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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
  Denver Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 10 0 190,1
RB Reuben Droughns 130,2 10 0
TE Jeb Putzier 0 30 0
WR Rod Smith 0 50 0
WR Darius Watts 0 20 0
WR Ashley Lelie 0 60,1 0
PK Jason Elam 2 FG 3 XP -
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 150
RB Rudi Johnson 50 10 0
TE Kelly/Stewart/Schobel 0 30 0
WR Houshmandzadeh 0 20 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 40 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 40 0
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 0 XP -

DEN (5-1) vs CIN (1-4)

Game Prediction: DEN 27, CIN 3

The Broncos were only one pass play in Jacksonville from being undefeated this year. The Bengals lone win has been over the visiting Dolphins and the NFL is considering counting that as only a half win.

This will be, somehow, the Monday night game this week. Yes, I am serious. No, I do not know who to call.

Pre-Game Notes - DEN

That Droughns kid only means that the RB factory in Denver is just as good as it ever was and sometimes you have to wait for the last one off the assembly line before you start grabbing.

Quarterback: Jake Plummer acted as a good Bronco and saved his highest scoring effort of the year for the fans in Oakland. While Droughns was ripping the defense apart for most of the game, Plummer did complete 11 passes and managed to score his first three touchdown game this year. Other than facing tough defenses on the road like Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, Plummer has multiple touchdown throws in all his other games. The Bengals defense is not, incidentally, a tough defense.

Running Backs: Droughns, Droughns and Droughns. Score a touchdown, get the ball back and it's Droughns, Droughns...

In only two weeks of starting, Droughns has 68 carries and 369 rushing yards. Quentin Griffin only had four carries and his 16 yards was better than he had done but for now, it'll be Droughns, Droughns, Droughns. Guess what? The Bengals have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. And so far Droughns has rushed for more yards than either the Raiders or Panthers had allowed any player this year.

Wide Receivers: Plummer had only four completions to wideouts last week but Ashley Lelie scored. Rod Smith only had one catch for 24 yards and the wideouts weekly performances are suffering when the running game is so dominant. That cannot last the whole season, but with CIN, ATL and HOU coming up, it could last a while longer.

Tight Ends: The good news is that Dwayne Carswell scored last week and had two catches for 30 yards. The bad news is that he is suspended for a game due to violating the NFL personal conduct policy. The great news is that Jeb Putzier is just fine and had 52 yards and a touchdown as well last week.

Match Against the Defense: Discounting the Miami win, the last four starting running backs against the Bengals have rushed for 196, 186, 123 and 115 yards with a total of four touchdowns rushing. There have been another three scores that were receptions by running backs. Oh yes, Droughns, Droughns, Drougns...

Plummer should once again have a lower yardage effort thanks to the likely success of the running game. Every opposing quarterback has thrown one touchdown and Lelie has the best matchup but it could go anywhere. There's almost no chance that Plummer will have to post much in the way of passing yardage.

Pre-Game Notes - CIN

The Bengals have not come within 11 points of any opponent in the past three games. They have not allowed less than 23 points while never scoring more than 17. The Denver defense may be as good as they have faced or at least close to the Ravens who held them to only nine points.

Quarterback: In fairness, Carson Palmer has weathered a brutal schedule this season and it should lighten up some after this week. In the past three games he has two touchdowns against six interceptions and a lost fumble. He'll be facing, once again, one of the very best defenses against quarterbacks again this week.

Running Backs: While Rudi Johnson had 123 yards and a score against the Steelers, he could only muster 57 yards on 16 carries against the Browns last week. Chris Perry is getting a handful of token carries a game now but has done nothing with them. It's either Rudi runs well or the Bengals stumble. And by the fourth quarter each week lately, there's no reason to still be running.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson was kind enough to send the Browns' secondary bottles of Pepto-Bismol last week so they could have something when they were sick to their stomachs of chasing him. Ends up his three catches for 37 yards probably made them laugh so hard they actually did need the medicine. Since week one, Palmer has not thrown a touchdown to the wideouts. With Peter Warrick expected to miss yet another week, the outlooks for the group is not bright this week against one of the best secondaries in the league. Chad Johnson, this is Champ Bailey.

Tight Ends: The three-headed monster scored last week for the first time this season. Based on their production and random use, they should just all wear the same numbered jersey.

Match Against the Defense: As if constantly hearing calls for Jon Kitna is not enough, now Palmer gets his first national stage against a defense that has not allowed any quarterback more than 174 passing yards and only three passing scores in a total of six games. That Kitna thing is not likely to end soon.

Chad Johnson gets Bailey without a doubt and hopefully still has a bottle of Pepto left over from last week for himself.

Rudi Johnson goes against a defense that has not allowed a rushing score since week one nor any runner to gain more than 74 yards in a game. His best bet is if the Bengals fall so far behind that they, too, try to run out the clock to end the game.

This is just not an equation for success. It is, however, a fair recipe for a disaster on national television.

DEN CIN 2004 Averages CIN DEN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
221
186
Pass yards
205
152
1.7
1.3
Pass TDs
0.8
0.6
0.8
0.5
Interceptions
1.6
0.2
17
6
Rush yards
3
7
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.0
0.4
---
---
RB's
---
---
131
154
Rush yards
92
63
0.5
1.0
Rush TDs
0.4
0.2
27
37
Receive yards
28
8
0.7
0.5
Receive TD's
0.4
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
139
121
Receive yards
159
124
0.7
0.8
Receive TD's
0.2
0.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
53
28
Receive yards
18
20
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.2
0.8
Field Goals
1.8
1.2
2.2
2.2
Extra Points
1.6
1.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.8
Fumbles
1.6
0.6
0.3
1.8
Interceptions
0.8
0.4
0.0
0.5
Touchdowns
0.4
0.0
2.2
2.8
Sacks
1.4
0.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Broncos (5-1)
Score Opp.
34-24 KC
6-7 @JAX
23-13 SD
16-13 @TB
20-17 CAR
31-3 @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
Bengals (1-4)
Score Opp.
24-31 @NYJ
16-13 MIA
9-23 BAL
17-28 @PIT
Week 5 bye
17-34 @CLE
Week 7 DEN
Week 8 @TEN
Week 9 DAL
Week 10 @WAS
Week 11 PIT
Week 12 CLE
Week 13 @BAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 BUF
Week 16 NYG
Week 17 @PHI