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
  Washington Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 180,1
RB Clinton Portis 120,1 20 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 20 0
WR Lavernues Coles 0 70 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 60,1 0
PK John Hall 2 FG 2 XP -
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 30 0 190,1
RB William Green 60 10 0
RB Lee Suggs 20 0 0
TE Aaron Shea 0 10 0
TE Steve Heiden 0 10 0
WR Andre Davis 0 30 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 70,1 0
WR Quincy Morgan 0 60 0
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP -

WAS (1-2) vs CLE (1-2)

Game Prediction: WAS 20, CLE 13

The Skins come off a short week and a disappointing close loss to the Cowboys that pretty much came down to the want of a single timeout on the final play. The Browns enter this week looking a little worse than the week before, which was worse than the week before that and the trend appears likely to continue.

Pre-Game Notes - WAS

There's no joy in the nation's capital when the Skins drop another game to Dallas but reason enough to expect the team will continue to improve.

Quarterback: Mark Brunell was able to play on Monday night after suffering a hamstring strain against the Giants the previous week. He ended with a big 325 yards passing and two touchdowns once it was determined that Dallas had no secondary on the left side. It was almost enough to win the game but came up short. Most of the passing numbers came late in that game and expect Brunell to stay below 200 yards in most games by plan.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis had 94 rushing yards on 23 carries with a few good runs but nothing to match his season opener. In fact, he's been only around three yards per carry this season once the big week one run is taken out. Portis will undoubtedly love the injury-decimated Browns defense.

Wide Receivers: After falling behind on Monday, the Redskins finally stopped trying to make Lavernues Coles be the main target ( 5 catches, 42 yards ) and concentrated on giving Rod Gardner his career best game by throwing to him 15 times for 10 receptions, 167 yards and two scores. That's not going to be the norm by any means and was thanks to the loss of CB Pete Hunter being replaced by a rookie.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley continues to be good for around three catches a game and about 20 yards. He's also been a target in the endzone a couple of times already this season.

Match Against the Defense: This should be a great game for Portis thanks to the Browns losing even more personnel on defense, including LB Ben Taylor. Last week, Tiki Barber had 106 yards and one score and the previous was Eddie George with 62 yards and a score. Portis should likely double those numbers, particularly given the game situation should see the Browns struggle on offense and give Portis plenty of time to run in the game.

Look for Gardner to again have a good matchup that gave Toomer 126 yards last week. The passing game won't be nearly so big this week and the resulting numbers should be held lower from a game that is handled by the WAS defense and Portis running. The Skins need to win a game that they control and that means running. In CLE, this is a definite probability.

Pre-Game Notes - CLE

After beating the Ravens in week one, the Browns have gotten progressively worse and more injured. A homestand would be nice here but historically the Browns have not fared well even in front of their own fans.

Quarterback: For all the hoopla, Jeff Garcia has not brought much to the Browns and with that offensive line, he's not likely to make much difference for a while. Garcia mirrored his week one effort by again throwing for 180 yards and one touchdown against the Giants last week. While that is far better than his Dallas fiasco, that 's not nearly enough to win in the NFL.

Running Backs: Lee Suggs is slated to play this weekend and is back practicing full speed again. The Browns could use the spark. William Green had a good effort last week with 91 yards rushing but he doesn't get the extra yards or bounce that Suggs has shown during his limited playing time. What is interesting to see if the Browns follow their gameplan and mix and match both Suggs and Green in the rushing game but rest assured that if Suggs can show some early good runs, he will get the lion's share of the carries. Against a fairly tough and aggressive WAS defense, that's not likely to yield big numbers this week unless the Skins are still tired from Monday.

Update: Suggs has practiced but has not looked much better than he did the past two weeks. He is still a likely game time decision and even if he does play, he'll be wearing a neck brace and watching William Green get most the carries. I am still including Suggs for some token yardage but the most likely scenario is that Green takes most if not all the carries against the Redskins. It's a fairly tough defense, so neither are likely to do much in any case.

Wide Receivers: While Dennis Northcutt has been getting the most attention lately (in throws, not necessarily catches), it remains Quincy Morgan as the only wideout with a touchdown this season. The poor passing game has been a hard hit for this squad that is long on potential and short on 2004 stats. Neither Andre Davis or Morgan has more than three catches in a game this year. Northcutt as the #3 appears to have become the de facto "Winslow" now.

Tight Ends: They don't even block very well, let alone catch anything significant.

Update: Steve Heiden has returned to practice and is expected to start this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Browns would love to see the rushing game take life but it is not likely to happen this week. The Skins have not allowed more than 42 rushing yards to any runner this year and the CLE offense is still stumbling.

That would lead Garcia to needing to throw more and he will but that does not mean he will throw well. The aggressive scheme by the Skins pass defense should result in some turnovers and yet another game that Garcia struggles. The score will be low in this game and other than an optimistic-based use of Suggs for the first time this year, the rest of the offense doesn't look appealing for fantasy numbers this week once again.

WAS CLE 2003 Averages CLE WAS
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
228
266
Pass yards
144
205
1.3
0.3
Pass TDs
0.7
1.0
1.3
1.7
Interceptions
1.3
0.3
15
5
Rush yards
19
0
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.3
0.0
 
---
RB's
---
 
113
94
Rush yards
96
45
0.3
1.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
34
26
Receive yards
17
44
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
 
---
WR's
---
 
170
162
Receive yards
107
133
0.7
0.0
Receive TD's
0.7
0.7
 
---
TE's
---
 
24
78
Receive yards
20
37
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.3
 
---
PK's
---
 
1.3
1.3
Field Goals
2.3
1.0
1.7
1.7
Extra Points
1.0
2.0
 
---
DEF/ST
---
 
0.7
0.7
Fumbles
0.7
1.3
0.3
1.3
Interceptions
1.7
1.3
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.7
2.3
2.3
Sacks
2.0
3.0
0.0
0.3
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Redskins (1-2)
Score Opp.
16-10 TB
14-20 @NYG
18-21 DAL
Week 4 @CLE
Week 5 BAL
Week 6 @CHI
Week 7 bye
Week 8 GB
Week 9 @DET
Week 10 CIN
Week 11 @PHI
Week 12 @PIT
Week 13 NYG
Week 14 PHI
Week 15 @SF
Week 16 @DAL
Week 17 MIN
Browns(1-2)
Score Opp.
20-3 BAL
12-19 @DAL
10-27 @NYG
Week 4 WAS
Week 5 @PIT
Week 6 CIN
Week 7 PHI
Week 8 bye
Week 9 @BAL
Week 10 PIT
Week 11 NYJ
Week 12 @CIN
Week 13 NE
Week 14 @BUF
Week 15 SD
Week 16 @MIA
Week 17 @HOU