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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
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 20 0 130,1
RB Jamal Lewis 80,1 0 0
TE Terry Jones 0 20,1 0
WR Kevin Johnson 0 50 0
WR Randy Hymes 0 50 0
PK Matt Stover 2 FG 2 XP -
  Washington Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 180,1
RB Clinton Portis 80,1 10 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 20,1 0
WR Lavernues Coles 0 50 0
WR James Thrash 0 20 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 60 0
PK John Hall 0 FG 2 XP -

BAL (2-2) vs WAS (1-3)

Game Prediction: BAL 20, WAS 14

The Ravens come off a short week and a disappointing loss to the Chiefs while the Redskins seem to be getting just a little worse with every game. With two good defenses and two bad offenses, there's not a lot of fantasy points likely to come out if this matchup.

Pre-Game Notes - BAL

The Ravens come off a gouging by the Chiefs who ran all over them while bringing a new found ability to stop offenses. Unfortunately, the Ravens did not have much of an offense in the first place and when the defense is not enough to win games, the games often aren't won.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller had his standard game of 154 passing yards with one touchdown thanks only to the one 57-yard score by Randy Hymes on a trick play. Otherwise in a game where the Ravens needed to move the ball against what should have been a softer defense, Boller yet again stayed under a paltry 100 yards passing.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis ended up with 73 yards on 15 carries with one score but never was able to get into the groove against the Chiefs thanks to the Ravens rarely having the ball. Other than the one monster 186 yard effort against the Bengals, Lewis has been a relative non-factor this season when the offense demands that he should be the entire offense. No Lewis, no offense. That simple.

The disposition of Lewis' court case, plea bargain, jail time and potential NFL suspension are still undecided. Until some concrete word is given, the assumption is that Lewis continues to play unhindered by the legal circus revolving around him.

Wide Receivers: Randy Hymes has the only two Baltimore passing scores this season and yet other than the 57-yard score on Monday night, he has done little in relief of the injured Travis Taylor. He only had two other passes for four yards this week and three catches for 24 yards the previous game. With Boller remaining as the least productive quarterback in the league, there's little reason to expect much from Hymes or Kevin Johnson.

Tight Ends: Terry Jones had 38 yards on three catches this Monday and that's the best "non-Heap" showing for a long time in this position. Heap may be the primary target on passing downs, but the Ravens have yet to figure out who else should be when Heap is out of the lineup.

Match Against the Defense: Here's a nasty equation. The Redskins actually have a very good defense to pit against the invisible offense of the Ravens. Lee Suggs gained 82 yards and a score last week in Cleveland but that's the best any runner has done this year. Until then, no tailback had gained over 42 yards against Washington this year and it is reasonable to expect the Skins to load up against Jamal Lewis. Look for another lesser production from Lewis this week as the Redskins beg Boller to throw.

The Skins have only given up three passing scores this year, so the notion that Boller will make a difference is unlikely and any appreciable numbers from him will have to reply on one or two luck long passes to prop up his stats.

This should be a big defense, big rushing effort game. Outside of the runners, none of these players look attractive for fantasy starts.

Pre-Game Notes - WAS

After beating the Bucs in week one - which hardly looks that impressive anymore - the Redskins continue to struggle on offense while their defense is unable to keep the score quite low enough to allow for a second win. The turnovers by the offense are no help.

Quarterback: Mark Brunell posted big numbers against the Cowboys during the second half when they started picking on the left corner of the Cowboys but otherwise Brunell has not been particularly effective and has not otherwise posted more than one score or 192 yards passing in any game this year. His only saving grace is that Patrick Ramsey looked even worse in relief.

Running Backs: That first play from scrimmage by Clinton Portis in week one was not only a highlight of the game, it may be his only highlight of the year if he doesn't get better blocking and has to face eight man fronts the entire year. Last week he only managed 58 yards on 20 carries. When he doesn't pop a long run, and he hasn't now in three games, his numbers are pedestrian at best in this unimaginative offense.

Wide Receivers: While Rod Gardner took in his career best game in week three thanks to the Cowboys injured secondary, he returned to his more normal production last week with only three catches for 19 yards while Laveranues Coles led receivers with seven receptions for 122 yards. James Thrash has shown up as the #3 receiver but that hasn't turned into any production yet.

Tight Ends: Both Walter Rasby and Chris Cooley had five passes thrown to them last week but only Rasby managed to hang on to any. He ended with three catches for 29 yards while Cooley had his first goose egg as an NFL starter. Facing a better defense against the wideouts, Cooley and Rasby will be needed to step up more production this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Ravens have kept all runners to under 100 yards this season until Priest Holmes showed up last Monday. While the Redskins will want to replicate that level of production from the tailback, Portis hardly has the same blocking as Holmes and will continue to be boxed in until Brunell can make them respect the pass. Expect a sub-100 day from Portis against the Ravens who are going to be tired yet motivated after their recent loss.

The only way that Brunell will have big numbers this week is if the Ravens get an early and substantial lead and force him to throw. Even then, there's no guarantee that will matter since the Ravens secondary should be able to keep Coles fairly quiet with Chris McAllister on him. Gardner should do better this week but that only means he has average numbers.

BAL WAS 2003 Averages WAS BAL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
104
203
Pass yards
219
185
0.3
1.0
Pass TDs
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
Interceptions
1.0
1.3
19
-2
Rush yards
14
4
0.3
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
 
---
RB's
---
 
110
60
Rush yards
101
68
0.8
0.5
Rush TDs
0.5
0.0
12
40
Receive yards
29
16
0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
 
---
WR's
---
 
54
130
Receive yards
165
150
0.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.8
 
---
TE's
---
 
38
39
Receive yards
26
19
0.0
0.5
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
 
---
PK's
---
 
1.3
1.0
Field Goals
1.5
1.3
1.3
2.0
Extra Points
1.5
0.8
 
---
DEF/ST
---
 
0.5
1.5
Fumbles
0.8
0.8
1.3
1.0
Interceptions
0.3
0.5
0.3
0.5
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.5
2.3
Sacks
2.5
1.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Ravens (2-2)
Score Opp.
3-20 @CLE
30-13 PIT
23-9 @CIN
24-27 KC
Week 5 @WAS
Week 6 bye
Week 7 BUF
Week 8 @PHI
Week 9 CLE
Week 10 @NYJ
Week 11 DAL
Week 12 @NE
Week 13 CIN
Week 14 NYG
Week 15 @IND
Week 16 @PIT
Week 17 MIA
Redskins (1-3)
Score Opp.
16-10 TB
14-20 @NYG
18-21 DAL
13-17 @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