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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 3
September 22, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
ARZ at ATL* CHI at MIN JAX at TEN SF at SEA* DAL at WAS*
BAL at CIN PIT at MIA Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
HOU at KC* CLE at NYG* SD at DEN* TB at OAK BUF, CAR
PHI at DET NO at STL* GB at IND* *updated NE, NYJ
  Arizona Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 10 0 170
RB Emmitt Smith 30 0 0
RB Troy Hambrick 10 10 0
TE Freddie Jones 0 50 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 30 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 50 0
WR Karl Williams 0 20 0
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 0 XP -
  Atlanta Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 60,1 0 160,1
RB Warrick Dunn 80,1 20 0
RB T.J. Duckett 20 0 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 50,1 0
WR Dez White 0 30 0
WR Peerless Price 0 50 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 10 0
PK Jay Feeley 1 FG 3 XP -

ARZ (0-2) vs ATL (2-0)

Game Prediction: ARZ 6, ATL 24

The Cardinals may be 0-2 and their first win may seem still in the distance but Denny Green takes some solace in not having been blown out in a game this year. Thanks to injuries, he gets the one thing all new coaches need - lowered expectations.

Pre-Game Notes - ARZ

Last week the Cardinals were beaten by the Patriots in a most predictable manner. The Pats showed only enough interest to keep the game safely in their back pocket while the Cardinals managed to not get anyone injured.

Quarterback: Josh McCown has already shown great consistency but the problem is that he is consistently mediocre with this crew. He has not thrown a touchdown yet this season and last week finally threw a couple of interceptions. Until Boldin returns and the schedule stops being harder than avoiding politics in Washington, D.C., this will likely continue. Then again, when you are one of the worst teams in the league. the schedule never does get easier really.

Running Backs: In this apparently throw-back season for old running backs, Emmitt Smith now has two touchdowns on the season and yet has not caught a single pass. Last week Emmitt had every carry (13) for the Cards since blocking was at a premium and that should happen again this week.

Wide Receivers: Not unlike week one, Larry Fitzgerald was the primary receiver in patterns and was constantly double-teamed. He ended with only five catches for 36 yards and only Bryant Johnson (3-39) had any other catches by wideouts. There's just not much happening here even though the need is great.

Tight Ends: Freddie Jones continues to be the second most common target for McCown, but that's only translated into 10 catches for 82 yards and no scores so far this season. Unless you get reception points, the Cardinals offense is not offering much in the passing game.

Match Against the Defense: The Falcons have given up three passing scores this season but that's not reason enough to expect McCown to add to the totals. With a one dimensional offense, the Cardinals are easy to game plan against and easier to beat. Emmitt gets to face the same defense that just held Marshall Faulk to only 20 yards on 12 carries. Walk on by.

Pre-Game Notes - ATL

With a healthy Vick and a kind schedule so far, the Falcons are 2-0 and now get to face the Cardinals. Make that 3-0.

Quarterback: While the west coast "dink and dunk" offense is supposed to be installed in Atlanta, the results look oddly like they did under the old offensive scheme. Michael Vick ran for 109 yards against the Rams and took over the game as he is expected. There's no reason why he will be able to resist the chance to tour the Cardinals defense again this week.

Running Backs: This is a developing situation that will likely be updated later in the week. Warrick Dunn sprained his left knee during the fourth quarter against the Rams and did not return to the game. He is believed to have sprained his medial collateral ligament but his playing status this week will not be determined until at least Wednesday or later thanks to the new trend in the NFL to say nothing until they have to meet reporting requirements which start on Wednesdays.

Until there is credible word that he is okay to play, I am assuming that T.J. Duckett receives some sorely needed playing time and that Dunn will not have a big impact. That could change and could be yet another murky situation this week. Updates as warranted.

Update: Warrick has been upgraded from questionable to probable and will be playing. He practiced on Thursday and looked good though the team mantra is "say nothing to anyone" regarding injuries. Expect that he will play and take at least a majority of the carries if not almost all of them as he has so far this season.

Wide Receivers: Vick has simply not used the wide receivers yet this season, throwing only nine times to them in week two with seven catches for 51 yards. Peerless Price is worthless on a fantasy team so far and the rest of the receivers do not even merit being on a roster. One factor to consider is that the Falcons have not really needed to throw. Another factor is that factor one will not change this week.

Brian Finneran injured his Achilles tendon last week but the severity has not been disclosed yet. I am assuming he plays with minimal impact anyway.

Update: Finneran remains very questionable and is not likely to play. Like you were going to start him anyway.

Tight Ends: Alge Crumpler only had three catches for 49 yards last week, but compared to the wideouts he makes up about half the passing offense, scant as it is.

Match Against the Defense: Warrick Dunn might miss a most wonderful opportunity this week since the Cardinals have not allowed an opponent tailback to rush for less than 128 yards in either game this season. The frustrating part of forecasting the matchup is that opponents think they can win and play only well enough to secure the "W".

This week should see the Falcons play in a similar vein to the first two weeks with runs by Vick, a good rushing game by Duckett and/or Dunn and Crumpler turning in a respectable afternoon. Daniel Graham caught two scores last week against the Cardinals.

ARZ ATL 2003 Averages ATL ARZ
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
171
286
Pass yards
171
245
0.0
1.5
Pass TDs
1.0
1.5
1.0
1.0
Interceptions
0.5
1.5
12
0
Rush yards
60
2
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
65
63
Rush yards
84
174
1.0
0.5
Rush TDs
2.0
0.0
33
34
Receive yards
41
22
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
97
209
Receive yards
65
213
0.0
1.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
41
43
Receive yards
66
11
0.0
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
1.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.5
Field Goals
1.0
3.0
0.5
1.5
Extra Points
3.5
1.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.5
0.0
Fumbles
1.0
0.0
1.5
0.5
Interceptions
1.0
1.0
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.5
0.0
1.0
2.5
Sacks
4.0
3.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Cardinals (0-2)
Score Opp.
10-17 @STL
12-23 NE
Week 3 @ATL
Week 4 NO
Week 5 @SF
Week 6 bye
Week 7 SEA
Week 8 @BUF
Week 9 @MIA
Week 10 NYG
Week 11 @CAR
Week 12 NYJ
Week 13 @DET
Week 14 SF
Week 15 STL
Week 16 @SEA
Week 17 TB
Falcons (2-0)
Score Opp.
21-19 @SF
34-17 STL
Week 3 ARI
Week 4 @CAR
Week 5 DET
Week 6 SD
Week 7 @KC
Week 8 @DEN
Week 9 bye
Week 10 TB
Week 11 @NYG
Week 12 NO
Week 13 @TB
Week 14 OAK
Week 15 CAR
Week 16 @NO
Week 17 @SEA