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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
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 180,1
RB Brad Hoover 50 10 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 40 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 40 0
WR Keary Colbert 0 60,1 0
PK John Kasay 1 FG 1 XP -
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 200
RB Shaun Alexander 100,2 20 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 30 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 60 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 20 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 20 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 50 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

CAR (1-5) vs SEA (3-3)

Game Prediction: CAR 10, SEA 20

Both the teams skid into the game. Carolina is on a four game losing streak with nary an offense to be seen. The Seahawks have dropped their last three games and each loss is a little more surprising than the previous one.

Fortunately one team has to win and since only one has an offense, advantage to Seattle.

Update: Engram is not expected to play this week and may have a high ankle sprain.

Pre-Game Notes - CAR

Once upon a time, the Panthers had a great defense, sound rushing game and an exciting new quarterback that could win even the biggest comebacks. And then the 2004 season started to find their golden carriage was not only a pumpkin again, but that it also had a big frown carved into it.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme had four interceptions in week six so when he had only one against the Chargers, it was an improvement. But that was all that improved. Delhomme only completed 17 of 36 passes for 155 yards and no scores against one of the softest secondaries in the league. While it is hard to imagine that Steve Smith was so instrumental in the success of the passing game that it falls apart without him, there's really no other decent explanation. Injuries have contributed to the offensive woes to be sure, but Delhomme only has two touchdowns total in the past four games - all losses.

Running Backs: De'Shaun Foster is now officially out of the picture for the rest of the season and the load drops squarely back on Stephen Davis who was held out last week and may not play again this Sunday. Brad Hoover took the start against the Chargers and his 99 yards on 24 carries were the only highlight of the offense. I am assuming that Davis is still out and will update later if needed.

This is not a great situation that is continuing to develop. The Panthers just acquired Brandon Bennett as a free agent but it's too early to expect Bennett to factor in yet.

Wide Receivers: Keary Colbert had seven catches for 71 yards last week and easily led all other receivers. Muhsin Muhammad only managed 28 yards on three catches and just has not been the factor the offense needed with Smith out. This passing game is just punchless without a good ground game and against a top defense, it falls well below average.

Tight Ends: No fantasy impact. Only once has a tight end here had over 20 yards in any game.

Match Against the Defense: Depends on which Seattle defense shows up. Version one was outstanding for the first three weeks and Version two has been inadequate and greatly effected by injuries, particularly LB Chad Brown who should return this week for at least limited play. Before all the injuries, Seattle had only allowed one touchdown in the first three games. While the flood gates are not wide open, both Corey Dillon and Emmitt Smith have topped 100 yards and scored in the last two weeks.

Back at Seattle, the Panthers should have problems running regardless if it is Hoover or Davis. Look for this game to be a more focused effort by the Seahawks that will look to take the run game from the equation.

Delhomme has struggled recently and is unlikely to throw for more than one score. Colbert is the most likely scorer here since he is more commonly a target but there is no preferred side to attack and typically the touchdowns have been going to #3 wideouts when they happen.

Pre-Game Notes - SEA

It's been quite a clean break. Win the first three games and look like Super Bowl contenders and lose the next three and watch the Rams remain above them in the AFC West with the tiebreaker. Seattle has been lethargic on offense and have almost inexplicably gotten away from the run game.

Quarterback: In Arizona, Matt Hasselbeck may have been at his absolute worst, completing only 14 of 41 passes for 195 yards and four interceptions. His level of play has not been helped by receivers that continue to drop passes and the specter of losing Robinson for a month due to a potential suspension will not help.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander had 57 yards last week but only carried the ball 12 times. Against the Patriots he only had 16 carries. It's simple enough - when he carries at least 20 times he always gains over 100 yards and so far also has scored. The Seahawks intend to return to a more balanced attack which should produce better yardage for Alexander.

Wide Receivers: Darrell Jackson is the lone consistent player here, gaining around 90 yards in most games while Koren Robinson swings from between 12 yards and 150 yards. Robinson is rumored to be soon found in violation if the NFL substance abuse policy and would miss four weeks which allegedly he is currently appealing. HC Mike Holmgren refuses to speak about it which only lends even more credibility to it.

Jerry Rice was acquired last week and will be the starter if Robinson goes out but in his first game, Rice only had one catch for ten yards and dropped one pass. He is not a savior by any means but might be an adequate fill-in. Bobby Engram is expected back this week

Tight Ends: Jeremy Stevens only had one catch last week but had been good for about 30 yards a game with the only upside in the position.

Match Against the Defense: This game will hinge on using Alexander against a defense that has allowed nine rushing scores already this season. Look for heavy doses of Alexander that are successful and at least one score from him if not two. This is the weakness of Carolina and fits into the direction the Seahawks want to go.

Hasselbeck is not likely to have a big game here against a secondary that has only allowed four touchdowns all season and never more than 228 passing yards. With the recent struggles of the passing game already a concern, don't expect much more than one passing score and that would go to Stevens as likely as any other receiver. There's only been one wideout score all year against Carolina.

CAR SEA 2004 Averages SEA CAR
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
218
226
Pass yards
236
185
1.2
1.0
Pass TDs
1.2
0.5
1.7
1.7
Interceptions
1.3
0.7
3
9
Rush yards
3
10
0.2
0.2
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
101
91
Rush yards
113
127
0.3
0.5
Rush TDs
1.0
1.5
47
33
Receive yards
26
31
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
145
148
Receive yards
178
103
0.7
0.7
Receive TD's
0.5
0.2
---
---
TE's
---
---
26
43
Receive yards
32
51
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.7
1.7
Field Goals
1.7
1.7
1.5
1.5
Extra Points
2.2
2.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
0.2
Fumbles
1.2
0.3
0.7
1.3
Interceptions
1.7
1.7
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.2
0.5
1.3
1.7
Sacks
2.7
1.5
0.0
0.2
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Panthers (1-5)
Score Opp.
14-24 GB
28-17 @KC
Week 3 bye
10-27 ATL
17-20 @DEN
8-30 @PHI
6-17 SD
Week 8 @SEA
Week 9 OAK
Week 10 @SF
Week 11 ARI
Week 12 TB
Week 13 @NO
Week 14 STL
Week 15 @ATL
Week 16 @TB
Week 17 NO
Seahawks (3-3)
Score Opp.
21-7 @NO
10-6 @TB
34-0 SF
Week 4 bye
27-33 STL
20-30 @NE
17-25 @ARI
Week 8 CAR
Week 9 @SF
Week 10 @STL
Week 11 MIA
Week 12 BUF
Week 13 DAL
Week 14 @MIN
Week 15 @NYJ
Week 16 ARI
Week 17 ATL