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 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
  New England Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 200,1
RB Kevin Faulk 20 20 0
RB Corey Dillon 120,2 10 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 20 0
WR David Patten 0 40 0
WR Deion Branch 0 50,1 0
WR David Givens 0 40 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Luke McCown 0 0 160
RB William Green 60 10 0
TE Steve Heiden 0 20 0
WR Frisman Jackson 0 30 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 40 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 40 0
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 0 XP -

NE (10-1) vs CLE (3-8)

Game Prediction: NE 27, CLE 3

The Super Bowl Champ that is 10-1 faces a 3-8 team that lost a game 48-58 last week and then lost their head coach. A definite study in contrasts.

Pre-Game Notes - NE

The Patriots keep on rolling thanks to a defense that somehow constantly fills every hole while Corey Dillon enjoys the best season of his life. Regardless if it is the most productive or not, it is easily the most enjoyable for him.

Quarterback: Tom Brady has cooled the last few weeks mainly thanks to a running game that is dominating and a lack of need for him to throw. He still has 18 touchdowns on the season and last week was the first time he failed to score.

Running Backs: Corey Dillon gained 123 yards and one score against the normally stout Raven defense last week and he has ran for at least 98 yards in each of the last six games played. He has seven touchdowns and already has 1121 rushing yards this season - a pace that would end with almost 1700 rushing yards.

Wide Receivers: Brady's 172 yards last week meant the best wideout was David Givens who only caught six passes for 42 yards and Deion Branch only managed four catches for 51 yards. Since Branch returned, David Patten only has one catch per game.

Tight Ends: Daniel Graham's 83 yards in week 11 was only a blip, not a trend starting again. He only had two catches for 24 yards last week so he's basically been a fantasy dud every week since week five of the season.

Match Against the Defense: This game has Corey Dillon written all over it. The Browns have been gashed by runners numerous times this season including Rudi Johnson's 202 yards last week. The Bengals defense allowed 48 points last week but there is no way that will happen again. Expect this game to be primarily Dillon running well with probably a single touchdown by Brady because he won't need to do much more than that.

The matchups favor David Givens the most, but with New England it just about goes anywhere.

Pre-Game Notes - CLE

Sort of hurts to score 48 points in a game and yet lose by ten points. Enough so that coaches resign/quit/are fired. The Browns now suffer through a transition period where even less direction will be maintained and still without Jeff Garcia.

Quarterback: Jeff Garcia missed last week with a bruised and sprained shoulder and Kelly Holcomb took his first start of the season. He ended with an astounding 413 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions. There will be a difference between the Patriots and Bengals though and this week should offer better evidence why the switch to Garcia was made in the first place.

Garcia is likely to miss this week and now Holcomb has three cracked ribs. The rookie Luke McCown will get the start - nice timing with the Patriots coming to town.

Running Backs: Lee Suggs continues to be hampered by his toe injury and missed last week. Since he was downgraded last week, I am assuming that William Green will again be the starting running back. Green gained 75 yards on 15 carries for one score last week - his second best yardage game of the year.

Wide Receivers: When 499 yards gets divided up, everyone gets a piece. Antonio Bryant led the pack with eight catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns while Dennis Northcutt had five catches for 87 yards. Andre Davis continues to miss games since he also suffers from a bad toe injury.

Tight Ends: The surprise player in the entire league last week was Steve Heiden who scored three touchdowns against the Bengals. He only had one other score on the season and had never scored more than one touchdown in any season during his six year NFL career. A blip but one of tremendous proportions.

Match Against the Defense: What to expect from an offense that scored 48 points last week with a third string quarterback and that was missing their starting running back and wideout?

Most likely not too much.

The Patriots have held similar opponents to less than 20 points even on the road this season and losing the head coach will undoubtedly cause turmoil. The Patriots may play lethargic from a lack of perceived competition, but the scoring frenzy last week should prevent the Patriots from thinking they can mail the game in.

The rush defense by the Patriots has been solid and there has only been two runners with significant fantasy success (James and Staley). With the offensive line problems for Cleveland, there's little chance that Green will amount to much.

The Patriots pass defense has been sapped by injuries but continues to somehow keep opposing quarterbacks at bay and against a second stringer like Holcomb, the only way the Browns pass well is if the Patriots approach the game underprepared which is not likely. They have no significant opponent for four weeks, so there is no looking past this week.

NE CLE 2004 Averages CLE NE
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
237
217
Pass yards
203
224
1.6
1.1
Pass TDs
1.5
0.9
0.7
1.2
Interceptions
1.1
1.3
1
10
Rush yards
15
9
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
123
117
Rush yards
91
91
0.7
1.0
Rush TDs
0.4
0.4
35
24
Receive yards
25
25
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
167
162
Receive yards
134
156
1.1
0.7
Receive TD's
0.6
0.9
---
---
TE's
---
---
34
31
Receive yards
44
42
0.5
0.4
Receive TD's
0.6
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.5
1.8
Field Goals
1.7
1.3
2.5
2.5
Extra Points
2.2
1.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
1.1
Fumbles
0.5
0.8
1.3
1.1
Interceptions
1.2
0.7
0.2
0.4
Touchdowns
0.2
0.4
3.2
2.5
Sacks
1.8
1.7
0.0
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Patriots (10-1)
Score Opp.
27-24 IND
23-12 @ARI
Week 3 bye
31-17 @BUF
24-10 MIA
30-20 SEA
13-7 NYJ
20-34 @PIT
40-22 @STL
29-6 BUF
27-19 @KC
24-3 BAL
Week 13 @CLE
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 @NYJ
Week 17 SF
Browns(3-8)
Score Opp.
20-3 BAL
12-19 @DAL
10-27 @NYG
17-13 WAS
23-34 @PIT
34-17 CIN
31-34 PHI
Week 8 bye
13-27 @BAL
10-24 PIT
7-10 NYJ
48-58 @CIN
Week 13 NE
Week 14 @BUF
Week 15 SD
Week 16 @MIA
Week 17 @HOU