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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
Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 210,2
RB Tyrone Wheatley 80 10 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 20 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 50,1 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 80,1 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 30 0
PK Sebastian Janikowski 3 FG 2 XP -
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 10 0 240,2
RB Jonathan Wells 30 10 0
RB Tony Hollings 40 10 0
TE Miller/Bruener 0 10 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 40 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 90,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 60,1 0
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 2 XP -

OAK (2-1) vs HOU (1-2)

Game Prediction: OAK 23, HOU 17

The Raiders have not won on the road yet but the Texans have yet to win at home. The Raiders lost their starting QB but have a top replacement. The Texans may lose their starting RB and are back to Jonathan Wells.

Pre-Game Notes - OAK

The new-look Raiders are slowly taking form with two wins over tough defenses before heading on the road to face one of the weaker defenses in the league.

Quarterback: Rich Gannon only lasted three weeks before his most recent injury. A helmet to helmet hit fractured a vertebra in his neck and he'll miss between six and twelve weeks. At the age of 38, it might end up with career implications.

Kerry Collins steps in as likely the best back-up quarterback in the entire league and probably better than Gannon was anyway. He stepped in last week to throw 16 of 27 for 228 yards and one touchdown. This offense won't miss a beat and likely will be even better.

Running Backs: After lulling the world to sleep, Tyrone Wheatley finally turned in a big 102 yard effort on 18 carries with one touchdown. Now that rookie OT Robert Gallery is there and the opponents are due to get easier, Wheatley should find more running room for the next few weeks against HOU, IND, DEN, NO and SD.

The rumor last week was that Lamont Jordan was still being discussed in a trade with the Jets but nothing materialized and after a fine effort by Wheatley, the Raiders are likely less motivated.

Wide Receivers: Unlike Gannon this year, Collins actually used the #1 receiver Jerry Porter as his #1 receiver. Porter ended with five catches for 84 yards, well double that of any other receiver. With Jerry Rice de-emphasized and Doug Gabriel and Ronald Curry as deep threats, Porter starts to look like he can offer some consistency with Collins at the helm.

Tight Ends: Better rushing means more blocking.

Match Against the Defense: Here's the week you want to grab Kerry Collins. The Texans have allowed eight passing scores in only three games this year and never less than two for any weekend. No team has had much passing yardage since no team has really needed it when the rushing game works too.

Look for Wheatley to turn in a good afternoon against a defense that both Tomlinson and Holmes shredded and while he is not as good as them, he should be good enough to turn in above average game.

The Texans have been allowing the best receiver of their opponent to shine regardless of their position. Gonzalez (TE) and Caldwell (FL) and Roy Williams (FL) all scored against them. It favors Porter more now Collins is quarterback but could end up a long ball for either Curry or Gabriel just as easily.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

Houston takes a thrilling win over the Chiefs on the heels of two disappointments against SD and DET. It's like driving into the rough twice and then sinking the chip shot.

Quarterback: David Carr comes off a nice 233 yard, one touchdown game against the Chiefs on the heels of a 313 yard, two touchdown effort against the Lions. He still has to throw at least one interception in every game but has been getting better as the games progress.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis only gained a paltry 12 yards on ten carries last week before spraining his ankle and giving way to Jonathan Wells. In his favor he finally did not fumble the ball but wasn't effective in any other capacity anyway. As of now, Davis is considered to be questionable this week and likely will not practice on Wednesday. I will update this as more information comes out of practice this week.

Tony Hollings is still recovering from his knee sprain and I am waiting on more recent info before including him. He was only back to light running last week. As of now, Jonathan Wells appears to be best positioned to start this week. Updates as needed.

Update: Hollings has returned to practice and is expected to share carries with Wells this Sunday.

Wide Receivers: Carr continues to have strong chemistry with Andre Johnson who turned in 96 yards on four catches last week and 86 yards and one score the previous game. Corey Bradford was dinged up against the Chiefs and Derick Armstrong had a strong game with two catches for 55 yards. Outside of Johnson, Armstrong is the one that coaches feel is improving the most and he should challenge for more playing time.

Tight Ends: Billy Miller actually had 39 yards and three catches last week. Don't get used to it.

Match Against the Defense: The Raider secondary was burned for 309 yards last week by Brad Johnson but much of that came late in the game and the Bucs were unable to mount any rushing game with Garner out much of the game. This defense held Henry to 67 yards the previous week and without a strong effort by Davis, the HOU rushing game is not likely to materialize with Wells.

Johnson will have some success with his wideouts but Buchanon and Woodson will eventually make him pay if he throws too much. Buchanon will draw Johnson and as aggressive as he sometimes gets, it's almost expected that he'll let Johnson loose on at least one long pass (but also will probably jump a route and intercept a pass as well).

OAK HOU 2003 Averages HOU OAK
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
251
203
Pass yards
258
216
1.3
2.7
Pass TDs
1.0
1.0
1.0
0.7
Interceptions
1.3
0.7
9
5
Rush yards
23
9
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
94
112
Rush yards
76
79
0.3
0.3
Rush TDs
0.7
1.0
50
11
Receive yards
73
33
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
175
108
Receive yards
168
164
1.3
1.7
Receive TD's
1.0
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
25
84
Receive yards
17
18
0.0
0.7
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.3
0.7
Field Goals
2.0
1.3
1.7
3.3
Extra Points
1.3
1.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
1.3
Fumbles
0.0
1.0
0.7
1.3
Interceptions
0.7
1.0
0.3
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
3.7
3.3
Sacks
2.0
2.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Raiders (2-1)
Score Opp.
21-24 @PIT
13-10 BUF
30-20 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
Texans (1-2)
Score Opp.
20-27 SD
16-28 @DET
24-21 @KC
Week 4 OAK
Week 5 MIN
Week 6 @TEN
Week 7 bye
Week 8 JAX
Week 9 @DEN
Week 10 @IND
Week 11 GB
Week 12 TEN
Week 13 @NYJ
Week 14 IND
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 CLE