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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
  NY Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 200,1
RB Tiki Barber 100,1 40 0
RB Ron Dayne 10 0 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 20 0
WR Jamaar Taylor 0 30 0
WR Ike Hilliard 0 40 0
PK Steve Christie 0 FG 2 XP -
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 20,1 0 250,1
RB Moe Williams 20 20 0
RB Mewelde Moore 80,1 30 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 50 0
WR Randy Moss 0 20 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 50 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 50,1 0
WR Kelly Campbell 0 20 0
PK Morten Andersen 1 FG 3 XP -

NYG (4-2) vs MIN (5-1)

Game Prediction: NYG 14, MIN 24

The Giants were looking like they were reborn this season but last week they were more like unruly teens that suddenly didn't pay attention to everything that Poppa had been telling them to do. The Vikings are now playing without Randy Moss and it still hasn't mattered.

Update: Randy Moss gets a slight bump up since he is practicing at least in a limited fashion and will be playing this week. I would still expect little from him and his only fantasy value should be if he can snag an endzone pass. Since he is hurt and won't likely get any yardage, the outlook for Moss is very risky and likely will not yield many fantasy points.

Amani Toomer is questionable to play with a hamstring and has not practiced. He is considered day-to-day and picked a very bad time to get hurt. I am lowering his numbers because he will not be 100% and he may not play. He is a very risky start this week that may net no fantasy points. Check his playing status on Sunday morning if you have to use him, but even if active that does not mean he will be a big contributor given the hamstring problem. I am lowering the passing numbers here in relation to Toomer's situation.

Pre-Game Notes - NYG

The frost is on the pumpkin and it's not even Halloween yet. While it was only one game, the loss last week was after a restful bye and against the worst road team in the history of the NFL. At least they used to be.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner had his best fantasy game of the season when he threw for 270 yards and one score but he also had an interception and one lost fumble. The Giants actually looked like they were expected to this season and Warner's numbers were only that good thanks to one long reception to Tiki Barber. Facing a softer defense this week should help.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber was a part of the general collapse last week, gaining only 70 yards on 22 carries and dropping below 100 rushing yards for the first time in a month. Not to worry, he still turned in 102 yards on seven receptions with one touchdown. Barber has a nice fast track this week and plenty of reasons to expect 20+ carries.

The Giants are still trying to use Ron Dayne with goal line carries and he still is unable to get the one yard.

Wide Receivers: In spite of Warner throwing for 270 yards last Sunday, the wideouts did not contribute much. Amani Toomer only had 50 yards on two catches and Ike Hilliard continues to be worth about 30 yards per game. For the entire season, the only wideout that has scored a touchdown is TIm Carter and he's gone with a hip injury.

The rookie Jamaar Taylor got his first action last week as the #3 receiver and only managed two catches for 16 yards. This is not a passing offense even when it needs to be and even in the event there are good passing yards, it hasn't really done much for the wideouts.

Tight Ends: Even Jeremy Shockey only had 25 yards on two catches last week. The ball is being spread around too much to benefit any single player though Shockey remains as common a target as any other receiver.

Match Against the Defense: Tiki Barber goes against a defense that has only allowed one runner to exceed 100 yards this season and only three rushing touchdowns in six games. But most of that has stemmed from the game situation that does not allow runners to be used in the later half of the game since Culpepper has the scoreboard out of reach. Barber can turn in a good game here if he can get 20 carries but only one runner - Thomas Jones - has seen more than 14 runs in any game.

Warner has a great matchup against a team that has been soft against the pass but the Giants style is not to throw and not to do more than dink and dunk to support the run. That won't get a win here and Warner will have to throw better if the Giants will have a chance. Problem is that the Vikings play much tougher defensively at home.

Pre-Game Notes - MIN

No Moss? No matter. Minnesota continues to roll along with a sound ground game and a wily quarterback who gets the job done even without the best receiver in the league.

Quarterback: While Culpepper easily had his worst statistical performance of the year without Randy Moss in the lineup, he still played a solid game completing 24 of 30 passes for 183 yards and one score. The running game was so effective that there wasn't a big need to throw anyway. Culpepper will likely be in a similar situation this week.

Running Backs: In this year where #4 running backs are shining, the rookie Mewelde Moore is getting better every week, rushing for 138 yards on only 20 carries against the Titans and adding 30 yards on five catches as well. He's done so well that Michael Bennett now is relegated to punt return duties and Moore will continue to start.

When Onterrio Smith returns it may put a new slant on the offense but the bottom line is that the running game is solid with Moore and there is no reason to change. Moe Williams took the lone rushing score last week on his three carries for 10 yards but this is the Mewelde Moore show until there is a reason to change.

Wide Receivers: With Randy Moss only in for two plays and then leaving, the rest of the wideouts were solid though unspectacular. Nate Burleson led the crew with six catches for 53 yards and Marcus Robinson replaced Moss in the endzone with one catch last week for a score. The increase of passes to Jermaine Wiggins has dug into the numbers here some and without Moss around, the only factor that will increase numbers is the Vikings falling behind.

Moss is expected to start again this week but chances are it will again be a cameo appearance. The Vikings would be much better served with Moss healthy for week nine when they face the Colts and the only reason Moss is suiting up is to continue his streak of continuous starts. Unless he shows a miraculous recovery this week, he's too risky to consider starting on your team. He might be an endzone factor but chances are best he will be no factor.

Tight Ends: Jermaine Wiggins is becoming a favorite target of the most productive quarterback in the league. That is a very nice equation. Wiggins had six catches for 36 yards last week and is a target in the redzone in every game he plays.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants have been tougher against the run this season and only Brian Westbrook has exceeded the 100 yard mark against them. Until last week, no runner had rushed in a score though Detroit did it twice. Figure heavy use again for Moore but it will be harder to turn in a big game this week. It will depend on volume of carries which is a function of the game situation.

Culpepper should be a lock to throw at least one score since all opposing quarterbacks have this season but since week two the best has been the 230 yards by Harrington last week. Most teams have remained below 150 yards passing against the Giants.

If this game does not end up as a trap game with the Vikings looking past it at the Colts matchup, Culpepper should have a more moderate outing with a chance for a good game. Nate Burleson has a slightly better matchup and could score though Robinson has been the preferred endzone target.

NYG MIN 2004 Averages MIN NYG
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
244
277
Pass yards
325
220
0.7
1.2
Pass TDs
3.2
1.8
0.3
0.7
Interceptions
0.5
1.3
3
15
Rush yards
21
13
0.2
0.5
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
125
79
Rush yards
108
112
1.0
0.8
Rush TDs
0.2
0.3
65
48
Receive yards
78
45
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
133
198
Receive yards
206
132
0.2
1.0
Receive TD's
2.7
1.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
44
33
Receive yards
41
43
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
1.3
Field Goals
1.3
0.5
2.0
2.3
Extra Points
3.3
2.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
0.7
Fumbles
0.8
0.7
1.3
0.5
Interceptions
0.7
0.3
0.2
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.5
2.8
Sacks
2.3
3.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Giants (4-2)
Score Opp.
17-31 @PHI
20-14 WAS
27-10 CLE
14-7 @GB
26-10 @DAL
Week 6 bye
13-28 DET
Week 8 @MIN
Week 9 CHI
Week 10 @ARI
Week 11 ATL
Week 12 PHI
Week 13 @WAS
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 PIT
Week 16 @CIN
Week 17 DAL
Vikings (5-1)
Score Opp.
35-17 DAL
16-27 @PHI
27-22 CHI
Week 4 bye
34-28 @HOU
38-31 @NO
20-3 TEN
Week 8 NYG
Week 9 @IND
Week 10 @GB
Week 11 DET
Week 12 JAX
Week 13 @CHI
Week 14 SEA
Week 15 @DET
Week 16 GB
Week 17 @WAS