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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
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 250,3
RB L. Tomlinson 90,1 20 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 50,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 80,1 0
WR Kassim Osgood 0 30 0
WR Eric Parker 0 50,1 0
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 4 XP -
Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 220,1
RB Tyrone Wheatley 60,1 10 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 30,1 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 50 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 40 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 60 0
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 2 XP -

SD (6-3) vs OAK (4-5)

Game Prediction: SD 31, OAK 20

This a rematch of only two games ago for these teams. In that matchup, the Chargers won rather handily 42-14. Both teams are coming off their bye weeks.

Update: I bumped up Tomlinson's numbers slightly based on news that he is feeling better than in the recent weeks.

Pre-Game Notes - SD

The Chargers have won their last three games and are now tied with the Broncos for the AFC West lead. Even though they won easily last time, visiting the black hole should keep them focused since they've lost three of their last four games there.

This is the start of the Chargers controlling their own destiny. They face OAK, KC and DEN in the next three weeks.

Quarterback: Drew Brees was already a delightful surprise this season and in the last two games, he threw nine touchdowns with no interceptions. His best game of the season was 281 yards and had five scores in week eight - against these Raiders.

Running Backs: Ladainian Tomlinson has been hampered by a groin pull for about six weeks now and only has two 100 yard rushing efforts on the year. He still has scored in all but one game and the last time against the Raiders he had 71 yards and a score before allowing Jesse Chatman to turn 12 carries into 69 more yards.

The bye week has been good for Tomlinson and while he has improved, he still says he is not 100%. He'd have to get much worse though before he would be merely as good as most other backs.

Wide Receivers: In the last Oakland game, Eric Parker had 91 yards on six catches while Keenan McCardell scored his first Charger touchdown in only his second start. Scoring still remains largely an event reserved for Antonio Gates and the wideouts contribute every week but rarely with much yardage. There's only been one 100 yard effort by the wideouts and that was back with Reche Caldwell.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates now has eight touchdowns on the season and had two scores against the Raiders in week eight. Gates may top out around 80 yards each week but he's been the touchdown man since week four.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders were horrible last time while the Chargers pummeled them and in Oakland this time, the results should not be so stellar. But they should definitely get another win.

Expect that Tomlinson runs well but likely won't hit 100 yards since there won't be the need for him to push himself too hard. Chatman should get some overflow and either of them could score though Tomlinson should be a lock for at least one touchdown.

Brees had a great game three weeks ago against the Raiders but it was hardly an aberration for the Oakland secondary. They've allowed at least three touchdowns in four of their last five games. Look for the usual suspects to profit - McCardell and Gates with a chance that Parker could join the fun this week.

Pre-Game Notes - OAK

The Raiders are coming off a win over the Panthers, but that is hardly a great achievement this year and it was only by three points. Prior to that, Oakland had lost five straight games. Bye weeks are great for healing players, but it never creates talent that wasn't there in the first place.

Quarterback: The only consistent factor to Kerry Collins is that he always throws at least one interception (if not three). Otherwise he only has five touchdowns in seven starts and has varied between 136 and 350 yards. Against the Chargers in week eight, he had 263 yards and one score - with an interception.

Running Backs: Tyrone Wheatley's return is cause for optimism. In the last two games he has three touchdowns and he gained 23 yards on only four carries against the Chargers the last time. Amos Zereoue has lost all fantasy value, particularly now since Justin Fargas may be back this week to help spell Wheatley.

Wide Receivers: Just a whole lot of nothing going on.

Ronald Curry has been the best receiver to own and he hasn't scored since week three. Jerry Porter was a tease after gaining 113 yards and a score against the Saints in week seven but hasn't gone over 50 yards or scored since. There is just no fantasy value here that you can rely on if it even exists.

The best receiver in week eight against the Chargers was Doug Gabriel who only had 50 yards on three catches.

Tight Ends: Doug Jolley has reappeared after a long absence from the box scores and he caught touchdowns in both week seven and eight, and his 41 yards in week nine against the Panthers was respectable. This is hardly the equivalent of Gates, but Jolley is the closest thing to a consistent receiver that Oakland has. It just doesn't add up to much anyway.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders could only post 14 points three weeks ago in San Diego, and that was with a huge deficit to make up for most of the game. Playing at home should prove to provide a much better game but while the Chargers may be argued to be only so good this season, there is no question they are better than the Raiders.

Expect more from the Raider defense this time rather than thinking that the offense is due for any major upgrade. The Raiders should run better with a healthier Wheatley and prevent the Chargers from having the ball quite so much. Expect at least a moderate game from Wheatley that should include one score.

Collins had 263 passing yards in the last meeting, but that was largely because they trailed 28-0 at one point. He'll tone down this time around and should score once with, of course, an interception. Who that score goes to is almost impossible to project other than it won't likely be a wideout. None have scored against the Chargers in the past month.

SD OAK 2004 Averages OAK SD
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
215
236
Pass yards
246
247
2.0
2.1
Pass TDs
0.9
1.2
0.3
0.4
Interceptions
1.6
1.0
7
12
Rush yards
4
10
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
118
106
Rush yards
76
70
1.2
1.0
Rush TDs
0.9
0.8
36
30
Receive yards
48
55
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
106
174
Receive yards
154
146
0.9
0.9
Receive TD's
0.6
0.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
73
32
Receive yards
45
46
1.1
0.9
Receive TD's
0.3
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.1
Field Goals
1.7
1.2
3.6
3.2
Extra Points
1.8
2.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
0.9
Fumbles
0.3
0.6
1.0
1.6
Interceptions
0.4
0.3
0.1
0.3
Touchdowns
0.1
0.0
1.9
2.0
Sacks
1.9
1.3
0.1
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Chargers (6-3)
Score Opp.
27-20 @HOU
28-34 NYJ
13-23 @DEN
38-17 TEN
34-21 JAX
20-21 @ATL
17-6 @CAR
42-14 OAK
43-17 NO
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @OAK
Week 12 @KC
Week 13 DEN
Week 14 TB
Week 15 @CLE
Week 16 @IND
Week 17 KC
Raiders (4-5)
Score Opp.
21-24 @PIT
13-10 BUF
30-20 TB
17-30 @HOU
14-35 @IND
3-31 DEN
26-31 NO
14-42 @SD
27-24 @CAR
Week 10 bye
Week 11 SD
Week 12 @DEN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 TEN
Week 16 @KC
Week 17 JAX