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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 12
November 24, 2004
Season Ticket
Thu 12:30 Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
IND at DET CLE at CIN* BAL at NE NYJ at ARZ* OAK at DEN*
Thu 4:05 TB at CAR JAX at MIN* NO at ATL Mon 9 PM
CHI at DAL SD at KC PHI at NYG BUF at SEA* STL at GB*
*updated TEN at HOU* WAS at PIT* MIA at SF Times ET
  Indianapolis Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 300,3
RB Edgerrin James 110,1 30 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 20 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 20 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 70,1 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 60,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 90,1 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 2 FG 4 XP -
  Detroit Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 200,1
RB Kevin Jones 110,1 20 0
TE Stephen Alexander 0 40 0
WR Roy Williams 0 60,1 0
WR Reggie Swinton 0 30 0
WR Tai Streets 0 20 0
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 2 XP -

IND (7-3) vs DET (4-6)

Game Prediction: IND 34, DET 17

Only three weeks ago, both these teams were 4-3. That is about the only similarity between the two.

Pre-Game Notes - IND

If the Colts offense was any hotter, the NFL would call their games over at halftime. The final 30 minutes is only a formality lately anyway. It seems strange that defensive guru Tony Dungy now has a horrible defense and an astounding offense.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning has thrown for 35 touchdowns in only ten games. He did not even play in the fourth quarter last week. This is getting to be like watching a high school game where the Colts keep playing the under-funded school from the bad side of town.

Running Backs: With Manning losing interest earlier in the game each week, Edgerrin James has been back to form and had 204 yards on 23 carries last week. With the passing game already astronomic, I'm sure the defenses love seeing James also rush for 200 yards. On the road against a decent defense.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne has certainly gotten over the "can't perform on the road" hump this season. He had two more touchdowns last week in Chicago which brings him to nine on the season. He has scored in each of the last four games. Marvin Harrison has been relatively quiet as of late though he had a score last week. He only has eight scores on the year and has only managed but one 100 yard game. Secondaries are still electing to focus on him because they need to focus on someone. The entire passing game is working but at least the secondary can feel good about stopping one player.

Brandon Stokley only had one catch for seven yards last week. That means this week he will either again have one meaningless catch or have three touchdowns.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard scored last week which gives him six touchdowns on the season though he has never caught more than three passes in any game.

Match Against the Defense: Hey - pick your poison. There are plenty of tools of death for the Lions to select from this week. Detroit has an average defense with a great special teams and it has yet to matter who the Colts play lately. While it is hard enough to prepare to play against the Colts with six days of practice and study, imagine if there are only three days.

All the usual suspects should do well because they have yet not to excel. About the only question is which one or two Colts players will get left out of the fun this week. And there is almost no way to forecast that.

Pre-Game Notes - DET

The Lions started out so well this season but have spent the last month returning to the form so loved by the rest of the league. They are on a four game losing streak and Mooch is trying to keep the boat still traveling in a straight line.

Quarterback: Joey Harrington went into last week's game needing a good effort to quell the calls for Mike McMahon to play. He ended with only 91 passing yards and one score against the Vikings. Part of that production relates to the increased role of Kevin Jones since Harrington only attempted 19 passes in the game. Mariucci is still standing behind Harrington as the starter but that's likely as much about not trusting McMahon as it is faith in Harrington.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones recorded his career first 100 yard rushing game last week on only 19 carries against the Vikings. Artose Pinner never had a single carry and the Lions are relying more heavily on the rushing game now that the passing game has been going south. Figuring that anything to keep the clock running and the Colts offense off the field is a great thing this week, Jones should see his first 20+ carry game and likely his first touchdown this week.

Wide Receivers: Roy Williams only had two catches for 19 yards last week and always sees double coverage every play - there is no reason to worry about other receivers when Hakim is out and Tai Streets is only capable of catching one pass every game. This passing offense has stalled and is bad even against poor secondaries. With the running game improving in Detroit, it will likely get even worse.

Since the week is so short, it is unlikely that Hakim will play again this week due to his sore back.

Tight Ends: Stephen Alexander had his first touchdown of the season last Sunday but remains an under-used fantasy flop.

Match Against the Defense: Everyone knows that the Lions will run as much as they can before the Colts roll up a big score. Expect a very nice game from Jones here and a great chance he'll get his first NFL touchdown.

The Colts secondary has been a real treat for opponents and they just lost their starting safety but without Hakim and now that Roy Williams attracts multiple defenders, it's hard to forecast a big bump in production this week.

IND DET 2004 Averages DET IND
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
296
234
Pass yards
178
281
3.5
1.4
Pass TDs
1.4
1.6
0.7
0.9
Interceptions
0.7
1.2
4
16
Rush yards
8
5
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
126
106
Rush yards
75
106
0.7
0.6
Rush TDs
0.3
0.7
36
54
Receive yards
33
54
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
205
142
Receive yards
118
175
2.2
1.0
Receive TD's
1.0
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
55
42
Receive yards
26
53
0.9
0.3
Receive TD's
0.1
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.8
1.1
Field Goals
0.7
1.5
4.5
2.3
Extra Points
2.2
2.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.1
0.1
Fumbles
0.9
0.5
1.3
0.7
Interceptions
0.9
0.7
0.5
0.2
Touchdowns
0.6
0.0
2.4
2.3
Sacks
2.9
0.6
0.0
0.1
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Colts (7-3)
Score Opp.
24-27 @NE
31-17 @TEN
45-31 GB
24-17 @JAX
35-14 OAK
Week 6 bye
24-27 JAX
35-45 @KC
31-28 MIN
49-14 HOU
41-10 @CHI
Week 12 @DET
Week 13 TEN
Week 14 @HOU
Week 15 BAL
Week 16 SD
Week 17 @DEN
Lions(4-6)
Score Opp.
20-16 @CHI
28-16 HOU
13-30 PHI
Week 4 bye
17-10 @ATL
10-38 GB
28-13 @NYG
21-31 @DAL
10-17 WAS
17-23 @JAX
19-22 @MIN
Week 12 IND
Week 13 ARI
Week 14 @GB
Week 15 MIN
Week 16 CHI
Week 17 @TEN