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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 7
October 20, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
BUF at BAL ATL at KC CHI at TB* SEA at ARZ* DEN at CIN
SD at CAR* STL at MIA* Sun 4 PM NO at OAK* Bye Week:
JAX at IND* DET at NYG* NYJ at NE Times ET HOU, PIT
PHI at CLE* TEN at MIN* DAL at GB *updated SF, WAS
  Atlanta Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 50 0 200,1
RB Warrick Dunn 40 10 0
RB T.J. Duckett 30,1 0 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 50,1 0
WR Dez White 0 60 0
WR Peerless Price 0 20 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 40 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 2 XP -
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 270,1
RB Priest Holmes 60,1 40 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 50,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 80 0
WR Dante Hall 0 20 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 50 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 3 FG 2 XP -

ATL (5-1) vs KC (1-4)

Game Prediction: ATL 20, KC 23

The Chiefs stumble home after dropping their fourth loss to host the Falcons who are flying high, at least for the week, after finding a passing game for the first time this season.

Update: Peerless Price remains questionable to play this week due to a strained hamstring. He has ran and had some individual work though no practices with the team. He still may play but I am lowering his numbers on the question of his health and availability. He may not play at all depending on how his hamstrings mend by Sunday.

Pre-Game Notes - ATL

All it took for the Falcons to find a vertical passing game was to host one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. The defense is still carrying this team and when the offense clicks - the Falcons will continue to surprise. After only six weeks of the season, Atlanta has a three game lead in the NFC South. By midseason, they might be coasting to a division title.

Quarterback: Michael Vick finally topped the elusive 200 yard mark last week when he completed 12 of 21 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns - his first multiple passing scores of the season. Vick also added his first rushing score of the year as well. What was most encouraging last week was that Vick actually found a wideout for a touchdown pass for the first time this season. Vick goes back on the road where he has yet to throw for more than 163 yards this season.

Running Backs: The Falcons use of the running back position remains one of the biggest mysteries in the NFL. The only consistent factor is that they have only once produced a good rushing effort from one player (Dunn) in Arizona. Some weeks Warrick Dunn gets everything and in others, T.J. Duckett chips in. Every other week Duckett appears to be completely forgotten and on even-numbered weeks he post some numbers. Last week Dunn could only manage 13 yards on five carries before Duckett took the lead and ended with 45 yards on 13 carries. This is one of the rare variants of the west coast offense that doesn't use the running backs much for receptions other than FB Justin Griffith.

Dunn remains the starter and primary runner, but the mix-n-match style of the Falcons have given both Dunn and Duckett major hits on their fantasy production.

Wide Receivers: There must have been a high level of excitement by the wideouts in the locker room after the game against the Chargers. They actually caught a touchdown. Of course it was Dez White who scored on his only catch in the game and he still has yet to gain over 32 yards in any game this season. Peerless Price had two catches for 67 yards last Sunday and that makes two weeks where he is almost worth being a #4 fantasy receiver (if you can forget the first four weeks).

The best this group has managed so far was in week five when Price had 84 yards.

Tight Ends: Last week Alge Crumpler got back on track, catching his second touchdown for the year and gaining 54 yards. As this offense slowly develops, Crumpler continues to be one of the primary targets almost every week though the meager passing yardage limits what he can do.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs intend on shaking the defense up a bit this week, but you can still bank on it being below average. Vick faces a secondary that has allowed at least one touchdown every week and has yet to face a top ten quarterback. His production will depend on how well the Chiefs can shut down the run.

The Chiefs defense has apparently improved against the run but that's as much from loading up against the tailback in Baltimore and last week they held Taylor to 66 yards but let Leftwich throw for 298 and two scores. No team has managed a 100 yard receiver against the Chiefs so far and while Dez White has the matchup most exploited, it's hard to recommend any wideouts from Atlanta.

The dimension of Vick running should cause some problems for the Chiefs but this is played in Arrowhead and the Chiefs are going to be desperate for a win and should post a better showing. That means if the Chiefs get a lead they can force Vick to throw. Most likely the rushing totals from this game will be lower since the Falcons are mixing and matching up Dunn and Duckett anyway and likely won't be able to run the whole game as they would prefer.

Pre-Game Notes - KC

It appeared that the Chiefs had regained their stature once they beat the Ravens on Monday Night Football three weeks ago. After a bye week, they were back to their old ways - a defense that cannot stop opponents at the worst time and a passing game that seems to only work between the 20-yard lines.

Quarterback: Trent Green comes off his best statistical game of the year, throwing for 315 yards and two scores against one interception. He managed to complete 23 of 33 passes and finally enjoyed a full complement of wideouts for the first time since week one. The best scoring offense of 2003 still cannot post more than 27 points in a game and against the Jaguars only managed 16 points.

It does not help when Green was sacked six times last week, a career worst for him.

Running Backs: Even though Priest Holmes had a tough time running last week, he still posted good fantasy points on four receptions for 47 yards and one touchdown. He ran 19 times but only gained 75 yards against the Falcons. He still has scored in every game so far with the exception of week three against the Texans when he still gained 134 rushing yards.

In case you are holding Larry Johnson still expecting anything, realize that last week he was not even active for the game.

Wide Receivers: If the Chiefs are going to get on the winning side of the score this season, they need to continue the progress they showed last week when Green found Johnnie Morton for 111 yards on seven receptions and Eddie Kennison turned in 61 yards on three catches in his first game back from a hamstring strain. Outside of the two starting wideouts, this offense rarely relies on the #3 or #4 receivers which reflects the significant impact of Holmes and Gonzalez as outlets for Green.

Tight Ends: Although he had no catches in the first half last week, Tony Gonzalez still ended with a solid six catches for 81 yards and one score against the Jaguars. It was only his second touchdown of the season but does put him ahead of Jason Dunn finally.

Match Against the Defense: Kansas City goes against a defense that has been very good against some merely average teams. The fact that pass rushers are now reaching Trent Green is a cause for concern. No runner has gone over 68 yards against Atlanta though four have scored one touchdown. You can expect that Holmes will score at least once and that he'll most likely fall below his normal rushing output but could catch as many yards as he will run for them.

It's probably unlikely that Green will throw for more than one score since there's only been four passing touchdowns against the Falcons. A positive here is that Gonzalez should have a good game against the same defense that allowed Eric Johnson to have a big game .

Johnnie Morton gets the best matchup and should score if Gonzalez doesn't take it.

ATL KC 2004 Averages KC ATL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
170
225
Pass yards
185
253
0.7
1.2
Pass TDs
1.3
0.8
0.7
0.8
Interceptions
1.0
0.8
47
7
Rush yards
8
5
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.8
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
92
122
Rush yards
118
65
1.2
1.2
Rush TDs
1.3
0.6
34
22
Receive yards
25
43
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
82
135
Receive yards
136
178
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.5
0.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
58
67
Receive yards
25
32
0.3
0.8
Receive TD's
0.5
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.0
Field Goals
1.0
1.2
2.3
2.4
Extra Points
2.2
1.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
0.2
Fumbles
0.5
1.2
0.8
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
0.6
0.3
0.2
Touchdowns
0.5
0.0
3.3
2.8
Sacks
2.3
3.2
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Falcons (5-1)
Score Opp.
21-19 @SF
34-17 STL
6-3 ARI
27-10 @CAR
10-17 DET
21-20 SD
Week 7 @KC
Week 8 @DEN
Week 9 bye
Week 10 TB
Week 11 @NYG
Week 12 NO
Week 13 @TB
Week 14 OAK
Week 15 CAR
Week 16 @NO
Week 17 @SEA
Chiefs (1-4)
Score Opp.
24-34 @DEN
17-28 CAR
21-24 HOU
27-24 @BAL
Week 5 bye
16-22 @JAX
Week 7 ATL
Week 8 IND
Week 9 @TB
Week 10 @NO
Week 11 NE
Week 12 SD
Week 13 @OAK
Week 14 @TEN
Week 15 DEN
Week 16 OAK
Week 17 @SD