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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
  Chicago Rush Catch Pass
QB Jonathan Quinn 0 0 150
RB Thomas Jones 90,1 30 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 10 0
WR Justin Gage 0 10 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 50 0
WR David Terrell 0 30 0
PK Paul Edinger 0 FG 1 XP -
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese 0 0 230,1
RB Michael Pittman 70 20 0
RB Mike Alstott 20 10 0
TE Dilger / Heller 0 40 0
WR Michael Clayton 0 80,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 40 0
WR Charles Lee 0 40 0
WR Tim Brown 0 20 0
PK Martin Gramatica 2 FG 2 XP -

CHI (1-4) vs TB (1-5)

Game Prediction: CHI 7, TB 20

One team gets to reach the highly prized two wins on the season while the other has to fight for reasons to still feel motivated. The Bucs come off a short week but thanks to Jonathan Quinn, the Bears are heading towards a long season.

Update: Charles Lee is likely to miss this week and Joe Jurevicius is expected to finally get some playing time. It will be very interesting to see how good Jurevicius is in his first game back since the offense needs another weapon badly.

Pre-Game Notes - CHI

Thomas Jones looked great the first few weeks when Grossman played well enough to command at least minor respect. Now the Bears have gone two games with Quinn and have not scored more than 10 points and both were home losses.

Quarterback: While Jonathan Quinn posted some respectable numbers against the Eagles thanks to three quarters of trash time, last week against the Redskins he redefined bad. He only completed 10 of 22 passes for one interception. The only receiver he hit more than once was Bobby Wade who led the receivers with only 17 yards receiving.

Quinn is still the starter but don't be surprised if that changes by as early as next week. The rookie Craig Krenzel is already expected to get about 40% of the snaps with the first team in practice this week and the likelihood of Quinn looking great in Tampa Bay is about as good as seeing Ralph Nader winning the presidency in a landslide in two weeks.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones is still pulling the weight for this offense however far it gets each week. He had 97 yards on 24 carries against the Redskins but hasn't scored in two games. The entire defense knows that he is the only weapon and loads up against him but Jones still manages to offer fantasy value each week. If the passing game would only command average respect, he'd likely return to his monster games that started the season.

The coaches planned on using Anthony Thomas more last week which translated into one carry for one yard. Hard to imagine why they would want to diminish Jones' carries when he's the only working aspect of the entire offense.

Wide Receivers: David Terrell has turned in a great game every three weeks but he's only one game removed from his last good one. Against the Redskins, the entire group of wideouts only had seven catches for 42 yards. There has been only two passing scores from the Bears this year and both went to FB Bryan Johnson.

Tight Ends: Desmond Clark had no catches last week. None. Nada. Nessuno. Nichts. Ingenting. Zilcho. Had two passes though.

Match Against the Defense: About the best the Bears can hope for is that the Buccaneers suffer from a prolonged case of food poisoning during the in-flight meal back to Tampa on Monday night. Since that doesn't seem to have happened, expect Quinn to need a big game here and not deliver. While Tampa Bay is on a short week, how much preparations does it take to know to stop Jones from running and begging Quinn to throw?

Jones should have at least a decent game regardless since the Buccaneers rushing defense has not been nearly as good this year and all opponents that run at least 18 times have cracked 100 yards though only three have ever scored.

Just don't touch the Chicago passing game this week. Don't even look at them. Hey - I said don't even look at them. I know the Rams did well against the Bucs but that's hardly a measuring stick for Bears. It's like considering Rosie O'Donnell and Jessica Alba as equivalents.

Pre-Game Notes - TB

The Buccaneers have fallen to only 1-5 on the season but they are looking much better offensively and most importantly, they never caved in to Keenan McCardell. Ha! So there!

Quarterback: Having played most of the last two games, Brian Griese has been very impressive. He's completed 73% of his passes and thrown three touchdowns with only one interception. He looks very much like the Bucs wanted Johnson and Simms to look like but didn't. The best quality about Griese is that he has been smart with his throws and made the high percentage completions to keep the chains moving while still being pretty accurate on longer throws as well.

Running Backs: Michael Pittman only gained 37 yards on 13 carries against the Rams but scored once during his four receptions for 16 yards. Both Pittman and Mike Alstott are being interchanged at the goal line and Alstott came in for the short touchdown last week. Until Alstott is injured again, expect that to continue.

Wide Receivers: Michael Clayton comes off the best game of his rookie season when last Monday he had 142 yards on eight catches and continues to be exponentially better than any other wideout on the team. He is developing very quickly and has built on a great preseason to now becoming the biggest receiving threat on the team. Charles Lee is starting again but he only had 31 yards on three catches.

Tim Brown comes off one of his best games to date when he had two catches for 26 yards. TIMMAY!

Joe Jurevicius looks like he may be back this week but until there is more information that he will start, I will hold him out of the starting lineup for now. Jurevicius will help out all the receivers by presenting a good possession receiver over the middle to account for by the defense. Charles Lee is hobbled by a sprained knee and his status will have a lot to do with what Jurevicius might do this week. Updates as warranted.

Tight Ends: While it may be a coincidence or a gameplan issue, the tight ends had been meaningless earlier in the season but with Griese at the helm, they have stepped up production the last two weeks. Ken Dilger had the score in week five and Will Heller had a touchdown against the Rams. In the last two games, they together have accounted for over 122 yards and two scores. Problem is that neither stands out as the primary.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears have allowed the last four opposing running backs to gain at least 94 rushing yards against them and even as high as Portis who had 171 yards last week. The oddity in this is that not one tailback has rushed in a touchdown. Look for a decent game from Pittman with yardage but most likely the Bears will continue to keep the runners of out the endzone.

Brian Griese faces a secondary that always allows at least one score but never more than that unless it is against Culpepper who they held to only two scores (which actually is impressive now). Griese should manage a score of course but getting that second one will be tough.

Clayton has the better matchup here and realistically gets most of the passes anyway. Consider him as most likely to score.

I like the chance that the Bucs get a defensive score here as well.

CHI TB 2004 Averages TB CHI
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
177
151 Pass yards 233
259
0.4
1.0 Pass TDs 1.0
1.3
0.8
0.6 Interceptions 0.8
1.0
16
7 Rush yards 6
8
0.2
0.0 Rush TDs 0.0
0.3
---
  RB's  
---
98
122 Rush yards 66
114
0.8
0.4 Rush TDs 0.2
0.0
48
20 Receive yards 37
72
0.4
0.2 Receive TD's 0.2
0.0
---
  WR's  
---
105
109 Receive yards 158
174
0.0
0.6 Receive TD's 0.5
1.3
---
  TE's  
---
25
22 Receive yards 37
13
0.0
0.2 Receive TD's 0.3
0.0
---
  PK's  
---
1.0
2.2 Field Goals 1.5
1.8
1.4
1.6 Extra Points 1.2
1.4
---
  DEF/ST  
---
0.6
0.8 Fumbles 0.7
1.3
1.0
0.8 Interceptions 0.7
0.8
0.4
0.2 Touchdowns 0.3
0.3
1.4
3.2 Sacks 1.5
2.5
0.2
0.0 Safeties 0.0
0.0
Bears (1-4)
Score Opp.
16-20 DET
21-10 @GB
22-27 @MIN
9-19 PHI
Week 5 bye
10-13 WAS
Week 7 @TB
Week 8 SF
Week 9 @NYG
Week 10 @TEN
Week 11 IND
Week 12 @DAL
Week 13 MIN
Week 14 @JAX
Week 15 HOU
Week 16 @DET
Week 17 GB
Buccaneers (1-5)
Score Opp.
10-16 @WAS
6-10 SEA
20-30 @OAK
13-16 DEN
20-17 @NO
21-28 @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