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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chris Mulligan's Week 14 Forecast

Chris Mulligan's Week 14 Forecast...

Excessive hours of work last week prevented me from bringing you the Week 13 Forecast but I’m not letting it stop me this week. As most leagues are in the final week before the playoffs and some of you are desperately needing a win in Week 14 to make it in. The cupboard is pretty bare as far as free agents go but I’ll try to find a couple of guys that could help and as always bring you the matchups to look for.

Favorable Matchups

- Matt Cassel struggled last week against the dominant Pittsburgh defense but it’s going to feel as if he’s playing against high school guys compared to that when the Patriots look to carve up the worst pass defense in the league in form of the Seahawks. The downside could be that the Pats could put this game out of reach too early for him to rack up a ton of yards. If Cassel is your back up you may want to think about making a switch to him this week. Prediction: 295 PaYds 3 TD.

- One game that is sure to get ugly quickly is Arizona at home against St. Louis. The Rams are completely hapless and inept as a team. Anquan Boldin has been the prime target of Kurt Warner for the last few weeks but I’ve got a feeling that Larry Fitzgerald gets the bulk of the catches this week. He may not need many to turn them into a high output of production. Prediction: 7 Rec 145 RecYds 2 TD.

- Peyton Hillis, that’s right, Peyton Hillis is emerging as a quality starting running back for the Broncos. Last week Hillis notched his first 100 yd. game and he could repeat that again this week as the Broncos face the 31st ranked defense in the league in the Kansas City Chiefs. The former Arkansas back has always shown he could be a weapon out of the backfield is proving it on the big stage and should be taken seriously as a valuable fantasy player. Prediction: 115 RuYds 2 TD.

- Brett Favre will lead the Jets against the San Francisco Singletarys this week. The Jets are looking to bounce back this week after a disappointing loss to the Broncos a week ago. The Jets didn’t looked horrible last time they were in the Bay against the Raiders but Favre is 8-0 lifetime against the 49ers. This is also a big game for the Jets considering the Dolphins are hot on their tails. The 49ers pass defense hasn’t been exactly stellar this year either ranking 28th in the league. I’m looking for a big game from Favre in week 14. Prediction: 309 PaYds 2 TD.

Unfavorable Matchups

- Willis McGahee is likely to play this week which is bad timing for him and his owners. The Ravens will take on the 7th ranked run defense in the league in the Redskins this week and McGahee hasn’t shown the ability to get the job done like he has in the past. The Ravens will need to establish the run to win but it’s going to be tough sledding in Week 14. It could be a long day for the Ravens’ run game. Prediction: 67 RuYds 0 TD.

- DeAngelo Williams has been awesome for the last month and the Panthers have benefited greatly from his production. However he and the Panthers will host the 9th ranked run defense in form of the Buccaneers. The Bucs have shown the can play on the road and I feel that the are simply the better team. With an average passing game with Jake Delhomme, the Bucs should be free to focus on stopping Williams and the Panthers run game. Prediction: 55 RuYd, 1 TD.

- Eli Manning will be tested this week against a hungry Philly defense who will be defending their home turf and looking to stay alive in the Wild Card hunt. The Giants don’t need this game and the Eagles do desperately. Manning could struggle with the aggressive Eagles D as they will no doubt be bringing the pressure, trying to get in Manning’s face and throw him off of his timing. This could be the week that the Giants show signs of missing Plaxico Burress as well. Prediction: 189 Pa Yds 1 TD 2 INT.

- Lee Evans hasn’t been outstanding this year with Trent Edwards as the Bills starting QB and Week 14 looks even more bleak as Edwards will likely sit due to injury giving J.P. Losman the start. Losman has been horrible when given the chance to play. Evans looks to have lost a half a step too. The Dolphins are hungry for a win and will be doing everything that they can to shut him down. Prediction: 5 Rec 68 RecYds 0 TD.

Scouting Free Agents

- With Marion Barber suffering from a dislocated toe and being questionable for this week Tashard Choice is the Cowboys only option. It’s the worst possible matchup for the Cowboys as they have to travel to Pittsburgh but Choice could at least possibly get you a touchdown. Even if Barber plays, Choice could see a good amount of touches. Choice holds a number of records at Georgia Tech and has looked good when given opportunities.

- Harry Douglas has put up some decent points in the last two weeks for the Falcons. He found the end zone last week and had 92 RecYds the week before. The Falcons have a favorable matchup against a suspect pass defense in the Saints. If you’re looking for a 3rd WR for this week Douglas could be your man.

- Many owners dropped Matt Schaub after his injury but he is back this week. Good timing for him too as the Texans face the disappointing Packers defense this week. Schaub was on his way to establishing himself as a top 12 fantasy QB before his injury. He might be a bit rusty after the layoff but he should still put up quality numbers. If he is available you shouldn’t hesitate to pick him up.

Quick Notes

- It looks like Anthony Gonzalez could be out this week for the Colts but it also looks like they will be getting Bob Sanders back. This is huge for the Colts defense and their owners. If you were starting Cedric Benson it could be the time to look for an alternative option.

- Brian Westbrook should be ready to go against the Giants this week and if the Eagles have any shot of beating the G-Men they are going to need him. Westbrook owners knew what they were getting into when they drafted him so we can’t call his injury plagued season a disappointment. It’s not a great matchup for Westbrook but he’ll get his numbers if he plays.

- The same could be said for Clinton Portis this week as it looks as if he’ll play this week. It may not be a great idea playing hurt against the Ravens because they can turn hurt into injured very quickly. Portis is an iffy start this week considering the injuries going in and the matchup. If he does play there is a good chance he doesn’t finish the game.

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