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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 11
November 17, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
DAL at BAL NYJ at CLE* DEN at NO* SD at OAK* GB at HOU
STL at BUF PIT at CIN SF at TB* ATL at NYG Mon 9 PM
ARZ at CAR* DET at MIN* Sun 4 PM WAS at PHI NE at KC
IND at CHI* TEN at JAX* MIA at SEA* *updated Times ET
  Atlanta Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 60 0 170,1
RB Warrick Dunn 70,1 20 0
RB T.J. Duckett 60,1 10 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 50 0
WR Dez White 0 30 0
WR Peerless Price 0 40,1 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 1 FG 3 XP -
  NY Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 200,1
RB Tiki Barber 110,1 60 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 50,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 30 0
WR Jamaar Taylor 0 20 0
WR Ike Hilliard 0 40 0
PK Steve Christie 0 FG 2 XP -

ATL (7-2) vs NYG (5-4)

Game Prediction: ATL 24, NYG 14

Here are two teams that were both 5-2 and looking like definite contenders. The Falcons have won both the last two games while the Giants have lost theirs. With the defensive line decimated by injury in New York and the Falcons offense starting to show some life, these now look like two teams going in opposite directions.

Pre-Game Notes - ATL

After their blow-out loss in Kansas City, the Falcons have won two easy games and the defense is playing tough. Vick looks almost good enough for a fantasy start but if you do, he'll likely start downward again.

Quarterback: Michael Vick won last week in spite of only throwing 16 passes with eight completions for 147 yards and one score. A big chunk of that came on the long score to Crumpler but Vick added 73 yards on nine runs to add to the 115 yards he had rushing the previous week. This is still not a passing offense, but Vick's been running well the last three weeks and that'll be enough to cause headaches for the Giants who already have defensive problems.

Running Backs: Warrick Dunn ran for 76 yards on 17 carries but allowed T.J. Duckett to take both the rushing scores last week. Duckett had 53 yards on only 12 carries and this offense now has reverted to almost a 50/50 split between the two runners. Considering how much Vick has been running lately, it's more like a 30/30/30 split.

Wide Receivers: While Peerless Price scored twice on his only two catches in week nine, against the Buccaneers he also had two catches. For only 20 yards. And no scores. In fact, there were only three passes completed to the wideouts for a total of 24 yards in the entire game. Stay away from this crew if at all possible. This is not how they play the game.

Brian Finneran may be back this week but it hasn't meant much in the past.

Tight Ends: Alge Crumpler normally is the entire passing offense for Atlanta. He had 118 yards on four catches with one touchdown last week which gives him three on the season - as many as has been caught by all wideouts combined. There is not a lot of passing here but when it happens, it usually benefits only Crumpler who has four games over 80 yards this year.

Match Against the Defense: Look for the run to work this week. The Giants had been tougher against rushers earlier this year but the defensive line injuries have been catastrophic against the run in the last two weeks. Both Anthony Thomas and Emmitt Smith scored two touchdowns and teams are now just running against them as the best way to keep the ball. Add in a new rookie quarterback and there should be some nice field position as well.

Since the two runners split time, it's hard to forecast a major game from either but Duckett should be safe enough to score at least once this week and Dunn could as well if he starts from outside the red zone.

Vick should also be running though the pass rush is nothing great. Look for Vick to turn in lower passing numbers but he has a decent shot to throw one score. The Giants are weakest against the wideouts which does not play well into the strengths of the Falcons and there has not been any one side more advantageous to exploit. Will Peterson has had some problems lately but his matchup against Dez White does not inspire much fear. The Giants have been very tough against tight ends, but if Vick throws enough to Crumpler there is still a chance he scores.

Pre-Game Notes - NYG

Starting this week, we can no longer refer to "Manning" and know immediately who is being discussed. We're going to have to start using differentiators like "the good Manning" and "the bad Manning".

Quarterback: After Warner was batted around like a beach ball during spring break, HC Tom Coughlin finally decided that Eli Manning will get his time in the sun. What to expect from a rookie quarterback in his first start is always hard to say, but Manning was the most coveted quarterback last April. We'll see if his accolades include anything more than "bloodlines".

Running Backs: Tiki Barber already has 928 rushing yards this year with ten touchdowns. He has never failed to score at least one touchdown and gain over 110 total yards in the last seven games. With a rookie quarterback to protect, he might get even more work. The amazing feat is that all those yards were gained in spite of never having more than 24 carries in any single game.

Wide Receivers: This crew was already was a fantasy wasteland before Manning took over. Ike Hilliard has never gained more than 59 yards in any game. Amani Toomer has two 100 yard games but otherwise remains at 50 yards or less each week. Neither have scored a touchdown the entire season.

Toomer bruised his ribs last week and will be questionable to play. I am including him this week in the projections but will assume he'll be limited. Updates as warranted.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey caught a touchdown last week which makes it four for the season. That's twice as many scoring passes as the rest of the team has. There's little doubt that the big guy with a bad attitude over the middle will quickly become just as important to Manning as he was for Warner.

Match Against the Defense: Go ahead and play Tiki Barber this week since he may be even more the focal point of the offense than he already was. The Falcons rush defense already allowed the Chiefs to rip them for eight scores in one game and the only limiting factor here is if the Falcons get a big lead early and make Manning throw more than handoff.

In his first ever NFL game, expect that Manning throws a couple of interceptions and likely will not start out hot especially with Toomer ailing. This is the start of next year for the Giants and a good test for Manning.

ATL NYG 2004 Averages NYG ATL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
172
198
Pass yards
221
270
0.8
1.4
Pass TDs
0.7
1.2
0.8
1.1
Interceptions
0.4
1.0
59
14
Rush yards
3
4
0.1
0.0
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
91
104
Rush yards
125
86
1.2
0.8
Rush TDs
1.4
1.3
35
37
Receive yards
57
49
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
79
128
Receive yards
117
181
0.3
1.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.9
---
---
TE's
---
---
64
33
Receive yards
47
41
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
0.7
Field Goals
1.4
0.9
2.6
2.0
Extra Points
2.3
2.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.9
0.8
Fumbles
1.1
0.9
1.0
0.4
Interceptions
1.1
0.8
0.4
0.0
Touchdowns
0.1
0.0
3.0
4.4
Sacks
2.4
3.2
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Falcons (7-2)
Score Opp.
21-19 @SF
34-17 STL
6-3 ARI
27-10 @CAR
10-17 DET
21-20 SD
10-56 @KC
41-28 @DEN
Week 9 bye
24-14 TB
Week 11 @NYG
Week 12 NO
Week 13 @TB
Week 14 OAK
Week 15 CAR
Week 16 @NO
Week 17 @SEA
Giants (5-4)
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
14-17 @ARI
Week 11 ATL
Week 12 PHI
Week 13 @WAS
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 PIT
Week 16 @CIN
Week 17 DAL