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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 13
December 1, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CIN at BAL* BUF at MIA ATL at TB* DEN at SD PIT at JAX
MIN at CHI TEN at IND* SF at STL* KC at OAK* Mon 9 PM
ARZ at DET CAR at NO   GB at PHI* DAL at SEA
NE at CLE HOU at NYJ *updated NYG at WAS Times ET
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 20 0 260,2
RB Onterrio Smith 100,1 50 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 60,1 0
WR Randy Moss 0 80,1 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 50 0
WR Kelly Campbell 0 20 0
PK Morten Andersen 1 FG 3 XP -
  Chicago Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Hutchinson 0 0 180
RB Thomas Jones 60,1 30 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 20 0
WR Justin Gage 0 40 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 0 0
WR David Terrell 0 60 0
PK Paul Edinger 2 FG 1 XP -

MIN (7-4) vs CHI (4-7)

Game Prediction: MIN 24, CHI 13

This is a rematch of week three when the Vikings beat the visiting Bears 27-22. This was roughly four quarterbacks ago for the Bears. The Vikings have won their last two games but continue to have the Packers stand next to them in the NFC North standings.

Pre-Game Notes - MIN

The Bears handled this game well enough in week three when the Bears offense still had some spark. Now that Moss is back and the Bears offense is gone, the outcome shouldn't be any different than it was in week three.

Quarterback: Daunte Culpepper continues to throw at least one touchdown in every game but only managed a single score last week against the Jaguars even though Randy Moss was back. Culpepper rushed in his second score of the year last week and is starting to use his legs more the last few games.

In week three, Culpepper threw for 360 yards and two scores against the Bears. He also ran in his first rushing touchdown of the year.

Running Backs: The Vikings "Wheel-o-Fortune" for running backs is now supposed to remain pointing at Onterrio Smith for the balance of the season. Smith had 20 carries for 72 yards against the Jaguars while Moe Williams only had one carry the entire afternoon. Back in week three, Smith had his most productive game of the year when he faced the Bears and gained 94 rushing yards and 104 receiving yards. Chicago remains a Top 10 defense for allowing running backs to score good fantasy points.

Wide Receivers: Last week had Randy Moss finally return but it was against a solid secondary of Jacksonville. Moss scored once but only turned in 40 yards on four catches while Nate Burleson (2-21) and Marcus Robinson (4-48) were no more successful. Chicago has a decent secondary on most occasions but Culpepper dinged them for the most yardage allowed all season anyway.

In week three, Moss had seven catches for 119 yards and two scores. Nate Burleson (2-71) was rarely used and Marcus Robinson failed to catch a single pass.

Tight Ends: Jermaine Wiggins continues to be reliable for at least 50 yards per game and this week will be interesting since Wiggins did not play back in the previous matchup.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings will not have to press much to win this game against an offensive unit that only gets worse every week. While Culpepper needed to throw big yardage to stay ahead in week three, there should be much less need and Onterrio Smith will get to face the team he has played the best against.

Expect a lower number game from the Vikings other than Onterrio Smith but if the defense can get a few turnovers, they could translate into more offensive touchdowns to spread around.

Pre-Game Notes - CHI

After rising to 4-5 on the season with wins over the Titans, Giants and 49ers, it appeared that Chicago was going to get by with an opportunistic defense and an offense that would not get in the way. After Indianapolis dismantled that defense 41-10, the Bears spent Thanksgiving by allowing the Cowboys defense to completely shut down the Bears offense and effectively shut them out. The offense gained 186 yards in the game but also lost 41 yards on six sacks. That's 144 net yards against one of the worst defenses in the league.

Watching the Bears offense is like witnessing the fourth of July once all fireworks are banned. Everyone gets to eat and drink something, you talk with a few friends during the event but you never actually witness anything.

Quarterback: Craig Krenzel was unable to turn in his standard 150 yards per game thanks to a sprained ankle during the Cowboys game. He left having only thrown 5 of 10 for 86 yards without enough playing time for his obligatory interception. Jonathan Quinn entered the game and threw 10 of 21 for only 86 but tossed two interceptions to make up for the one that Krenzel did not have time to throw. This passing offense only managed 132 yards against a terrible secondary. It is a complete and total hands off fantasy situation.

The Bears picked up Jeff George this week but he'll likely have to wait until week 14 before he can play. Chad Hutchinson should be the starter this week - the 4th in a long line of disappointments.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones ran for 150 yards and... no wait. That was his brother. The older Jones only had 14 carries for 46 yards last week. Jones has not rushed for more than 59 yards since week six and his production has tanked largely since Grossman was knocked out for the season. There is no passing game, almost literally, and he faces defenses that are entirely designed to stop him and beg the Bears to try and throw. Jones ran for 110 yards and one touchdown with 71 yards receiving in the last game against the Vikings. No one has really seen him since.

Anthony Thomas did have three carries last week but gained zero net yards. For starting the season with such promise, this rushing attack is a flop until some sort of passing game is respected. Think next year at the earliest.

Wide Receivers: Against the most commonly burnt cornerbacks in the league, the best this crew could manage was one player getting two catches for 34 yards. The other two combined for three catches for 26 yards. I would name them but it would only make me feel dirty and suggest that any one of them had more value than the others.

Tight Ends: The Bears imported the Kansas City-style of offense and the Chicago equivalent of Tony Gonzalez only had one catch for six yards last week. He has 178 yards on the entire season with no touchdowns.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears had some success against the Vikings in week three and that was about the last time that they had much success against any team. Now that Grossman is gone, the defenses all load up against Jones and he should be held to only a moderate game this time in spite of having a big game in week three.

The passing game is just one to avoid. Against a bad Dallas secondary it produced no points and Krenzel is now banged up. Avoid at all costs.

MIN CHI 2004 Averages CHI MIN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
289
207
Pass yards
158
240
2.5
1.4
Pass TDs
0.5
1.5
0.6
1.1
Interceptions
1.1
0.5
23
5
Rush yards
11
12
0.2
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
91
131
Rush yards
87
113
0.3
0.5
Rush TDs
0.6
0.8
65
45
Receive yards
40
42
0.3
0.1
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
174
141
Receive yards
98
156
1.9
1.1
Receive TD's
0.2
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
50
21
Receive yards
20
42
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.1
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.6
Field Goals
1.1
1.5
2.9
2.1
Extra Points
1.5
2.6
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
1.5
Fumbles
1.0
0.5
0.5
1.1
Interceptions
1.1
0.7
0.1
0.2
Touchdowns
0.5
0.3
2.3
3.9
Sacks
2.1
2.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.2
0.1
Vikings (7-4)
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
27-16 JAX
Week 13 @CHI
Week 14 SEA
Week 15 @DET
Week 16 GB
Week 17 @WAS
Bears (4-7)
Score Opp.
16-20 DET
21-10 @GB
22-27 @MIN
9-19 PHI
Week 5 bye
10-13 WAS
7-19 @TB
23-13 SF
28-21 @NYG
19-17 @TEN
10-41 IND
7-21 @DAL
Week 13 MIN
Week 14 @JAX
Week 15 HOU
Week 16 @DET
Week 17 GB