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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
BUF, CLE
Monday
NYJ, OAK
STL, MIN
* updated

Prediction: DET 6, SEA 30

Late Update: Kevin Smith was limited in practice and listed as questionable but is expected to start. Calvin Johnson has been limited in poractice but appears likely to get at least some playing time this week if not start. I am adding him back into the projections but he'll still be a risk no matter what happens. He's still not completely recovered from the unnamed knee injury.

Early Update: Matt Hasselbeck has been limited in practice to rest his ribs but is not expected to miss this very nice matchup. Matt Stafford has also been limited but is expected to play. As of Thursday night, HC Jim Schwartz considers both Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson as game time decisions but Smith is very likely to play. Friday will be key for Johnson's status.

The Lions are back on a four game losing streak with no relief in sight while the Seahawks have lost two in a row and are 2-2 at home. This is a much needed shot in the arm for the Seahawks and just another shot to the gut for the Lions.

Detroit Lions (1-6)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NO 24-45 +13.5 49
2 MIN 13-27 +10 47
3 WAS 19-14 +6.5 38
4 @CHI 24-48 +10.5 38.5
5 PIT 20-28 +10.5 44
6 @GB 0-26 +13.5 47.5
7 BYE - - -
8 STL 10-17 -3.5 43.5
9 @SEA - +10 43
10 @MIN - - -
11 CLE - - -
12 GB - - -
13 @CIN - - -
14 @BAL - - -
15 ARI - - -
16 @SF - - -
17 CHI - - -
DET at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford     200
RB Kevin Smith 50 20  
TE Brandon Pettigrew   20  
WR Calvin Johnson   40  
WR Bryant Johnson   40  
WR Dennis Northcutt   40  
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The presence of Calvin Johnson is sorely missed and even when he did not have big gains, at least he gave the defense something to think about. The visiting Rams last week was probably as good as it was going to get though fingers are crossed for the Browns showing up in week 11. Matthew Stafford returned but the Lions now have an even less healthy backfield with a banged up Kevin Smith. It's the Lions. This is all supposed to happen.

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford returned after missing two games with a sprained knee but was not 100% and settled for just 168 yards last week though he surprisingly ran in one touchdown. HC Jim Schwartz said that Stafford is still not over his knee injury but so far has not suffered any setbacks and should play again this week. Stafford has only played in two road games so far but without Calvin Johnson there is little hope for a turnaround.

The Seattle secondary is nothing special but neither is the Lions offense. Safest bet here is no score and only marginal passing yardage.

Running Backs: Kevin Smith injured his foot and aggravated his shoulder injury last week which allowed Maurice Morris to get more playing time. Morris responded with 63 yards on 14 carries and added 19 yards on one catch. The expectation now is that Morris will see increased playing time but that Smith will remain the primary back. It is too early to consider that reliable but it just makes Kevin Smith even more risky to use. Smith is not expected to miss any time but he won't be 100% healthy when he plays this week.

The Seahawks have been great against the run at home where only one touchdown was scored by an opposing runner and no one has rushed for more than 67 yards. Considering the likely split between Smith and Morris, downgrade Smith from what could have been a decent showing.

Wide Receivers: Two games without Calvin Johnson and the results are predictably bad. No receiver gained more than 43 yards in the last two weeks and none have scored. Last week only Bryant Johnson (2-43) had a catch as a wide receiver. The secondary of the Seahawks is average at best but on the road without Calvin Johnson reduces the fantasy value of this group to almost nothing.

Tight Ends: Even Brandon Pettigrew has disappeared in the last two weeks with only two catches for 17 yards. No tight ends have scored this year anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 24 17 25 22 24 20
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 16 20 30 8 15 17


Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 STL 28-0 -7.5 37
2 @SF 10-23 +1.5 39.5
3 CHI 19-25 +2 37
4 @IND 17-34 +10 43.5
5 JAC 41-0 +3 40
6 ARI 3-27 -3 47
7 BYE - - -
8 @DAL 17-38 +10 46
9 DET - -10 43
10 @ARI - - -
11 @MIN - - -
12 @STL - - -
13 SF - - -
14 @HOU - - -
15 TB - - -
16 @GB - - -
17 TEN - - -
SEA vs DET ! ! ! Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     270,2
RB Julius Jones 80,1 10  
RB Justin Forsett 40 10  
TE John Carlson   30  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   50  
WR Deion Branch   50,1  
WR Nate Burleson   100,1  
PK Olindo Mare 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The big win over the Jaguars has been obscured now with two losses but the visiting Lions are always a chance to get back on the right track if only for one week. Immediately following this game are road trips to Arizona and Minnesota that are sure to be major challenges. The Seahawks are already thinking about next year and just released the ineffective Edgerrin James and are contemplating other depth charts moves to improve the offense or at least get a better look at what they have.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck had some success in Dallas when he passed for 249 yards and two scores which oddly makes him alternate between big games and ones with no scores and less than 125 passing yards but that should change with the Lions showing up. Hasselbeck took a big hit to the chest last week but was able to re-enter the game and is not expected to have any lingering repercussions from it. Hasselbeck is back at home where he had been at his best until the Cardinals game. No chance of that happening this week.

The Lions secondary has allowed all but the Rams to throw for at least two passing touchdowns if not up to six like how the Saints opened the year. Expect at least those two scores and solid yardage but the defense and rushing game could be good enough to not prompt Hasselbeck into having a really big game.

Running Backs: The Seahawks released Edgerrin James which likely ends his illustrious career. That should result in added workload for Justin Forsett but reasonably there is nothing to get excited about here. The Seahawks have one rushing touchdown back in week one and none since. The last four games have seen Julius Jones remain under 60 rushing yards and Forsett has done little since week two. The departure of James doesn't make Jones any more attractive for a fantasy team. The cutting of James no doubt sends people running to the waiver wire but limit your expectations on what you are trying to acquire.

The Lions have been very weak against everyone basically and that includes running backs. This should be about as good as it gets for Jones as long as they do not get cute and use Justin Forsett too much more. Forsett is only 5'8" and around 190 pounds.

Wide Receivers: Last week Deion Branch had his first touchdown of the season when he caught three passes for 36 yards. About all he has done is to move Deon Butler back on the depth chart but Nate Burleson remains the primary receiver with T.J. Houshmandzadeh back to disappointing for the last two weeks. Having the Lions visit should cure what ever ails this unit and get a sure score for Burleson if not one of the other wideouts.

Tight Ends: John Carlson still has not scored since week one and remains consistent each week with around 40 yards or so. Not much downside here but no real upside either.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 14 23 14 19 16 25
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 29 28 30 27 23

The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
BUF, CLE
Monday
NYJ, OAK
STL, MIN
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