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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
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Rattay 10 0 250,2
QB Rattay/Dorsey 10 0 200,1
RB Kevan Barlow 80,1 20 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 50 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 60,1 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 30 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 40 0
PK Todd Peterson 0 FG 2 XP -
  Chicago Rush Catch Pass
QB Craig Krenzel 0 0 160,1
RB Thomas Jones 110,1 20 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 20 0
WR Justin Gage 0 30 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 50,1 0
WR David Terrell 0 30 0
PK Paul Edinger 0 FG 2 XP -

SF (1-5) vs CHI (1-5)

Game Prediction: SF 14, CHI 17

This should be a very even match against two teams that are struggling to find an identity (also the endzone) and the weaker offense is at home against the weaker visiting defense. Almost anything could happen in this game other than the Bears having a good game passing.

Update: Rattay has been held out of practice because his forearm continues to be sore and he's questionable to play this week. He may end up as a game time decision and may not play. Since there is a question about his availability, I am removing him from the projections though he may play. It is not recommended to start either SF quarterback this week due to the obvious risk involved. I have lowered numbers and changed the game score since SF would need Rattay to be healthy to win.

If Rattay cannot play, Ken Dorsey would take the start.

Pre-Game Notes - SF

It's really not that the 49ers are terrible, it's just that they are not very good. The passing game has picked up sharply in the past few weeks with Rattay back but the team has consistently played just under the level of the opponents. The 49ers are a terrible road team but if they expect to win one as a visitor, this is the best shot they will have all season.

Quarterback: Tim Rattay has spent his bye week resting his forearm. The same injury that forced him out of two full games bothered him again after the Jets game but he is expected to be fine for this week. Rattay has posted some nice yardage since his return with three straight games of at least 286 yards. He's also thrown for two scores in three of the four games he has played this season.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow finally scored again after a three game lapse but only managed 79 yards on 21 carries against the Jets. He still has only one 100 yard game this season. The 49ers have yet to establish a running game thanks to always trailing and because of the deficit on the scoreboard, Barlow has never had more than 21 carries in any game.

Barlow is still bothered by his shoulder joint injury but is expected to suck it up and play. Barlow will likely wait until the offseason to deal with the shoulder.

Wide Receivers: Thanks to double coverage now shifting to Eric Johnson, the wideouts have been turning in much better numbers lately - particularly Brandon Lloyd. After battling double coverage himself and injury earlier in the season, Lloyd now has scored in both of the last two games and had a total of 11 catches for 149 during that time. He's been the most common target for Rattay now that Johnson is getting so much attention.

Cedrick Wilson started out the year looking like he was the sleeper choice but has settled down to around 50 yards a game since then and he hasn't scored since week one. Rashaun Woods rookie season is not going too well. He's now fallen to #5 on the depth chart behind Arnaz Battle.

Tight Ends: Funny thing about getting thrown 20 passes and catching 13 for 162 yards and a score. It tends to get a tight end noticed and tightly double covered which is what happened in the last game when Eric Johnson ended with only four catches for 24 yards and only had seven passes. It was unlikely a tight end would shatter the NFL single season reception record anyway, but fun while it lasted. With Lloyd looking better the last two weeks, the coverage may shift away from Johnson once again .

Match Against the Defense: The Bears rush defense has only allowed one rushing touchdown to a tailback but has watched three runners exceed 100 yards this season. Don't expect Barlow to crest the 100 yard mark but he should turn in at least a moderate game with a less likely chance of being the first runner to score on the Bears.

Where the 49ers will win or lose is with the pass. Rattay has posted some gaudy numbers lately but that's as much about trash time and the prevent defense as it is a major step forward by the offense. He should be a lock for one passing score with a decent chance of realizing two.

The Bears have only allowed 53 total yards to all opposing tight ends this season but they have yet to face one that is actually in the passing game as will be Eric Johnson. This time around Johnson should match the total yardage figure and have an outside chance of scoring though most likely that will go to the wideouts and Brandon Lloyd in particular who has been hotter lately and has the better matchup.

Pre-Game Notes - CHI

There's surprisingly little new with the Bears eight weeks into the season. They still have no passing game. They still rely almost exclusively on Thomas Jones and they still are not good enough to win more than the occasional upset.

Quarterback: Craig Krenzel is the starter this week but the Bears are not yet sold on him being the solution. Krenzel only completed nine of 19 passes against the Buccaneers for 69 yards and one interception. This week should give Krenzel a better look at what he can do.

Running Backs: Playing in Tampa Bay, Thomas Jones actually had a good game with gaining 52 yards on only 13 carries and scoring once. The recent passing woes have not only given Jones even more focus by the defense, but even worse is that the Chicago offense just doesn't have the ball enough to get him into gear. Look for a better week from Jones against a 49er team that will be the softest defense he has faced in the last month.

Wide Receivers: David Terrell had four passes thrown to him and caught none, but he did have time to commit two penalties that killed a first down and a touchdown. While the Bears get a nice matchup finally, there's no reason to expect that the wideouts will do anything. Against the Vikings in week three they didn't score. In fact, they have yet to catch any touchdowns the entire season.

Tight Ends: Just sad really. Desmond Clark tops out around 30 yards per game even though he should be a big part of this offense.

Match Against the Defense: The loss of LB Julian Peterson will spell good times for Jones here and there's already been three runners who have scored twice against the 49ers. Expect one of Jones better efforts this season with a lock for one score, a good chance at two and at least moderate to good yardage.

That will have to offset what the passing game will not be able to do. The 49ers have a soft secondary and Krenzel should be able to score once but that all depends on which plays Terrell decides to screw up. Bobby Wade is a decent start this week with the better matchup though Terrell is about due for another decent showing before hiding under a rock again. If the wideouts are going to catch an actual touchdown this year, here is there best shot.

SF CHI 2004 Averages CHI SF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
274
216
Pass yards
167
224
1.2
1.2
Pass TDs
0.3
2.0
1.0
0.8
Interceptions
0.8
0.4
4
8
Rush yards
15
6
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
85
133
Rush yards
93
98
0.7
0.2
Rush TDs
0.8
1.4
38
60
Receive yards
43
22
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
WR's
---
---
144
144
Receive yards
99
175
0.8
1.2
Receive TD's
0.0
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
92
11
Receive yards
26
27
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
2.2
Field Goals
0.8
1.2
1.0
1.5
Extra Points
1.3
3.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.2
1.0
Fumbles
0.8
1.6
0.3
0.8
Interceptions
0.8
1.0
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
1.7
3.0
Sacks
1.3
3.2
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.2
0.0
49ers (1-5)
Score Opp.
19-21 ATL
27-30 @NO
0-34 @SEA
14-24 STL
31-28 ARI
14-22 @NYJ
Week 7 bye
Week 8 @CHI
Week 9 SEA
Week 10 CAR
Week 11 @TB
Week 12 MIA
Week 13 @STL
Week 14 @ARI
Week 15 WAS
Week 16 BUF
Week 17 @NE
Bears (1-5)
Score Opp.
16-20 DET
21-10 @GB
22-27 @MIN
9-19 PHI
Week 5 bye
10-13 WAS
7-19 @TB
Week 8 SF
Week 9 @NYG
Week 10 @TEN
Week 11 IND
Week 12 @DAL
Week 13 MIN
Week 14 @JAX
Week 15 HOU
Week 16 @DET
Week 17 GB