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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 10
November 10, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
PIT at CLE* BAL at NYJ CIN at WAS BUF at NE* PHI at DAL*
TB at ATL* KC at NO* NYG at ARZ Bye Week: Bye Week:
DET at JAX* CHI at TEN* CAR at SF DEN MIA
HOU at IND SEA at STL MIN at GB* OAK SD
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 220,1
RB Willis McGahee 70 20 0
TE M. Campbell 0 20 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 80,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 30 0
WR Lee Evans 0 60 0
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 1 XP -
  New England Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 260,1
RB Kevin Faulk 20 20 0
RB Corey Dillon 90,1 10 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 20 0
WR David Patten 0 80 0
WR Troy Brown 0 30 0
WR Bethel Johnson 0 30 0
WR David Givens 0 70,1 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 2 XP -

BUF (3-5) vs NE (7-1)

Game Prediction: BUF 13, NE 23

The Patriots are falling apart thanks to injuries and they're patching holes with out of position players and still winning games. The Bills enter this week having won three of the last four games and feeling renewed with a rushing game that works thanks to WIllis McGahee. Still, the Patriots could probably suit up beer vendors and win just because they are the Patriots at home.

This is a rematch from week four when the Patriots won 31-17 in Buffalo.

Update: Josh Reed is not expected to play this week.

Pre-Game Notes - BUF

The Bills are feeling a lot better about themselves now with a few wins under their belt and the belief that McGahee can help them operate the offensive system as it is designed. This means lots of rushing (67 carries in the last two games) and not much passing.

Quarterback: Since the disaster in Baltimore when Drew Bledsoe threw for four interceptions and no scores, he's returned to the managerial role that the team wants. His last game had 184 yards and one touchdown - about right where the Bills want him to end up when the running game works and the defense does their job.

Bledsoe actually had one of his best games this year against the Patriots in week four, throwing for 247 yards and one score.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee has three 100 yard games in the last four games and three scores in the last two weeks. It's not so much that McGahee has been racking up the long runs, he's just getting so many carries that even his 3.7 YPC is breaking the century mark from volume alone. It is notable too that his three good games all came at home.

Wide Receivers: Josh Reed missed last week with a hyper-extended elbow but he may be back this week. I am assuming he returns but will update as needed. He was replaced by Sam Aiken last week but that only counted for one catch in the game. Eric Moulds led all receivers with seven catches for 85 yards last week but the lone passing score went to Lee Evans (5-64, 1 TD). There is never much passing in this offense and when there is, Moulds takes his production from the top and Evans gets the long pass or two. The others are inconsequential.

In week four, Moulds racked up his best game of the season when he had 126 yards and one score. With the many injuries in the secondary for the Patriots, he's a lock for decent production this week as well. Evans had 96 yards on four catches in that game as well but the Patriots trailed badly and much of that came in trash time.

Tight Ends: There were two throws to Mark Campbell last week and he did not catch either. They just block for McGahee now.

Match Against the Defense: While Bledsoe had a decent game in Buffalo against these Patriots, playing in Gillette Stadium is a much tougher chore. The last three visitors there have a total of one passing score. The Bills are not going to throw more than they are forced to and only an early deficit will take them out of a run-heavy approach. Bledsoe should settle in around the 200-220 yard mark this week unless trash time is longer than usual.

At New England, runners have not fared well since week one. The most carries any runner has produced was only 16 and that 's not enough for McGahee to be a major factor. The Bills will run him for as long as they can, so McGahee is a safe start for a moderate game but he'll not likely get the volume to put in a big game this week.

Pre-Game Notes - NE

Last week in St. Louis was fun with Vinatieri throwing a score, the linebacker Vrabel catching a touchdown and Troy Brown turning into an emergency cornerback that actually played well. The Patriots are banged up to be sure, but they are still 7-1 and back home this week.

Quarterback: Tom Brady still has scored in every game this season and comes off a solid 234 yard, two touchdown effort against the Rams. Back in week four against the Bills the first time, he had 298 yards and two scores. Deion Branch remains out but Brady got Troy Brown back last week, so the receiver corps will not be quite so decimated by injury.

Running Backs: While Corey Dillon spent last week as questionable to play, he not only did suit up, he turned in one of his best games this season with 112 yards rushing and one touchdown. His return meant that Kevin Faulk returned to the marginal third down role which only produced 34 total yards.

In week four, Dillon rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries and scored once in Buffalo. That should be the low side of what he will do this week.

Wide Receivers: David Givens had the hot hand last week with 100 yards on five catches and no other receiver had more than 34 yards though the touchdowns went to both Bethel Johnson and Troy Brown on the trick field goal attempt. Back in week four David Patten was the star of the game with 113 yards and one score while Givens still turned in 86 yards as well. The only nice aspect to the many wide receiver injuries this year is that it has made both Givens and Patten become more primary targets than the scheme typically allows.

Tight Ends: Daniel Graham did it again. Last week he had no catches for the second week in a row. All those scores in the first four weeks were nice, but they are a fading memory.

Match Against the Defense: Corey Dillon had 79 yards in the previous meeting but should be good for more than that this week. The Bills have not allowed a 100 yard rusher this season so Dillon is not likely to explode, but he'll end up with a solid effort at home.

The Bills pass defense has not faced a good passing team since week five with Pennington burned them for 304 yards and one score. There has only been one game this year when the opposing quarterback has managed more than one passing score but that was Brady back in week four. Look for a good game by Brady this week against a team he has already had success against.

CB Troy Vincent is expected to be back this week after missing the last five games from knee surgery but he'll be rusty even if he gets much action. Passing scores most often have gone to the #3 wideouts against the Bills but in the Patriot scheme, any one of them could be filling that role on any given play.

BUF NE 2004 Averages NE BUF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
184
239
Pass yards
237
186
1.1
1
Pass TDs
1.9
1.1
0.9
1
Interceptions
0.9
0.6
2
9
Rush yards
1
9
0
0.1
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
105
105
Rush yards
113
87
0.4
0.5
Rush TDs
0.6
0.4
23
25
Receive yards
37
21
0
0
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
144
173
Receive yards
169
134
0.6
1
Receive TD's
1.3
0.9
---
---
TE's
---
---
23
41
Receive yards
28
31
0.4
0
Receive TD's
0.6
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.4
Field Goals
2.3
1.6
1.9
1.6
Extra Points
2.8
1.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
1
Fumbles
0.9
0.5
0.6
0.9
Interceptions
1
0.9
0.4
0.4
Touchdowns
0.1
0.3
2.4
1.9
Sacks
3
3
0.1
0
Safeties
0
0
Bills (3-5)
Score Opp.
10-13 JAX
10-13 @OAK
Week 3 bye
17-31 NE
14-16 @NYJ
20-13 MIA
6-20 @BAL
38-14 ARI
22-17 NYJ
Week 10 @NE
Week 11 STL
Week 12 @SEA
Week 13 @MIA
Week 14 CLE
Week 15 @CIN
Week 16 @SF
Week 17 PIT
Patriots (7-1)
Score Opp.
27-24 IND
23-12 @ARI
Week 3 bye
31-17 @BUF
24-10 MIA
30-20 SEA
13-7 NYJ
20-34 @PIT
40-22 @STL
Week 10 BUF
Week 11 @KC
Week 12 BAL
Week 13 @CLE
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 @NYJ
Week 17 SF