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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
  Detroit Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 160,1
RB Kevin Jones 30 10 0
RB Artose Pinner 20 0 0
TE Stephen Alexander 0 20,1 0
WR Roy Williams 0 20 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 20 0
WR Tai Streets 0 30 0
PK Jason Hanson 0 FG 1 XP -
  NY Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 200,1
RB Tiki Barber 100,1 20 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 50 0
WR Ike Hilliard 0 50 0
WR Jamaar Taylor 0 10 0
PK Steve Christie 2 FG 2 XP -

DET (3-2) vs NYG (4-1)

Game Prediction: DET 7, NYG 20

The Giants come off a bye week with a 4-1 record and their only loss was to Philly which no one blames them for anymore. The Lions rekindled last year's injury-racked folly when they lost Roy Williams and discovered once again they had no running or passing game. Maybe it's good they are on the road again where they always win...

Dang. Almost kept a straight face on that one.

Update: Roy Williams still has not practiced this week and remains questionable to play. I am lowering his numbers and he may not play at all since he will be a game time decision. Hakim is also questionable for the game with an ankle sprain and could miss the matchup. I am lowering his numbers as well and he too could miss the game.

This is appearing to be a very messy game for the Lions with both starting wideouts "iffy" for the game. Kevin Jones is ready to take a full load this week, but what that will end up being given that the passing game is looking very suspect, is probably still very low. This situation could improve by Sunday for Williams and Hakim, but both are big risks this week.

The Lions are not likely to score more than one touchdown and I have awarded it to Alexander but that is hard to believe given his meager production so far. This is a week to avoid the Lions if you can.

Pre-Game Notes - DET

After an impressive opening to the season, the Lions once again have injury problems that rob them of their potential. Facing the very desperate Packers last week did not help.

Quarterback: In the last two weeks, Joey Harrington has shown how important having an NFL quality wideout truly is. He did throw touchdowns each week to Hakim, but otherwise there was nothing he could do and he ended with only 12 completions for 101 yards against the Packers. He only had 146 yards the previous week and that was with 18 yards from Williams prior to his injury. Fortunately, Williams is slated to return this week and should be practicing on Wednesday.

Running Backs: The Artose Pinner bandwagon became very light last week when he could only gain seven yards on six carries. Kevin Jones did play but only managed five yards on two runs and just to keep things even, Shawn Bryson donated three runs for six yards. Pinner's 68 yards in week five is a season high for the team but that required 23 carries to attain.

I am assuming that Kevin Jones takes a much bigger role this week though both he and Pinner will share carries. Jones did have some swelling in his ankle after the game but is expected to practice and play this week.

Wide Receivers: Roy Williams will be back this week from his sprained ankle and none too soon. Tai Streets would catch two or three passes per game for around 20 yards even if there were no cornerbacks on the other team - that is his fate. Az-Zahir Hakim did catch a score in each of the last two games with Williams out and his combined 113 yards in those two games dwarfs any other receiver.

Hakim had a slight ankle sprain in the game last week but should be fine this week.

Tight Ends: Shake your head and just whistle.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants have kept the last five quarterbacks under 180 yards though each one had one touchdown throw. On this team, that means about an 80% chance it goes to Williams, 19.5% to Hakim and 0.5% anyone else catches it. There should be one score here but the yardage for the receivers will be light unless Williams snags a long pass and run which is always possible.

The Giants have not allowed any rushing scores this season and only one decent rushing game (Westbrook). Don't expect that Jones or Pinner post any decent fantasy points this week. This should end up a fairly defensive matchup but one that the Giants can definitely win.

Pre-Game Notes - NYG

Throughout preseason the Giants were a team of discontent and an unsettled quarterback situation. In week one, they were blown out by the Eagles. Since then, they've strung four straight wins and Tiki Barber was the most productive rusher in the league until last week. While this franchise is not an equivalent of the powerhouse teams of the early 90's, this certainly does not resemble the mess from 2003.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner does not really resemble the Mad Bomber from his St. Louis days, but he does look like a winning quarterback so far. Playing within the Coughlin system, Warner has never thrown for more than one score in a game but more importantly, he has not had a fumble since week one and has only one interception on the season. He's a manager now, not a gunslinger and his fantasy value is only worth a back-up spot.

Running Backs: All the reports that Ron Dayne was taking over were merely a throwback to 2001 and proved just as incorrect. Tiki Barber has ran for over 100 yards in four of his five games and scored in each of those big yardage efforts. With the offense playing a sound, ball-control tempo in the game, Barber has become the main weapon and while he does have big yardage, he has not ran the ball more than 23 times in any game. He can last at that pace.

Wide Receivers: Less passing means this crew has marginal fantasy value. Amani Toomer only has one 100+ yard game this season and has yet to score a touchdown. Other than his 126 yard effort against the Browns, Toomer has not exceeded 64 yards in any game. Ike Hilliard has been even worse, topping out at 59 yards a week and normally hanging around 35 yards in a game. The only wideout to score has been Tim Carter on one long pass. After five weeks, only Carter has a receiving touchdown and that spells a fantasy wasteland.

Now that Shockey has been getting a bigger role, chances are the wideout's value will do well enough to remain merely low.

Tim Carter has a fracture hip socket and is out. The rookie Jamaar Taylor may replace him since David Tyree has special teams duty. Neither are likely to do much anyway since the passing scheme hasn't used the #3 much anyway. It barely manages to use the #1 and #2 players.

Tight Ends: After being a non-factor for the first three weeks, Jeremy Shockey has become a much more consistent part of the passing game. He has two touchdowns on the season - one each in the past two games. For the past four matchups, he's had exactly five receptions in each with yardage up to 74 yards. In fantasy terms, this offense has become fairly similar to 2003 for Barber and Shockey, and the only area really changed is the wideouts becoming less productive.

Match Against the Defense: Tiki Barber faces a defense that has not allowed more than 81 yards to any runner but thanks to field position and game situations, Barber has been tearing up other defenses that were stingy this year. Expect he turns in a good game though most likely not a huge one. He has a decent shot at a touchdown though most likely only one.

Kurt Warner should turn in a nice game against a secondary that has allowed the last three quarterbacks not named Vick to throw for two scores each. Who most likely will catch those touchdowns should remain Shockey for one and since Dre' Bly is back, Hilliard has a better matchup than Toomer does. But it is not a high percentage call since the wideouts get limited use, Hilliard in particular.

The Giants defense will dictate the game to a large extent given that the Lions cannot run and basically are a one receiver passing scheme. if the Lions defense can keep the score close, then there will be mainly running which favors Barber but most likely the wideouts see a slight upturn in production this week after such meager showings lately.

DET NYG 2004 Averages NYG DET
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
162
238
Pass yards
218
273
1.6
0.6
Pass TDs
1.8
1.0
0.6
0.2
Interceptions
1.6
1.0
9
4
Rush yards
16
20
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
68
135
Rush yards
110
72
0.2
1.2
Rush TDs
0.0
0.8
35
53
Receive yards
43
52
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
111
138
Receive yards
134
182
1.4
0.2
Receive TD's
1.2
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
16
45
Receive yards
41
45
0.0
0.4
Receive TD's
0.4
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.8
1.8
Field Goals
0.6
1.0
2.0
2.2
Extra Points
1.8
1.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.6
1.4
Fumbles
0.6
0.3
0.8
1.6
Interceptions
0.2
0.5
0.4
0.2
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
3.2
2.4
Sacks
3.2
2.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.3
Lions(3-2)
Score Opp.
20-16 @CHI
28-16 HOU
13-30 PHI
Week 4 bye
17-10 @ATL
10-38 GB
Week 7 @NYG
Week 8 @DAL
Week 9 WAS
Week 10 @JAX
Week 11 @MIN
Week 12 IND
Week 13 ARI
Week 14 @GB
Week 15 MIN
Week 16 CHI
Week 17 @TEN
Giants (4-1)
Score Opp.
17-31 @PHI
20-14 WAS
27-10 CLE
14-7 @GB
26-10 @DAL
Week 6 bye
Week 7 DET
Week 8 @MIN
Week 9 CHI
Week 10 @ARI
Week 11 ATL
Week 12 PHI
Week 13 @WAS
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 PIT
Week 16 @CIN
Week 17 DAL