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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
Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Fiedler 0 0 200,1
RB Sammy Morris 40 10 0
RB Travis Minor 20 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 40 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 60,1 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 20 0
WR Marty Booker 0 40 0
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 1 XP -
  NY Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 180
RB Curtis Martin 100,1 30 0
RB Lamont Jordan 10 0 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Jonathan Carter 0 40 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 50 0
WR Santana Moss 0 50 0
PK Doug Brien 3 FG 1 XP -

MIA (1-6) vs NYJ (5-1)

Game Prediction: MIA 10, NYJ 16

The Dolphins come off their first win and threw that monkey from their back into the surf (where it will likely wash up and find them again). The Jets played the Patriots close last week but just fell short with a passing game that still does not resemble the 2003 juggernaut. When Curtis Martin is held to 70 yards, the passing is not enough to make the difference against the Patriots even if it was a must win game.

Update: Sammy Morris is questionable to play with a wrist injury that has made him miss two days of practice and wear a cast. He'll likely be a gametime decision this week and it not recommended as a fantasy starter due to the risk. I am lowering his numbers slightly but there is a chance he will not play so be aware before starting him.

Pre-Game Notes - MIA

Every newspaper reporter in Florida worked overtime last Sunday as they thumbed a new section of the thesaurus looking for synonyms for "surprising" and "good". This was fortunate since they were running out of new ways to say "hopeless" and "apocalyptic".

Some Miami players have now publicly mentioned that immortal Boolean logic that every single fantasy player says at this time of year. You know it's coming, all together now - "Okay, IF we win all the rest of our games, THEN..."

Quarterback: Jay Fiedler finally regained his 2003 form when he threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns with his first game of the year with no turnovers. Supported by a nearly adequate rushing game, Fiedler was efficient in completing 13 of 17 passes and directing almost all passes where they would do the most good - the two wideouts and Randy McMichael. If you want to read more about this performance, head over to Fiedler's place since it is likely plastered over all his walls.

Running Backs: Sammy Morris locked up his role this year when he gained 83 yards on 23 carries against the Rams and scored a touchdown. An actual rushing touchdown. Even Travis Minor scored one. Basically the Fins scored as many points last week as they did in the three previous games combined.

Wide Receivers: While Fiedler only connected with Chris Chambers three times, he made the most of it and gained 128 yards and scored one touchdown. Marty Booker only had three catches for 35 yards but he accounted for five targets - the most of any receiver.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael continues to be a main target for Fiedler and his production mirrors the effectiveness of the passing game. McMichael had four catches for 78 yards and one score last week, his first touchdown since week one.

Match Against the Defense: Okay, so maybe hold off on uncorking the rest of the champagne. The Jets already beat the Dolphins in week four 17-9 in Miami.

The Jets have been tough this season against some of the better runners and only Dillon last week was able to top 100 yards. Only three runners - Rudi Johnson, Tomlinson and Barlow have scored on the Jets and that's about three steps up from Sammy Morris. Expect Morris to likely remain sub-50 yards unless he pops one and he is not a "popper" sort of tailback.

Look for Fiedler to turn in a decent game here (comparative to most his efforts) and throw for one score with around the 200 yards that the Jets almost always allow.

Pre-Game Notes - NYJ

Close last week. Not close enough. At 5-1, the Jets are again chasing the Patriots.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington needed to come up big last week and fell short. He only threw for 162 yards and no scores and only has thrown for one touchdown in the last four weeks. The only positive from last week was that he finally noticed and used Justin McCareins though in fairness he was facing a top defense and Santana Moss was still limited from his hamstring strain. The defense is no easier this week. In week four, Pennington only managed 143 yards against these Dolphins in Miami.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin has turned in his second non-scoring, sub-80 yard effort in the last three weeks and faces a tough Miami defense this week that'll be trying to make it three of four. Lamont Jordan is now good for about three carries a game which is just enough to shave some value from Martin without providing enough relief to keep Martin fresh.

Martin had 110 yards and one score in their previous matchup this season but the Fins are better now. He'll be hard pressed to still post those numbers.

Wide Receivers: Justin McCareins finally got into the gameplan, catching six passes for 83 yards last week and leading all receivers. Santana Moss played though his hamstring was not 100% and Ty Law was enough to keep Moss from even getting passes. He ended with two catches on three throws for only 12 yards. Moss will start again this week and while he should be better, he still is not 100% and will have a tough matchup yet again.

Moss and McCareins combined only had two catches for 31 yards in their previous matchup.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker turned in three catches for 26 yards last week but the meager passing skips the tight ends lately. There were only three throws to Baker and three throws to Anthony Becht who caught two passes for eight yards.

Baker only had one catch for 15 yards in the previous meeting with Miami.

Match Against the Defense: This will be a low scoring game with plenty of defense to slow the Jets down. New York won the first game 17 to 9 in Miami and that contained a defensive touchdown. Curtis Martin should be getting at least 20 to 25 carries this week and has a good opportunity for a nice game and a score though more than one would be a first this year against the Dolphins. This will be Martin's show once again.

The weak passing game with Pennington should once again produce low numbers since the scheme primarily uses the two wideouts and the Miami corners should be enough to keep them quiet. Look for Pennington to likely get blanked once again by the secondary and for the field goal game to be more important than usual.

MIA NYJ 2004 Averages NYJ MIA
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
195
232
Pass yards
219
158
0.9
1.2
Pass TDs
0.8
0.9
1.6
1.2
Interceptions
0.3
0.7
4
8
Rush yards
6
4
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
68
96
Rush yards
125
123
0.3
0.5
Rush TDs
1.2
0.3
23
34
Receive yards
49
30
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
109
164
Receive yards
139
116
0.6
0.8
Receive TD's
0.2
0.4
---
---
TE's
---
---
70
32
Receive yards
31
12
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.4
1.0
Field Goals
1.3
1.4
1.1
2.0
Extra Points
2.2
1.9
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.1
0.5
Fumbles
1.2
0.9
0.7
0.3
Interceptions
1.2
1.6
0.0
0.2
Touchdowns
0.3
0.6
2.3
1.0
Sacks
2.7
3.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Dolphins (1-6)
Score Opp.
7-17 TEN
13-16 @CIN
3-13 PIT
9-17 NYJ
10-24 @NE
13-20 @BUF
31-14 STL
Week 8 @NYJ
Week 9 ARI
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @SEA
Week 12 @SF
Week 13 BUF
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 NE
Week 16 CLE
Week 17 @BAL
Jets (5-1)
Score Opp.
31-24 CIN
34-28 @SD
Week 3 bye
17-9 @MIA
16-14 BUF
22-14 SF
7-13 @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