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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 6
October 13, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
MIA at BUF* GB at DET* CAR at PHI* DEN at OAK TB at STL
SD at ATL KC at JAX HOU at TEN* PIT at DAL Bye Week:
CIN at CLE* SF at NYJ*   Sun 8:30 PM ARZ, BAL
WAS at CHI* SEA at NE* Times ET MIN at NO IND, NYG
  Denver Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 0 0 190,1
RB Reuben Droughns 100,1 10 0
RB Quentin Griffin 30 10 0
TE Jeb Putzier 0 20 0
WR Rod Smith 0 60,1 0
WR Darius Watts 0 20 0
WR Ashley Lelie 0 50 0
PK Jason Elam 3 FG 2 XP -
Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 10 0 170,1
RB A. Zereoue 50 10 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 20 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 30,1 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 50 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 40 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 20 0
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 FG 1 XP -

DEN (4-1) vs OAK (2-3)

Game Prediction: DEN 23, OAK 10

One of the great old rivalries finds a whole new Raider team on one side and the Broncos still have a great running back, we're just not completely certain which one it will be this week.

Pre-Game Notes - DEN

The Broncos hit the road where they lost to the Jaguars by one point and only beat the Bucs by a field goal.

Quarterback: Jake Plummer comes off a solid effort against the Panthers, throwing for 226 yards and two scores against two interceptions. They were his first since week one and he hasn't fumbled yet this season. Plummer is staying in the pocket more this year and has not rushed for more than 33 yards.

Running Backs: Just when you thought Tatum Bell might have a shot at showing something, Reuben Droughns turned in the best game of his entire life with his first start as a Bronco. Droughns rumbled for 193 yards on 30 carries in the game and scored once on a pass. HC Mike Shanahan would not come out and say that Droughns is the starter again this week since Quentin Griffin is healthy again but considering that Droughns gained more in one game against the Panthers than Griffin had managed in the previous three weeks, it would seem likely that Droughns gets the rock the most. Griffin may add a nice change of pace, but even the ever-evasive Shanahan would not mess with something that worked very well.

I am assuming both play and Droughns gets the most carries. It is unlikely that any concrete word will come out either so there is a slight risk in using Droughns this week but a very big risk in thinking that Griffin is just going to come back and be the fulltime back again. If you are holding onto Garrison Hearst still, you can free that roster spot up. Tatum Bell? Not looking good for the Bellster in his rookie year but you never know.

Wide Receivers: Last week, Ashley Lelie had only two catches for 52 yards but one was a beautiful over-the-shoulder snatch for the score. That makes his second receiving touchdown this year as opposed to Rod Smith who only has one and had not exceeded 76 yards this season. Other than the one home game against the Chargers, the wideouts have not been nearly as productive as last year in spite of Shannon Sharpe being gone. Most passing scores go to the running backs or even Patrick Hape in his one catch per game.

Tight Ends: Dwayne Carswell had 45 yards on four catches last week but this group varies between he and Jeb Putzier with the eventual touchdown going to Hape. it's not a crew to hang your fantasy hat on anymore.

Match Against the Defense: Normally you can throw out the records when these two teams meet, but this is a vastly different Raider offense and defense.

The Raiders have been fairly soft against the run and in particular to the bigger backs like Staley, Wells and James. As long as the Broncos don't fall behind, Droughns should have a crack at another nice game here since teams like to pound the big back at the defense. Even Mike Alstott had 65 yards on 12 carries against the Raiders.

The pass defense has been average so far so you can expect that Plummer should connect for at least one score and maybe two. There's no holding back when these teams play, so you can figure on plenty of running but the occasional long pass that would favor Lelie or Smith the most.

Pre-Game Notes - OAK

The Raiders only wins this season have been at home and they'll be plenty up to face the visiting Broncos. In both the TB and BUF games, they faced a great defense but this time around, they'll be going against a very good offense as well. The game takes a new tone this year. Instead of facing Gannon, Garner and Brown it will be Collins, Zereoue and Curry.

Quarterback: Kerry Collins improved last week in that he actually threw for one touchdown but he again had three interceptions and will be facing an even better secondary this time. While some are questioning why Marques Tuiasasopo is not playing, there's no movement away from Collins. At least not yet.

Running Backs: Tyrone Wheatley will again be doubtful this week and is not expected to play and even Justin "ER" Fargas may miss the game. He came off a bad toe and then suffered a severe leg bruise in the Colts game. You can likely drop him in case you have a fantasy that he will matter this year. Even if he ever does, he'll just get hurt the next week.

Amos Zereoue will take the start again and should be helped out by Zack Crockett and J.R. Redmond.

Wide Receivers: Considering that Collins went against the ever-soft secondary of Indianapolis last week in a game he needed to throw, it was disappointing that the best wideout showing was Ronald Curry's 69 yards. None of the crew managed a touchdown and Jerry Rice has a total of three catches for 45 yards since week three when he was shutout.

Jerry Porter only had five passes and caught two for 40 yards. Evidently the best thing these receivers could do would be wear the opponent's jersey since they have no problem catching Collins' passes.

Tight Ends: Courtney Anderson had a touchdown on his three catches for 38 yards last week but that was the first score to any tight end this year.

Match Against the Defense: This is not really a good equation. Collins is tossing up three interceptions in every game and now faces a team that has allowed, at most, only 173 passing yards this year. And never more than one score. Look for lower numbers from all the players in the passing game and likely only one score if that.

While Priest Holmes had a big week one against the Broncos, no other team has done more than 72 yards or scored on the ground. Expect a subpar rushing game from Zereoue even though he may have no real back-up. Denver will look to get the lead, roll up the score and force the Raiders into a passing game where so far, they have not been able to get the job done.

If any Raider is to produce decent fantasy numbers, Ronald Curry is likely the best since Porter will likely draw Champ Bailey who plays where ever they feel the need is greatest. Since they do move Champ around and have a good supporting cast, predicting performances becomes very challenging since they rely on game situations.

DEN OAK 2004 Averages OAK DEN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
228
215
Pass yards
247
152
1.4
1.4
Pass TDs
1.0
0.6
0.8
0.6
Interceptions
1.8
0.2
17
12
Rush yards
6
7
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.4
---
---
RB's
---
---
114
103
Rush yards
95
63
0.4
1.0
Rush TDs
0.8
0.2
32
34
Receive yards
47
8
0.8
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
148
163
Receive yards
165
124
0.6
1.0
Receive TD's
0.8
0.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
46
17
Receive yards
35
20
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.4
1.4
Field Goals
1.6
1.2
1.8
2.4
Extra Points
1.8
1.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
1.0
Fumbles
0.4
0.6
0.2
1.8
Interceptions
0.6
0.4
0.0
0.4
Touchdowns
0.2
0.0
1.8
2.2
Sacks
2.6
0.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Broncos (4-1)
Score Opp.
34-24 KC
6-7 @JAX
23-13 SD
16-13 @TB
20-17 CAR
Week 6 @OAK
Week 7 @CIN
Week 8 ATL
Week 9 HOU
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @NO
Week 12 OAK
Week 13 @SD
Week 14 MIA
Week 15 @KC
Week 16 @TEN
Week 17 IND
Raiders (2-3)
Score Opp.
21-24 @PIT
13-10 BUF
30-20 TB
17-30 @HOU
14-35 @IND
Week 6 DEN
Week 7 NO
Week 8 @SD
Week 9 @CAR
Week 10 bye
Week 11 SD
Week 12 @DEN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 TEN
Week 16 @KC
Week 17 JAX