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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
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Rattay 0 0 260,2
RB Kevan Barlow 40 10 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 50 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 70 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 60,1 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 60,1 0
PK Todd Peterson 1 FG 2 XP -
  NY Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 220,2
RB Curtis Martin 110,1 30 0
TE Chris Baker 0 20,1 0
WR Jonathan Carter 0 40,1 0
WR Wayne Chrebet 0 60 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 50 0
WR Santana Moss Q Q Q
PK Doug Brien 2 FG 3 XP -

SF (1-4) vs NYJ (4-0)

Game Prediction: SF 17, NYJ 27

The 49ers come off a comeback win over the Cardinals last week for their first victory and face the undefeated Jets as a visitor. Probably not a winning combination.

Pre-Game Notes - SF

The 49ers defense has taken a big hit with the loss of LB Julian Peterson and the ground game is starting to completely disappear but hey - how about that Rattay kid?

Quarterback: Tim Rattay completed a team-record 38 passes on 57 attempts for 417 yards and two scores against the Cardinals. That says a lot about how much San Francisco needs to throw and how badly the Cardinals can fall apart on the road. It does give some hope to what is a bad offense though. In two starts this season, Rattay has thrown for 716 yards and four touchdowns.

Running Backs: While Kevan Barlow had a nice game against the Saints in week two, that is the extent of his effectiveness this year. In the last three games since he has carried the ball 39 times for 100 yards. He is increasingly finding less room to run. When your quarterback is throwing about 50 times a game, there is no such thing as getting "in rhythm".

Wide Receivers: The truly amazing fact about throwing for 417 yards in one game is that Rattay had no wideout with more than 56 yards in the game. This included Curtis Conway (5-56), Cedrick Wilson (4-45), Brandon Lloyd (5-56) and Arnaz Battle (1-2). The only positive here was that Brandon Lloyd finally was healthy enough to play and contributed the winning touchdown and the two point conversion.

There's fantasy value here, but so far nothing what would be expected from a quarterback that throws for 700 yards in two games. Chances are excellent that the torrid pace of Eric Johnson will not hold up since otherwise he would shatter almost every tight end record if not receiving in general. The wideouts will have to figure in all season long that looks to be filled with plenty of trash time throws and comeback bids.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson not only plays hurt, he turned in 13 catches for 162 yards and one score last week to remain the most popular NFL player catching passes so far this year. He's not only had 41 receptions this year, he was the target of 54 passes in only four games. He is on a pace to catch over 160 passes which is about 30 more than has ever been done by any player regardless of position. It cannot continue in all statistical likelihood but when he received 20 passes last week, it's sort of hard to imagine when the other shoe drops.

Match Against the Defense: There is zero chance the Jets think they can just mail this game in after last week in San Francisco. The Jets have been tough against the run all year and there's no reason to expect that Barlow will be better than Rudi Johnson or LaDainian Tomlinson. He should have moderate yardage at best but he could end up with a touchdownif the 49ers find themselves on the one-foot line.

The secondary has allowed only five passing scores in four games and the upper end so far is about 250 passing yards against them. With the 49ers likely to be behind in the second half, Rattay could post some decent yardage in a comeback bid but his wideouts will be hard pressed to post any significant yardage against a good set of cornerbacks. Even Antonio Gates only managed 39 yards against the Jets so Johnson will need those 20 passes again to approach a big game.

Pre-Game Notes - NYJ

Update: Santana Moss has missed practice with a hamstring strain and is considered very questionable to play this weekend. While he has not yet been ruled out, I am considering that Wayne Chrebet moves over to replace him and Jonathan Carter takes a bigger role this week.

There is also word that Lamont Jordan is supposed to actually be receiving playing time this week in relief of Curtis Martin but until that happens, I am not including him in projections.

After running wild for three games, the Jets finally had to resort to a passing game last week against the Bills and Pennington was able to produce his first significant fantasy game. Chances are good he'll post some decent numbers again this week though the Jets could get caught looking towards week seven and their pending game in New England.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington finally cracked the 300 yard mark last week but only scored once with one interception. He's been good for two scores against softer defenses but had only one against the Bills and none against the Dolphins. Much of his production is directly related to how well Curtis Martin is running.

Running Backs: After three big 100+ yard weeks, Curtis Martin finally settled down last week to only 77 yards on 22 carries but added 23 yards on six receptions as well. It was also the first time Martin had not scored in a game this year. In four games this year, Martin has had all but two carries by a Jet running back.

Wide Receivers: With more passing yardage to distribute, Wayne Chrebet out of the slot had the biggest game last week with 90 yards on eight catches and Santana Moss managed 62 yards on only two catches. Justin McCareins has been nearly invisible since week one regardless of the passing yardage. After a big touchdown season in 2003, not only has Moss not caught a score this year, there has been only one touchdown thrown to a wideout (Jonathan Carter) in 2004. The running backs and tight ends both have two touchdown catches.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker had his second touchdown of the season last week on three catches for 33 yards. He's become as much a redzone target as any single receiver.

Match Against the Defense: Curtis Martin faces a defense that has oddly been tough against the run for yardage but has allowed seven rushing scores already. Only Faulk had a big yardage game though most of the runners have been less than stellar opponents. You can be sure he'll get his 20+ carries and should score at least once with moderate yardage at a minimum and a chance for a big game if the Jets need to focus on killing the fourth quarter clock. The loss of Julian Peterson is a big hit in stopping the run.

The 49ers have allowed every opposing quarterback to throw for a touchdown if not two or even three. This will easily be the best opportunity for Santana Moss to finally get into the endzone so far this season and Pennington will throw at least one score. Chris Baker also has a good chance at scoring since the tight end has a touchdown in almost every game against the 49ers and, again, the loss of LB Julian Peterson only opens up the shorter middle routes even more.

SF NYJ 2004 Averages NYJ SF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
272
219
Pass yards
232
224
1.2
1.3
Pass TDs
1.3
2.0
1.0
1.5
Interceptions
0.5
0.4
3
11
Rush yards
0
6
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
85
88
Rush yards
131
98
0.6
0.5
Rush TDs
1.0
1.4
42
36
Receive yards
55
22
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.5
0.4
---
---
WR's
---
---
124
147
Receive yards
154
175
0.8
0.8
Receive TD's
0.3
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
105
36
Receive yards
23
27
0.4
0.3
Receive TD's
0.5
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.4
0.8
Field Goals
1.4
1.2
0.8
1.8
Extra Points
2.2
3.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.2
0.5
Fumbles
1.3
1.6
0.4
0.5
Interceptions
1.5
1.0
0.2
0.3
Touchdowns
0.5
0.0
2.0
1.5
Sacks
2.5
3.2
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
49ers (1-4)
Score Opp.
19-21 ATL
27-30 @NO
0-34 @SEA
14-24 STL
31-28 ARI
Week 6 @NYJ
Week 7 bye
Week 8 @CHI
Week 9 SEA
Week 10 CAR
Week 11 @TB
Week 12 MIA
Week 13 @STL
Week 14 @ARI
Week 15 WAS
Week 16 BUF
Week 17 @NE
Jets (4-0)
Score Opp.
31-24 CIN
34-28 @SD
Week 3 bye
17-9 @MIA
16-14 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