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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
  NY Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 180,1
RB Tiki Barber 80,1 40 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 50,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 50 0
WR Jamaar Taylor 0 10 0
WR Ike Hilliard 0 30 0
PK Steve Christie 2 FG 2 XP -
  Arizona Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 10 0 160,1
RB Emmitt Smith 80,1 10 0
RB Troy Hambrick 30,1 0 0
TE Freddie Jones 0 10 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 30 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 50 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 60,1 0
PK Neil Rackers 0 FG 3 XP -

NYG (5-3) vs ARZ (3-5)

Game Prediction: NYG 20, ARZ 21

At first glance, this game should be a wipeout by the Giants against an ever-struggling Cardinals team. But under that is a New York team that is redefining inconsistent and has just lost half of their defensive front four (and the better half at that). The Cardinals two wins this season have been big margins over visitors of Seattle and New Orleans and they come off a win that finally sent Dave Wannstedt to the unemployment line. This is an interesting game between one team trying to get better and the other still trying to believe they are that good.

The Giants have every reason need the win this week. And that's the way the Cardinals like 'em.

Pre-Game Notes - NYG

The Giants are a hard team to get a tact on this season. They went into their week six bye with a 4-1 record and had only lost to the Eagles. Since then, they stomped the Vikings and yet lost homestands to both the Lions and Bears. Last week the offense fell apart with Kurt Warner losing two fumbles just like in the bad old days. Bigger than that, they also lost both starting defensive ends in Michael Strahan and Keith Washington. That will have a big effect on slowing down the run (which Arizona likes to do) and rushing the passer.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner comes off a bad game against the Bears where he only completed 18 of 36 passes for 195 yards and one score with the two lost fumbles. The previous week, which was a win in Minnesota, he only had 144 yards and no score. He has yet to throw for more than one touchdown in any game this season. Warner was battered around by the Bears last week and appears to have lost any swagger that a 4-1 start may have allowed.

Running Backs: The only aspect of the offense that has worked consistently is Tiki Barber who scored twice in each of the last two games. He has at least 100 total yards in each of his last six games and while Mike Cloud will show up on occasion to take scores, it is only after Barber has been successful in the game.

Wide Receivers: Imagine being Amani Toomer and playing eight straight games without scoring. Imagine being Ike Hilliard and never scoring. Other than one 126 yard effort in week three, the wideouts have been almost nonfactors in a fantasy sense. The only wideout to score all season is Tim Carter who has been on injured reserve since week six.

Welcome to Coughlin-mania. Now start blocking.

Tight Ends: While Jeremy Shockey still complains, he is the primary receiver on the team now and has three touchdowns to safely put him as the lead scorer in the passing game, such as it is. Shockey had 64 yards and a score last week on six receptions and should continue to be very good - for a tight end.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals are much better when they are at home. They have yet to allow any rushing score this year to a visiting opponent though Barber should test those waters. Expect Barber to turn in a good afternoon even if it means adding receiving yardage to get past the 100 yard mark. He could turn in a big game here, but he'll need more help from the passing offense that has not been evident this season.

Since Warner never throws more than one touchdown, don't expect any more than that. The Cardinals secondary should handle the Toomer and Hilliard duo as easily as most teams have because they do not get enough throws to matter much. There should be one passing score and if it happens, chances are very high it goes to Shockey both by the trends of the Giants and the four scores already allowed the position by the Cardinals.

Pre-Game Notes - ARZ

After a bad start, the Cardinals have now won three of their last five games and their last minute win in Miami had to have a great effect on their psyche (though far lesser on Dave Wannstedt's). The Cardinals welcome the Giants into another trap game of sorts thanks to significant defensive injuries to the Giants and the return of Boldin to an offense that is improving.

Quarterback: Josh McCown may have only had 162 yards in Miami last week, but his touchdown pass to take the winning lead will be his most memorable of the year. McCown started slowly this season with no scores in the first four games but he's had at least one touchdown in each of the last four games. His best all season has only been 231 yards, but he also has only thrown four interceptions all season - remarkable considering the shifting cast of characters that made up the wideouts in the early weeks.

Running Backs: Emmitt Smith comes off his sixth game with a touchdown this year and in Miami, that was an accomplishment. He has two 100 yard games and so far has always scored at home.

Troy Hambrick had 70 yards on only four carries last week thanks to an early long gainer that would have been a score to a faster back. But he remains in the game plan as well and just signed a contract extension through 2006, proving he has pleased the coaching staff.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin only had five catches for 37 yards last week but against the Miami corners, that was a decent outing. Larry Fitzgerald was the man, gaining 92 yards on five catches and snaring the final jump ball touchdown pass in the endzone to kill the hopes and dreams of every Dolphin fan (unless they actually wanted Wannstedt to step down, which is entirely possible). The big game was necessary for Fitzgerald since he was blanked the previous week in Buffalo.

Tight Ends: Oddly since Boldin returned, Freddie Jones had only one catch in both games for eight yards or less.

Match Against the Defense: How to match up against a defense that just lost both starting defensive ends? Especially when one of them was a premier pass rusher?

Expect the Cardinals to attack the Giants on the ground primarily and Emmitt Smith should see his seventh touchdown for the season. If they stack the line more to stop the runners, it will only open up the field more for Boldin and Fitzgerald. Look for at least moderate yardage from Emmitt and likely Hambrick to figure into the scheme some during the game.

The Giants have never prevented an opposing quarterback from scoring at least one touchdown though only two have managed more than that. The score will go to either Boldin or Fitzgerald and the matchups really do not favor either. Since Fitzgerald just scored, I will give it to Boldin but there is no big reason other than giving it to someone in this case.

NYG ARZ 2004 Averages ARZ NYG
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
225
225
Pass yards
180
212
0.6
1.1
Pass TDs
0.8
1.6
0.5
1.1
Interceptions
0.5
1.3
3
14
Rush yards
8
15
0.1
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
125
109
Rush yards
105
104
1.5
0.4
Rush TDs
1
0.6
58
34
Receive yards
26
40
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.3
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
117
147
Receive yards
130
135
0.1
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
1.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
49
44
Receive yards
27
37
0.4
0.5
Receive TD's
0.1
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.6
2.1
Field Goals
1.3
0.6
2.4
1.3
Extra Points
2
2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.3
0.9
Fumbles
1.4
0.9
1.3
0.5
Interceptions
1.1
0.5
0.1
0.5
Touchdowns
0.3
0
2.5
3
Sacks
2.1
4.3
0
0
Safeties
0.1
0
Giants (5-3)
Score Opp.
17-31 @PHI
20-14 WAS
27-10 CLE
14-7 @GB
26-10 @DAL
Week 6 bye
13-28 DET
34-13 @MIN
21-28 CHI
Week 10 @ARI
Week 11 ATL
Week 12 PHI
Week 13 @WAS
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 PIT
Week 16 @CIN
Week 17 DAL
Cardinals (3-5)
Score Opp.
10-17 @STL
12-23 NE
3-6 @ATL
34-10 NO
28-31 @SF
Week 6 bye
25-17 SEA
14-38 @BUF
24-23 @MIA
Week 10 NYG
Week 11 @CAR
Week 12 NYJ
Week 13 @DET
Week 14 SF
Week 15 STL
Week 16 @SEA
Week 17 TB