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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
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 180
RB Charlie Garner 60 10 0
RB Mike Alstott 10,1 10 0
TE Dilger /Dudley 0 30 0
WR Michael Clayton 0 60 0
WR Bill Schroeder 0 20 0
WR Tim Brown 0 20 0
PK Martin Gramatica 1 FG 1 XP -
Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Rich Gannon 0 0 160,1
RB Ty. Wheatley 30 0 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 30,1 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 40 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 40 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 30 0
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP -

TB (0-2) vs OAK (1-1)

Game Prediction: TB 12, OAK 13

Here's a replay of the Super Bowl only a couple of years ago. Difference is that the teams are drastically different now. Sure, the Raiders still have Jerry Rice but when he doesn't catch a pass in a game - the times have changed. Gruden returns home so all the fans can finally dig out their old Chuckie dolls.

Pre-Game Notes - TB

Starting out 0-2 is enough to make Gruden snarl but not nearly enough to ask McCardell to come back. This is a trip home for both Gruden, Tim Brown and Charlie Garner. That might be motivation enough to shine but realistically, they're all sitting in the shade on the porch during the twilight of their careers anyway.

Quarterback: Brad Johnson was yanked from the game last week after getting sacked four times, intercepted twice and throwing only 4 of 7 for 34 yards. Fortunately, Chris Simms was not that electric either so Gruden has already said that Johnson will be the starter this week. Given the decent defensive showing by the Raiders, don't be shocked if Johnson once again plays musical chairs with Simms.

Running Backs: Charlie Garner had a much better outing last week, gaining 75 yards on 13 carries and adding 24 more yards on six catches. He was the only spark in an otherwise wet blanket game against the Seahawks last week. So far this season Mike Alstott has had six carries for 11 yards. Hoping to find something else that worked, Jamel White had four carries last week that netted a negative five yards.

Garner has a slight motivation here since he played for the Raiders last year but on the road in a stadium that no longer cheers him is not likely to see a big bump up.

Wide Receivers: The rookie Michael Clayton continues to provide the only true positive in the passing game, catching six passes for 61 yards last week and once again leading all receivers. Tim Brown had seven catches for 49 yards and the loss of Joey Galloway remains just that - a loss. Neither Bill Schroeder (1-4) or Charles Lee (1-35) have stepped up to make any difference.

Tight Ends: Ricky Dudley and Ken Dilger combined for only two catches last week. The Buccaneers have yet to turn in one big tight end game that makes people think they actually use the position.

Match Against the Defense: There are some slight sub-plots to this game with the return of Brown, Garner and Gruden to Oakland. However, the defense they will be facing is different than the one the left and so Gruden's inside knowledge is less likely to be an advantage here than back in the 2002 Super Bowl.

The Raiders held Travis Henry to only 67 yards on 21 carries last week and Henry is better than Garner though they are two different type of runners. Also Garner has not had more than 13 carries in any game this year so far so it's even less likely to produce a big game for the Buccaneer runners.

This should be a defensive game with a lower score. The Raiders have only surrendered one passing score so far this season to Eric Moulds so if any one receiver has a chance to score here it will be Clayton.

 

Pre-Game Notes - OAK

It was not a pretty effort last week, but the Raiders come off a 13-10 win over the visiting Bills in a defense dogfight much like what this week should produce. Jerry had as many catches last week as I did. I've been waiting a long time to say that.

Quarterback: Rich Gannon calmed down from his 305 yard effort in week one, throwing for only 209 yards and one score against the Bills last week. He still hit nine different receivers and actually favored Ronald Curry the most thanks to one advantageous safety matchup that developed during the game.

Running Backs: This is hardly smash-mouth football as promised, unless it's like the scene in "The Fight Club" where Tyler Durden smacks himself in the face. Last week, Tyrone Wheatley gained 21 yards on ten carries, down from the 24 yards he had against the Steelers in week one. Justin Fargas was out last week and Amos Zereoue had nine carries for 24 yards but there is hope that the running game improves. The rookie OT Robert Gallery played well and the consensus of the offensive line is that they need to stop running laterally and just keep plays going north and south behind some beefy blockers.

Then again, against the Buccaneers this week it won't happen.

Justin Fargas missed last week with a turf toe injury but is expected back this week and may play against the Buccaneers. Updates if warranted but regardless the game will not produce big rushing numbers anyway.

Wide Receivers: There's a great chance things are not going greatly in the passing day when the biggest news is not who caught passes but who never caught one - Jerry Rice. He had a mini-tantrum on the sideline and threw his helmet, kicked a pylon and complained loudly. So much for playing for the team. Rice later softened his stance but at the age of 42 next month, he's mostly about burying records and not about being part of improving a team.

There was some expectation that Rice might retire this week but he dismissed it possibly since it would be a disastrous PR move on his part.

Ronald Curry was the best receiver against the Bills, scoring the only Raider touchdown and grabbing five catches for 89 yards including the 43-yard touchdown. Jerry Porter only had three catches for 45 yards and the passing game has evolved into mostly ball control passes with the occasional long bomb to Doug Gabriel or Ronald Curry.

Tight Ends: Doug Jolley had four catches for 31 yards which was higher than usual. Facing a tough defense again this week should keep similar production for Jolley.

Match Against the Defense: The Buccaneers are trying not to end up with a locker room split between a very good defense and a very bad offense.

While Clinton Portis had a big game in week one against Tampa Bay, that was mainly from one run that opened the game. Last week a hobbled Shaun Alexander only managed 45 yards on 17 carries and the Raiders rushing game is only a fraction as good as either Alexander or Portis. Look for what is becoming the standard poor rushing effort from Oakland.

This game will be low scoring and defensive - no doubt. The Bucs have not allowed more than 147 passing yards this season so far. Play the defenses in this game but outside of connecting on one long bomb, the Raider offense will again be lethargic against an 0-2 team that has a good defense.

TB OAK 2003 Averages OAK TB
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
189
257
Pass yards
170
136
0.0
1.5
Pass TDs
0.5
0.5
1.5
1.0
Interceptions
0.5
0.5
8
12
Rush yards
7
-1
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
53
56
Rush yards
79
112
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
1.5
0.5
28
60
Receive yards
11
12
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
126
166
Receive yards
140
109
0.0
1.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
36
32
Receive yards
19
16
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
2.0
Field Goals
1.0
2.0
0.5
1.0
Extra Points
2.0
1.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.5
Fumbles
1.0
1.0
0.5
0.5
Interceptions
1.0
1.5
0.5
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.0
4.5
Sacks
2.5
4.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Buccaneers (0-2)
Score Opp.
10-16 @WAS
6-10 SEA
Week 3 @OAK
Week 4 DEN
Week 5 @NO
Week 6 @STL
Week 7 CHI
Week 8 bye
Week 9 KC
Week 10 @ATL
Week 11 SF
Week 12 @CAR
Week 13 ATL
Week 14 @SD
Week 15 NO
Week 16 CAR
Week 17 @ARI
Raiders (1-1)
Score Opp.
21-24 @PIT
13-10 BUF
Week 3 TB
Week 4 @HOU
Week 5 @IND
Week 6 DEN
Week 7 NO
Week 8 @SD
Week 9 @CAR
Week 10 bye
Week 11 SD
Week 12 @DEN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 TEN
Week 16 @KC
Week 17 JAX