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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
  New Orleans Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Brooks 20 0 260,2
RB Aaron Stecker 40 10 0
RB Ki-Jana Carter 20 10 0
TE Boo Williams 0 10 0
WR Joe Horn 0 80,1 0
WR Donte Stallworth 0 90,1 0
WR Jerome Pathon 0 60 0
PK John Carney 2 FG 2 XP -
  St. Louis Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 270,2
RB Marshall Faulk 100,1 20 0
RB Steven Jackson 30 0 0
TE B. Manumaleuna Just Say No
WR Isaac Bruce 0 90,1 0
WR Torry Holt 0 120,1 0
WR Dane Looker 0 20 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 2 FG 3 XP -

NO (1-1) vs STL (1-1)

Game Prediction: NO 20, STL 27

The Rams have forgotten how to score and the Saints may have never understood how to keep their opponents from doing it all game long. Now Deuce is on the bench and the balls will be in the air.

Pre-Game Notes - NO

The Saints did not so much beat the visiting 49ers last seek as they just outlasted them in a 30-27 tit-for-tat affair that saw them lose their #1 offensive star to start the game.

Quarterback: Aaron Brooks turned in one of his best efforts to date last week when he threw for 279 yards and three scores against the 49ers. He has yet to fumble this year and has every reason to continue big passing yardage now that McAllister is out for a few months.

Running Backs: The injury to Deuce McAllister will hurt. When Ricky Williams went down, they had McAllister waiting in the wings. This time it is Aaron Stecker and newly re-signed Ki-jana Carter who might be the proverbial "out of football" were it not for the Saints. Stecker is little more than a journeyman in the league and Carter one of the more significant draft busts on the decade. Brooks might need to start running as well.

How these two will share the load remains to be seen but the initial plan is to play Stecker and hope no one notices it's a guy who only has 443 career rushing yards after five years in the league.

Update: The Saints re-signed Ki-jana Carter and expect him to share carries with Aaron Stecker. I am inserting Carter into the numbers but his first game back is less likely to see an even split regardless if he already knows the offense. Be aware that Carter will be figuring into the running game and could water down what Stecker accomplishes in the absence of McAllister.

Wide Receivers: If last week was a precursor of what to expect, then go grab a Saint receiver while you still can. Joe Horn had eight catches for 94 yards and one score. Donte' Stallworth had nine receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown. Even Jerome Pathon turned in two grabs for 53 yards and yet another score.

In particular, Stallworth's big game gives hope that his offseason regime of exercising and stretching will help him avoid health problems this year. They're going to need him.

Update: Joe Horn was listed as questionable this week with a knee sprain (not unlike most of last season). He did participate in practices on Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to play. I am not touching his numbers since the Saints should be throwing a lot in the game anyway.

Tight Ends: Boo Williams is in the doghouse officially. He never had a single pass last week and the passing game goes solely to the three wideouts now.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams have not yet faced a team that has a good passing attack, having only gone against the Cardinals and then the Falcons who elected to just run them over from every angle.

Look for a nice game from Brooks and the three wideouts here. Back when Brooks would face the then divisional rival Rams, he would throw for three scores a game in what always was a shootout. There is little pretense that Stecker is going to be a productive replacement for McAllister so both teams know that Brooks will be throwing.

Pre-Game Notes - STL

The Rams stumbled enough against the Cardinals in week one but still won. Against the Falcons, they just plain stumbled and then Vick ran over them on his way down the field.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger can still post some nice yardage, but missing from the Rams' Glory Years is an ability to actually score a touchdown. Bulger now has games of 272 and 285 yards but only one score in each. The only positive here is that he only has two interceptions on the season after leading the pack in 2003.

Running Backs: Against the Cardinals, Marshall Faulk looked like he was his old self by gaining 128 yards on 22 carries. Last week against the Falcons, he just looked old. He only posted 20 yards on 12 carries and 21 more on five catches, He did score once. Faulk can only take over games that are easy marks and this week he'll find the running easier.

Wide Receivers: Both Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt have over 200 yards receiving on the season and no sign of letting up. They continue to be the Rams offense when Marshall falters and against the Saints, there will be no change to this mode of operation.

Tight Ends: The Rams were the only NFL team last week that had no throws to their tight end in the entire game. Now will you dump Brandon Manumaleuna?

Match Against the Defense: What a nice matchup.

Faulk faces the defense that gave up big games to both Alexander and Barlow so there's no doubt that he should be back over the 100 yard mark this week.

The passing defense has fared better, but mainly due to the lack of passing while opponents just run the ball. Look for Holt and Bruce to both have big games since the Rams have yet to score more than 17 points in a game this season. They'll be willing to roll it up and if Brooks is successful throwing, their going to need the points anyway.

NO STL 2003 Averages STL NO
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
251
180
Pass yards
279
226
2.0
0.5
Pass TDs
1.0
0.5
0.5
0.0
Interceptions
1.0
1.0
10
57
Rush yards
0
-1
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
50
98
Rush yards
104
175
0.0
1.5
Rush TDs
0.5
2.5
26
51
Receive yards
19
35
0.0
0.5
Receive TD's
0.0
0.5
---
---
WR's
---
---
203
85
Receive yards
260
154
1.5
0.0
Receive TD's
1.0
0.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
23
44
Receive yards
0
38
0.5
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.5
Field Goals
2.0
1.0
2.0
2.5
Extra Points
1.0
3.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.5
1.5
Fumbles
0.0
1.5
1.0
1.0
Interceptions
0.0
0.5
0.0
0.5
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
1.0
2.5
Sacks
1.5
2.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Saints (1-1)
Score Opp.
7-21 SEA
30-27 SF
Week 3 @STL
Week 4 @ARI
Week 5 TB
Week 6 MIN
Week 7 @OAK
Week 8 bye
Week 9 @SD
Week 10 KC
Week 11 DEN
Week 12 @ATL
Week 13 CAR
Week 14 @DAL
Week 15 @TB
Week 16 ATL
Week 17 @CAR
Rams (1-1)
Score Opp.
17-10 ARI
17-34 @ATL
Week 3 NO
Week 4 @SF
Week 5 @SEA
Week 6 TB
Week 7 @MIA
Week 8 bye
Week 9 NE
Week 10 SEA
Week 11 @BUF
Week 12 @GB
Week 13 SF
Week 14 @CAR
Week 15 @ARI
Week 16 PHI
Week 17 NYJ