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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
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 240,1
RB Travis Henry 70 10 0
TE M. Campbell 0 10 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 80,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 40 0
WR Lee Evans 0 40 0
WR Bobby Shaw 0 30 0
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 1 XP -
  NY Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 240,2
RB Curtis Martin 90,1 20 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Jonathan Carter 0 40,1 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 60 0
WR Santana Moss 0 90,1 0
PK Doug Brien 1 FG 3 XP -

BUF (0-3) vs NYJ (3-0)

Game Prediction: BUF 13, NYJ 24

Two long-time divisional rivals face off and the difference between the two is the greatest in years. This will remain true even after the game.

Pre-Game Notes - BUF

The Bills come off their most recent loss of the season against the Patriots and now get to face the Jets. In their four games this year - JAX, OAK, NE and now NYJ, only the Raiders had actually lost a game by the time they faced the Bills. Not to worry though - Buffalo hosts Miami next week.

Quarterback: The Bills intended on throwing less and running more this season and at least they got the throwing less part done. Drew Bledsoe only had one score and a season high 247 yards last week against New England but just as importantly, Bledsoe lost both an interception and a fumble. This offense is not good enough to recover from mistakes and Bledsoe apparently is not good enough to stop making them.

Running Backs: The good news for Travis Henry owners is that Willis McGahee has almost disappeared and had no carries last week and only two carries the previous week. The bad news is that you are still a Travis Henry owner and have yet to get a touchdown or a 100 yard rushing effort from him. Last year Henry propped up his value with several short touchdowns even when his yardage was low. No such luck this season.

Wide Receivers: Eric Moulds finally turned in his first 100 yard game last week when he ended with ten catches for 126 yards and one score. Outside of him, the entire cast of wideouts are without value other than Lee Evans catching one 65 yard pass last week and yet not scoring. That one long completion is the highlight of the passing game this year though and should be attempted with some regularity from now on since the Bills are specializing in playing from behind this year.

Tight Ends: Not even a decent question for an advanced version of Trivial Pursuit.

Match Against the Defense: Buffalo actually beat the Jets last year while at home but on the road were thrashed 3-30. Given the state of the offense, a replay of the loss is much more likely than the replay of the 17-6 win in Buffalo.

Travis Henry had his best game of the season in 2003 against the Jets when he gained 169 yards on 32 carries but as a visitor he still only had 53 yards and unlike last season, the Jets have yet to allow more than 87 yards rushing by an opposing running back. Look for moderate numbers from Henry who should have most his carries in the first half before the game gets out of hand.

Even when the Bills win, they don't score much against the Jets and this season you need to score a lot in order to hope to see a victory. There's only been three passing scores against the secondary this year though their opponents so far have been pretty weak. Eric Moulds gets the better cornerback matchup and realistically he's the only one getting many passes anyway.

Pre-Game Notes - NYJ

The Jets somehow managed one of the most attractive opening schedules of any team in the NFL. Ends up that going against CIN, SD and MIA could not have been better and now they face the 0-3 Bills and then the 49ers the following week. Now there's the way to run a fantasy team.

Quarterback: So far Chad Pennington really has not done much this season because he simply has not had to win games this year with the great rushing of Curtis Martin and facing some of the dregs of the league for opponents. This week should be about the same. It may have to be week 7 in New England to see if Pennington remembers what to do when he has to play well.

Running Backs: The Curtis Martin retro-tour continues. He has ran for over 100 yards and scored in all three games this season and Lamont Jordan is merely a name on the roster. Martin never ran for less than 77 yards against a Bills team in 2003 so the string has a good chance to continue.

Wide Receivers: All this great rushing effort has really hit the wideouts hard. Santana Moss only had one catch for 17 yards last week and has yet to score a touchdown this season. Justin McCareins only has three catches for 23 yards in the last two games combined. Until the Jets get into a real fight, these guys are just not fantasy relevant. Their numbers are certain to pick up but it may not happen until the second half of the season. This week has a better chance of an uptick, particularly for Moss.

Tight Ends: If you thought the wideouts were bad...

Match Against the Defense: Look for plenty of Curtis Martin but the Bills defense has been pretty good and has allowed only one rushing touchdown this year and Corey Dillon's 79 yards was tops for an opposing runner. Unfortunately, the punchless Bills offense means game situations often dictate the opponent just runs to kill the clock so Martin should have his 20-25 carries anyway and approach 100 yards.

Pennington could have some success here thanks in part to Troy Vincent tearing some cartilage and missing this week. This should allow Santana Moss more freedom and get him his first touchdown of the year. There's not likely to be a lot of scoring here, but Pennington should be good for at least one and Justin McCareins should turn in more respectable yardage this week. Much of this is all predicated on the game situation and how well the Bills can slow down Curtis Martin.

BUF NYJ 2003 Averages NYJ BUF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
117
157
Pass yards
161
119
0.7
1.0
Pass TDs
1.3
0.7
0.3
1.0
Interceptions
0.0
0.7
-1
8
Rush yards
-1
12
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
57
64
Rush yards
112
42
0.0
0.7
Rush TDs
1.0
0.0
14
36
Receive yards
39
14
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.7
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
101
107
Receive yards
113
90
0.3
0.7
Receive TD's
0.3
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
16
14
Receive yards
8
14
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.7
0.3
Field Goals
1.0
1.3
0.7
2.3
Extra Points
2.7
0.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.0
0.3
Fumbles
1.0
0.7
0.7
0.0
Interceptions
1.0
0.3
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
1.3
0.3
Sacks
0.7
2.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Bills (0-3)
Score Opp.
10-13 JAX
10-13 @OAK
Week 3 bye
17-31 NE
Week 5 @NYJ
Week 6 MIA
Week 7 @BAL
Week 8 ARI
Week 9 NYJ
Week 10 @NE
Week 11 STL
Week 12 @SEA
Week 13 @MIA
Week 14 CLE
Week 15 @CIN
Week 16 @SF
Week 17 PIT
Jets (3-0)
Score Opp.
31-24 CIN
34-28 @SD
Week 3 bye
17-9 @MIA
Week 5 BUF
Week 6 SF
Week 7 @NE
Week 8 MIA
Week 9 @BUF
Week 10 BAL
Week 11 @CLE
Week 12 @ARI
Week 13 HOU
Week 14 @PIT
Week 15 SEA
Week 16 NE
Week 17 @STL