fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    
HOME ARTICLES NEWS DRAFT GUIDE REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS NFL TEAMS MESSAGE BOARDS

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
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 250,2
RB Fred Taylor 80 30,1 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 20 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 100,1 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 50 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 30 0
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP -
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 20 0 260,2
RB Moe Williams 20,1 20 0
RB Onterrio Smith 40 20 0
RB Michael Bennett 40 20 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 50,1 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 30 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 60,1 0
WR Randy Moss 0 50 0
PK Morten Andersen 1 FG 3 XP -

JAX (6-4) vs MIN (6-4)

Game Prediction: JAX 17, MIN 24

Both these teams are 6-4 and are in the hunt for the playoffs. The Jaguars are this good thanks to defense and the Vikes have done it with pure offense. Both teams have lost their offensive stars - Leftwich and Moss. This week should see Leftwich return while Moss is more questionable.

Update: Leftwich is practicing and appears ready to play as expected.

Randy Moss has also been practicing and is expected to play up to 25 plays this week if you can believe what has been said - which has not always been true in the past. I am including Moss into the line-up and it does appear that he has improved from his hamstring strain but I am not projecting a typical Moss game since there is still obvious risk in his first game back from injury.

Pre-Game Notes - JAX

The Jaguars dropped a painful loss to the Titans last week 15-18 and now trail the Colts by one game in the AFC South.

Quarterback: David Garrard was ineffective against the Titans last week with only 129 yards and one interception with a 48% completion ratio. He was much better during the win over the Lions but should give way to Byron Leftwich this week who appears likely to play.

I will update if Leftwich ends up as a scratch this week but the assumption is that his knee sprain has improved enough to allow him to throw and yet not run as much as he had been.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor comes off his third 100 yard game of the year and that's been all within the last four matchups. Taylor is running better now but has only one rushing touchdown this season. The Jaguars are starting to use Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala again in short yardage situations.

Wide Receivers: Jimmy Smith comes off his worst game of the year when he only turned in two catches for 29 yards against the Titans. There is no other Jaguar receiver even remotely close to consistent to merit fantasy consideration. The rookie Reggie Williams was supposedly slated for increased playing time but has only one catch in each of the last two games without Leftwich at the helm.

Tight Ends: Only one score all season to the position and that was to George Wrighster who has been out since week four.

Match Against the Defense: This game takes a completely different tact if Leftwich is healthy and plays. When we last saw him, he was spitting out 300 yard games and throwing at least one if not two touchdowns. Facing Favre and Manning in a two week stretch resulted in eight touchdowns via the pass allowed by Minnesota and even David Carr had three with 372 yards. This is a defense that can be exploited with the pass if Leftwich can get healthy and play.

Passing scores would heavily favor Jimmy Smith as the favored receiver, particularly since no other Jaguar wideout has caught a score other than Smith in the last five games.

Taylor could easily turn in another 100 yard game this week but the chance he scores remains minimal.

Pre-Game Notes - MIN

The Vikings maintained their tie with Green Bay for the NFC North lead and come off a close win over the Lions. The Vikings are 4-1 at home with only the one New York fiasco as a loss.

Quarterback: Daunte Culpepper has adjusted to life without Randy Moss and has six scores and almost 700 yards in the last two weeks. Moss is questionable this week but Culpepper has made a nice transition to using Burleson and Wiggins.

Running Backs: What a mess. There were 23 rushes last week split up between Michael Bennett (11-30) and Onterrio Smith (8-27) and Moe Williams (4-15) with Williams scoring the only touchdown for the group. Even the receiving yardage was split up with two or three completions to each back. Unless you use a "team running back" in your fantasy league, this is a hands off situation until one or two get injured and force primary use.

Wide Receivers: Nate Burleson has scored in each of the last four games and has become Randy-Lite. Half the scores and none of the hair. Kelly Campbell remains the long ball guy that had one catch for 61 yards last week but only ten yards in the previous game. Marcus Robinson still starts but he hasn't amounted to much in the last three games largely due to being limited by a lingering foot condition.

This group needs Moss back but can get the job done when needed.

Tight Ends: Once Moss fell out of the picture, Jermaine Wiggins filled in nicely and has scored in both of the last games with at least five catches and 51 yards in each of the last three weeks. The chemistry he has developed with Culpepper will not disappear when Moss returns, it will just make the Vikings that much better.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars have been very tough against the run this season and have allowed only one rushing touchdown in the last five games. But the only two 100 yard rushing games have been surrendered on the road and they have never faced any rushing attack that used the "Larry, Moe and Curly" scheme of the Vikings. Expect at least moderate yardage and one rushing touchdown that will be so evenly split that no Viking runner will have significant fantasy value.

The Jaguars secondary has also been exploited when visiting a team that can throw well like SD, IND and even HOU. Expect that Culpepper notches at least 250 yards passing with upside for a very nice game.

The Jaguars have also allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends and only six to wideouts. With the significant play of Wiggins lately, he should be a lock for at least moderate (relatively) yardage and a good chance for a touchdown this week.

The only passing scores to wideouts allowed by the Jaguars this year have gone to Harrison (3), Moulds and Bradford which should favor the flanker Burleson who is already the only wideout to score besides Moss since week seven.

JAX MIN 2004 Averages MIN JAX
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
225
240
Pass yards
295
225
1.1
1.6
Pass TDs
2.7
1.2
0.8
0.5
Interceptions
0.6
0.5
14
13
Rush yards
24
8
0.3
0.3
Rush TDs
0.1
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
98
108
Rush yards
92
97
0.3
0.9
Rush TDs
0.3
0.5
44
44
Receive yards
69
45
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
153
155
Receive yards
176
143
0.7
0.8
Receive TD's
2.0
0.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
27
43
Receive yards
50
42
0.2
0.5
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.4
1.4
Field Goals
1.1
1.3
1.2
2.8
Extra Points
2.9
1.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
0.5
Fumbles
0.6
0.4
0.6
0.7
Interceptions
0.5
0.9
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.0
0.3
1.7
2.4
Sacks
2.3
2.5
0.1
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Jaguars (6-4)
Score Opp.
13-10 @BUF
7-6 DEN
15-12 @TEN
17-24 IND
21-34 @SD
22-16 KC
27-24 @IND
6-20 @HOU
Week 9 bye
23-17 DET
15-18 TEN
Week 12 @MIN
Week 13 PIT
Week 14 CHI
Week 15 @GB
Week 16 HOU
Week 17 @OAK
Vikings (6-4)
Score Opp.
35-17 DAL
16-27 @PHI
27-22 CHI
Week 4 bye
34-28 @HOU
38-31 @NO
20-3 TEN
13-34 NYG
28-31 @IND
31-34 @GB
22-19 DET
Week 12 JAX
Week 13 @CHI
Week 14 SEA
Week 15 @DET
Week 16 GB
Week 17 @WAS