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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
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese 0 0 240,1
RB Michael Pittman 60 30 0
RB Mike Alstott 10 0 0
TE Ken Dilger 0 20 0
WR Michael Clayton 0 90,1 0
WR Charles Lee 0 70 0
WR Tim Brown 0 20 0
PK Martin Gramatica 3 FG 1 XP -
  St. Louis Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 220,1
RB Marshall Faulk 80 30 0
RB Steven Jackson 40,1 10 0
TE B. Manumaleuna 0 20 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 60 0
WR Torry Holt 0 70,1 0
WR Dane Looker 0 20 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 2 FG 2 XP -

TB (1-4) vs STL (3-2)

Game Prediction: TB 16, STL 20

The Rams come off a huge comeback win in Seattle and the Buccaneers have their first win of the season. Both are due for an emotional letdown after last week but one has to still win. This is one of the more questionable Monday night games this year considering they passed on SEA@NE and CAR@PHI.

Pre-Game Notes - TB

The Buccaneers defense is finally getting some offensive help even if it means changing quarterbacks every week.

Quarterback: Last week Chris Simms bruised his left shoulder and will likely miss several weeks. In his place, Brian Griese was stellar, completing 16 of 19 passes for 194 yards and one score. Griese again gets the start this week and Brad Johnson is so far out of the picture now that the Bucs may bring back Jason Garrett as the #3 quarterback.

Running Backs: Michael Pittman has been back for two weeks and in both games he had 15 carries for either 51 or 72 yards and no scores. Pittman did have five catches for 29 yards last week after having none against the Broncos. So far no Buccaneer running back has scored a touchdown.

Mike Alstott was banged up last week but he'll play on Monday night and try to top the 15 yards he has gained in the last two weeks.

Wide Receivers: With Griese throwing the ball, both Michael Clayton (4-61) and Charles Lee (4-76) turned in decent performances but Tim Brown's sole responsibility is to catch exactly one pass each week in order to keep his streak alive. Amazing since he is the starting flanker and yet has one pass for around five yards a week.

Tight Ends: Ken Dilger ended with 60 yards on three catches and one score last week but that is very, very uncharacteristic. Dilger had a 45-yard pass for the touchdown, otherwise he only had his more traditional two catches for 15 yards.

Match Against the Defense: This should provide Griese with an opportunity to get some decent numbers this week. The Rams have already allowed Rattay and Brooks to get around 300 yards and there's been two passing scores in each of the last two games. Unless the Buccaneers can keep the score low, figure on the Rams getting a lead and forcing the Bucs to throw.

The matchups favor Tim Brown the most by position but figure after his one catch that Clayton should get the majority with even Lee turning in a decent game. After their recent win, the Bucs are going to be a little more confident in passing particularly after Griese looked so capable last week.

Pittman faces a defense that has allowed over 100 yards twice this year but the Buccaneers are not likely to stick with the run long enough for any appreciable yardage here. He could add some nice fantasy value via receptions.

Pre-Game Notes - STL

It was a tale of two halfs and really more like three quarters versus the fourth quarter. The Rams netted a monster win for their ego on the road coming back from a 17 point deficit over the Seahawks. While the offense looked shaky early in the game, it looked tremendous once the Seahawks thought they had won and were packing their bags.

Quarterback: Mark Brunell ended with 325 yards and three touchdowns last week but most of that all came in the fourth quarter. It marks the second 300+ yard game for Bulger this season and his first game that had more than one touchdown pass.

Running Backs: Marshall Faulk only gained 51 yards on 15 carries last week but Steven Jackson turned a mere five runs into 64 yards which included a nice 48-yard gainer. He also impressed the coaching staff with his pass blocking and picked up the blitzer on the final play that allowed Shaun McDonald to score. The interesting question is will the sharing ratio change at all with Faulk less effective and Jackson impressive so far? Too early to expect that to be altered much, but Jackson is proving to be a good draft pick.

Wide Receivers: Torry Holt only had five catches for 53 yards last week on the heels of only 28 yards the previous game. The secondary's focus on stopping him has been a major cause why Isaac Bruce has done so well this year even though Bruce (6-78) finally failed to crest 100 yards in a game this year.

With both Bruce and Holt commanding so much attention in the game, blitzes left man-on-man coverage for both Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis who both scored last week. The passing game has shifted away from Holt lately due to coverage but the recent success of the #3 and #4 wideouts should help relax the secondary.

Tight Ends: While the Rams have ignored the tight ends this year, Brandon Manumaleuna had an impressive touchdown catch last week and should see at least an extra pass or two each game. With Bruce and Holt being such the focus of the secondary, it should open up for the tight ends more and with Manumaleuna's touchdown, a bit more confidence in the position as a receiver.

Match Against the Defense: The Buccaneer pass defense has been very good this year, allowing only one opponent (NYG) to throw for more than 147 yards in a game. While that seems very low end for Bulger, expect his passing numbers to take a major drop from last week.

There's been no pattern of success by any wideout and thus no real advantage in any matchup. This should be more a game about running the ball since the Bucs have allowed three tailbacks to exceed 100 yards already this year and each one was during a road trip like this.

Look for Faulk to take the major role and turn in a nicer yardage game but also realize that Stephen Jackson has looked effective lately and could figure in as well.

TB STL 2004 Averages STL TB
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
222
238
Pass yards
285
151
0.8
1.2
Pass TDs
1.4
1.0
0.8
0.2
Interceptions
1.0
0.6
7
31
Rush yards
7
7
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.4
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
68
109
Rush yards
110
122
0.0
1.0
Rush TDs
0.8
0.4
38
41
Receive yards
29
20
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
150
139
Receive yards
247
109
0.6
0.8
Receive TD's
1.2
0.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
34
59
Receive yards
10
22
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
2.0
Field Goals
1.6
2.2
0.8
1.8
Extra Points
2.0
1.6
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
0.8
Fumbles
0.2
0.8
0.6
1.0
Interceptions
0.2
0.8
0.4
0.2
Touchdowns
0.0
0.2
1.0
2.4
Sacks
1.8
3.2
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Buccaneers (1-4)
Score Opp.
10-16 @WAS
6-10 SEA
20-30 @OAK
13-16 DEN
20-17 @NO
Week 6 @STL
Week 7 CHI
Week 8 bye
Week 9 KC
Week 10 @ATL
Week 11 SF
Week 12 @CAR
Week 13 ATL
Week 14 @SD
Week 15 NO
Week 16 CAR
Week 17 @ARI
Rams (3-2)
Score Opp.
17-10 ARI
17-34 @ATL
25-28 NO
24-14 @SF
33-27 @SEA
Week 6 TB
Week 7 @MIA
Week 8 bye
Week 9 NE
Week 10 SEA
Week 11 @BUF
Week 12 @GB
Week 13 SF
Week 14 @CAR
Week 15 @ARI
Week 16 PHI
Week 17 NYJ