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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
Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 180
RB A. Zereoue 20 30 0
RB Tyrone Wheatley 80,1 10 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 20 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 40 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 50 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 20 0
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP -
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 260,2
RB Joey Harris 60,1 20 0
RB Stephen Davis 20 0 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 80,1 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 40 0
WR Keary Colbert 0 90,1 0
PK John Kasay 2 FG 3 XP -

OAK (3-5) vs CAR (1-6)

Game Prediction: OAK 13, CAR 27

The great surprise of 2002 meets the great surprise of 2003 and this game is all about two of the bigger disappointments of 2004.

Update: Davis is practicing this week and may see some playing time. I am including him with marginal numbers but he may not even play. Harris is expected to be the starter this week and all Davis would likely do is water down whatever Harris could do.

Pre-Game Notes - OAK

The Raiders have lost their last five games and look just a little worse each week. There's growing dissension in the locker room and no team leaders to help quell it since they've all left the team by now. While the knock on the Raiders had been they had aging stars in the twilight of their careers, now they just have a smattering of "never have" or "almost were" players.

Quarterback: In fantasy terms, Kerry Collins has improved the last two weeks by throwing for 613 yards and three touchdowns. In NFL terms, he also had three interceptions and the Raiders lost both games. He's had no rushing game to support him and has yet to play a game without a turnover. His two big yardage efforts in the past two weeks were against two of the softest secondaries - New Orleans and San Diego.

Running Backs: The running game has been almost non-existent this season and last week watched Amos Zereoue run six times for a net loss of one yard. Tyrone Wheatley was much more effective in his first game back scoring a touchdown but only carrying the ball four times for 23 yards. It's sort of hard to not look better when the other guy runs six times and has negative yardage. The pseudo-good news was that Zereoue had more catches than any other player last week but the reality is that five receptions for 42 yards doesn't win many fantasy games. Make that 41 yards combined.

Wheatley will see his role increase in the running game and the only Oakland wins came when Wheatley was the primary back.

Wide Receivers: There were 268 passing yards last week against a soft secondary and the best any wideout did was 50 yards. The lone passing score went to a tight end. This is an entire squad to avoid at all costs and there is no consistency here. Even Curry had no catches last week.

Tight Ends: Doug Jolley had a touchdown last week but the only way I could recommend him for your team is if we were playing each other this week. Jolley actually has a score in each of the last two games but he also has four games this year with just one catch.

Match Against the Defense: If Wheatley is truly healthy from his shoulder injury, he could turn in a decent game here against a defense that almost inexplicably is soft against the run this season. The only team that did not score a rushing touchdown against the Panthers was Denver and that was when Droughns had 193 rushing yards. If you've been sitting on Wheatley, here is where you want to play him. The Raiders will want to limit the opportunities that Collins has to throw interceptions.

The Panther pass defense has been quite good and at worst has only allowed 226 passing yards this year. In five games they held opponents to less than 200 though largely because "the run is fun" once again when playing the Panthers.

Pre-Game Notes - CAR

Remember when the Panthers went to the Super Bowl last year? You are one of the few.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme turned in one of his best efforts of the season last week against Seattle when he threw for 248 yards and two scores but he still had an interception. He has only once this year not thrown at least one and currently has a touchdown/ interception ratio of 9 to 11.

Running Backs: Stephen Davis missed his sixth game of the season last week and is still questionable for this Sunday. I am considering him out until his knee shows enough improvement for a start.

The development to note here is that Joey Harris came into the Seattle game and gained 45 yards on nine carries. He could have done more but suffered a shoulder stinger in the game and did not finish. He is expected to be available this week and would be the primary back since Brad Hoover was giving way to Harris last week before the injury. Harris was just a faster, better runner and will likely take the bigger role until that fabled day when Davis returns.

Wide Receivers: Muhsin Muhammad comes off his best game of the season when he caught eight passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks. Since this followed the 28 yard effort against the Chargers, his inconsistency is maddening. Keary Colbert had a very nice 100 yard game as well thanks to a 63 yard pass play that almost scored. Colbert's best role is the speedster on the deep route which is why he tends to either have very nice games or just 40 yard efforts. It all depends on if he can catch the one long pass.

Tight Ends: No scores in the past six weeks and counting. No impact.

Match Against the Defense: The Panthers have a very nice chance to finally get a win and the Raiders can be beaten with either the pass or the run. Since the rushing game will likely again be a mixture of Harris and Hoover, there's a decent chance at least one of them will score. Look for only moderate yardage since that is all they have produced anyway and the Raiders on the road only get swamped by top runners. Can't count on that from Harris.

If you have been saving Delhomme, here is the week you want to play him. The Raiders have already allowed 16 passing scores this season. What's even better is that Charles Woodson is likely out with a hip injury so they should be even worse this week. Woodson would have covered Colbert and since Colbert is at his best as a blur down the sideline, there's a great chance he does catch that long pass this week. There's also a great opportunity for Muhammad to string two straight good games together as well. Consider both as worthy starters this week.

The Panthers have to win a game and this will be one of their best chances this season.

OAK CAR 2004 Averages CAR OAK
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
248
187
Pass yards
222
229
1.0
0.6
Pass TDs
1.3
2.0
1.6
0.7
Interceptions
1.6
0.5
4
12
Rush yards
5
12
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
76
139
Rush yards
97
116
0.6
1.4
Rush TDs
0.3
1.1
49
31
Receive yards
43
26
0.0
0.4
Receive TD's
0.1
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
154
107
Receive yards
154
167
0.6
0.1
Receive TD's
0.9
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
45
49
Receive yards
25
35
0.4
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.9
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.6
1.9
Field Goals
0.7
1.1
1.6
2.4
Extra Points
1.6
3.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
0.3
Fumbles
0.4
1.0
0.5
1.6
Interceptions
0.7
1.6
0.1
0.4
Touchdowns
0.0
0.4
1.9
1.3
Sacks
1.3
2.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Raiders (2-6)
Score Opp.
21-24 @PIT
13-10 BUF
30-20 TB
17-30 @HOU
14-35 @IND
3-31 DEN
26-31 NO
14-42 @SD
Week 9 @CAR
Week 10 bye
Week 11 SD
Week 12 @DEN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 TEN
Week 16 @KC
Week 17 JAX
Panthers (1-6)
Score Opp.
14-24 GB
28-17 @KC
Week 3 bye
10-27 ATL
17-20 @DEN
8-30 @PHI
6-17 SD
17-23 @SEA
Week 9 OAK
Week 10 @SF
Week 11 ARI
Week 12 TB
Week 13 @NO
Week 14 STL
Week 15 @ATL
Week 16 @TB
Week 17 NO