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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
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 180,1
RB Rudi Johnson 110,1 10 0
TE Kelly/Stewart/Schobel 0 30,1 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 40 0
WR Houshmandzadeh 0 20 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 10 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 80 0
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 2 XP -
  Tennessee Rush Catch Pass
QB Billy Volek 0 0 220,1
RB Chris Brown 60 10 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 20 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 80,1 0
WR Eddie Berlin 0 30 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 30 0
PK Gary Anderson 2 FG 1 XP -

CIN (2-4) vs TEN (2-5)

Game Prediction: CIN 17, TEN 13

Here's another tough call. Which Bengals show up? The sad sack group that went 1-4 or the team that looked flawless against the always tough Denver defense? The Titans are at home and needing a win, but may not have McNair this week and Chris Brown is banged up. After last Monday night, it just shows you never can tell.

Update: Warrick now is disclosed as having a slight fracture to his left fibula and he is questionable to play. The Bengals are being fined $10,000 for claiming Warrick was out last week and then changing it on Friday and playing him (he had no catches though). I am removing Warrick though he is officially questionable.

Kelley Washington is also likely a game time decision from his ankle injury and I am lowering his numbers. He may not even play.

Chris Brown is still wearing an immobilizing boot for his turf toe and may not play though he is expected to contribute for at least part of the game. I am lowering his numbers and he might end up not playing. This game has a lot of unknown variables thanks to player injuries.

Steve McNair is not ruled out, but it seems very unlikely that he will play. I am leaving Volek as the QB this week.

Pre-Game Notes - CIN

The rest of the season is like gravy now. That was one of the best upsets on Monday Night Football in a decade.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer came out challenging Champ Bailey and won (except for that one interception). He ended with 195 yards and one touchdown when Bailey fell down and left Chad Johnson roaming free downfield. While the excitement of the game led to many accolades, Palmer is still not there yet. Other than two passes to Johnson, he would have ended with less than 100 yards in the game and still only completed 12 of 21 passes for 198 yards. He'll be facing another weaker secondary this week with a chance to build more confidence.

Running Backs: The win last week was likely most attributable to Rudi Johnson who ran 24 times for 119 yards and one touchdown. It was only his second 100 yard game of the year but like the rest of the team, he looked sharp and played tough. His success has meant that back-up Chris Perry doesn't even get any carries lately.

Wide Receivers: While Chad Johnson had a great game - seven catches for 149 yards and one score - the reality was that no other receiver did anything in the game. The second player was Kelley Washington who had only one catch for 16 yards. It was good to see Peter Warrick on the field but he couldn't catch his only pass but he should be back and better this week after missing time with a bad shin injury.

Warrick's absence has never been filled and his return should see a boost to Palmer's numbers which were always better when Warrick was in the lineup.

Tight Ends: The three-headed monster only had one catch last week. Don't bother with this trio.

Match Against the Defense: The Titan defense is nothing special anymore. Look for Rudi Johnson to turn in a solid effort here against a defense that has allowed seven rushing scores and three big rushing games to teams with good running backs. Johnson should score at least once and 80 yards is the least he should post.

Palmer should also have a score here against a secondary that has allowed all opposing quarterbacks to score including Jay Fiedler. His production will be more contingent on the success of the rushing attack but he's safe enough to get 210 yards as a minimum. The Titans have allowed an unheard of seven passing scores to the tight ends but roll dice to see which one it might actually be this week. Chad Johnson has about a 50/50 chance at getting a second score.

Pre-Game Notes - TEN

The Titans now have settled to the bottom of the AFC South with an astounding 0-3 mark at home. This week will likely not have McNair which only compounds the problem.

Quarterback: It was an all-around whooping handed out by the Vikings last week and they knocked Steve McNair from the game with a re-injured sternum. McNair is unlikely to play though no official word has been given and I'll assume now that Billy Volek takes the start and tries to make amends for the three interceptions and one fumble of last week.

Running Backs: Chris Brown only gained 55 yards on 14 carries last week and suffered a turf toe in the process. He is being held out of practice at least early in the week but at this point is still expected to play. With a bye in week nine, the Titans only have to get through this one for some much needed rest for both McNair and Brown.

In spite of his injury last week, no other ball carriers were used against the Vikings. I'm expecting Brown to suit up and play this week even if it means a needle in the toe before the kickoff but if the score was to ever get away from the Titans, or if they had a big enough lead, they'll likely rest Brown rather than subjecting his toe to too much wear.

Wide Receivers: Even in a bad game, Derrick Mason is still good for eight catches and 85 yards. The rest of the receivers did nothing, but Mason gets his first and does more with his catches. Facing a very soft secondary on a short week, the passing game should improve even without McNair.

Tight Ends: Erron Kinney is expected to miss yet another week and Shad Meier will return to practice but be held out of contact drills. Expect Ben Troupe to again be the lone receiving Titan tight end.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals defense is not very good and coming off a game they played with incredible desire, it is reasonable to expect a let down. How much is hard to gauge given the injuries to McNair and Brown.

Brown should have a nice game this week if his toe holds up. The Titans will want to establish the run against a visiting team fresh from a big emotional Monday night game. Expect Brown to have at least a moderate effort with a chance for some big numbers if the Bengals are no longer Cinderella.

Volek is not a bad start this week either against a secondary that has allowed every quarterback to score at least one touchdown but given that the run should be working, Volek is unlikely to pass enough to get a good fantasy game here. Expect around 200 yards and one score that has to favor Mason since none of the others can catch a touchdown so far.

CIN TEN 2004 Averages TEN CIN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
204
235
Pass yards
196
212
0.8
1.7
Pass TDs
0.9
1.7
1.5
1.0
Interceptions
1.3
1.0
2
3
Rush yards
17
5
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.1
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
100
109
Rush yards
111
143
0.5
1.0
Rush TDs
0.7
0.7
24
25
Receive yards
27
45
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.5
---
---
WR's
---
---
162
174
Receive yards
149
144
0.3
0.7
Receive TD's
0.6
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
18
36
Receive yards
25
23
0.2
1.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.0
1.1
Field Goals
1.4
1.2
1.7
2.6
Extra Points
1.9
2.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.7
0.4
Fumbles
0.9
0.5
0.8
1.3
Interceptions
1.0
1.5
0.3
0.0
Touchdowns
0.1
0.3
1.7
2.0
Sacks
1.7
2.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Bengals (2-4)
Score Opp.
24-31 @NYJ
16-13 MIA
9-23 BAL
17-28 @PIT
Week 5 bye
17-34 @CLE
23-10 DEN
Week 8 @TEN
Week 9 DAL
Week 10 @WAS
Week 11 PIT
Week 12 CLE
Week 13 @BAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 BUF
Week 16 NYG
Week 17 @PHI
Tennessee (2-5)
Score Opp.
17-7 @MIA
17-31 IND
12-15 JAX
17-38 @SD
48-27 @GB
10-20 HOU
3-20 @MIN
Week 8 CIN
Week 9 bye
Week 10 CHI
Week 11 @JAX
Week 12 @HOU
Week 13 @IND
Week 14 KC
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 DEN
Week 17 DET