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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 14
December 8, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
NYG at BAL* DET at GB CIN at NE* SF at ARZ* PHI at WAS
OAK at ATL IND at HOU* Sun 4 PM STL at CAR* Mon 9 PM
CLE at BUF* CHI at JAX* MIA at DEN TB at SD* KC at TEN*
NO at DAL SEA at MIN NYJ at PIT *updated Times ET
  Indianapolis Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 290,4
RB Edgerrin James 80,1 10 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 30,1 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 30,1 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 60,1 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 80,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 70,1 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 1 FG 5 XP -
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 230,1
RB Domanick Davis 100,1 50 0
RB Jonathan Wells 10 10 0
TE Miller/Bruener 0 10 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 40 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 20 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

IND (9-3) vs HOU (5-7)

Game Prediction: IND 38, HOU 20

This is a rematch of week ten when the Colts won 49-14 when the Colts started this ridiculous string of four games with 40+ points. The Texans were miffed that the Colts were running up the score and want revenge. Now that they have the motivation and opportunity, all they are missing is the actual means.

Update: Dallas Clark is still not practicing due to his strained calf muscle and may not play for the third straight week. I am removing him from the projections though he may not be ruled out of the game until game time.

Pre-Game Notes - IND

The Colts scoring has been obscene and yet beautiful. They have scored 182 points in the last four weeks. They have 431 points on the season. The second best team is Philadelphia with 340. Now that is some offense.

Quarterback: Sorry. I ran out of superlatives. Four scores away from the record and Manning faces a team that gave up five touchdowns in the last meeting. The question is not if but which quarter.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James comes off a 105 yard effort against the Titans with two rushing scores. He only had 86 yards and no scores in the last meeting against the Texans because Houston has the worst secondary in the NFL and it's just so much faster and easier to throw scores against them.

Wide Receivers: The Colts are vying to become the first team in NFL history with three receivers exceeding 10 touchdowns. So far, they have Marvin Harrison (11), Reggie Wayne (10) and Brandon Stokley (8) . The Colts gameplan like most people go shopping for groceries - "we need one of those, give me two of those and, oh, what they heck. I'll take one of those too".

In the last meeting with the Texans, Harrison had no scores and only 22 yards but Stokley scored twice and Wayne had one score.

Tight Ends: How sad of an indictment is it against NFL defenses when the Colts wideouts already have 29 touchdowns and yet the tight ends have 11 as well? In the last game against the Texans, Dallas Clark had two scores and 102 yards.

Match Against the Defense: Houston is going to be up to stop the Colts this week. They feel they were disrespected when Manning continued to throw scores even though the game was realistically over (as if Manning could actually stop scoring).

Expect a more spirited effort from Houston but in the end - they have the worst secondary in the NFL. Facing the best passing offense in NFL history.

One thing to look for - Manning can throw four scores here to tie Marino's record (he already had five in the previous meeting). But when he gets that record 49th touchdown, he would love to have it happen at home in the late ESPN game next week.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

The Texans come off a thumping by the Jets and return home still with visions of .500 in their head. They were creamed in the previous game against the Colts and are plenty sore about that but while the Colts have always scored more than 41 points in the three successive games, the Texans have only managed one game over 13 points. It's one thing to be mad. Quite another to do anything about it.

Quarterback: David Carr only managed 157 yards and two interceptions last week and remains largely ineffective since week eight. He only had 215 yards and three interceptions in the last game against the Colts which was the best effort all year by the Colts defense. Not exactly something he needs to place on his calling card.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis has great fantasy value but hasn't been nearly enough to make a big difference for the Texans. Davis scored twice and gained 152 total yards in the last meeting with the Colts largely because he was the only way to keep the Colts offense off the field. He'll be called on for a heavy load this week as well unless the score gets away from the Texans. Then again, Houston still uses Davis heavily even when they should not.

Wide Receivers: The Texans wideouts were solid once upon a time. But not during the last four games. Jabar Gaffney was on a nice string of 88+ yard games for three weeks but has fallen off the map in the last month. Andre Johnson comes off a nice 125 yard, seven catch game last week but he is the only wideout that is going anything for the Texans lately. He has no help from either Gaffney or Corey Bradford.

In week 10, Johnson only had 59 yards and that was the best from all wideouts in the game.

Tight Ends: The notion that Billy Miller was getting more involved again proved to be a one week blip on the radar. He had no catches last week and only one catch in week ten.

Match Against the Defense: There is no doubt that Domanick Davis is going to get a heavy workload. He will be ran as much as possible to keep the Colts from having enough time to score 100+ points and once the game score gets out of reach, Davis will likely be the primary receiver as well.

As has been true the last month, only Andre Johnson deserves any fantasy consideration here. The Texans should manage at least one passing score and that greatly favors Johnson.

IND HOU 2004 Averages HOU IND
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
302
252
Pass yards
242
276
3.7
2.4
Pass TDs
1.0
1.6
0.8
1.4
Interceptions
0.9
1.3
3
12
Rush yards
18
6
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
128
106
Rush yards
84
110
0.8
0.3
Rush TDs
1.0
0.6
34
33
Receive yards
44
53
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
219
165
Receive yards
182
172
2.6
1.5
Receive TD's
0.8
1.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
49
55
Receive yards
15
51
0.8
0.5
Receive TD's
0.1
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.9
1.1
Field Goals
1.3
1.6
4.7
2.8
Extra Points
2.0
2.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.4
0.9
Fumbles
0.4
0.6
1.2
0.8
Interceptions
1.3
0.7
0.5
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
2.8
2.8
Sacks
1.3
0.6
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Colts (9-3)
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
41-9 @DET
51-24 TEN
Week 14 @HOU
Week 15 BAL
Week 16 SD
Week 17 @DEN
Texans (5-7)
Score Opp.
20-27 SD
16-28 @DET
24-21 @KC
30-17 OAK
28-34 MIN
20-10 @TEN
Week 7 bye
20-6 JAX
13-31 @DEN
14-49 @IND
13-16 GB
31-21 TEN
7-29 @NYJ
Week 14 IND
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 CLE