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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
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 20 0 190,1
RB William Green 20 0 0
RB Lee Suggs 60 30,1 0
TE Aaron Shea 0 10 0
WR Andre Davis 0 50 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 40 0
WR Quincy Morgan 0 50 0
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP -
  NY Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 210,1
RB Tiki Barber 70,1 20 0
RB Ron Dayne 10 0 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 50 0
WR Ike Hilliard 0 50 0
WR Tim Carter 0 40 0
PK Steve Christie 2 FG 2 XP -

CLE (1-1) vs NYG (1-1)

Game Prediction: CLE 13, NYG 20

What a difference a week makes. After one game, the Browns looked like definite surprise contenders while the Giants looked like washed-up, "not going to happen" losers on the verge of a very bad season. After week two, they changed places with the Browns looking hapless (and a bit less staffed) after the Dallas game while the Giants thumped Joe Gibbs on the head and said "welcome back!"

Pre-Game Notes - CLE

If there was a time machine, the Browns should buy it and turn the dial back a week. And now we have to likely wait a whole year to see someone properly introduce Kellen Winslow Jr. to a linebacker sandwich.

Quarterback: Jeff Garcia went from looking like a Pro Bowl leader in week one to turning in a perfect 0.0 QB rating in week two. Against the Cowboys, Garcia completed only 8 of 27 passes for 71 yards and three interceptions. Now he has lost his star tight end and goes on the road to face the Giants. Much of Garcia's problems last week stemmed from poor protection and the faster Dallas linebackers did not allow him to run as much as well.

Running Backs: Since Lee Suggs ended up not playing, William Green took the load with predictable results. He had 19 carries for 52 yards ( 2.7 YPC) and never scored. James Jackson had one nice run but otherwise this was not an offense on the move. Green seems to be hanging in around 3 yards per carry and that should ensure that Lee Suggs gets plenty of opportunities when he is back from his neck stinger. I am assuming that Suggs plays this week and is near 100% but will update if warranted.

The plan all along has been to have both Green and Suggs share the load, but with the lackluster results from Green, expect that Suggs gets the lion's share to start with until he, too, has problems running.

Just to make it a little worse, RT Ryan Tucker will be out 2 to 4 weeks with a strained quadriceps.

Update: Suggs has been practicing and though he may still not be 100%, he is expected to play and give a boost to the weak running game. The loss of OT Tucker is not going to help. I am giving Suggs a slight bump but with the state of the offensive line, coupled with the loss of Winslow may equate to even these numbers being optimistic.

Wide Receivers: While the Vikings had little problems throwing on Dallas, the Browns were not so skilled. Andre'Davis led all receivers with only three catches for 39 yards which actually accounted for over half the passing yardage last week.

Tight Ends: On one of the final plays of the games and on special teams no less, Kellen Winslow Jr. fractured his fibula and will miss at least 8 to 10 weeks. Since Steve Heiden is out injured as well, the Browns have to dig deeper to bring up Aaron Shea. With all the injuries of late, the Browns may opt to place Winslow on IR just to make room for another player.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants come off a defensive win over the Redskins and should be primed to take advantage of the disarray the Browns are currently in. New York held Clinton Portis to only 69 yards on 20 carries, so holding off both Suggs and Green should be no tougher. The offensive line problems for the Browns will again be evident and since the G-Men had such great success last week with aggressive defense, there's no doubt they'll be coming after 0.0 Garcia as well.

McNabb and Owens had a great time against the visiting Giants but back in New York, this game will much more resemble the Washington game than the Philly loss. That means no great matchups to take advantage of since the Giants will concentrate on coming after Garcia who has now lost his best short-yardage weapon (Winslow). On passing downs, the tailbacks will likely be blocking.

Pre-Game Notes - NYG

Big defense handed Joe Gibbs his first comeback loss and the G-Men put together a defensive gameplan that came up all three cherries against the Redskins. They recorded an obscene four sacks and seven turnovers in the game.

Quarterback: Last week, Kurt Warner was exactly what Coughlin wanted. Not flashy, no errors and a safe 203 yard effort with one score. That's hardly what Warner did a few years ago but in this system, that's about what it is designed to do.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber actually did not have a big game, rushing for only 42 yards on 18 carries and adding two catches for 27 with no touchdowns (and as of yet - no fumbles either). He's not likely to have a monster game this week as well but should turn in moderate numbers.

The Ron Dayne Experience ride is definitely slowing down. He had nine carries for 12 yards and appears to be coming to the full circle that once led to his benching.

Wide Receivers: This passing scheme does use wideouts, just not that much. Amani Toomer is being consistent around five passes for 50 yards and not scoring, and Ike Hilliard follows suit. The only Giant receiver to score is Tim Carter on a long pass play. Otherwise, ball control, running the ball and you better get reception points to justify your drafting of these receivers.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey is still bothered by his foot injury and spent most of last week as a blocking H-back. He still caught five balls for 36 yards but that's hardly Pro Bowl material. He should improve some this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Cleveland defense has been pretty good against wideouts and have not allowed any to score. Where they have been beaten is at tight end since Todd Heap ( 9-86) and Jason Witten ( 6-82) both had big games and the only passing score they have allowed was to TE Jeff Robinson. Look for a better game from Shockey if his foot doesn't hold him back.

The Browns have been far better against the run this year as well, limiting Jamal Lewis and Eddie George. Barber should turn in some moderate success but these Browns are not nearly as fun to run against like last year. Cleveland just lost DE Courtney Brown which will only help both Barber and Warner.

This game should shape up to be lower scoring and mostly a defensive matchup which favors the home team slightly. It would be a coin flip game but the Browns are on the road again after a painful loss in Dallas and that should be enough for the Giants to let the win happen.

CLE NYG 2003 Averages NYG CLE
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
126
282
Pass yards
251
257
0.5
3.0
Pass TDs
0.5
0.5
1.5
2.0
Interceptions
0.0
2.5
24
28
Rush yards
0
8
0.5
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
87
105
Rush yards
112
83
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
1.0
0.5
18
50
Receive yards
61
16
0.0
0.5
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
83
166
Receive yards
153
144
0.5
1.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
25
67
Receive yards
34
97
0.0
1.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
3.0
0.5
Field Goals
1.5
1.0
1.0
3.0
Extra Points
2.0
1.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.0
1.0
Fumbles
1.5
0.0
2.5
0.0
Interceptions
2.0
1.5
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.5
0.0
2.0
3.5
Sacks
3.0
1.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.5
Browns(1-1)
Score Opp.
20-3 BAL
12-19 @DAL
Week 3 @NYG
Week 4 WAS
Week 5 @PIT
Week 6 CIN
Week 7 PHI
Week 8 bye
Week 9 @BAL
Week 10 PIT
Week 11 NYJ
Week 12 @CIN
Week 13 NE
Week 14 @BUF
Week 15 SD
Week 16 @MIA
Week 17 @HOU
Giants (1-1)
Score Opp.
17-31 @PHI
20-14 WAS
Week 3 CLE
Week 4 @GB
Week 5 @DAL
Week 6 bye
Week 7 DET
Week 8 @MIN
Week 9 CHI
Week 10 @ARI
Week 11 ATL
Week 12 PHI
Week 13 @WAS
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 PIT
Week 16 @CIN
Week 17 DAL