHI 20 18 14 25 15 9

The Huddle
WEEK 7
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
DEN, JAC
Monday
DET, BAL
SEA, TEN
Other Features
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Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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