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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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: NYG 23, PHI 20

Late Update: Brian Westbrook remains very questionable to play and though he may still be a game time decision, chances are best he will not play. He had a serious concussion last week and has not yet been cleared to play. Ahmad Bradshaw missed practice this week until Friday when he had some limited work and is expected to play and is listed as probable. Mario Manningham was held out of practice on Friday and is a surprise addition to the injury report as questionable. He injured his shoulder at the end of practice Thursday. He has not been ruled out but is a risk to play. I am lowering his stats and check on his pregame game status to be sure if you need him. Hakeem Nicks is passing him on the depth charts sooner than later and would get the extra work if Manningham doesn’t play.

Early update: Ahmad Bradshaw has not practiced this week and it was revealed that he is dealing with a cracked fifth metatarsal in his foot and an old ankle fracture that never healed correctly. But he is expected to play on Sunday and will do so until eventually he has to have surgery. So he is a risk but I had only projected marginal stats this week anyway. Brian Westbrook has been held out of practice and he is feeling better from his concussion but he’s still likely to miss this week though he is considered a game time decision. His status may change on Friday but at best he would be a risky start. No need to add him back into the projections.

The Giants have dropped their last two games including a home stand against the Cardinals. The Eagles come off their Monday night win over the Redskins but that was on the heels of a loss in Oakland. The Giants currently have a half game lead over the Eagles and Cowboys.

These divisional foes traded road wins during the regular season last year. The Giants won 36-31 in Philadelphia and the Eagles later won 20-14 in New York. They also played in the Divisional round of the playoffs last January where the visiting Eagles won 23-11. Just to make this even stranger, the Giants have won four of the last five in Philly while the Eagles have won three of the last four in New York.

New York Giants (5-2)
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 17-24 -9 46.5
8 @PHI - +1.5 46
9 SD - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 ATL - - -
12 @DEN - - -
13 DAL - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @WAS - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     250,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 50    
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 40 10  
TE Kevin Boss   30  
WR Steve Smith   70,1  
WR Hakeem Nicks   70,1  
WR Mario Manningham   30  
PK Lawrence Tynes 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Maybe the Giants were caught looking ahead to this game last week when they lost to the Cardinals or maybe it was just a let down since it was only the second home game in a stretch of six weeks. The Giants have to host the Chargers next before finally getting their bye week and a needed rest before the stretch run for the playoffs. The Giants have looked a bit tired for these last two games but a trip to play the Eagles has usually been surprisingly refreshing.

Quarterback: Eli Manning started the season out with a nice string of four games with multiple touchdown passes but these last two games have only seen one score each and his yardage has taken a downward dip when it was needed to show up most. He threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions last week after only having three over the previous six games.

Manning passed for 191 yards and two scores in the week 10 matchup with the Eagles last season. He later had 123 yards and a touchdown in the home game and then 169 yards and no scores in the playoff loss to the Eagles.

The Eagles have been allowing two or three passing scores to all opponents and even JaMarcus Russell threw for a touchdown. Jason Campbell threw for 284 yards and two scores on Monday night. The only top flight quarterback that has faced the Eagles so far has been Drew Brees who had 311 yards and three scores in Philly. Expect a better showing for Manning from his recent games and an improvement from last year's results. The receivers are better and the backfield is more diversified.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs comes off his best game in a month when he ran for 76 yards on 13 carries and scored but that was only his second touchdown of the year. He is well behind the pace of last year thanks in part to Ahmad Bradshaw who takes ten to twelve carries each week and has a team leading three rushing scores. Still - only five rushing touchdowns after the first seven games? There had been eight at this time last year and the Giants had three occasions of runners topping 100 rushing yards. Bradshaw has two so far but Jacobs has yet to exceed 92 yards in a game.

Jacobs rumbled for 126 yards and two scores in Philly last year but then only had 52 yards on ten carries at home. He later turned in 92 yards on 19 carries and never had a catch in any of the meetings with the Eagles.

The Philly rush defense has been outstanding this year. No runner has topped 87 rushing yards and none have scored in the last three games. Only two opponents had a rusher that topped 46 rushing yards. Expect the split between Jacobs and Bradshaw to really decrease their value this week since the pickings should be slimmer than usual.

Wide Receivers: Steve Smith continues to be cooler after opening the year with four scores in the first three games but none in the last three weeks. He still has been solid in yardage though his last road trip to New Orleans had a season low 44 yards on four catches. He's not had more than four catches in a game since week four. Mario Manningham has been banging around 50 yards literally every week and has three touchdowns on the season. The biggest spark has been Hakeem Nicks who has scored in each of the last four games even if it requires a carom shot off another receivers hands. The speedy rookie has been very good and has the confidence of Manning already.

No Giants wideout had more than 53 yards against the Eagles last year and Burress caught the only wideout score of the three meetings.

The Eagles secondary has been good statistically but come one - they have not played teams that pass well other than the Saints. Carolina? Oakland? Tampa Bay? Kansas City? Expect a better week for the Giants wideouts since the defense gambles and Manning has more weapons to make them pay. Hard as it seems to continue, Nicks is in a good position for yet another touchdown this week and another touchdown should go to either of the starters. I will favor Smith but the confidence is not that high.

Tight Ends: Kevin Boss has yet to score this year and usually only has a couple of catches. He has been even less of a factor on the road this year. Boss was more productive in games against the Eagles last year, recording six receptions for 69 yards and a score in Philly and 52 yards on three catches in the playoff meeting.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 11 19 3 28 1 9
Preventing Fantasy Points    PHI 13 10 5 32 7 10


Philadelphia Eagles (4-2))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CAR 38-10 -2.5 43.5
2 NO 22-48 -3 46.5
3 KC 34-14 -9.5 42.5
4 BYE -    
5 TB 33-14 -16 42
6 @OAK 9-13 -14 40.5
7 @WAS 27-17 -7 37.5
8 NYG - -1.5 46
9 DAL - - -
10 @SD - - -
11 @CHI - - -
12 WAS - - -
13 @ATL - - -
14 @NYG - - -
15 SF - - -
16 DEN - - -
17 @DAL - - -
PHI vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     240,2
RB LeSean McCoy 50 30  
TE Brent Celek   70,1  
WR DeSean Jackson   60  
WR Jason Avant   20  
WR Jeremy Maclin   40,1  
PK David Akers 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The big win over the Redskins on Monday night glossed over the fact that one score came on an interception return for a score and DeSean Jackson had two scores from 57+ yards. For the want of two very long offensive plays, the Eagles might have lost that game.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb comes off his worst effort of the season when he only passed fro 156 yards and one touchdown against the Redskins and 57 yards of that came on one scoring play. That makes evaluating McNabb even harder this week since his two decent games came against the Panthers and Buccaneers but he had down efforts versus the better defenses of the Raiders and Redskins. The Giants are certainly the most complete team to face the Eagles since the Saints and McNabb was out that week.

Michael Vick remains a part of the offense but for all the accolades the announcers like to bestow, he's done absolutely nothing since joining the team and has completed two of six passes for six yards in the four weeks he has been active.

McNabb passed for 194 yards and three touchdowns when the Giants visited last year. He always passed for at least one score in each meeting with them in 2008.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook suffered a concussion against the Redskins on Monday and is likely to miss this week. Updates as warranted but he's been largely ineffective when healthy anyway. That leaves LeSean McCoy to shoulder the load but he's only had one decent effort so far and that was against the visiting Chiefs. McCoy took over for Westbrook on Monday night and only produced 37 yards on 14 carries and added 30 yards on five receptions.

Other than the freakish 131 yards on 33 carries logged by Westbrook in week 14 last year (he also had 72 receiving yards and scored twice), Westbrook was held to very minimal output against the Giants last season.

The Giants have been good against the run but have allowed six rushing scores in just the last there games thanks mostly to the Saints and Cardinals. But opposing runners have not been dominant in any game this year other than back in week two in Dallas when the Giants won anyway. McCoy should produce moderate yardage and have a shot at a score but a big game is unlikely and his receiving yards should really help his totals.

Wide Receivers: DeSean Jackson has become a feast or famine player. He has scored in three games and had well over 100 yards in each. He had 94 yards against the Raiders. And he had less than ten yards in both the Buccaneers and Panthers matchup. So either a big game or almost nothing so far. His two scores and 100+ yard efforts both came at home and he's been best in the games that the Eagles have lost. Jackson suffered a right foot strain last on Monday night and was limited when he played after his second long score. I will assume that Jackson will not be limited this week and update as warranted.

Jeremy Maclin caught five passes and gained 53 yards against the Redskins in a show of his growing importance since his breakout against the Buccaneers a couple of weeks ago. But he has just the two scores from that game so far and other than Jackson no wideout here has scored in more than one game.

Jackson had games of 61 and 81 yards versus the Giants last year. He was also blanked in the week 14 matchup.

The Giants have been outstanding against wideouts this year and outside of the Saints have allowed just one passing score to the position and never more than 83 yards - most settling for sub-40 yard efforts. I like Maclin a bit more this week since Jackson will attract all the attention and Maclin is far more likely than Jason Avant to score.

Tight Ends: Brent Celek had an uncharacteristic game against the Redskins when he only produced three catches for eight yards since he had been good for at least 58 yards each game prior to that. He's a safe bet for a big effort this week against a defense that has been weakest against the opposing tight ends and already allowed four touchdowns to the position.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 8 21 17 13 7 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 8 16 3 20 1 4

The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
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