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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
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 20,1 0 230,1
RB Brian Westbrook 60,1 50 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 30 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 60,1 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 30 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 40 0
PK David Akers 2 FG 2 XP -
  Detroit Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 200,1
RB Kevin Jones 50,1 20 0
RB Artose Pinner 20 0 0
TE Stephen Alexander 0 30 0
WR Roy Williams 0 50 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 40,1 0
WR Tai Streets 0 50 0
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 2 XP -

PHI (2-0) vs DET (2-0)

Game Prediction: PHI 20, DET 17

The big battle of the undefeated teams. The Eagles come off a big Monday night win over the Vikings and are on the road for the first time this season with a short week to prepare. The Lions are sitting at home dreaming of a 3-0 start that hasn't happened since Barry Sanders was a rookie in 1980.

Pre-Game Notes - PHI

At 2-0 and with two big point wins, the Eagles are starting to like this season even if Buckhalter is gone. The defense looks good and the offense looks even better.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb no longer is suspected of not being a great quarterback. He has 575 yards and six touchdowns in only two games with one rushing score thrown in because "he could". If he continues this level of performance, that NFC Championship hex will be lifted for good.

Running Backs: While Brian Westbrook only had 12 carries, he gained 69 yards last week and added 69 more on five catches. That is vintage Westbrook and with only 17 touches, he's not going to be used up as hoped by the opponents. He and McNabb had all but one meaningless rush by Dorsey Levens.

Wide Receivers: While perhaps his total of 12 catches for 147 yards is hardly league leading, Terrell Owens four receiving scores is the best. None of the other receivers have really mattered and that, too, keeps TO happy.

Tight Ends: Both Chad Lewis and L.J. Smith figure into the passing game equally so far, but Smith now has two touchdowns in only two games. He's becoming a go to guy in the endzone particularly when McNabb has to scramble.

Match Against the Defense: The rushing defense of the Lions have only allowed Domanick Davis (25-78) and Thomas Jones (21-67) marginal success on the ground but Jones scored twice and Davis also had 95 yards receiving. That fits very well into what Westbrook can do. He should have over 100 total yards this week with a shot at a very nice game.

Where the Eagles will find most success will be in the passing game. The Texans had 313 yards and two scores against the Lions last week and both wideouts scored. The absence of Dre' Bly will continue and cause a benefit for McNabb and likely Owens who is moved around the formation enough that it is hard to call him a split end.

The Eagles will be tired and possibly underprepared with the shortened timeframe this week and they are coming off a big win on MNF. They are ripe for a let down but it shouldn't last all four quarters and even a late surge should be enough to win.

Pre-Game Notes - DET

Starting 2-0 with a road win no less. The times they are a' changing in Detroit. Not enough to keep Rogers healthy, but they're still better.

Quarterback: Joey Harrington comes off a big win over the Texans where he threw three touchdowns against only one interception. He's already locked onto his new receiver Roy Williams which means all secondaries will be doing the same as well. He still has yet to throw for more than 187 yards this season.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones continues to improve, gaining 57 yards on 12 carries against Houston and catching another pass. He'll continue to be spelled by Artose Pinner for about 40% of the time but Pinner is not nearly as effective a runner and in games where the score gets out of reach and the Lions must pass, Pinner will be even less a factor.

Wide Receivers: The Lions pretty much start and end with Roy Williams now. He had four catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns last week and his long ball abilities have made a difference already. Against a team like the Eagles, he'll be getting even more passes this week. Tai Streets (4-32) and Az-Zahir Hakim (2-26) share in the duty of filling for Rogers absence and already are better than anything on the field for Detroit last season.

Hakim strained a hamstring last week but it will be mid-week before the decision is made to practice or play. I am assuming he does and will update as warranted.

Tight Ends: Stephen Alexander and Casey Fitzsimmons continue to share in three catches a game for 19 yards. Consistent but not a factor.

Match Against the Defense: The biggest hope for the Lions is that the Eagles are tired and underprepared for this new brand of cat. That's unlikely, at least for the whole game but it would be no shock to see Philly with a slow start.

The Eagles have given up only one passing score this year to Culpepper and Moss so it's unlikely that Williams will repeat his two touchdown day of last week. There could be some decent points in this game if PHI has a slow start and then has to make up the difference with passing but more than likely this should be a game with only moderate - at best - fantasy numbers for the Lions' players. PHI only has to get through this game and another road trip to Chicago before reaching their bye so they won't be overlooking this matchup.

They just need to be completely awake to keep a game from breaking out.

PHI DET 2003 Averages DET PHI
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
288
270
Pass yards
182
306
3.0
1.0
Pass TDs
2.0
0.5
0.0
1.5
Interceptions
1.0
0.5
18
26
Rush yards
12
21
0.5
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
 
---
RB's
---
 
100
81
Rush yards
77
99
0.0
1.0
Rush TDs
0.0
1.0
74
74
Receive yards
48
71
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
 
---
WR's
---
 
135
180
Receive yards
115
166
2.0
1.0
Receive TD's
1.5
0.5
 
---
TE's
---
 
79
16
Receive yards
19
49
1.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
 
---
PK's
---
 
1.5
0.5
Field Goals
1.0
2.0
3.5
1.5
Extra Points
3.0
1.5
 
---
DEF/ST
---
 
1.0
0.0
Fumbles
2.0
0.5
0.5
1.0
Interceptions
1.5
0.0
0
0.0
Touchdowns
1.0
0.0
4.5
1.5
Sacks
4.0
2.0
0
0.5
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Eagles (2-0)
Score Opp.
31-17 NYG
27-16 MIN
Week 3 @DET
Week 4 @CHI
Week 5 bye
Week 6 CAR
Week 7 @CLE
Week 8 BAL
Week 9 @PIT
Week 10 @DAL
Week 11 WAS
Week 12 @NYG
Week 13 GB
Week 14 @WAS
Week 15 DAL
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CIN
Lions(2-0)
Score Opp.
20-16 @CHI
28-16 HOU
Week 3 PHI
Week 4 bye
Week 5 @ATL
Week 6 GB
Week 7 @NYG
Week 8 @DAL
Week 9 WAS
Week 10 @JAX
Week 11 @MIN
Week 12 IND
Week 13 ARI
Week 14 @GB
Week 15 MIN
Week 16 CHI
Week 17 @TEN