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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 9
November 3, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
NYJ at BUF* ARZ at MIA CHI at NYG NE at STL MIN at IND*
OAK at CAR* PHI at PIT* NO at SD* Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
DAL at CIN KC at TB SEA at SF* CLE at BAL ATL, JAX
WAS at DET* *updated HOU at DEN *updated GB, TEN
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 190,1
RB Priest Holmes 80,1 30 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 50,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 50 0
WR Dante Hall 0 10 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 40 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 2 XP -
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese 0 0 200,1
RB Michael Pittman 70,1 20 0
TE Ken Dilger 0 10 0
WR Michael Clayton 0 70,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 40 0
WR Tim Brown 0 30 0
PK Martin Gramatica 0 FG 2 XP -

KC (3-4) vs TB (2-5)

Game Prediction: KC 20, TB 14

The Chiefs are back to their obscene scoring ways again with 101 points scored in the last two weeks. The Buccaneers have found a new quarterback in Griese and Pittman is running well, but the defense is not nearly as good as the 2002 version. That'll end up as a problem even in Tampa Bay.

Pre-Game Notes - KC

While the Chiefs have gone wild the last two weeks at home, they have only won once on the road this season in the Baltimore Monday night game but lost in Denver and Jacksonville against good defenses. Here's their chance to show they are truly back in the hunt.

Quarterback: Against the Colts last week, Trent Green had one of his career best outings with 389 yards and three scores with no turnovers. Supported by an incredible rushing attack and a receiving crew that is finally healthy again, his outlook is much brighter now than when he started the season with two scoreless efforts.

Running Backs: In only seven games, Priest Holmes already has 13 touchdowns. He could have had the four that Derrick Blaylock scored but he's already caused enough record books to be reprinted anyway. He's never had a single game this year that wasn't at least one touchdown or 100 yards if not both. If not three or four touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: Though Green had a monster game last week, the best any wideout did was Johnnie Morton's 69 yards and one touchdown while Eddie Kennison was not far behind with 50 yards. Morton's score was his first of the season and Kennison has yet to reach the goal line in 2004. With Gonzalez healthy and Priest running with relative ease, the wideouts come in third on the priority list, even when there are 389 passing yards.

Tight Ends: Last week Tony Gonzalez had a season best 125 yards and two scores which gives him four touchdowns on the season. He's been on an odd pace of scoring every other week and when he scores, he turns in good yardage as well.

Match Against the Defense: This should provide a whole new test for the Buccaneers who face the top scorer in the league but they've only allowed one rushing touchdown all season while at home. The best any runner has done is Griffin's 66 yards and in week two, they held Alexander to only 45 yards though he was very banged up that week.

You'll play Holmes regardless but this should prove to be one of his toughest venues this season.

Trent Green should also find the going far more difficult this Sunday when he faces a secondary that has not allowed any visitor to throw for more than 147 yards or one score. The Chiefs may have pasted opponents for 101 points the last two weeks, but no visitor has scored more than 16 points in Tampa Bay. Temper your expectations.

Pre-Game Notes - TB

The Buccaneers are only 2-5 on the season, but they've won two of their last three games and have some optimism that they can continue to improve. Their defense better come up big this week to keep the good vibes.

Quarterback: It may have been a carousel, but the ride is over and Brian Griese will remain the starting quarterback unless injured (or suddenly playing poorly which is not unheard of in Tampa Bay). Griese has only thrown one interception in his three starts against four touchdowns and has thrown at least one score each week. The Buccaneers are not a throwing team, they're not even good enough to be considered a running team yet but Griese at least does not make the same mistakes that made Brad Johnson a bench warner.

Running Backs: Michael Pittman comes off his best game of the season and the only time a Buccaneer has topped 100 yards rushing in a season. He ran 23 times for 109 yards and one touchdown against the Bears and had two receptions for 55 yards. Now that Mike Alstott is out of the picture, the load drops almost entirely onto Pittman. Jamel White has not impressed the coaching staff and since he has not been productive during limited play, the Buccaneers have activated Ernest Graham from the practice squad to fill in as Pittman's back-up.

Wide Receivers: Joe Jurevicius returned last week but only had two catches for 21 yards. He'll still figure in but is more a short yardage receiver and the Buccaneers don't throw much in the red zone anyway. Michael Clayton had 62 yards on six catches against the Bears and that was after eight receptions for 142 yards against the Rams. Clayton is clearly the only receiver here with fantasy relevance. Tim Brown always catches one pass per game and normally that is all. He only has five receptions in the past four games.

Tight Ends: While one of these players might catch the odd touchdown, you need to know if you ever rely on them all you will see is a game like the last one where there was only one catch for three yards. And that was the rarely used Heller.

Match Against the Defense: Look for Pittman to turn in a solid effort this week against a defense that has allowed a running back to score each time the Chiefs are the visitors and there a good chance that Pittman can get some decent yardage as long as the Buccaneers are successful in defusing Priest Holmes and the scoring machine.

This is also a nice place to give Griese a start if you're looking to cover a bye week. He should be good for at least one score and some moderate yardage and if the Chiefs manage to start scoring, Griese will have to be more involved to stay even on the scoreboard. There's no particular matchup that would favor one receiver over another, so the most likely scenario is to Michael Clayton as the favored wideout but it could be any of the receivers that catches a score.

KC TB 2004 Averages TB KC
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
254
223
Pass yards
162
237
1.3
1.0
Pass TDs
1.0
1.7
0.6
0.7
Interceptions
0.7
1.1
5
5
Rush yards
6
13
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.4
---
---
RB's
---
---
150
77
Rush yards
110
91
2.4
0.3
Rush TDs
0.6
0.7
48
41
Receive yards
26
46
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
138
149
Receive yards
115
145
0.3
0.6
Receive TD's
0.7
0.9
---
---
TE's
---
---
69
32
Receive yards
20
45
0.9
0.3
Receive TD's
0.1
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.9
1.6
Field Goals
1.6
1.0
3.7
1.1
Extra Points
1.9
2.6
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.1
0.7
Fumbles
1.0
0.7
1.1
0.7
Interceptions
0.9
0.6
0.1
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.4
2.6
1.9
Sacks
2.7
2.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Chiefs (3-4)
Score Opp.
24-34 @DEN
17-28 CAR
21-24 HOU
27-24 @BAL
Week 5 bye
16-22 @JAX
56-10 ATL
45-35 IND
Week 9 @TB
Week 10 @NO
Week 11 NE
Week 12 SD
Week 13 @OAK
Week 14 @TEN
Week 15 DEN
Week 16 OAK
Week 17 @SD
Buccaneers (2-5)
Score Opp.
10-16 @WAS
6-10 SEA
20-30 @OAK
13-16 DEN
20-17 @NO
21-28 @STL
19-7 CHI
Week 8 bye
Week 9 KC
Week 10 @ATL
Week 11 SF
Week 12 @CAR
Week 13 ATL
Week 14 @SD
Week 15 NO
Week 16 CAR
Week 17 @ARI