VOTED #1 FANTASY FOOTBALL SITE
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002
PRIORITY NEWS   MESSAGE BOARDS JOIN   
HOME ARTICLES STATISTICS WEEKLY FEATURES TEAM LINKS NFL RESOURCES  
Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 9
September 3, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
CAR at HOU NYG at NYJ CIN at ARZ GB at MIN Buffalo
IND at MIA OAK at DET PIT at SEA Mon 9 PM Cleveland
JAX at BAL SD at CHI PHI at ATL NE at DEN Kansas City
NO at TB WAS at DAL STL at SF *updated Tennessee
   
San Diego vs Chicago Sun, Nov 2; 1 PM on CBS at Soldier Field
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 190,1
RB L. Tomlinson 130,1 30 0
TE Josh Norman 0 10 0
WR David Boston 0 50 0
WR Eric Parker 0 60,1 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 30 0
  Chicago Rush Catch Pass
QB Chris Chandler 0 0 210,2
RB Anthony Thomas 90,1 0 0
RB Brock Forsey 10 10 0
TE Desmond Clark Q Q Q
TE Dustin Lyman 0 30,1 0
WR Marty Booker Q Q Q
WR Justin Gage 0 60 0
WR Dez White 0 70,1 0
WR David Terrell 0 30 0

Game Prediction: SD 20, CHI 24

Update: Anthony Thomas has practiced twice this week and is expected to play. Desmond Clark and Marty Booker are both still limited in practice and are questionable. Their playing status relies on what they will be able to do in practice on Friday and Saturday but I am making the most probable assumption that they will not play this week. They would be limited if they did return anyway.

Another factor in the game is that the Chargers have been forced to leave California early and have final practices in Chicago due to the fires raging in the state. This is an obvious distraction for them and they are already coming off a short week.

This will be interesting - what happens when two terrible defenses meet? Tomlinson is bound to profit but beyond him it is less clear. The Bears have good cornerbacks that can keep Boston from hurting them. The Chargers can be beaten in many ways but the Bears have no major weapon to use and there are still question marks on most skill positions for the Chicago offense thanks to injuries.

Everyone scores on the Bears - even Detroit had 16 points. But the Bears are at home where they have recorded their two wins. San Diego has only won on the road this year. Add in that the Chargers come off a short week with little game film to review since much of the Chicago team has never played before last week.

I lean a little towards the home team that feels better about themselves but the game could go either way easily.

San Diego Notes

The Chargers fall to 1-6 after their Monday night loss to the Dolphins.

Quarterbacks: Evidently a prime time game was not what the Chargers needed. Drew Brees only managed to throw for 190 yards - most of those trash time - and three interceptions. He would have been replaced eventually but Doug Flutie did not want to hurt his image showing up on TV with that team. It was a lot better than the 74 yards Brees had the previous week, but then again - they won that game. He is just throwing too much to win, a certain truism when he tosses three interceptions.

Running backs: LaDainian Tomlinson only gained 62 yards on 24 carries against the Dolphins because, not surprisingly, the Dolphins were committing anywhere from eight to eleven players against him every play. Tomlinson did have 11 catches for 80 yards which led all receivers as well. If Tomlinson did anything more to help carry this team, he would need a roof rack on his back to hold the equipment boxes.

Wide Receivers: David Boston actually managed to catch five passes in the game for 82 yards which was far better than the ten yards he turned in the previous week. Tim Dwight never actually caught a pass but had two runs for 14 yards.

Tight Ends: Josh Norman managed the hat trick, dropping all three passes thrown to him. Stephen Alexander is like a myth told in the lockerroom now. "Once upon a time, we thought we had a tight end..."

Match against the defense: The advantage here lies in the fact that Tomlinson is itching to turn in a big game and the Bears are just the team to allow it. Notable runners to exceed 100 yards include Moe Williams (108), Ahman Green (176), Deuce McAllister (116) and Stephen Alexander (101). Even Charlie Garner had 92 yards on the ground in Chicago.

As a function of that green light to runners, the passers have not fared well statistically against the Bears. The best game so far was back in week one when Jeff Garcia had 229 yards. Not to worry - the 49ers gained 163 rushing yards then.

Chicago Notes

The Bears rise to 2-5 thanks to the visiting Lions.

Quarterbacks: Chris Chandler took his second start and turned in a nice 207 yard game with one touchdown and no interceptions. Since that exceeded any game by Kordell Stewart, Chandler gets the thumbs up for at least one more week and probably several until the Bears decide to see if Rex Grossman has anything.

Running backs: Granted - it was against the Lions, but Brock Forsey carried the ball 19 times for 56 yards and one touchdown. Initially Rabih Abdullah (1-6) was destined to start but the Bears changed their minds since they were trying to build an all rookie team last week.

Anthony Thomas and Adrian Peterson missed last week but their status is currently not determined. Thomas was the more injured of the two so for now I am projecting Brock Forsey as the starter again (he's won every game!) but that will change if either Thomas or Peterson can play.

Wide Receivers: With Marty Booker out, the lead receiver became David Terrell who had more catches (5) than the other three wideouts but still gained less yards (22) than the others. Dez White (3-36), Justin Gage (2-58, 1 TD) and even Bobby Wade (3-39) all contributed.

I am assuming that Booker returns and while Terrell is still in the game plan, keep an eye on rookie Justin Gage for the future.

Tight Ends: Since all the prominent Bears were taking the day off, Desmond Clark did not play either and allowed Dustin Lyman to out do everyone with six catches for 42 yards. I am assuming that Clark returns. With the Bears you can never be sure since injuries seem to linger more in Chicago than other cities.

Match against the defense: The Chargers are actually worse than the Bears. Since teams can select their success from any page in the playbook, much of what happens will rely on game situations.

For now, the safest bet is that Forsey again starts and while he looks pretty good against his second terrible defense (this guy has timing if nothing else), the Bears will need to throw the ball to win. And they can - heck, everyone who has wanted to throw pretty much has two or three touchdowns. If Booker returns, he will be the main beneficiary but Chandler is good enough to spread the ball around and share the wealth.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
SD Scores
27
10
19
19
25
24
CHI Allows
19
31
9
27
32
26
SD AP
-8
21
-10
8
7
2
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CHI Scores
24
28
27
20
12
29
SD Allows
27
30
22
31
29
13
CHI AP
3
2
-5
9
17
-16
Offensive ranks lower = gains more points, Defensive ranks lower = allows less points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
SD
CHI
2003 Game Averages
CHI
SD
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
200
195
Pass yards
158
234
1.0
1.6
Pass TDs
0.7
2.1
1.6
1.0
Interceptions
1.4
0.7
8
12
Rush yards
32
2
0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0
----- 
---
RB's
---
----- 
110
129
Rush yards
87
122
0.7
1.0
Rush TDs
0.6
0.9
36
39
Receive yards
9
44
0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.4
----- 
---
WR's
---
----- 
142
132
Receive yards
119
156
0.7
0.7
Receive TD's
0.6
0.9
----- 
---
TE's
---
----- 
21
24
Receive yards
30
34
0.3
0.7
Receive TD's
0.1
0.9
----- 
---
PK's
---
----- 
1.3
2.1
Field Goals
2.0
1.9
1.9
3.0
Extra Points
1.6
3.1
----- 
---
DEF/ST
---
----- 
0.6
0.7
Fumbles
0.4
0.4
0.7
1.4
Interceptions
1.0
1.6
0.1
0.3
Touchdowns
0.1
0
2.1
3.3
Sacks
1.0
2.1
0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.1
Chargers (1-6)
Score Opp.
14-27 @KC
13-37 DEN
10-24 BAL
31-34 @OAK
21-27 @JAX
Week 6 BYE
26-20 @CLE
10-26 MIA
Week 9 @CHI
Week 10 MIN
Week 11 @DEN
Week 12 CIN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @DET
Week 15 GB
Week 16 @PIT
Week 17 OAK
Bears (2-5)
Score Opp.
7-49 @SF
13-24 @MIN
Week 3 BYE
23-38 GB
24-21 OAK
13-20 @NO
17-24 @SEA
24-16 DET
Week 9 SD
Week 10 @DET
Week 11 STL
Week 12 @DEN
Week 13 ARZ
Week 14 @GB
Week 15 MIN
Week 16 WAS
Week 17 @KC

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points