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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 5
October 6, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
DET at ATL MIA at NE* BUF at NYJ STL at SEA TEN at GB
NYG at DAL TB at NO* CAR at DEN* Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
MIN at HOU* CLE at PIT* JAX at SD* BAL at WAS CHI, CIN
OAK at IND* Times ET ARZ at SF* *updated KC, PHI
  Arizona Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 10 0 190,1
RB Emmitt Smith 50,1 10 0
RB Troy Hambrick 30 10 0
TE Freddie Jones 0 30 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 40,1 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 50 0
WR Karl Williams 0 30 0
PK Neil Rackers 0 FG 2 XP -
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Rattay 0 0 240,1
RB Kevan Barlow 80,1 20 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 20 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 40 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 60 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 60,1 0
PK Todd Peterson 1 FG 2 XP -

ARZ (1-3) vs SF (0-4)

Game Prediction: ARZ 14, SF 17

How great is this? One of these teams have to win (or better yet, they technically could and neither lose). The Cardinals surprised the Saints last Sunday but hit the road to play the 49ers in what has become, truly, the San Francisco Treat.

Pre-Game Notes - ARZ

Arizona not only took down the Saints, they did it in a fairly impressive fashion with Emmitt Smith shaking the rust off against one of the worst rush defenses in the league. Maybe Emmitt won't have another 100 yard game, but it brought back memories seeing him on the other side of the safeties for the first time in years.

Quarterback: Josh McCown was there during the victory but he didn't have much to do with it beyond not getting in the way. He still has yet to throw a touchdown this season, something even Emmitt Smith cannot say. This week should be one of his best chances for that elusive pass into the endzone.

Running Backs: In a wonderful throwback performance, Emmitt Smith ran for 127 yards on 21 carries and scored once against the Saints last week. He has three scores in the last four games - one of the better RB's for a TD-only league and with San Francisco coming up this Sunday, he could extend his touchdown mania yet one more week. Troy Hambrick also had a score and 79 yards on 16 carries in a sharing scenario that has been expected.

Wide Receivers: Since there's never been a passing score by McCown nor any game with over 198 yards passing, this group continues to languish in almost non-relevance for fantasy purposes. Larry Fitzgerald had 61 yards on three catches to lead the team last week - enough said. Bryant Johnson is equally favored by McCown in most games but only had one catch last week. It's just not happening here and until Anquan Boldin can return, not much is expected.

Tight Ends: Freddie Jones only had 36 yards on three catches last week and has never had more than 43 yards in any game this year. As badly as his production is needed, it's obvious he still is not a factor in the gameplan.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers had been tough against the run until last week when they allowed Marshall Faulk to gain 121 yards but that also reflected that the Rams passing game had been almost exclusively been used until last Sunday and the 49ers undoubtedly devoted defensive focus against the pass.

The only time the 49ers did not allow a rushing score was against the Saints when McAllister went down so Emmitt has a great shot at scoring against a defense that has already allowed six touchdowns on the ground this year. His upper end on yardage is more likely around the 60 yards or so that Warrick Dunn had if that.

Here is an excellent spot for McCown to get that first touchdown pass and if he doesn't, he'll be the first opposing quarterback to not score. With the Arizona defense playing fairly well and facing a rather poor 49er offense, figure this game to be mainly rushing with just enough passing to keep the game going. McCown should score but only once and the probable recipient best favors Bryant Johnson against the replacement for the injured CB Rumph.

Pre-Game Notes - SF

San Francisco is actually getting worse each week. After getting shutout in Seattle, they lost to the Rams 14-24 in a game that was not nearly as close as that appeared. The Rams led 24-0 at the half and the game was already over.

Quarterback: Tim Rattay returned to the starting lineup and ended with a respectable 299 yards and two scores but he only had 70 yards and no touchdowns at the half before the Rams pretty much stopped trying. His biggest attraction for a fantasy team is that the 49ers are falling behind so badly early in games that he gets about 30 minutes of trash time each week.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow only managed 42 yards on 15 carries last week and has been fairly unproductive in every game this year outside of the Saints matchup where everyone does well. The return of Fred Beasley has not produced any returns since the defenses are stacking up against Barlow until the 49ers fall far enough behind to stop running the ball.

Wide Receivers: After turning in a couple of good games this season, Cedrick Wilson only managed three catches for 29 yards last week and amazingly there were 299 passing yards but Curtis Conway's 55 yards was tops for wideouts. He was replacing Brandon Lloyd who was inactive due to straining his groin in practice. While there is passing in every game and trash yards and scores, the squad has not produced any consistent performers yet.

Rashaun Woods had his first NFL catch after four incomplete passes had been thrown at him in the first three weeks and he scored his first NFL touchdown against the Saints.

Brandon Lloyd is expected back this week until he is hurt, yet again.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson comes off a huge game - 10 catches for 113 yards and now he has 28 catches for 298 yards and one score on the season. At that rate, he would break the reception record for tight ends. This doesn't seem like a record setting team however, and his production of seven catches per game is unlikely to continue.

Update: Eric Johnson has sore ribs but has been upgraded from questionable to probable. I am lowering his numbers but he may be okay to play. Coming off a big week with sore ribs, I like the Cardinals to give him some extra attention anyway.

Match Against the Defense: Tim Rattay should have more challenge this week trying to throw more than one touchdown since the Cardinals have not allowed any passing scores to Atlanta or New Orleans and Tom Brady's 217 yards and two scores represent the most allowed. Rattay and Brady are not likely to be confused for each other any time soon.

Kevan Barlow should have a good chance to get back on track here against a defense that has already allowed three 100 yard games by opponent runners though no one has scored a rushing touchdown yet against Arizona. The 49ers will be running at least early in the game and Barlow should be a lock for at least a moderate afternoon.

Cedrick Wilson gets the best matchup this week, going against the softer right side of the defense. If Rattay throws a score, it will most likely be to either Johnson or Wilson.

ARZ SF 2003 Averages SF ARZ
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
184
223
Pass yards
236
212
0.0
1.8
Pass TDs
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
Interceptions
1.3
1.0
9
4
Rush yards
0
21
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
97
99
Rush yards
95
123
1.0
1.5
Rush TDs
0.8
0.0
31
21
Receive yards
39
40
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
124
175
Receive yards
116
148
0.0
1.0
Receive TD's
0.8
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
35
27
Receive yards
81
24
0.0
0.5
Receive TD's
0.3
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.5
Field Goals
1.0
2.3
1.3
3.3
Extra Points
1.0
0.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
2.0
1.5
Fumbles
0.3
1.3
1.0
1.3
Interceptions
0.3
0.5
0.3
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.3
2.0
2.8
Sacks
2.0
3.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Cardinals (1-3)
Score Opp.
10-17 @STL
12-23 NE
3-6 @ATL
34-10 NO
Week 5 @SF
Week 6 bye
Week 7 SEA
Week 8 @BUF
Week 9 @MIA
Week 10 NYG
Week 11 @CAR
Week 12 NYJ
Week 13 @DET
Week 14 SF
Week 15 STL
Week 16 @SEA
Week 17 TB
49ers (0-4)
Score Opp.
19-21 ATL
27-30 @NO
0-34 @SEA
14-24 STL
Week 5 ARI
Week 6 @NYJ
Week 7 bye
Week 8 @CHI
Week 9 SEA
Week 10 CAR
Week 11 @TB
Week 12 MIA
Week 13 @STL
Week 14 @ARI
Week 15 WAS
Week 16 BUF
Week 17 @NE