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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
  Tennessee Rush Catch Pass
QB Billy Volek 0 0 190,1
RB Chris Brown 110,1 20 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 20 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 90,1 0
WR Eddie Berlin 0 20 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 30 0
PK Gary Anderson 3 FG 2 XP -
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 180,1
RB L. Tomlinson 120,1 40 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 60,1 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 50 0
WR Kassim Osgood 0 30 0
WR Eric Parker 0 30 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 20 0
PK Nate Kaeding 0 FG 2 XP -

TEN (1-2) vs SD (1-2)

Game Prediction: TEN 23, SD 14

Here's a game between two teams with their wheels a'wobbling. The biggest factor here will be the absence of McNair and the presence of Brees, otherwise it's just tit-for-tat rushing between Tomlinson and Brown.

Pre-Game Notes - TEN

The biggest news from Nashville is McNair being hospitalized for a bad sternum bruise that made it hard for him to even take a deep breath. That and the fact they are now 1-2 and two games back in the AFC South.

Quarterback: While the situation is still developing, Steve McNair has a severe bruise to his sternum and the fact that he remained in the hospital for a second night is enough to count even this warrior out for this week. How long he might be out remains to be seen but the capable Billy Volek has never been much of a let down. Against the Chargers, he should help right the listing Titans ship.

Update: McNair still has not practiced and admits he could not play if the game was Friday but neither he or HC Jeff Fisher is ruling out McNair playing this week. It's most likely not going to happen and I am not changing the numbers but as always McNair will end up as a game time decision and last year he surprised with an appearance late in the season when it was thought he would miss the game. Even if he plays, which again is unlikely, there would be no guarantee he would play the entire game.

Running Backs: Chris Brown now has three starts in the NFL that produced 100, 152 and 101 rushing yards. His 101 against the Jaguars was the first 100+ game allowed by Jacksonville in about a year and Brown continues to run with authority. Against the Chargers defense, he should be looking at a gaudy four straight 100 yard games by this time next week. Last week he had every carry by the Titans - you have to love that.

Wide Receivers: The passing game for Tennessee has been lackluster so far and Derrick Mason fell to only 43 yards on four catches last week. There has been only one passing score for the Titans this year and that went to Kinney. There should be some optimism this week though since Tyrone Calico is slated to return but he will be rusty and the coaching staff is not sure how many plays he will be good for in his first game back from a double knee sprain.

Volek is more of a pure passer than McNair and should benefit the receivers this week.

Tight Ends: Erron Kinney will not likely play this week due to a strained calf. Look for Ben Troupe to get his first NFL start against the Chargers on Sunday.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers were able to quash the running game of the Broncos last week and in reality, they are not quite as bad as last year anyway. They've only given up over 100 yards once this season to a rusher (Martin) and that required 32 carries but both Martin and Davis had two rushing scores in their games. With Brown serving as a younger version of Curtis Martin, he should do no worse.

Volek gets a good start here against a secondary that has allowed four passing scores in the last two games. Quentin Jammer matches up on Drew Bennett while Derrick Mason should draw CB Sammy Davis who has been the candyman to receivers this year the way he serves up treats. Volek and Mason should connect for a score as well.

Pre-Game Notes - SD

The Chargers return home after their loss in Denver and will be hard pressed to end up 3-6 by their week ten bye.

Quarterback: Drew Brees only had 14 completions on 29 attempts for 121 yards against Denver last week and the sign of the times was likely made this week when Philip Rivers was promoted from the #3 to being the #2 quarterback. That took three weeks to happen and the next promotion may not take that long if the Chargers don't show more in the passing game.

Running Backs: After a big week one, the last two weeks have not allowed LaDainian Tomlinson to gain over 87 yards on the ground and he only has one score in that timeframe. For a player that normally produces all the offense, Tomlinson has been unable to make up for the shortcomings on defense and in the passing game.

Wide Receivers: The smoke and mirrors of the first two weeks were not enough to continue to allow Reche Caldwell to be a surprise. He only had three catches for 39 yards last week and sadly that was as the leading wideout. Eric Parker and Kassim Osgood are starting to disappear though Parker did tweak his neck last week. He's expected to play against the Titans and once again do little for the effort.

Update: as if the Chargers needed any more challenges, both Parker and Dwight are questionable to play this week and have not practiced. I am considering them out though they could end up with some playing time. Osgood and Caldwell are far more likely to carry the load this week.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates was able to play last Sunday after having sprained his foot in week two. For the third game in a row, Gates had as more catches than any other receiver.

Match Against the Defense: Tomlinson should have a good game here against the defense that was beaten by both Fred Taylor and Edgerrin James. He could turn in a big afternoon in all likelihood and this matchup should be all about rushing and defense.

While Manning had a good game against the Titans, Brees is not Manning and Caldwell is not Harrison. Forget the passing game here since Rolle and Dyson should be enough to keep the wideouts still silent though Gates remains a great play here. In each game this season, the Titans have allowed a passing score to a tight end.

TEN SD 2003 Averages SD TEN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
163
260
Pass yards
184
196
0.3
1.3
Pass TDs
1.0
1.3
0.7
0.7
Interceptions
0.7
1.0
10
5
Rush yards
9
3
0.3
0.0
Rush TDs
0.7
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
142
83
Rush yards
94
105
0.7
1.3
Rush TDs
0.7
1.0
17
75
Receive yards
30
25
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
124
153
Receive yards
90
133
0.0
0.7
Receive TD's
1.0
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
23
32
Receive yards
64
39
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
1.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
2.3
Field Goals
1.3
0.3
1.3
2.7
Extra Points
2.7
2.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
1.0
Fumbles
1.0
0.7
1.0
0.7
Interceptions
0.7
0.7
0.3
0.0
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
2.0
2.0
Sacks
1.0
2.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Tennessee (1-2)
Score Opp.
17-7 @MIA
17-31 IND
12-15 JAX
Week 4 @SD
Week 5 @GB
Week 6 HOU
Week 7 @MIN
Week 8 CIN
Week 9 bye
Week 10 CHI
Week 11 @JAX
Week 12 @HOU
Week 13 @IND
Week 14 KC
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 DEN
Week 17 DET
Chargers (1-2)
Score Opp.
27-20 @HOU
28-34 NYJ
13-23 @DEN
Week 4 TEN
Week 5 JAX
Week 6 @ATL
Week 7 @CAR
Week 8 OAK
Week 9 NO
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @OAK
Week 12 @KC
Week 13 DEN
Week 14 TB
Week 15 @CLE
Week 16 @IND
Week 17 KC