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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
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 190,1
RB Willis McGahee 110,1 20 0
TE M. Campbell 0 10 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 70,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 30 0
WR Lee Evans 0 60 0
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 2 XP -
  St. Louis Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 250, 2
RB Marshall Faulk 50 20 0
RB Steven Jackson 20 10 0
TE B. Manumaleuna 0 10 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 70,1 0
WR Torry Holt 0 60,1 0
WR Shaun McDonald 0 30 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 1 FG 2 XP -

STL (5-4) vs BUF (3-6)

Game Prediction: STL 17, BUF 20

The Rams come off a big sweep of the Seahawks to face the Bills who have their tail between their legs after playing the Patriots.

Pre-Game Notes - STL

At 5-4 on the season, the Rams are tied for the NFC West lead with the Seahawks who they have already beaten twice this season. And no, it is not very likely that the NFC West will supply a team for the Superbowl this year.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger continues to throw at least one score in every game this year and currently has passed for 13 touchdowns with a surprising three scores rushing. While he has not completely eliminated his interception problems of last season, he has thrown two or more only once this season.

Running Backs: Marshall Faulk comes off his best game of the season when he gained 139 yards on only 18 carries against the Seahawks. He still has only three touchdowns this year but the most shocking thing is that he has not been injured so far... tick-tick-tick....

Steven Jackson was also in on the fun last week when he scored and had 47 yards on ten carries. He's not consistently used enough to warrant being a fantasy starter but has shown enough to give him confidence for when Faulk is injured.... tick-tick-tick....

Wide Receivers: Torry Holt was blasted on a crossing route last week and received a concussion that forced him out of the game. He is expected back this week and will pair with Bruce against one of the toughest challenges of the season.

Shaun McDonald had been good for thee scores in a four game stretch but lately Kevin Curtis is cutting in on the #3 action.

Tight Ends: Just one touchdown the entire season.

Match Against the Defense: Other than the bombing by New England, the Bills have never allowed more than 89 yards to any runner this season and only three scores have been made by opposing running backs. Don't expect that Faulk has suddenly rekindled his big yardage games again and no runner has managed more than 31 yards receiving as well.

No team other than New England has produced more than two touchdowns all year against this defense. Expect Bulger to remain within his average of one score per game and if he manages to crest 200 yards by much it will be a big success not enjoyed by any quarterback besides Brady. Bruce has the only relatively attractive matchup though tight ends have been successful. The Rams just don't use theirs that way.

Pre-Game Notes - BUF

While the Bills were starting to feel good about themselves after two straight wins, the Patriots erased all that in one game when they not only held the offense scoreless, they even stopped the two point conversion on the punt return touchdown.

Quarterback: It isn't J.P. Losman time quite yet, but after Bledsoe threw for three interceptions and only 76 yards last week, the writing is on the wall. Drew Bledsoe has been nothing short of terrible lately and chances are good that Losman will start getting time towards the end of games if he doesn't just get awarded the start soon. At 3-6 on the season, what is there to lose?

Running Backs: Willis McGahee was the supposed savoir for the season, gaining over 100 yards in two straight starts that produced wins while scoring three times. Then he turned in 37 yards on 14 carries last week against the Patriots. And now he is officially a member of Club Futility in Buffalo.

Wide Receivers: The numbers here have been so anemic that only Eric Moulds has any fantasy value and even then he had only one touchdown in the last six games. It won't get better soon and even if Losman plays, it just signals that the season is over and this group is not going to produce much for the year. There is occasionally some fantasy points here, you just have to correctly guess which game every six weeks that it might happen.

Tight Ends: They didn't even block that well last week.

Match Against the Defense: Willis McGahee should turn in a very good game here against a defense that has allowed nine rushing scores and four 100 yard games to opposing runners. This week should be heavy use of McGahee if only to protect the team from relying on Bledsoe and keeping the Rams offense off the field. Expect at least one score and around 100 yards.

Bledsoe and company have a very nice matchup against a secondary that has allowed multiple touchdowns to six different quarterbacks but the confidence that it will happen is hard to rely on. This should be a close game with the Rams on the road against a stout defense which is always a problem for them. But that should only serve to keep the game score lower this week.

STL BUF 2004 Averages BUF STL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
281
191
Pass yards
173
232
1.4
1.2
Pass TDs
1.0
1.3
0.9
0.7
Interceptions
1.2
0.3
7
8
Rush yards
3
19
0.3
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
109
100
Rush yards
97
115
0.7
0.3
Rush TDs
0.3
1.0
41
22
Receive yards
22
37
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
226
139
Receive yards
135
149
1.3
0.9
Receive TD's
0.6
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
14
30
Receive yards
21
51
0.1
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
2.0
Field Goals
1.1
2.1
2.2
1.8
Extra Points
1.7
2.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
0.6
Fumbles
0.4
1.0
0.4
1.2
Interceptions
0.7
0.9
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.4
0.1
2.2
3.0
Sacks
2.3
2.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Rams (5-4)
Score Opp.
17-10 ARI
17-34 @ATL
25-28 NO
24-14 @SF
33-27 @SEA
28-21 TB
14-31 @MIA
Week 8 bye
22-40 NE
23-12 SEA
Week 11 @BUF
Week 12 @GB
Week 13 SF
Week 14 @CAR
Week 15 @ARI
Week 16 PHI
Week 17 NYJ
Bills (3-6)
Score Opp.
10-13 JAX
10-13 @OAK
Week 3 bye
17-31 NE
14-16 @NYJ
20-13 MIA
6-20 @BAL
38-14 ARI
22-17 NYJ
6-29 @NE
Week 11 STL
Week 12 @SEA
Week 13 @MIA
Week 14 CLE
Week 15 @CIN
Week 16 @SF
Week 17 PIT