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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
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 0 0 90
RB Jamal Lewis 100,1 0 0
TE Jones/Wilcox 0 20 0
WR Kevin Johnson 0 40 0
WR Randy Hymes 0 20 0
PK Matt Stover 2 FG 1 XP -
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 180,1
RB Rudi Johnson 50 0 0
TE Kelly/Stewart/Schobel 0 30 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 60 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 40 ,1 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 40 0
PK Shayne Graham 3 FG 1 XP -

BAL (1-1) vs CIN (1-1)

Game Prediction: BAL 13, CIN 16

Here's a rematch of a game that the Bengals won last year 34-26 in that infamous game that Kyle Boller threw for 302 yards - about a half season's worth normally. One slight problem this go around. Of the 302 yards passing he had in that game, 267 yards went to Todd Heap and... Travis Taylor. Oops.

This will be a coin flip game with low scoring. The deciding factor will be the mistakes that the quarterbacks make. Turnovers could blow this game open or it could end up with neither team able to score a touchdown.

Pre-Game Notes - BAL

The Ravens righted the ship last week with a solid 30-13 win over the Steelers and Jamal Lewis scored two touchdowns. However, the loss of Todd Heap coupled with the absence of Travis Taylor may be like the defense losing Ray Lewis and McAlister.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller went back to his sub-100 games with a 98 yard effort last week. With the loss of Heap now, even those numbers may be hard to accomplish. The 32nd best passing attack of 2003 appears to have locked the basement door now.

Running Backs: After only turning in 57 yards in week one, Jamal Lewis managed 62 yards and two scores last week against the visiting Steelers though he still is only averaging 2.7 yards per carry. Chester Taylor (9-76) has better looking numbers that are common when the defense relaxes and drops back.

LT Jonathan Ogden said he had no problems after his first game back and should be even better this weak against a soft Bengals defense.

Lewis only had 101 yards on 20 carries with no touchdowns last year in Cincinnati and that was with at least the threat of a passing game.

Wide Receivers: Randy Hymes filled in for Travis Taylor but only had three catches for 24 yards while Kevin Johnson only managed two receptions for 32 yards. This group has to step up if the Ravens are going to mount any offense at all and prevent Lewis from facing the rare "nine men in the box".

Travis Taylor is still expected to be out so Hymes will again take the start.

Tight Ends: Losing Todd Heap is like stabbing a hemophiliac. This one hurts more than losing any other non-Lewis player and possibly even more since the entire passing scheme is predicated on Heap as the hub from which all else spreads out. Terry Jones will take the start but he's mainly just a blocking tight end for Jamal Lewis. Daniel Wilcox should figure in since he is the better receiver but the look of this already pathetic passing game does not make any receiver appear attractive to a fantasy team.

Match Against the Defense: Everyone knows the Ravens are going to run and with Ogden back, the attack should be improved. This is the defense that allowed Curtis Martin 196 yards in week one but held Lamar Gordon to only 22 yards last week. With Heap out, even more attention goes to stopping Lewis.

With all that natural attention given to the rushing game, there is a chance that Boller could surprise on a small-scale (read as "score once") since the Bengals have allowed passing scores to all opponents and defensive game planning against what the Ravens will do is harder since both the best receivers are gone.

Pre-Game Notes - CIN

The Bengals turned in decent effort last week against a tough Dolphin defense and a weak Dolphin offense. They face the Ravens who look more mortal than any time in the past couple of years and beat them in Cincinnati last year anyway.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer was much less effective facing a great set of cornerbacks last week and only managed 147 yards on 21 completions with no scores and one interception. He looks like a rookie again facing a great defense which he will again do this week.

Running Backs: Against a stout defensive line, Rudi Johnson ran hard to gain his 67 yards on 22 carries last week but no Bengal rusher even cracked 50 yards against the Ravens last year. The rookie Chris Perry missed week one with a hamstring injury and while he dressed for the game last Sunday, he never played. Look for him to get a few carries this week but not to do much with them.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson was blanketed all last week and only had three catches for 45 yards while Peter Warrick played hurt and still had 76 yards on five receptions. Johnson had a monster 130 yard game against the visiting Ravens last season but only managed 15 yards against them later in the year at Baltimore.

Tight Ends: Stewart/Kelly/Schobel had a total of seven catches last week for only 28 yards total. Ouch.

Match Against the Defense: This is an interesting matchup in a game that could go either way. The Ravens defense will have to come up big to win and they are capable of doing so. The rushing game should stall with Rudi Johnson stalked by Ray Lewis and the passing game with Carson Palmer will have as much trouble as last week.

Look for Chris McAlister to matchup well on Chad Johnson and keep him from being a huge factor while Peter Warrick should again be the better option in a shorter, possession role.

BAL CIN 2003 Averages CIN BAL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
145
221
Pass yards
198
212
0.0
1.5
Pass TDs
1.0
1.5
1.0
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
1.0
25
-1
Rush yards
5
7
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.5
---
---
RB's
---
---
105
119
Rush yards
86
82
1.0
0.5
Rush TDs
0.5
0.0
0
38
Receive yards
17
24
0.0
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
72
135
Receive yards
166
164
0.0
1.0
Receive TD's
0.5
1.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
73
49
Receive yards
16
25
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.0
1.5
Field Goals
2.0
1.0
1.5
2.5
Extra Points
2.0
1.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.5
Fumbles
1.0
0.5
1.0
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
1.0
0.5
0.5
Touchdowns
0.5
0.0
3.0
3.0
Sacks
1.5
2.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Ravens (1-1)
Score Opp.
3-20 @CLE
30-13 PIT
Week 3 @CIN
Week 4 KC
Week 5 @WAS
Week 6 bye
Week 7 BUF
Week 8 @PHI
Week 9 CLE
Week 10 @NYJ
Week 11 DAL
Week 12 @NE
Week 13 CIN
Week 14 NYG
Week 15 @IND
Week 16 @PIT
Week 17 MIA
Bengals (1-1)
Score Opp.
24-31 @NYJ
16-13 MIA
Week 3 BAL
Week 4 @PIT
Week 5 bye
Week 6 @CLE
Week 7 DEN
Week 8 @TEN
Week 9 DAL
Week 10 @WAS
Week 11 PIT
Week 12 CLE
Week 13 @BAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 BUF
Week 16 NYG
Week 17 @PHI