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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
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 260,2
RB Brad Hoover 30 10 0
RB Nick Goings 40,1 30 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 20 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 80,1 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 40 0
WR Keary Colbert 0 60,1 0
PK John Kasay 0 FG 3 XP -
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Rattay 0 0 230,1
RB Kevan Barlow 90,2 30 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 60,1 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 40 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 30 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 30 0
PK Todd Peterson 1 FG 3 XP -

CAR (1-7) vs SF (1-7)

Game Prediction: CAR 21, SF 24

Wow. This looks like a stinker in the making. Just pretend it is like two high schools you've never seen before playing each other and it will be much easier to watch. While everyone expected the 49ers to unpack and get comfortable in the cellar this season, most conference champions don't immediately head for the bottom. These two may be making a racket in the basement, but if we keep the door closed maybe we won't have to listen to them.

The only thing to hope for in an ugly game like this is that there are some good fantasy points produced by poor defensive play. So far this year, that has defined both teams.

Update: Brad Hoover has missed some practice with a bad back and is listed as questionable though he is expected to play. He will likely be limited and give more time to both Nick Goings and possibly Joey Harris this week.

Pre-Game Notes - CAR

Carolina only supports my theory that each season one team produces a surprisingly good defense, plays a light schedule with few injuries and has a magic season that puts them in the Superbowl where they get trounced and then fall apart the next year. The offense has been without Stephen Davis and Steve Smith while the defense has been so bad against the run that the secondary rarely gets tested and looks good by statistics. If the Panthers cannot win here, and the odds are not really in their favor, my theory upholds again this year. Cinderella is sweeping floors again.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme had his best game of the season last week against the Raiders when he threw for 299 yards and three scores. He had 248 yards and two scores against the Seahawks the previous week but don't look back any farther or it just gets much more depressing. Against a soft secondary this week, he has definite upside again.

Running Backs: They had some last season. They even had a few early this year. But no more. With De'Shaun Foster gone and Stephen Davis perpetually "not close enough", this year has not produced an actual rushing score since week four. The plan last week was to allow Joey Harris a chance to finally play but that was shelved so that Brad Hoover and Nick Goings could combine for 28 rushing yards and Harris only had four carries for two yards against the Raiders. Davis may be back this week but his knee continues to have swelling problems and he's on a continual holding pattern for weeks now. The actual running back used typically depends on the game situation and formation being used, so it will continue to vary.

Expect that some ratio of Goings, Hoover and Harris will be used again this week unless Davis returns and maybe still will be used even if Davis does make it back since he's not likely to step into a 25 carry workload anytime soon.

Wide Receivers: The last two weeks have been good for the wideouts, with Muhsin Muhammad gaining 200 yards and two scores in the last two matchups and Keary Colbert turning in 142 yards but he hasn't scored since week five. The offense has been using the wideouts between the 20-yard lines but once they are close to the goal line, more often the passes go to tight ends or running backs. Yardage in some measure is here but the scores are rather infrequent.

Tight Ends: The Panthers will use three different tight ends but only Kris Mangum really matters in fantasy terms since he has two scores this year. Then again, he doesn't matter much and never had over 30 yards in any game.

Match Against the Defense: Oddly enough, the 49ers are usually pretty good at holding the yardage down on opposing runners but they almost always allow them to score at least once. That's because the passing defense has been bad enough to allow other teams to get near the goal line before someone runs in the score.

Expect that Delhomme turns in a very good game here in yardage with a good chance for at least two scores and maybe three if the score gets high and knotted late in the game.

It is almost a guarantee that one of the backs will rush in a score, but which one is like rolling dice. I'll update if Davis plays, but even if he does the score would more likely go to Goings or Hoover since Davis does not need to be banging against a goal line defense.

Pre-Game Notes - SF

The 49ers brain trust is legitimately surprised that they are only 1-7 on the season but they could have just asked me, you or most anyone in the fantasy realm for that little prediction. They dumped all their offensive talent and lost most their defense to injury. Bad equation.

Quarterback: The 49ers are much better with Tim Rattay at the helm. He has scored in every game this season and had two scores in four of his five starts. He's been over 250 passing yards in four of five games as well. With the 49er defense, it is obviously not enough anyway.

Rattay is still bothered with pain in his forearm and may need surgery but he said he would not consider going under the knife until the season is over because it would require at least a few weeks of recuperation. Let's be serious, the season will be over soon enough for the 49ers anyway. Rattay likely wants to play just so they still remember him next spring in case another purge is coming. Then again, they only get rid of the good ones so that plan may be faulty.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow scored last week. Honestly. It was his third such score on the season and he is only seven weeks away from his last (and only) 100 yard game. With only a 3.5 YPC average, he just does not get enough carries to make a fantasy splash though this week may be one of his better chances.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Lloyd put his "bling" down long enough last week to score his fourth touchdown on the season and that makes four of the last five games with a touchdown. He still has yet to crest 100 yards this year but then again, neither has any other 49er wideout other than Curtis Conway in week two against the Saints. Conway also scored last week as well.

For all the passing yards, this group has been incredibly lackluster this year. Cedrick Wilson started out well for one game but has been a non-factor since. He has battled a hamstring strain and may be questionable this week but I am assuming he plays with marginal results yet again.

Tight Ends: The great news for every Eric Johnson owner is that the 49ers have realized that he just about is the entire passing game and now is actually using him in motion to get him more room to work with in pass routes. Imagine - the motion player is a tight end. Wonder what he says when he passes the slot guy? "Stay out of my way, turtle boy"?

After only catching one pass for nine yards in week eight, Johnson had five receptions for 54 yards last week. Run, Eric, run. But don't turn up field until the snap.

Match Against the Defense: Here is where this game gets fascinating. The Panthers are terrible against the run and yet Barlow too has been fairly terrible. The Panthers have been great against the pass which is the only thing that works for the 49ers. Something has to change.

Since the Panthers have only allowed five passing scores all season, it is unlikely that Rattay continues his hot streak against a secondary that has yet to allow more than 231 yards to any opponent this season. Expect that Barlow has one of his best games of the year here with at least one score and while there could be a passing score, the Panthers have only allowed one wideout touchdown the entire season. They all go to running backs though Johnson in motion could be come a de facto running back in a pass pattern.

This will actually be an interesting game the way the teams match up and both are overdue for a win. Best probability is that Barlow will figure in the most.

CAR SF 2004 Averages SF CAR
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
232
225
Pass yards
253
193
1.5
1.8
Pass TDs
1.1
0.5
1.4
0.4
Interceptions
1
0.8
6
7
Rush yards
4
10
0.1
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
89
114
Rush yards
79
131
0.3
1.5
Rush TDs
0.6
1.6
45
28
Receive yards
34
32
0.4
0.3
Receive TD's
0
0.4
---
---
WR's
---
---
163
161
Receive yards
141
113
0.8
1.1
Receive TD's
0.9
0.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
24
36
Receive yards
78
48
0.4
0.4
Receive TD's
0.3
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.8
1.3
Field Goals
1.4
1.9
1.8
3.3
Extra Points
1.3
2.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
1.3
Fumbles
0.4
0.3
0.8
1
Interceptions
0.4
1.4
0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.4
1.4
3.1
Sacks
2.3
1.4
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Panthers (1-7)
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
24-27 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
49ers (1-7)
Score Opp.
19-21 ATL
27-30 @NO
0-34 @SEA
14-24 STL
31-28 ARI
14-22 @NYJ
Week 7 bye
13-23 @CHI
27-42 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