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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
  NY Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 230,1
RB Curtis Martin 70,1 20 0
TE Chris Baker 0 20,1 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Jonathan Carter 0 30 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 50 0
WR Santana Moss 0 70 0
PK Doug Brien 0 FG 2 XP -
  New England Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 190,1
RB Kevin Faulk 20 20 0
RB Corey Dillon 90,1 10 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 40 0
WR David Patten 0 50,1 0
WR Bethel Johnson 0 30 0
WR David Givens 0 30 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 2 XP -

NYJ (5-0) vs NE (5-0)

Game Prediction: NYJ 14, NE 23

If you get to watch only one game and want it to have a big impact on the NFL more than fantasy numbers, this is the one to watch. The battle of the two undefeated AFC teams for the sole ownership of the AFC East.

This is the big matchup that every Jet has circled on his calendar and one of the landmines the Patriots have to dance around in order to continue their consecutive win record. The Pats swept the Jets last year but this team has a better defense and a rushing game again.

Pre-Game Notes - NYJ

The Jets offense lowered their scoring once they hit a couple of tough defenses and then almost blew it last week against the visiting 49ers before taking lead back. There's about a 99.99% chance most of the players were looking ahead to this week.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington has only thrown for one touchdown in the last three games which primarily comes from heavy use of Martin in the running attack but also reflects the lower scoring by the team over the past three weeks. Pennington only threw for one score in two meetings against the Patriots last season and stayed around 240 yards in each game. And that was with a much less effective Martin.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin only ran for 77 yards against the Bills but picked it back up last week when he had 111 yards on 25 carries and two scores against the 49ers. He faces a team this week that held him scoreless both times in 2003 and as a visitor only turned in 53 yards. Lamont Jordan got into the fun last week with a touchdown and 25 yards on two carries but the important number there is "two carries".

Wide Receivers: With Santana Moss sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Justin McCareins still only had three catches for 56 yards against the 49ers which is his second best effort of the year. The passing game still has not been a heavily featured aspect during this victorious run of five games and no Jet wideout has managed to exceed 100 yards this season.

This week the passing game will need to come up bigger, if only late in the game during a comeback bid. Moss is expected back this week and should be good to play.

Tight Ends: Anthony Becht and Chris Baker keep trading off which one has the better game. Baker is the only tight end with scores but only had one catch last week.

Match Against the Defense: Both teams should be plenty motivated to win this game. There is no doubt that Martin will figure heavily into the game plan since the Patriots are softer this year against the run. He did not do well last year against the Patriots but is running much better in 2004 and needs to establish some sense of ball control. Expect at least moderate yardage from Martin but it is very unlikely he'll have a big game here. He should probably score once but no more than that since the Patriots have only allowed three rushing scores all season.

Where the Jets must eventually play for the win will be in the passing game and Pennington has not had much success against the Patriots in the past. On the road is even harder. Look for him to settle around 230 yards and score once but not likely anything more than that. This will be a defensive matchup more than anything.

Even during the big 2003 for Moss, he still never scored against the Patriots and never exceeded 54 yards receiving. The lone score last year went to Chrebet out of the slot. This year, it's more likely to come from a tight end like Baker.

Pre-Game Notes - NE

The Patriots are tested every week from teams bringing their "A" game against the reigning Champs but this one means a little more.

Quarterback: Last week, Tom Brady finally fell off his two passing touchdown pedestal as the Patriots elected to use Corey Dillon in a heavier role against a good Seahawks defense. He never had more than 181 yards against the Jets last year since the defense was enough to win the games. Brady was also limited last week by the numerous wideout injuries which changed the game plan slightly once it was established that Dillon was running so well anyway.

Running Backs: Corey Dillon comes off a 105 yard game with two touchdowns against the Seahawks - not bad for a player that was supposedly a "game time decision". Dillon has given a much needed aspect to the offense that was missing last season and looks as strong as he ever has. Not too shabby - trade the Bengals for the Patriots. He doesn't even have to worry about the team drafting a top rookie runner to replace him since the Patriots have strictly end of the round selections.

Kevin Faulk finally had much more play last week and gained 37 yards on four receptions to add to his 21 yards on six carries. It is not enough to truly cut into Dillon's numbers, but enough to add some spice to the backfield.

Wide Receivers: David Patten led all receivers with five catches for 58 yards and the lone passing score against Seattle and no other wideout had more than one catch. The duo of Givens and David Patten remain the only continually healthy wideouts and are trading off which one has the better game. Givens had both the passing scores against the Jets last season.

Tight Ends: Daniel Graham finally stopped scoring after having touchdowns in the first four games. He ended with a respectable four receptions for 45 yards last week and was the second most common target behind Patten.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets rush defense has been greatly improved this season and no runner has topped 87 yards against them which includes LaDainian Tomlinson. But an important factor to remember in matching up the generated stats is the the Jets have only played against CIN, SD, MIA, BUF and SF. There is not a playoff quality team in the bunch.

Dillon could still have a moderate to good game this week and is a definite fantasy start since all the decent running backs against the Jets still have scored one rushing touchdown. These two teams know each other well but the difference this year is that both will be able to run better and that should depress passing numbers anyway.

Expect that the Patriots at home in a big game will bring the "A" defense again and allow themselves the opportunity for rushing to be a big part of the game plan. Brady should only have moderate passing yardage and the flanker of Patten is definitely the area that most teams attack successfully against the Jets. All four passing scores against New York have gone to the flanker and Patten has a good rapport with Brady already.

NYJ NE 2004 Averages NE NYJ
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
230
230
Pass yards
231
219
1.0
1.0
Pass TDs
2.0
1.3
0.4
1.3
Interceptions
1.0
1.5
4
11
Rush yards
2
11
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
132
94
Rush yards
123
88
1.4
0.5
Rush TDs
0.8
0.5
56
21
Receive yards
23
36
0.4
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
145
166
Receive yards
165
147
0.2
1.0
Receive TD's
1.0
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
30
44
Receive yards
41
36
0.4
0.0
Receive TD's
1.0
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.6
1.0
Field Goals
2.0
0.8
2.4
1.2
Extra Points
3.0
1.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
0.8
Fumbles
0.8
0.5
1.4
1.0
Interceptions
1.4
0.5
0.4
0.3
Touchdowns
0.2
0.3
2.6
1.3
Sacks
3.8
1.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Jets (5-0)
Score Opp.
31-24 CIN
34-28 @SD
Week 3 bye
17-9 @MIA
16-14 BUF
22-14 SF
Week 7 @NE
Week 8 MIA
Week 9 @BUF
Week 10 BAL
Week 11 @CLE
Week 12 @ARI
Week 13 HOU
Week 14 @PIT
Week 15 SEA
Week 16 NE
Week 17 @STL
Patriots (5-0)
Score Opp.
27-24 IND
23-12 @ARI
Week 3 bye
31-17 @BUF
24-10 MIA
30-20 SEA
Week 7 NYJ
Week 8 @PIT
Week 9 @STL
Week 10 BUF
Week 11 @KC
Week 12 BAL
Week 13 @CLE
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 @NYJ
Week 17 SF