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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
  Indianapolis Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 250,1
RB Edgerrin James 90,1 20 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 20 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 30 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 70,1 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 40 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 50 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 2 FG 2 XP -
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 10 0 230,1
RB Fred Taylor 120,1 20 0
TE George Wrighster 0 30 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 90,1 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 40 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 40 0
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP -

IND (2-1) vs JAX (3-0)

Game Prediction: IND 20, JAX 17

Here's one of those philosophical matchups. What happens when the best offense with no defense meets the best defense with no offense? It is one of those rare matchups that could end with total points anywhere from 10 to 100 and people would just shrug their shoulders and say 'okay'.

Pre-Game Notes - IND

The Colts lost a close game in week one and each week appear to be getting even more dangerous on offense. Their trend suggests about 60 offensive points this week. Not likely.

Quarterback: The worst Manning has done this year is about 250 yards and two scores which is better than the best game for most quarterbacks.

Running Backs: The Colts had a masterful gameplan last week, deciding that instead of assaulting the Packers with Edgerrin James, they would go with high altitude bombing to soften up the defense and test out the scoreboard. James only had nine yards rushing in the first half but ended with 62 yards on 21 carries. He scored once in the game and should have more room to run now that Manning has every defensive coordinator soiling his shorts trying to figure out how to cover three receivers.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne turned in a career best game last Sunday, catching 11 passes for 184 yards and one score. He had 15 passes thrown to him while Marvin Harrison caught five balls of the 13 thrown to him. The secondary wisely focused on stopping Marvelous Marvin and limited him to only 65 yards and one score while Brandon Stokley turned eight catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. It was truly the field of dreams for fantasy football last week and in Jacksonville, a return to reality is most likely to happen.

Stokley suffered a bruised hip during the game but is expected to be fine this week.

Tight Ends: The tight ends were the only position that did not enjoy the points bonanza last week. They're more likely to figure in this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars stingy defense is due for a big test this week. Look for Edgerrin James to get more play this week when he faces a team that is better to run against than pass. Chris Brown turned in 101 yards and a score last week and the lower score in this game won't likely force much passing to happen.

The Jags have allowed only one passing score this season but Manning is decidedly above average. This will be an interesting game plan to see unfold since the Colts have the parts to gain real estate all sorts of ways. Where they see a weakness will depend on game situation but given that the Jaguars offense is not clicking very well with the pass, this should turn into another lower scoring affair that values rushing more.

Pre-Game Notes - JAX

The Jaguars defense has allowed the least points of any team and they are trending towards a shutout here. Not likely.

Quarterback: As long as you only watch the final few minutes of each game, Byron Leftwich is playing at the top of his game. If you watch the entire matchup, you'll see a quarterback that struggles to complete 50% of his passes and who has yet to throw for more than 147 yards or one score in a game. This is sort of the anti-Manning.

Facing a weaker secondary this week should help Leftwich post his best numbers of the season but that still not equate to an average game for most quarterbacks.

Running Backs: After causing everyone to ask "what's up with Fred?" the previous two weeks, Fred Taylor finally came to life in the second half of last week's matchup. He ended with 81 yards on 17 carries with the game winning touchdown. After starting with tougher defenses of BUF, DEN and TEN, he now gets a nice string of IND, SD and KC. Now is the time to trade for Fred.

Wide Receivers: Jimmy Smith remains the best bet here and even he is not as productive as Stokley is from the #3 role for the Colts. Last week there were five JAX wideouts that shared in the paltry eight receptions from the entire crew. Smith retains some fantasy value from consistent 50+ yard games but even he has yet to score this year.

Tight Ends: George Wrighster actually led all receivers last week with five catches for 30 yards and one touchdown. He's filling in for Kyle Brady who now has an infection in the finger he had surgery on. Brady is out indefinitely and Wrighster will continue to assume the meager load.

Match Against the Defense: There is no pretense that the Jaguars will not try to run the ball every try they get. There is no way that Leftwich vs. Manning will favor Jacksonville so expect that Taylor gets his heaviest load of the season here against a defense that allows about five yards per carry to opponents. The only reason opponents have not hurt the Colts more with the run is that they have to play catch-up from Manning and company lighting up the scoreboard. The Jags are one team that should manage to hold Manning low enough to prevent Leftwich from being forced to throw the entire game, particularly since this is in Jacksonville.

You can safely assume Jimmy Smith will get his 50+ yards and maybe more if they score gets away from the Jags early enough but Reggie Williams may finally do something this season if not, yet again, Ernest Wilford.

IND JAX 2003 Averages JAX IND
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
301
182
Pass yards
130
333
3.0
0.3
Pass TDs
1.0
2.3
0.3
0.3
Interceptions
0.7
1.0
7
13
Rush yards
8
0
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
123
96
Rush yards
87
105
1.3
0.3
Rush TDs
0.3
0.3
17
29
Receive yards
5
27
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
255
139
Receive yards
111
251
2.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.7
2.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
29
29
Receive yards
14
57
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.0
1.7
Field Goals
0.7
1.3
4.3
0.3
Extra Points
1.0
3.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.0
0.0
Fumbles
1.0
1.0
1.0
0.7
Interceptions
0.3
0.3
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.0
2.0
Sacks
1.3
0.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Colts (2-1)
Score Opp.
24-27 @NE
31-17 @TEN
45-31 GB
Week 4 @JAX
Week 5 OAK
Week 6 bye
Week 7 JAX
Week 8 @KC
Week 9 MIN
Week 10 HOU
Week 11 @CHI
Week 12 @DET
Week 13 TEN
Week 14 @HOU
Week 15 BAL
Week 16 SD
Week 17 @DEN
Jaguars (3-0)
Score Opp.
13-10 @BUF
7-6 DEN
15-12 @TEN
Week 4 IND
Week 5 @SD
Week 6 KC
Week 7 @IND
Week 8 @HOU
Week 9 bye
Week 10 DET
Week 11 TEN
Week 12 @MIN
Week 13 PIT
Week 14 CHI
Week 15 @GB
Week 16 HOU
Week 17 @OAK