fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    
HOME ARTICLES NEWS DRAFT GUIDE REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS NFL TEAMS MESSAGE BOARDS

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
  Denver Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 20 0 200,1
RB Quentin Griffin 50 20 0
TE Jeb Putzier 0 20 0
WR Rod Smith 0 50 0
WR Darius Watts 0 30 0
WR Ashley Lelie 0 60,1 0
PK Jason Elam 3 FG 1 XP -
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 170
RB Michael Pittman 40 40 0
RB Mike Alstott 30 0 0
TE Dilger /Moore 0 20 0
WR Michael Clayton 0 50 0
WR Bill Schroeder 0 40 0
WR Tim Brown 0 20 0
PK Martin Gramatica 2 FG 0 XP -

DEN (2-1) vs TB (0-3)

Game Prediction: DEN 16, TB 6

Broncos looking for their first road win - their first road touchdown for that matter. The Bucs are mainly just trying to still have the same players at the end of the game that they had for the opening kickoff.

Pre-Game Notes - DEN

Denver comes in with two solid wins and one loss to Jacksonville that doesn't seem nearly so shocking anymore.

Quarterback: Plummer comes off his best game of the season so far - 294 yards and two scores against the Charger defense that proved so easy that he only had one rushing yard in the entire game. This week should be much more like the Jacksonville game than the Charger matchup.

Running Backs: Something happened on the way to the Hall of Fame for Quentin Griffin. He had a terrible outing against San Diego - that's the San Diego "all lanes are open" Chargers. Griffin only totaled seven yards on 12 carries and lost a fumble for his third straight game. The Chargers committed everything to stop the run and it worked. They held the Broncos to only 30 yards on 17 carries and then lost the game when Plummer had almost 300 yards passing and two scores to beat them by ten points. Pick your poison, San Diego, but please let the fantasy world know when you're going to completely change gears.

HC Mike Shanahan felt it necessary to publicly announce that he completely intends on keeping Griffin as the starter, reasonable since many had already made a mental shift to Tatum Bell. Shanahan said the media was overreacting but with three games of @TB, CAR and @OAK on the horizon, we'll see if Mike is still saying the same things in a few weeks.

Wide Receivers: Rod Smith again led all receivers last week with five catches for 75 yards and one score but the excitement is around Ashley Lelie who appears to finally be "getting it". Lelie had a tremendous endzone grab over Quentin Jammer last week and with two viable wideouts, Plummer should be using this group more this season - particularly this week.

Tight Ends: Jeb Putzier finally had five catches for 66 yards in a very solid effort but also benefited from the attention the run game was given by the linebackers and safeties. Most tight ends turn in bigger games against the tougher defenses since they represent secondary targets and the previous week Putzier only had two catches for 12 yards against the Jaguars.

Match Against the Defense: The Bucs at home still put up a good fight defensively and with the Denver running game a bit tarnished, expect Griffin to again struggle this week against an exponentially better defense than SD.

Plummer faces a secondary that will focus on Rod Smith primarily in the passing game and Ronde Barber should hold his numbers down. That leaves Lelie with the slightly better matchup this week but in TB, there are rarely ever any good numbers that come out of any games.

Pre-Game Notes - TB

The Buccaneers return home after their third loss and yet again they get to spend the week deciding who will fill out the 53 man roster this week. Jon Gruden the head coach is still respected and trusted. Jon Gruden the general manager is about to get dumped in the bay after throwing so much money at Galloway and Garner during the offseason.

Quarterback: Brad Johnson almost doubled his first two games output last week when he had 309 yards and two scores against the Raiders. That mainly happened because he connected with Bill Schroeder for 51 and 42 yards and other wise would have been right in the same neighborhood as he spent the first two weeks. Facing an upgraded secondary this week should bring Johnson back to sub 200-yard ways again.

Running Backs: The Buccaneers lost Charlie Garner for the season due to a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. At the age of 32, Garner's acquisition for $20 million was already the source of some questions and now his $4 million signing bonus is just money thrown away. We should all be so lucky.

Fortunately, Michael Pittman returns from his suspension this week and should step right in to fill the void left by Garner. Jamel White may figure in some, but Pittman is already in the system and trusted. Mike Alstott will also figure in more heavily until he eventually gets hurt for the rest of season. He gained 65 yards on 12 carries last week.

Wide Receivers: Tim Brown finally caught his 100th career touchdown last week and ended with a relatively respectable four catches for 41 yards (remember - relatively respectable) but the reality is that Gruden used him at flanker more than he should have to get him that touchdown at the expense of Michael Clayton. This is Gruden's world and we only watch him lose in it. Expect Clayton to return to heavier use this week, especially with the better matchup.

Bill Schroeder was able to catch a couple of long passes last week to make the game look more respectable but he's only had three catches until that point and still only had four receptions last Sunday to get his 126 yards.

Tight Ends: The 16 total yards last week was a new low for the group. Ricky Dudley broke his finger and is gone now so the Bucs will rely on Dave Moore and Ken Dilger to not catch the balls this season.

Match Against the Defense: Champ Bailey should get matched up on Brown or Schroeder but might end up on Clayton. They move him around where ever he is needed the most. After three weeks, the most yardage allowed by Denver via the pass was only 174 yards to Trent Green and the lone touchdown was the last second Wilford catch that beat them in week two. Don't expect much from the air this week unless Clayton can avoid Bailey and rack up some catches.

Michael Pittman and Mike Alstott will find tougher running this week as well against a team that held Tomlinson to only 60 yards on 22 carries. If you're starting Buccaneers lately, you must be having roster problems.

DEN TB 2003 Averages TB DEN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
258
170
Pass yards
229
142
1.3
0.7
Pass TDs
0.7
0.3
0.7
0.7
Interceptions
1.3
0.3
19
0
Rush yards
10
8
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
95
131
Rush yards
62
53
0.7
0.7
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
26
18
Receive yards
44
11
0.7
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
181
137
Receive yards
155
106
0.7
0.7
Receive TD's
0.7
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
47
15
Receive yards
29
24
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.3
2.3
Field Goals
1.7
1.0
2.0
1.7
Extra Points
0.3
1.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
0.7
Fumbles
0.7
1.0
0.3
1.3
Interceptions
0.7
0.0
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
2.3
3.7
Sacks
1.7
1.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Broncos (2-1)
Score Opp.
34-24 KC
6-7 @JAX
23-13 SD
Week 4 @TB
Week 5 CAR
Week 6 @OAK
Week 7 @CIN
Week 8 ATL
Week 9 HOU
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @NO
Week 12 OAK
Week 13 @SD
Week 14 MIA
Week 15 @KC
Week 16 @TEN
Week 17 IND
Buccaneers (0-3)
Score Opp.
10-16 @WAS
6-10 SEA
20-30 @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