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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
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 300,2
RB Larry Johnson 20 10 0
RB Derrick Blaylock 100,1 10 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 80,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 70,1 0
WR Dante Hall 0 20 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 80 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP -
  Tennessee Rush Catch Pass
QB Billy Volek 0 0 260,3
RB Chris Brown 100,1 0 0
TE Erron Kinney 0 30,1 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 90,1 0
WR Eddie Berlin 0 30 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 80,1 0
PK Gary Anderson 1 FG 4 XP -

KC (4-8) vs TEN (4-8)

Game Prediction: KC 27, TEN 31

The Chiefs finally played bigger than the bad mojo they usually face every week and come off a much needed win over the Raiders. The Titans just gave up 51 points to Peyton Manning and the Indy Scoring Machine and manged to lose a linebacker and cornerback in the process.

Update: Holmes is gone for the year and Blaylock is the starter with less sharing than last week may have suggested. I am boosting the numbers for Blaylock since HC Dick Vermeil has indicated that the roles are not changing.

McNair still has not practiced and will most likely again be a game time decision. Based on all the news out of practice and from the coaching staff, the better chance is that Volek starts instead of McNair. As always, it will be a last minute decision. The Titans face the Colts next week and while they would normally want to keep McNair fresh for that divisional matchup, the Titans are already out of the playoffs and there's no tactical reason to rest McNair who wants to end the season with some production.

With the conflicting messages sent out from Tennessee, I am swapping the starter to being Volek but there is no ruling out McNair. Since this is the Monday night game, there will not likely be any definitive word until well after most fantasy lineups are due on Sunday morning. If I had to bet, it would be that Volek would start but I would not actually put money on it. It's just always an unsettled situation.

In keeping the guessing theme, Chris Brown will not practice this week and appears most likely to at least play some on Monday. As he has shown, that doesn't mean he will end the game as well. Best bet is that Brown is available for playing but it's hard to rely on a full game from him. I am slightly lowering the numbers for him, but he presents an equal risk as McNair. There should be some major points in this game too.

Pre-Game Notes - KC

The Chiefs win last week pulled the Raiders down into the AFC West cellar along with Kansas City. They're playing for pride now and they are not playing with Priest Holmes.

Quarterback: Trent Green turned in his fifth 300 yard game in the last six weeks when he threw for 340 yards and three scores against Oakland. Since Holmes has been out of the picture, Green has picked up the pace sharply though not enough to actually win most games thanks to the pitiful Chief's pass defense.

Running Backs: What a treat! All the savvy fantasy owners who backed up Priest Holmes with Derrick Blaylock were horrified to see Blaylock leave the game after getting blasted in the second quarter last week. Blaylock only had 37 yards on 12 carries with no scores. Larry Johnson entered the game and while he did little before halftime, he was on fire in the second half and ended with 118 rushing yards on 20 carries with 56 yards on three catches with two touchdowns on the day. Sort of makes you think the blocking/system has something to do with running back success.

Blaylock could have returned to the game last week according to HC Dick Vermeil but was held out as a precaution and quite simply they did not need him. With Blaylock likely fine for this week, the question becomes which KC back will start? Pending more information, I am assuming that Blaylock returns as the starter but that Johnson gets some more playing time as a precursor to offseason decisions.

Wide Receivers: Eddie Kennison comes off his season best game - eight catches for 149 yards and one score last week while Johnie Morton only had one catch for 23 yards. The previous week, Kennison only had one catch for nine yards but otherwise has been the main wideout during these passing rich times in the last six weeks for the Chiefs with four games of at least 99 yards and four touchdowns during that timeframe. Morton has only managed one decent game with 107 yards in week 11 but only 39 and 23 yards in the last two weeks.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez had an uncharacteristic down game last week, only gaining 32 yards on three catches after maintaining a 70+ yard pace over the previous four games.

Match Against the Defense: This is sweet.

The Titans defense was nothing special before and now has lost their best cornerback (Rolle) which should grant Johnnie Morton more room to run this week. The Titans also lost Rocky Calmus which only diminishes a rush defense that already has allowed four scores over the last two games and six 100 yard games to opposing runners this season.

Expect that Green maintains his big yardage ways here with a great chance for multiple scores. The Titans were already one of the worst defenses against the tight end position with Calmus around so expect Gonzalez to turn in a big afternoon as well.

There should be at least one rushing score with upside for two. The assumption right now has to favor Blaylock but in light of last week - that is not a lock with Larry Johnson around.

Pre-Game Notes - TEN

Tennessee is reeling, having lost their last two games and witnessing their star running back chronically hampered by a bad toe and a quarterback that not only remains battered with a chest injury, but one that openly mentions retiring. The defense has now taken a big hit with Calmus and Rolle out of the lineup.

Quarterback: Billy Volek threw three scores last week and 269 yards against the Colts. He's solid as a replacement for Steve McNair. McNair may return to practice this week and there is no doubt that he wants to play in this Monday night game. I am projecting for him but his situation is not clear yet. Updates as warranted.

Running Backs: Chris Brown gained 104 yards on 19 carries last week and looked good running but was pulled from the game with his toe bothering him too much to play. He'll not likely practice this week but could play on Monday night. I'll project for him but as always this season, he may not play and even if he does, he may not finish the game.

Wide Receivers: Derrick Mason did not score last week but he did have 79 yards on six catches after having scored in the previous three games. Mason still has yet to exceed 100 yards since week two but has been consistently productive every week. Drew Bennett comes off a career best effort when he turned three catches into three touchdowns and 124 yards last week against the Colts. While he has only scored in three games this season, he has been consistently abour 50 yards each week.

Tight Ends: Nothing much here last week and Erron Kinney's two scores in week 12 remain the only decent tight end performance in the last month.

Match Against the Defense: The biggest question here is which player will start and who will be healthy enough to finish?

The Chiefs feature a terrible defense against the rush and the pass, so both Brown and McNair could shine here if they can play to potential. In the last six games, the Chiefs have never allowed less than 27 points to an opponent. The Titans have scored that much only twice all year.

Expect that the Titan passing game notches over 300 yards and at least two scores. There could be more. The Titan running back should score at least once and if Brown can play without much limitation, there's little reason to expect less than 100 yards and a touchdown out of him. This game is pretty big - both teams are disappointments this season but have a Monday night game and national exposure that they'll want to use as their "playoff" game.

KC TEN 2004 Averages TEN KC
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
282
230
Pass yards
219
271
1.5
1.4
Pass TDs
1.4
1.8
0.9
1.2
Interceptions
1.3
0.8
6
6
Rush yards
13
10
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
136
109
Rush yards
110
89
1.9
1.0
Rush TDs
0.6
1.1
50
27
Receive yards
32
49
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
152
170
Receive yards
157
170
0.6
0.8
Receive TD's
0.9
0.9
---
---
TE's
---
---
80
34
Receive yards
33
51
0.7
0.7
Receive TD's
0.4
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.4
Field Goals
1.3
1.3
3.3
2.8
Extra Points
2.1
2.9
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.2
0.8
Fumbles
0.9
0.8
0.8
1.2
Interceptions
1.1
0.8
0.2
0.3
Touchdowns
0.1
0.3
2.3
2.5
Sacks
2.3
1.9
0.0
0.2
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Chiefs (4-8)
Score Opp.
24-34 @DEN
17-28 CAR
21-24 HOU
27-24 @BAL
Week 5 bye
16-22 @JAX
56-10 ATL
45-35 IND
31-34 @TB
20-27 @NO
19-27 NE
31-34 SD
34-27 @OAK
Week 14 @TEN
Week 15 DEN
Week 16 OAK
Week 17 @SD
Tennessee (4-8)
Score Opp.
17-7 @MIA
17-31 IND
12-15 JAX
17-38 @SD
48-27 @GB
10-20 HOU
3-20 @MIN
27-20 CIN
Week 9 bye
17-19 CHI
18-15 @JAX
21-31 @HOU
24-51 @IND
Week 14 KC
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 DEN
Week 17 DET