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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
*updated

Prediction: CLE 6, CHI 24

The Browns are on a two game losing streak with only the freak game in Buffalo for a win. The Bears are 3-3 and two and a half games out of the NFC North lead but back at home after losing two straight road games. Not shaping up to be a turn around week for the Browns.

Cleveland Browns (1-6)
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 3-31 +9.5 41.5
8 @CHI - +13.5 40
9 BYE - - -
10 BAL - - -
11 @DET - - -
12 @CIN - - -
13 SD - - -
14 PIT - - -
15 @KC - - -
16 OAK - - -
17 JAC - - -
CLE at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     120
RB Jamal Lewis 40    
RB Jerome Harrison 20 20  
TE Michael Gaines   20  
WR M. Massaquoi   60  
WR Josh Cribs   10  
WR Chansi Stuckey   10  
PK Billy Cundiff 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The big question swirling around Cleveland now is why is Derek Anderson still the starter? HC Eric Mangini has confirmed that Anderson remains the starter but it is the same question every week and the Browns season just continues to swirl down the drain. The schedule has been horrible and will get no better but the browns are not even competitive now. They are playing out the season after waving the white flag when Braylon Edwards was traded away.

Quarterback: The bad part of the Derek Anderson problem is not that he remains the starter after three consecutive games under 125 passing yards and with five turnovers against one score. It is that the Browns now look like they are sitting Brady Quinn just so they do not have to pay him any escalators in his contract were he to play in 70% of the snaps this year. Quinn was no savoir to be sure but Anderson hasn't completed more than 40% of his passes either. It just all smacks of a slash and burn of the team for the future. No more Quinn, Edwards or Winslow. And no more offense.

The matchup is immaterial now. Anderson has been so bad that he's not worth owning let alone considering for any fantasy start.

Running Backs: The Browns only have four offensive touchdowns on the season and the only rushing score came on a run by Derek Anderson four weeks ago. No Cleveland running back has scored this year and Jamal Lewis has been turning in sub-50 yard efforts in almost every game. Jerome Harrison has the occasional decent play but has not had more than 30 total yards in four weeks. This is a wasteland for running backs and it is getting worse.

No reason to expect a score and only marginal yardage ever happens anyway.

Wide Receivers: With Anderson unable to throw for over 125 yards, the effect here is predictably bad. Chansi Stuckey has yet to catch a pass in his three games with the team. Mohamed Massaquoi has never had a decent game that wasn't sandwiched between two other efforts with one catch and almost no yardage. None of the wideouts have scored. This unit has lost all identity and promise.

There's a chance that Massaquoi might have noticeable numbers this week in case you are in a bye week crunch, but anything above some moderate yardage would be a surprise. Better off not bothering with these wideouts for the balance of the year.

Tight Ends: Never anything reliable. Robert Royal and Steve Heiden both injured anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 31 32 30 25 24 18
Preventing Fantasy Points    CHI 25 22 24 24 18 13


Chicago Bears (3-3)
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 10-45 +1 42.5
8 CLE - -13.5 40
9 ARI - - -
10 @SF - - -
11 PHI - - -
12 @MIN - - -
13 STL - - -
14 GB - - -
15 @BAL - - -
16 MIN - - -
17 @DET - - -
CHI vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     240,2
RB Matt Forte 80,1 20  
TE Greg Olsen   40,1  
WR Devin Hester   80,1  
WR Earl Bennett   40  
WR Johnny Knox   50  
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The two road losses have set the Bears effort back and exposed the problems of no rushing game and a defense that is not nearly as good as it once was. Two home games give a chance for a turnaround but this week and the Rams in week 13 may be the only time the Bears are favored. The odd part of all of this is that they have become the opposite of what they have historically been. The smash mouth running game and big defense has been replaced by a passing offense that struggles to keep up with what the defense allows. No opponent has scored less than 14 points and last week's thrashing by the Bengals cut deeply.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler continues to air it out and has scored at least once and usually two or three times each week. Aside from the Detroit game he has been consistently around 250 yards or more each week. The two recent losses had a total of five interceptions though and Cutler is getting almost no support from Matt Forte.

The Browns have allowed two or more passing scores to teams that care enough to pass instead of run. Expect a couple of scores this week and solid yardage but it could be a big game if they do not press the issue of making Matt Forte roll up big yards because he is in a game where he finally can.

Running Backs: Reception points are the only reason why a fantasy team would bother starting Matt Forte who has been good with around four or five catches for maybe 20 or 30 yards per week. But his rushing has been horrible and it was never more evident than last week when Cedric "Remember Me?" Benson shredded the Bears defense while Matt Forte could only manage 24 yards on six carries. This on the heels of running for 23 yards on 15 carries in Atlanta.

At least Forte will be at home where he had 121 yards and a score against the visiting Lions. If you own Forte, then you must start him this week because this could be as good as it gets all year. As bad as the Browns have been, they have only allowed two runners to top 100 yards so Forte is a stretch to become the third.

Wide Receivers: This week gets to be the trend breaker hopefully. Devin Hester comes off a season high 8 catches for 101 yards and a score in Cincinnati last week. He has three touchdowns and four good fantasy efforts this season - every one on the road. At home he has no scores and only a total of five receptions for 23 yards over two games. It will depend on the success of Forte but Hester has a chance to finally show up in a home game this year.

Johnny Knox has cooled down and only had 42 yards on four catches last week. But he still has three scores on the year unlike Earl Bennett who has yet to get a touchdown. Bennett is the possession man who is consistently mediocre every week.

The Browns are weak against wide receivers but it depends on how easy the running game goes for opponents - there is not as much need to throw in most games though six wideouts have already scored against the Browns and three players have topped 100 receiving yards. The good news for Hester is that the #1 receiver consistently has been the best player against the secondary. It is a strange long shot but Hester could break his streak of home game duds.

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen snapped his three game scoring streak when he ended in Cincinnati with just four catches for 24 yards. He's rarely had much yardage and topped out at 57 yards in Atlanta. He should manage at least decent yardage this week against a defense that has give up around 50 yards to most good tight ends and a score in each of the last two games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 12 30 12 5 21 23
Preventing Fantasy Points    CLE 21 30 22 18 26 25

The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
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