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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
  New Orleans Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Brooks 10 0 200,1
RB Deuce McAllister 100,1 30 0
TE Boo Williams 0 10 0
WR Joe Horn 0 50 0
WR Donte Stallworth 0 20 0
WR Devery Henderson 0 20 0
WR Jerome Pathon 0 60,1 0
PK John Carney 2 FG 2 XP -
Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 190,1
RB A. Zereoue 70,1 20 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 20 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 50,1 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 40 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 30 0
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 FG 2 XP -

NO (2-4) vs OAK (2-4)

Game Prediction: NO 20, OAK 17

Two similar records face off here with the Saints varying between being great or terrible and the Raiders just mainly being bad the last three weeks.

This game is almost impossible to forecast since both teams are inconsistent and yet offer weaknesses to exploit. How that happens will depend much on game situations and the turnover winner.

Update: Donte Stallworth is still questionable to play though he did return to limited practice on Thursday, I am lowering his numbers but there is a chance that he does not even play. I am including Devery Henderson since his playing time will relate to what happens with Stallworth.

I am also lowering the projections for Ronald Curry who is being hindered by a sore hamstring and increasing Doug Gabriel's numbers. There should be a passing score and while I am assigning it to Gabriel, it could go to any receiver.

Pre-Game Notes - NO

New Orleans is on the road where they have spent this season redefining inconsistent. They had a huge comeback win over the Rams 28-25 and then against the winless Cardinals were thrashed 10-34. The only consistency they do have is that they always win after they lose and lose after they win. Very appropriate and fortunate this week coming off the Viking loss.

Quarterback: It is safe to say that Aaron Brooks will stay within his established range this week but that does vary from 100 to 300 yards passing and anywhere from three to no scores. His best chance for a big game was last week in the frenetic chase of the high-powered Vikings but Mcallister took two of the touchdowns and Brooks ended with only 249 yards and one score to Horn. This in a game where the final score was 31-38.

Running Backs: Since Deuce McAllister has returned from injury, he's looked back to healthy form. He had 102 yards on 21 carries against the Bucanners and followed that up with 18 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns last week. Where he has really been behind last season is in the passing game since he only has five catches on the year.

Last week he had all but two carries though the one Fred McAffee had didn't stop for 53 yards. Aaron Stecker is once again a silent sidenote.

Wide Receivers: Joe Horn has not been huge this year, but he has been consistently good and scored in each of the past two weeks. Most of the problems passing have come from Donte Stallworth still failing to meet expectations. He had 14 passes last week and only caught four of them for 34 yards. Horn had nine throws and seven catches for comparison. Jerome Pathon actually led receivers for yardage last week with a nice 92 yards on four catches. He had five throws and caught four - the two numbers are supposed to remain relatively close unless Stallworth is concerned.

Tight Ends: After two weeks appearing to have been rediscovered by Brooks, Boo Williams went back into his hole again with no catch on his one pass last week.

Match Against the Defense: There is definite opportunity here for the Saints to post some points against a defense that has allowed at least 30 points to each of the last three opponents. Each of the last three opposing running backs have exceeded 100 yards which includes Jonathan Wells and Reuben Droughns who slashed them for 176 yards last week. Each of the last three opposing running backs have also scored a touchdown. This is a definite fantasy start for Deuce McAllister.

Almost all of the many versions of Brooks that could show up this week should have at least one passing score with a decent shot at two since Raiders have given up nine passing touchdowns in the last four games. Consider Brooks a great bet for one score and a 50/50 hedge on that second one.

The Raiders have been allowing passing scores, somewhat freely, to any offensive player regardless of position. With the Saints and their inconsistency, that means Horn by default is the most likely though the inconsistent nature of the Saints passing game is pretty much matched by the varying weaknesses and strengths for Oakland.

Pre-Game Notes - OAK

It is simple enough to determine where the Raiders changed this season. Up through week three, there was Wheatley rushing and Gannon throwing. Starting week four, it has been Collins throwing and Zereoue rushing. Starting week four, it has been three straight losses. In fairness too, after a few weeks the gamefilm on the new Raiders is available everywhere.

The Raiders are also now in full "do over" mode since every major player from last season is gone. Gannon, Rice, Brown and Garner are elsewhere and Collins, Curry, Porter and Zereoue are an entirely different breed still learning the ropes of a new offense.

Quarterback: In the cup is half full analogy, Kerry Collins only threw one interception last week. That's far better than the six he had in the previous two games. Of course he only had 136 passing yards against Denver so you could argue that no one was really catching them anyway. Collins is spreading the ball around well enough that at least eight players will have catches every week and so far only Ronald Curry has had any fantasy value. Curry only turned in two catches for 25 yards last week.

The Raiders have jettisoned Jerry Rice which is a step into the future but so far, it Collins has not made it look particularly bright anytime soon.

Running Backs: With the bombing that the Raiders have incurred the last three weeks, there has been no real luxury to merely run the ball when Collins could be throwing interceptions. Amos Zereoue looked like a great find in week four when he scored twice and gained 117 rushing yards but the next two games combined resulted in 25 carries for only 75 yards and no scores.

Tyrone Wheatley has missed the last two games and since his prognosis called for up to four weeks, I am assuming he is still out since he has not practiced nor even mentioned.

Wide Receivers: Just not happening here. The only touchdown in the last three games went to the tight end Anderson. Ronald Curry had been doing well, comparitively but even he has disappeared lately.

Tight Ends: Courtney Anderson has the lone score during the Collins era and even he only manged 34 yards last week though that did lead all receivers.

Match Against the Defense: The Saints are certainly ripe for the picking but can this Raider team do anything about it?

Expect Zereoue to turn in a moderate game unless the Raiders, yet again, fall far behind. The Saints are terrible against the run and the Raiders should want to avoid passing if they can.

In the same vein, Collins gets his best matchup as a Raider this week but has generated no confidence in any of his receivers nor done much productive. The Raiders will likely manage two scores and one will be passing but the recipient will be one of eight players and even then, he won't likely have much yardage.

NO OAK 2004 Averages OAK NO
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
236
215
Pass yards
228
246
1.3
1.4
Pass TDs
0.8
0.6
0.5
0.6
Interceptions
1.7
0.4
17
12
Rush yards
5
3
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
85
103
Rush yards
85
136
0.5
1.0
Rush TDs
0.7
1.6
31
34
Receive yards
44
43
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.4
---
---
WR's
---
---
178
163
Receive yards
148
168
1.0
1.0
Receive TD's
0.7
0.2
---
---
TE's
---
---
27
17
Receive yards
37
39
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
1.4
Field Goals
1.5
1.4
2.0
2.4
Extra Points
1.5
2.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
1.0
Fumbles
0.3
1.2
0.7
1.8
Interceptions
0.7
0.4
0.2
0.4
Touchdowns
0.2
0.4
2.5
2.2
Sacks
2.2
1.6
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Saints (2-4)
Score Opp.
7-21 SEA
30-27 SF
28-25 @STL
10-34 @ARI
17-20 TB
31-38 MIN
Week 7 @OAK
Week 8 bye
Week 9 @SD
Week 10 KC
Week 11 DEN
Week 12 @ATL
Week 13 CAR
Week 14 @DAL
Week 15 @TB
Week 16 ATL
Week 17 @CAR
Raiders (2-4)
Score Opp.
21-24 @PIT
13-10 BUF
30-20 TB
17-30 @HOU
14-35 @IND
3-31 DEN
Week 7 NO
Week 8 @SD
Week 9 @CAR
Week 10 bye
Week 11 SD
Week 12 @DEN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 TEN
Week 16 @KC
Week 17 JAX