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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
  Tennessee Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 0 0 230,1
RB Chris Brown 100,1 10 0
TE Troupe/Meier 0 30 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 90,1 0
WR Eddie Berlin 0 30 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 50 0
PK Gary Anderson 1 FG 2 XP -
  Green Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 210,2
RB Ahman Green 100,1 40 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 20,1 0
WR Javon Walker 0 80,1 0
WR Donald Driver 0 30 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 30 0
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 3 XP -

TEN (1-3) vs GB (1-3)

Game Prediction: TEN 17, GB 24

Two of the preseason darlings are now regular season duds and one of them falls to an unthinkable 1-4 which starts to cast doubts on the rest of the season. Both teams have had quarterback problems last week and neither defense is nearly meeting expectations. This was a Monday night game that looked a lot more interesting a month ago.

Pre-Game Notes - TEN

It's one thing to lose your third straight game, it's another to be waxed by the Chargers when it happens. Tennessee has lost three straight games after an opening win before but there are less reasons now to expect a turnaround is looming thanks to a defense that is sputtering.

Quarterback: Billy Volek stepped in last week and had a nice game - 278 yards and two scores and no turnovers. But Steve McNair's bruised sternum is improving and he should do more in practice this week than play catch with trainers. He has a good chance to play especially considering the game is on Monday and has an extra healing day. I am projecting for McNair this week since he looks better but I will update if needed later in the week.

Running Backs: Chris Brown finally failed to gain 100 yards last week when he could only manage 55 yards on 15 carries against the Chargers. That's still almost 4 yards per tote and his decrease in volume stemmed from the deficit on the scoreboard. Brown has been the lone consistently good player for the Titan offense.

Wide Receivers: This group has really been hurt by the problems of the Titans this season. Derrick Mason finally caught a touchdown last week but that's the first wideout score this season. Both Mason (12-94) and Drew Bennett (9-109) turned in great statistical games against the Chargers and should see better numbers again this week against a Packer squad that has given up big games to the wideouts this year.

Tyrone Calico finally returned to the field last week and had two catches for 13 yards with a re-injury to his knees again. He'll now miss two more weeks with more possible, He'll be replaced by Eddie Berlin this week.

Tight Ends: With Erron Kinney out, Ben Troupe took the start but only managed one catch for eight yards while Shad Meier had the biggest tight end game of the young season when he ended with nine receptions for 31 yards and one touchdown. That's not exactly the sort of "yards after catch" you want, but he was a surprise outlet for Volek even if it was always close to the line of scrimmage. Meier's nine catches were not only a career best, but even Meier admitted he had never had more than four catches in any game dating all the way back to high school. Don't expect this to be anything brewing for the normally blocking tight end. With Kinney still likely out, I am projecting for Meier but it could just as easily be Troupe getting more passes this week.

Update: Shad Meier is listed as questionable this week but has practiced some on Thursday and is likely to play but he's recovering from an ankle sprain. I am not changing the projections since they fall in line with my expectations, but be aware that Meier has been injured and might not be 100% in case you think you hit gold on the waiver wire a few days ago.

Steve McNair is back to practice and looking good again. He should be safe to start, particularly with the Monday night game offering yet another day to improve. McNair claims he actually feels as good as he has in a while since he previously had a sore ankle. Again - no changes since it follows my expectations.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers rushing defense has taken a major step down this year thanks to free agent losses and a few injuries. They've already allowed both Thomas Jones and Tiki Barber to gain over 150 yards rushing and score once against them. Amazingly - both those games were in Green Bay. Expect the Titans to run all they can with Chris Brown and try to minimize the hits that McNair is opened up to on passing plays since the Packers love to gamble on blitzes. Brown will eclipse 100 yards unless once again they fall behind too early and must pass. Since McNair hurts to breathe and Favre is still woozy, this game should not be an aerial shootout.

Derrick Mason gets the more favorable cornerback matchup that has been exploited this season by Reggie Wayne and Muhsin Muhammad.

Pre-Game Notes - GB

The Packers have now lost both home games against the Bears and Giants and are reeling at 1-3 with some intersquad squabbles and a disappointing showing by their defense. They've only scored a total of 17 points from their two homestands and the rushing game continues to be a problem when it was supposed to be the biggest strength.

Quarterback: Brett Favre had another one of his legendary plays last week when he left the game with a concussion, then returned a play later to throw a fourth down touchdown to Javon Walker. The trainers finally made him sit out the rest of the game and Brett had the glazed, "helmet down" look of someone with a big-time bell ring. Doug Pedersen stepped in and was not only ineffective, he ended up breaking a rib and will not be available this week anyway. Favre is expected to be back in practice and has been cleared to play already barring any unforeseen setbacks.

The Packers picked up J.T. O'Sullivan in a trade with the Saints for Mike McKenzie but he obviously is not prepared to step in yet.

Running Backs: After starting out with two big games, Ahman Green only has 32 carries for 125 yards in both the last two games combined. Getting only 15 to 17 carries in a game has prevented him from getting into gear but he has contributed in the passing game as well. Green needs to get back to the basics this week to help the Packers control the game and notch a very badly needed win this week.

Najeh Davenport appears likely to be back this week but Tony Fisher has done little while Davenport was out.

Wide Receivers: It says volumes about the confidence that Favre has in Javon Walker when Brett comes in with a concussion on fourth down and throws a touchdown to Walker who was double covered on the play. Donald Driver has been the closest thing to a #2 lately but has not counted for much - only 31 yards last week. Robert Ferguson actually had more passes than any other player last week but only managed to catch one pass for 24 yards which was the final play of the game.

If the Packers must throw, the progression is pretty evenly distributed but only Walker has done much with his passes.

Tight Ends: Bubba Franks had three catches for 31 yards last week which was is about his ceiling these days.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans on the road have allowed both Edgerrin James and LaDainian Tomlinson to have monster games and Ahman Green is certainly capable of as much. With Favre coming off a concussion, expect Green to get a heavy load at least early. Green's been vocal about the lack of commitment to the rushing game lately and rightfully so. This should be a "back to basics" week since that works best and has the better chance of success. The Titans loss of MLB Rocky Calmus has never been adequately filled, nor the loss of Jevon Kearse.

Favre should throw at least one score since all quarterbacks have against Tennessee, even the Dolphins. But the passing yardage should remain moderate in light of the expected rushing game focus. The Packers are showing a maddening inconsistency this year with two tough road games producing 55 points and yet two "easy" home games only posting 17 points. No overlooking the importance of this week.

If you want to start Bubba Franks, this should be the week. in only four games this season, the Titans have given up touchdowns to FIVE different tight ends already. That's called linebacker problems.

TEN GB 2003 Averages GB TEN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
192
249
Pass yards
252
199
0.8
2.3
Pass TDs
1.8
1.8
0.5
0.8
Interceptions
1.3
0.8
12
7
Rush yards
6
4
0.3
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
120
119
Rush yards
108
121
0.5
0.8
Rush TDs
0.5
1.3
19
33
Receive yards
56
26
0.0
0.8
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
147
175
Receive yards
168
127
0.3
1.3
Receive TD's
1.5
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
27
41
Receive yards
29
46
0.5
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
1.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
0.3
Field Goals
0.8
0.5
1.5
3.3
Extra Points
2.3
2.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
0.8
Fumbles
0.5
0.5
0.8
1.3
Interceptions
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.3
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
1.8
0.8
Sacks
1.8
2.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Tennessee (1-3)
Score Opp.
17-7 @MIA
17-31 IND
12-15 JAX
17-38 @SD
Week 5 @GB
Week 6 HOU
Week 7 @MIN
Week 8 CIN
Week 9 bye
Week 10 CHI
Week 11 @JAX
Week 12 @HOU
Week 13 @IND
Week 14 KC
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 DEN
Week 17 DET
Packers (1-3)
Score Opp.
24-14 @CAR
10-21 CHI
31-45 @IND
7-14 NYG
Week 5 TEN
Week 6 @DET
Week 7 DAL
Week 8 @WAS
Week 9 bye
Week 10 MIN
Week 11 @HOU
Week 12 STL
Week 13 @PHI
Week 14 DET
Week 15 JAX
Week 16 @MIN
Week 17 @CHI