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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 13
November 26, 2003
Season Ticket
Thu 12:30 Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
GB at DET ARZ at CHI MIN at STL CLE at SEA TB at JAX
Thu 4:05 ATL at HOU NE at IND NO at WAS Mon 9 PM
MIA at DAL BUF at NYG PHI at CAR DEN at OAK TEN at NYJ
*updated CIN at PIT SF at BAL KC at SD Times EST
   
Minnesota vs St. Louis Sun, Nov 30; 1 PM on FOX at Edward Jones Dome
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 40,1 0 280, 2
RB Michael Bennett 60 20 0
RB Moe Williams 30,2 20 0
TE J. Kleinsasser 0 30 0
WR Randy Moss 0 100,1 0
WR Kelly Campbell 20 40 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 50,1 0
  St. Louis Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 330,3
RB Marshall Faulk 100,1 40 0
TE B. Manumaleuna 0 20 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 100,1 0
WR Torry Holt 0 120,1 0
WR Dane Looker 0 40,1 0

Game Prediction: MIN 31, STL 37

This will hopefully become a wonderful shoot-out and if Moss is healthy, it could be of epic proportions. Since the Rams keep losing the ball, the opponents keep scoring which makes the Rams score which makes the opponent score and by the end the fantasy world stands to applaud "Bravo!

Minnesota Notes

The Vikings, finally, rise to 7-4 and maintain their one game edge over the Packers in the NFC North.

Quarterbacks:: Daunte Culpepper comes off his lowest output in six games. He only gained 196 yards passing with no scores but added 41 yards on seven runs. Compared to his previous two games of 370-4 and 396-1, it is hard to understand that he only had an average passing day for an NFL quarterback.

Running Backs: Michael Bennett was effective in his first full game back, gaining 73 yards on 15 carries and scoring once. Moe Williams only managed 14 yards on five carries but added 56 more yards on six receptions. Williams had his first fumble of the season against the Lions.

Receivers: Randy Moss sprained his right ankle in the first half against Detroit, but returned. He was bothered by the injury, but HC Mike Tice does not expect him to miss any practice. Moss ended with only 56 yards on five catches and he has not scores in two weeks.

D'Wayne Bates was listed as probable last week but ended up a scratch for the game due to his lingering hamstring problem. Neither Burleson nor Campbell did much to help out.

Jim Kleinsasser had only two catches for 17 yards after catching seven for a career-high 67 yards the previous week. Kleinsasser sprained his right ankle during the game but he is expected to play this Sunday.

Match against the Defense: This could be a good one. The Rams have allowed multiple touchdowns in four of their last six games though Favre's 268 yards has been the tops against the secondary. Considering how many times St. Louis has turned the ball over, the field position has a bearing on that statistic. This should be a good place for Culpepper to do well and provided Moss is healthy, he too could have a big game. Arguably the best two receivers that the Rams have faced have been Anquan Boldin (123, 2 TDs) and Hines Ward (90, 2 TDs).

The Rams rush defense has also been hurt by Jamal Lewis, Marcel Shipp and Anthony Thomas the last three weeks. Bennett's game is better on fast carpet and Williams is obviously used to the settings as well.

St. Louis Notes

The Rams rise to 8-3 and are one game over the Seahawks in the NFC West.

Quarterbacks:: Marc Bulger's level of play has caused HC Mike Martz to repeatedly affirm who the starting quarterback is. Bulger has thrown only four touchdowns in the last four games against 10 interceptions and two lost fumbles. The Rams are a delight to all defenses for turnovers thanks to Bulger.

Running Backs: Marshall Faulk turned in his second 100 yard rushing game in consecutive weeks against the Cardinals when he ran 24 times for exactly 100 yards and one touchdown. Faulk is going to like the Vikings.

Receivers: Tory Holt did not score last week for only the third time this season. Holt already has 1285 yards receiving on the season and 10 touchdowns on 84 receptions. All three marks lead the league. Isaac Bruce turned in a nice 99 yard, one touchdown game last week for his best fantasy game of the year.

Match against the Defense: The Rams are at home and the Vikings are visiting - it just does not get much better than this.

Look for a monster game from Bulger who always plays better at home and best at home against a bad secondary. Minnesota has one of the lowest ranked defenses in the league and head into St. Louis to face the most productive offense. You got 'em - you play 'em.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
MIN Scores
1
7
4
26
21
7
STL Allows
10
4
19
6
6
32
MIN AP
9
-3
15
-20
-15
25
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
STL Scores
3
23
1
21
1
2
MIN Allows
28
29
21
25
16
18
STL AP
25
6
20
4
15
16
Offensive ranks = #1 gains most points, Defensive ranks = #1 allows least points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
MIN
STL
2003 Game Averages
STL
MIN
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
275
192
Pass yards
281
249
2.1
1.4
Pass TDs
1.4
1.3
0.9
1.8
Interceptions
1.9
1.9
23
9
Rush yards
6
10
0.4
0.0
Rush TDs
0.3
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
92
90
Rush yards
86
123
0.6
0.3
Rush TDs
0.9
1.0
68
26
Receive yards
20
48
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
182
137
Receive yards
231
150
1.6
1.1
Receive TD's
1.3
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
25
28
Receive yards
29
51
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.1
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.9
1.1
Field Goals
2.4
1.3
3.3
2.4
Extra Points
3.0
2.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
0.8
Fumbles
1.2
0.6
2.0
1.9
Interceptions
1.8
1.0
0.3
0.6
Touchdowns
0.3
0.2
1.8
2.4
Sacks
2.1
2.6
0.2
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Vikings (7-4)
Score Opp.
30-25 @GB
24-13 CHI
23-13 @DET
35-7 SF
39-26 @ATL
Week 6 BYE
28-20 DEN
17-29 NYG
27-30 GB
28-42 @SD
18-28 @OAK
24-14 DET
Week 13 @STL
Week 14 SEA
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 KC
Week 17 @ARZ
Rams (8-3)
Score Opp.
13-23 @NYG
27-24 SF
23-24 @SEA
37-13 ARZ
Week 5 BYE
36-0 ATL
34-24 GB
33-21 @PIT
10-30 @SF
33-22 BAL
23-21 @CHI
30-27 @ARZ
Week 13 MIN
Week 14 @CLE
Week 15 SEA
Week 16 CIN
Week 17 @DET

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points