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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
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 260,2
RB Fred Taylor 60 30 0
TE George Wrighster 0 30,1 0
TE Todd Yoder 0 10 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 80,1 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 40 0
WR Ernest Wilford. 0 60,1 0
PK Josh Scobee 3 FG 2 XP -
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 180
RB L. Tomlinson 90,1 40 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 50 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 40 0
WR Eric Parker 0 10 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 20 0
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 1 XP -

JAX (3-1) vs SD (2-2)

Game Prediction: JAX 23, SD 13

The Chargers at home have never scored less than 28 points this season and the Jaguars have never allowed more than 12 points on the road. Something's gotta give and it probably won't be the Jaguars defense.

Pre-Game Notes - JAX

The Jaguars held all opponents to few scores and lesser yards until finally the Colts came to town. in the end, the best offense actually can beat the best defense. At least at home.

Quarterback: After three games against decent defenses, Byron Leftwich finally faced a bad secondary with a big reason to throw. Against the Colts he totaled 318 passing yards and one touchdown - roughly just a bit less than what he had done in the previous three games combined. The most encouraging sign here is that Leftwich actually did a great job spreading the ball among four different wideouts. He'll face another less than average secondary this week and have perhaps an equal reason to want to throw.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor has hardly been the workhorse back of last season and has only one touchdown on the season and no games with more than 81 yards rushing. Last week against the Colts, he had 68 yards on 21 carries and the Jaguars were forced to the air to catch up. This offense needs a sound rushing game and should find some room this week on the road with a good reason to want to chew the clock up.

Wide Receivers: Last week when the Jaguars had to throw, Leftwich did a nice job at using all four wideouts. Jimmy Smith (3-59) had the lone touchdown catch but Ernest Wilford (6-56), Troy Edwards (4-54) and even Reggie Williams (3-40) all contributed. Until last week, none of the wideouts other than Smith had over 37 yards in any game this season.

Ernest Wilford continues to impress and even though Reggie Williams had three catches, he's still considered not as far along as fellow rookie Wilford.

Tight Ends: George Wrighster continues to be good for about three catches and maybe 30 yards a game.

Update: Unfortunately, Wrighster is having back problems and has not practiced this week. He is questionable to play and Todd Yoder is the more likely starter this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers aren't nearly so much fun to play against anymore. After starting the season out as a rushing doormat again, they tightened up and held Denver to only 30 total rushing yards and Chris Brown only managed 55 yards on 15 carries. WIth the Jaguars rushing game already struggling, this is not the enticing matchup it appeared to be a month ago.

Where this game will hinge for the Jaguars is once again with the pass. In the last three games, each opponent has thrown for two touchdowns and over 250 yards against the Chargers in spite of the run not working. That's a tall order for Leftwich but he showed better command last week in the loss to the Colts and some surprisingly good vision and reads. The Chargers are now committing to stopping the running backs and leaving the secondary more open than before.

George Wrighster is actually in a good spot for another score given that all opponents have success with their tight ends against the Chargers and both Shad Meier and Chris Baker scored. Jimmy Smith is the best candidate to for a touchdown by a wideout but Leftwich has been spreading the ball out well enough to make a scoring forecast pretty tough to make for what should be one score.

Pre-Game Notes - SD

The Chargers have improved this season, hard as it is to believe but at 2-2 with wins over the Texans and Titans, there's a chance they don't get another first pick of the draft this year.

Quarterback: While Philip Rivers was promoted to being the #2 quarterback, suddenly Drew Brees is playing like they wasted a draft pick. At least for last week. Brees ended with 206 yards passing and three touchdowns on top of a deadly effective running game by Tomlinson. His real test is not the Titans though who are struggling defensively - it'll be this week against the best defense he's faced this season.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson comes off his best game of the year- 147 rushing yards and one touchdown against the Titans. He'll be facing a much more daunting task this week than in week three when the Broncos held him to only 60 yards on 22 carries but the recent success of Brees should help relax the defense a bit more.

In a nice surprise cameo, even Jesse Chatman gained 23 yards on three runs with one touchdown last week. Hope you didn't blink.

Wide Receivers: Reche Caldwell now has scored in three of four games this year and mostly as a replacement for the perpetually injured Tim Dwight. Caldwell only had three catches last week but gained 110 yards and one score thanks to the 58-yard touchdown reception, He was the only wideout with a catch though which is almost true in any given week. No other wideout has gained more than 25 yards in any game this season.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates comes off a seven catch, 57 yard effort with one touchdown - his first of the season. Each week Caldwell and Gates are the only two receivers of note for the Chargers and Gates has been the leading receiver in three of the four games this year.

Match Against the Defense: Tomlinson at home should be a good fantasy start, but the Jaguars defense has been great at holding points down. Not to worry though, the biggest weakness (if there is one) with the Jags is the run defense and Edgerrin James and Chris Brown both scored and had decent yardage pitted against Jacksonville. Even Travis Henry (23-75) did okay and none of them have the talent of Tomlinson at home.

Drew Brees is much more likely to turn in a more typical "bring on Rivers" game than what you saw last week. The Jags have been tough against all opposing passing games and only Manning was able to do well. Brees is not, if you were not aware, the same level as Peyton Manning. As with all Jacksonville games, expect the score to be lower than usual and for the only opponent success to be rushing if only by volume of carries.

JAX SD 2003 Averages SD JAX
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
177
265
Pass yards
190
192
1.0
1.5
Pass TDs
1.5
0.8
0.5
0.5
Interceptions
0.5
0.5
6
8
Rush yards
8
9
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.5
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
90
76
Rush yards
113
102
0.3
1.0
Rush TDs
1.0
0.5
20
63
Receive yards
30
28
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
136
169
Receive yards
95
145
0.8
0.8
Receive TD's
1.0
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
22
34
Receive yards
65
30
0.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
2.0
Field Goals
1.3
1.5
0.8
2.5
Extra Points
3.3
1.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
0.8
Fumbles
0.8
0.3
0.5
0.5
Interceptions
0.5
0.5
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
1.0
1.8
Sacks
1.5
1.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Jaguars (3-1)
Score Opp.
13-10 @BUF
7-6 DEN
15-12 @TEN
17-24 IND
Week 5 @SD
Week 6 KC
Week 7 @IND
Week 8 @HOU
Week 9 bye
Week 10 DET
Week 11 TEN
Week 12 @MIN
Week 13 PIT
Week 14 CHI
Week 15 @GB
Week 16 HOU
Week 17 @OAK
Chargers (2-2)
Score Opp.
27-20 @HOU
28-34 NYJ
13-23 @DEN
38-17 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