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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
  Pittsburgh Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 0 0 200,1
RB Willie Parker 40,1 10 0
RB Jerome Bettis 80,1 0 0
TE Jay Riemersma 0 10 0
WR Hines Ward 0 60 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 30 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 70,1 0
PK Jeff Reed 1 FG 3 XP -
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 190,1
RB Rudi Johnson 80,1 20 0
TE Kelly/Stewart/Schobel 0 40,1 0
WR Houshmandzadeh 0 30 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 20 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 60 0
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 2 XP -

PIT (8-1) vs CIN (4-5)

Game Prediction: PIT 24, CIN 17

The Steelers come in with a seven game winning streak to match against the Bengals who have won both their last matchups. This is a rematch from week four when the Steelers won 28-17.

Pre-Game Notes - PIT

Big Ben has been a starter for so long, now he's starting to go through opponents for a second time. The Bengals have not beaten the visiting Steelers since 2001.

Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger finally produced a game without a score but the Steelers won handily anyway and never needed to throw much. When Ben faced the Bengals the last time, it was only his second start in the NFL and he threw for 174 yards and one score. He's better now with a hefty five more games of seasoning.

Running Backs: With Staley out last week, Jerome Bettis ran 29 times for 103 yards and two more touchdowns which gives him ten scores on the year. Willie Parker helped out with eight runs for 44 yards and the Steelers keep on rolling even without Staley who has missed two games due to a hamstring strain that has been slow to heal.

I am assuming Staley will miss another week but will update as warranted. Back in week four against the Bengals, Staley controlled the game with 123 rushing yards while Bettis scored two short touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: Hines Ward owners can only dream about the games where Maddox would just play pitch and catch with Hines. Since Roethlisberger started playing, Ward only has two scores and has yet to gain more than 76 yards in any game. Plaxico Burress only had 66 yards on five catches last week which again led all receivers. The running game has been so effective that the pass just has not been needed to win games. That is likely to happen again this week.

In the last game against the Bengals, Burress had 69 yards and Ward had only 48 yards with neither scoring a touchdown.

Tight Ends: Nobody's home.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals defense has already allowed the Steelers to score four touchdowns earlier this season but that's not likely playing in Cincinnati in a game where the Steelers can win with safe passes and mostly running the ball.

Expect the same rushing scenario as last week by Bettis and Parker with about the same results as well.

Roethlisberger will return to scoring again but this should be a slower game and with no more passing than was needed in the first game. He should throw one but anything more is much less likely. The Browns have been very good against wideouts and the Steelers rarely use their tight ends. The scoring this week should come once again from just the running backs.

Pre-Game Notes - CIN

The Bengals are on a two game winning streak and have held three of their last four opponents to 10 points or less.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer is consistently around 200 yards and one score every week with one interception. As any Chad Johnson owner will tell you, he's not been nearly as good as Kitna was and while he has recently been finding Johnson more, it's not additional yardage. He's just relying more on one player for the same amount of yardage.

Palmer had 164 yards and one score against the Steelers earlier this year. With two interceptions instead of his standard one.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson has been a solid feature of the offense but never a difference maker in the game. He has five scores on the year including his best effort of the year when he last faced the Steelers and gained 123 yards and one score.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson had a slower start to the season but now both he and Palmer have hit a groove that produces around six to eight catches for 70 to 80 yards a game with very rare touchdowns. Johnson only has two scores on the season. The rest of the receivers are without much fantasy value and none have scored other than Johnson.

Johnson only had 54 yards on four catches in week four against the Steelers.

Tight Ends: Palmer threw a score to Tony Stewart last week and the reality is that if he is going to throw a touchdown, which are few, it is as likely to go to a tight end as for any player. In the last four games, Matt Schobel has two scores and Stewart has one. Those are also the only passing scores of the past month. While they may catch a score, they never have any yardage and there is no pattern to which of the three tight ends might catch the score.

Match Against the Defense: Rudi Johnson not only had a nice game last time, he also has the only 100 yard game allowed to a runner by the Steelers this season. Don't look for that to happen again. The Steelers have been improving on defense since week four and will respect Johnson more this time around.

Palmer will do well enough to reach his average 210 yards and one score. The only certain thing is that the wideouts are the least likely to benefit and most likely either a tight end or even the FB Johnson could score since he was the one last time.

PIT CIN 2004 Averages CIN PIT
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
184
212
Pass yards
211
195
1.2
1.4
Pass TDs
0.8
0.9
0.7
1.4
Interceptions
1.3
1.2
10
6
Rush yards
1
12
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
146
131
Rush yards
96
64
1.2
0.6
Rush TDs
0.6
0.4
16
46
Receive yards
23
28
0.1
0.4
Receive TD's
0.2
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
157
135
Receive yards
162
136
0.9
0.7
Receive TD's
0.2
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
11
31
Receive yards
26
30
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.2
Field Goals
2.1
1.8
2.9
2.2
Extra Points
1.8
1.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
0.6
Fumbles
1.3
0.6
1.2
1.3
Interceptions
1.3
0.7
0.3
0.2
Touchdowns
0.3
0.2
3.2
2.1
Sacks
2.0
1.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Steelers (8-1)
Score Opp.
24-21 OAK
13-30 @BAL
13-3 @MIA
28-17 CIN
34-23 CLE
24-20 @DAL
Week 7 bye
34-20 NE
27-3 PHI
24-10 @CLE
Week 11 @CIN
Week 12 WAS
Week 13 @JAX
Week 14 NYJ
Week 15 @NYG
Week 16 BAL
Week 17 @BUF
Bengals (4-5)
Score Opp.
24-31 @NYJ
16-13 MIA
9-23 BAL
17-28 @PIT
Week 5 bye
17-34 @CLE
23-10 DEN
20-27 @TEN
26-3 DAL
17-10 @WAS
Week 11 PIT
Week 12 CLE
Week 13 @BAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 BUF
Week 16 NYG
Week 17 @PHI