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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 4
September 29, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
NE at BUF IND at JAX NO at ARZ* TEN at SD* KC at BAL
PHI at CHI OAK at HOU* ATL at CAR* Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
NYG at GB CIN at PIT NYJ at MIA* STL at SF* DAL, DET
WAS at CLE* Times ET DEN at TB *updated MIN, SEA
  Atlanta Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 50,1 0 180,1
RB Warrick Dunn 60 30 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 30,1 0
WR Dez White 0 40 0
WR Peerless Price 0 50 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 1 FG 2 XP -
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 200,2
RB De'shaun Foster 110,1 20 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 70,1 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 30 0
WR Keary Colbert 0 60,1 0
PK John Kasay 2 FG 3 XP -

ATL (3-0) vs CAR (1-1)

Game Prediction: ATL 17, CAR 27

The Falcons continue to fly high after enjoying a pretty light schedule so far while the Panthers come off their bye ready to continue their success of week 2 over the Chiefs. This is a game the Panthers really need to get back into the hunt and they've been practicing for two weeks to get a win.

Pre-Game Notes - ATL

The Falcons come off one of the most boring games this year - a 6-3 yawner over the Cardinals in a game that Atlanta must have thought they were facing the Ravens. Only a late game drive and a big run by Vick made the stats look respectable and yet they still never scored a touchdown.

Quarterback: Michael Vick was bad last week, he only completed 10 of 20 passes for 115 yards and an interception and he was sacked five times. He continues to make the wideouts a nonfactor in the offense and pretty much has only secured wins in the last two games thanks to his rushing ability.

Running Backs: Though he initially looked like he might miss last week, Warrick Dunn recovered and turned in 117 yards on 20 carries and 20 more yards on two catches but he did lose one fumble. Incredibly, Dunn had every rush in the game outside of Vick even though he was injured the previous week. This is unlikely to last all season for a player with some injury history. T.J. Duckett currently has a much lesser role than the ballboys in the offense though the coaches continue to say he will figure in the future.

If he doesn't figure in against the Cardinals when Dunn is coming off injury, don't expect much unless Dunn goes down. At this rate, it shouldn't be long.

Wide Receivers: It's bad enough the wideouts are doing almost nothing in this offense, but coming off a three week span of facing the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals, it makes a definite question mark how well the new offense is being installed. Peerless Price now has eight catches for 98 yards over the first three weeks and there are several tight ends in the league with better numbers. He only had two catches for 16 yards last week and he is becoming vocal about his dissatisfaction. The fullback Justin Griffin has as many catches as Price.

Brian Finneran missed last week with an ankle and Achilles injury but may be back for this week. Updates if warranted but obviously his fantasy value is almost nil anyway.

The prized first round pick Michael Jenkins now has only one incomplete pass thrown to him this year. Not a factor.

Update: Finneran is still questionable to play but is expected to serve as the #3 receiver in the game. I removed Jenkins and put in Finneran but don't expect much.

Tight Ends: Alge Crumpler started out with a big game in week one, but is getting worse each week under the diminishing passing game. He only had two catches for 34 yards last week and for the first time this year was not the favored target for Vick.

Match Against the Defense: This Falcon team is not 3-0 thanks to the offense. There is some optimism here in that Vick had his best ever game last year at home against Carolina with 141 rushing yards and a touchdown but that fact is not likely to escape the Panthers who have been preparing for two weeks. That is a major problem too because without Vick's running ability, this offense starts to resemble the 2003 version that struggled to be merely bad.

While the Panthers gave up a good game to Ahman Green in week one, it took him 33 carries to get to 119 yards and the next week they held Priest Holmes to only 66 yards on the ground. Dunn has neither the volume of carries of Green nor the blocking and ability of Holmes. Look for a low output in this game from all the Falcons against a rested Panther team that will be shadowing Vick all game and daring him to throw.

Pre-Game Notes - CAR

They are only 1-1, but now are rested and ready to get back to the basics that led them to the Super Bowl last year - good rushing, great defense and enough passing to make a difference.

Quarterback: After only two games, Jake Delhomme has five passing touchdowns and looks sharp. While he has lost Steve Smith, the rookie Keary Colbert appears to be at least an adequate fill-in and the rushing game has been solid so that he has not needed to pass as much.

Running Backs: Stephen Davis had arthroscopic surgery to his knee and has not practiced. He should be out a few more weeks and De'shaun Foster will take the start again this week after shredding KC for 174 yards in week two. At home against ATL last year, Davis had 153 yards rushing and the Panthers always get a rushing touchdown against ATL. The effort to control the game should yield at least 25 carries to Foster this week and maybe even more.

Wide Receivers: In week two, Keary Colbert went from second string and never playing in the NFL to having three catches for 46 yards and one touchdown in week two. The passing game against the Chiefs was not much thanks to 32 rushes by Foster and that could happen again this week. Last year only Ricky Proehl had a receiving score against the Falcons in their two matchups.

Tight Ends: Both Mike Seidman and Kris Mangum had touchdowns in week two which is pretty uncharacteristic for the Panthers since both only had one catch in the game apiece. Their role is only in spot duty and primarily they only block but obviously can show up in the endzone on occasion.

Match Against the Defense: The Falcon rush defense has been good this year, holding all runners to below 76 yards (Barlow) and Marshall Faulk only had 20 yard on 12 carries in week two. But the Panthers should score at least once on the ground and with the Panthers holding down the Falcons' offense, Foster should generate decent numbers through volume alone.

Muhsin Muhammad has the better matchup against the secondary and ATL has already given up two scores to Cedrick Wilson and Tory Holt. If Colbert scores it will come from a long pass but Muhammad should be the more likely candidate.

ATL CAR 2003 Averages CAR ATL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
152
165
Pass yards
232
270
0.7
0.5
Pass TDs
2.5
1.0
0.7
0.5
Interceptions
1.5
0.7
62
7
Rush yards
1
3
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
95
116
Rush yards
110
58
1.3
1.5
Rush TDs
0.5
0.3
42
25
Receive yards
60
29
0.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
55
89
Receive yards
163
207
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
1.0
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
55
52
Receive yards
10
34
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
1.0
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.0
Field Goals
0.0
1.3
2.3
2.5
Extra Points
3.0
1.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
2.0
0.5
Fumbles
0.5
1.0
0.7
1.5
Interceptions
0.5
0.7
0.3
0.5
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
4.7
1.5
Sacks
2.5
3.3
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Falcons (3-0)
Score Opp.
21-19 @SF
34-17 STL
6-3 ARI
Week 4 @CAR
Week 5 DET
Week 6 SD
Week 7 @KC
Week 8 @DEN
Week 9 bye
Week 10 TB
Week 11 @NYG
Week 12 NO
Week 13 @TB
Week 14 OAK
Week 15 CAR
Week 16 @NO
Week 17 @SEA
Panthers (1-1)
Score Opp.
14-24 GB
28-17 @KC
Week 3 bye
Week 4 ATL
Week 5 @DEN
Week 6 @PHI
Week 7 SD
Week 8 @SEA
Week 9 OAK
Week 10 @SF
Week 11 ARI
Week 12 TB
Week 13 @NO
Week 14 STL
Week 15 @ATL
Week 16 @TB
Week 17 NO