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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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: GB 23, CLE 10

Late Update: Both Harrison and Stuckey were limited because of the flu but have not been ruled out this week. Jennings is listed as probable to play but was limited in practice on Friday. He is still expected to play.

Early Update: Many players remain out of practice because of the flu including Chansi Stuckey, Steve Heiden, Robert Royal and Jerome Harrison. I will assume they will play and update later if that is not the case.

Jordy Nelson remains out with his knee injury and Greg Jennings was held out of practice on Thursday when his sore hip flared up and needed rest. No need to change his projections yet.

The Packers come off a shutout over the Lions and at 3-2 remain well behind the Vikings in the division but it is a winning record and that is an accomplishment enough after last year. The Browns were reminded by the Steelers that they are still not a good team and at 1-5 have little more to cling to other than the hope that bad weather will somehow favor them later in the year.

Green Bay Packers (3-2)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 21-15 -4 46
2 CIN 24-31 -9 42
3 @STL 36-17 -6.5 41
4 @MIN 23-30 +3.5 46
5 BYE - - -
6 DET 26-0 -13.5 47.5
7 @CLE - -7 42
8 MIN - - -
9 @TB - - -
10 DAL - - -
11 SF - - -
12 @DET - - -
13 BAL - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 @PIT - - -
16 SEA - - -
17 @ARI - - -
GB at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     300,2
RB Ryan Grant 60 20  
TE Jermichael Finley   50  
WR Greg Jennings   60  
WR Donald Driver   100,1  
WR James Jones   40,1  
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Packers offensive line continues to have injury problems and the impact is evident in the lackluster rushing game and the fact that Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 25 times in just five games. That's a pounding that will eventually take its toll. That's #1 in the league currently by three sacks over DET and KC who no one wants to be lumped in with. The Packers have to win this week and then get a shot at the Vikings visiting in week eight that will be the "sink or swim" moment of the season.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers has been getting better as the season progresses even if he is constantly getting hit. His last two efforts topped 300 yards and he has scored in every game this year including twice in the last three matchups. He only has two interceptions on the season as well so he is paying off for fantasy owners. In the last four games, he has passed for 260+ yards each time.

There is nothing special about the Browns secondary other than most teams just run the ball against them and seemingly are less productive with the pass. But Roethlisberger just lit them up for 417 yards and Flacco had 342. Rodgers doesn't have an effective rushing attack so he'll once again have to air it out.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant is quietly having a completely unspectacular season and has not scored since week two. He has topped 90 rushing yards twice and yet still has not broken 100 yards. His role as a receiver is also nearly non-existent so he makes a normally disappointing fantasy start each week.

The Browns are one of the worst teams against the run though and while that spawns optimism, this is also only the third time this year that they will have played at home. The first time was when Peterson opened the season with a monster game but the only other home matchup was when Cedric Benson showed up and was held to 74 yards on 18 carries. Grant should have just another one of his mediocre showings again this season.

Wide Receivers: Jordy Nelson is out indefinitely with a knee sprain and that leaves James Jones for the slot duty that saw him with 55 yards and a score on two catches last week. Jones had done next to nothing previously though and showing up against the Lions is the rule and not the exception. Donald Driver had his first 100 yard effort of the season when the Lions came to town on Sunday and while he has been unusually more productive this year he still only has two touchdowns on the season and none in the last two games. Greg Jennings hasn't scored since week one and only totaled 64 yards on six receptions against the Lions. Fantasy owners are getting tired of waiting on him and at this point the only reasonable explanation for his decline is that Rodgers has spread out to other receivers as he matures in the position.

The Browns secondary has given up several 100+ yard games to receivers including both Ward and Holmes from the Steelers last week. This should be a very nice game for Donald Driver and a good chance at a score for him as well. A second passing score could end up here or with a tight end. I will credit it to Jones but there is little confidence in that.

Tight Ends: Jermichael Finley had five receptions for 54 yards last week to continue his progress that spiked in week four in Minnesota when he had six catches . That was favorable to see him used in a road game since this will only be the second one that he will be playing in. He's a decent bye week filler but not yet productive enough to warrant every game consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 24 9 8 5 4
Preventing Fantasy Points    CLE 21 31 24 13 24 29


Cleveland Browns (1-5)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  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 6-3 +6 40
6 @PIT 14-27 +14 38
7 GB - +7 42.5
8 @CHI - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 BAL - - -
11 @DET - - -
12 @CIN - - -
13 SD - - -
14 PIT - - -
15 @KC - - -
16 OAK - - -
17 JAC - - -
CLE vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     150,1
RB Jamal Lewis 50    
RB Jerome Harrison 20 50  
TE Robert Royal   10  
WR Chansi Stuckey   10  
WR Josh Cribs 20 0  
WR M. Massaquoi   70,1  
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: After finally getting the first win over the Bills, the Browns turned back into a pumpkin in Pittsburgh and now hosts the Packers. After trading away Braylon Edwards, the team has no receivers and that has made Derek Anderson struggle mightily in thee last two weeks. The running game is barely alive with Jamal Lewis needing a weak defense to make him seem average. The season is already shifted into "just play it out" gear.

Quarterback: Once again, HC Eric Mangini has to reiterate that he stands behind Derek Anderson as the starting quarterback after he only completed 9 of 24 passes for 122 yards and one score in Pittsburgh. He also lost two fumbles and had one interception. Hopefully returning home this week will help perk up his production because it certainly cannot get much worse. In the last two weeks without Edwards there, Anderson has completed 11 of 41 passes for 145 yards. Ouch.

The Packers secondary is nothing special but neither are the Browns who have only three passing scores on the year. Make it four this week with marginal yardage if only later in the game.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis had a season low 21 yards on 11 carries in Pittsburgh and beyond the one game against the Bills, he's been entirely ineffective as a runner who never has a catch and has not scored yet this season. Jerome Harrison has been better but the Browns continue to feature Lewis and use Harrison as a change of pace back. This week his role as a receiver should be more important.

The Packers have only allowed one runner to score this year and most have minimal yardage. That makes Lewis once again a marginal start at best bit Harrison could factor in with enough receptions to allow him at least marginal fantasy value this week.

Wide Receivers: It was bad with Edward there. Now it's been catastrophically bad other than Mohamed Massaquoi who accounted for five catches and 83 yards last week. Chansi Stuckey has been targeted six times as a Brown but had no catches in either game. Josh Cribs does more as a rusher on end-arounds than he does as a receiver. And still, six weeks in, no wideout for the Browns has actually caught a touchdown pass.

I am going out on a limb by calling for a touchdown by Massaquoi but the Packers have allowed six receivers to score this year and Massaquoi is the only outlet that Anderson has any success with. He makes a very risky starter for a fantasy team but for the Browns, he is easily the best bet to have any significance this week.

Tight Ends: The tight ends have two of the three passing scores by the Browns this year even those were split between Steve Heiden and Robert Royal. There is no reliable tight end here and both players have games with no catches.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 31 32 29 28 24 10
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 17 2 19 14 3 21

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
Tunnel Vision
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