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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 8
October 27, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
ARZ at BUF NYG at MIN* ATL at DEN SF at CHI* MIA at NYJ
DET at DAL* NE at PIT CAR at SEA Bye Week: Bye Week:
IND at KC CIN at TEN* BAL at PHI CLE NO
JAX at HOU* GB at WAS OAK at SD* TB STL
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 10 0 120
RB Chester Taylor 50 20 0
TE Wilcox/Jones 0 20 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 40 0
WR Kevin Johnson 0 20 0
WR Randy Hymes 0 10 0
PK Matt Stover 2 FG 0 XP -
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 40,1 0 220,1
RB Dorsey Levens 50 10 0
TE L.J. Smith/Lewis 0 40,1 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 60 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 30 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 50 0
PK David Akers 3 FG 2 XP -

BAL (4-2) vs PHI (6-0)

Game Prediction: BAL 6, PHI 23

This has always been a great matchup of big defenses in the past. This time around only one team remembers to bring an offense to the game. That's going to end up important this week.

Pre-Game Notes - BAL

The Ravens handled the Bills with ease last week because all that was needed was to let the Bills make mistakes which they did rather often. That is not the gameplan this week and the defense will have to come up huge in order to win.

Quarterback: Why are you reading this? You don't own Boller. No one owns Boller. I bet even his relatives wouldn't draft him. Kyle Boller only had 81 passing yards last week with one lost fumble and just to complete his fantasy void, he lost nine yards on seven runs. It is somewhat astounding that any starting quarterback could be so bad for so long that no one even thinks that it is odd to keep starting a guy that rarely throws more than 100 yards in a game. It is odd. It is wrong. There. I feel better now.

Running Backs: All those teams that had been holding onto Chester Taylor and hoping for the worst with Jamal Lewis were rewarded with 89 yards on 21 carries. Musa Smith also had six runs but only managed 11 yards and will not be figuring in much during the absence of Lewis.

The fun part here is that the rookie B.J. Sams was not only given one carry, it was on third down and goal to go from the five yard line and he scored a touchdown. Surprising confidence on a rookie without a carry in his career but then again this is also the coach that thinks Kyle Boller is about to turn the corner any year now.

It now looks like OT Jonathan Ogden will miss this week with a hamstring strain so whatever rushing there is will likely all be to the right and not be as effective.

Wide Receivers: God, don't make me look... Hey - Travis Taylor had 52 yards on two catches and .... and.. AAAH! I'm blinded! Oh the humanity... imagine three wideouts playing an entire game and only coming up with two catches for 13 yards. It is true but don't look! It's just too hard on the stomach.

Just wait to see what some nice Philly blitzes do to this offense with no Ogden to block.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap is out, yet again, and is becoming more a myth than a man. Maybe next week. It's like getting your car repaired and telling them not to hurry.

Match Against the Defense: This is just a bad offense and that is when Heap, Lewis and Ogden are playing. They are not this week. Hands off the entire team. Figure if Taylor does gain something that now Sams gets the touchdown? And Boller against the blitz with worse blocking? This could get ugly unless the defense can keep the Ravens in the game which. inevitably, they will not be able to do.

Pre-Game Notes - PHI

The Eagles tried to mail in their win last week but the Browns made them show up for overtime before conceding. The Eagles are at home where they have yet to score less than 27 points will be without Westbrook this week which will make those points hard to make up for against the Ravens defense.

Quarterback: While Donovan McNabb fell off the "ridiculously high fantasy points" bandwagon in week six, he was back holding the reins again when he threw four touchdowns and 376 passing yards against the Browns. With Westbrook ailing, he'll need to continue to come up big to keep the big Green Machine rolling.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook broke his rib and almost certainly out this Sunday. Dorsey Levens and Reno Mahe filled in last week but Mahe was not considered a plus really and Levens ran effectively (7-48) against a softer Browns defense.

This situation is still developing and has a bearing on the game plan. Updates as warranted.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens now has four straight games with 100 yards receiving and caught two scores last week. The promising factor for the rest of the season was that Todd Pinkston (6-100) also had a great game and will have to continue to step up like that so the offense does not become too reliant on Owens. Of the eight scores to wideouts, all of them have gone to Owens.

Tight Ends: This group of Chad Lewis, L.J. Smith and even Mike Bartrum have posted five touchdowns this season and those are all of the non-Owens passing scores. Both Smith and Lewis scored last week and there is no real pattern to which one is the legitimate #1 receiver since they trade off having the better game.

Match Against the Defense: The running game is contingent on the health of Westbrook. At this point I am considering him out. The Ravens have been great against the run this year and no runner has scored or gained 100 yards except for Holmes. Expect a lower rushing output here. The only way that Levens will figure in much is if the Eagles can get a significant lead which is certainly not impossible.

Look for McNabb to post some decent numbers here since the Ravens have not faced any good quarterbacks this season and if they dwell on Owens too much, there is Pinkston and three tight ends to keep an eye on as well. McNabb could be increasing his own running this week too as a way to supplement the ground game.

Owens is always a fantasy start and a decent chance to score one time but not likely more than that. This will be a defensive battle that the Eagles can win since the Ravens are without their three best offensive players so there will be less need to push their luck by passing too much.

BAL PHI 2004 Averages PHI BAL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
123
245
Pass yards
292
208
0.3
1.0
Pass TDs
2.2
0.8
0.8
1.0
Interceptions
0.5
1.7
13
12
Rush yards
12
6
0.7
0.2
Rush TDs
0.3
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
131
100
Rush yards
95
94
0.8
0.7
Rush TDs
0.3
0.3
11
45
Receive yards
62
21
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
74
150
Receive yards
176
156
0.2
0.7
Receive TD's
1.3
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
37
43
Receive yards
54
32
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.8
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.0
Field Goals
2.5
1.7
2.0
1.3
Extra Points
3.0
1.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
0.3
Fumbles
1.0
0.7
1.7
0.5
Interceptions
1.0
0.8
0.8
0.0
Touchdowns
0.2
0.0
3.0
1.8
Sacks
3.8
2.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Ravens (4-2)
Score Opp.
3-20 @CLE
30-13 PIT
23-9 @CIN
24-27 KC
17-10 @WAS
Week 6 bye
20-6 BUF
Week 8 @PHI
Week 9 CLE
Week 10 @NYJ
Week 11 DAL
Week 12 @NE
Week 13 CIN
Week 14 NYG
Week 15 @IND
Week 16 @PIT
Week 17 MIA
Eagles (6-0)
Score Opp.
31-17 NYG
27-16 MIN
30-13 @DET
19-9 @CHI
Week 5 bye
30-8 CAR
34-31 @CLE
Week 8 BAL
Week 9 @PIT
Week 10 @DAL
Week 11 WAS
Week 12 @NYG
Week 13 GB
Week 14 @WAS
Week 15 DAL
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CIN