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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
  St. Louis Rush Catch Pass
QB Chris Chandler 0 0 230,1
RB Arlen Harris 60,1 10 0
TE B. Manumaleuna 0 10 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 60,1 0
WR Torry Holt 0 70 0
WR Shaun McDonald 0 30 0
WR Kevin Curtis 0 30 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 0 FG 2 XP -
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 250,2
RB Nick Goings 100,2 10 0
RB Brad Hoover 20 10 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 90,1 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 60 0
WR Keary Colbert 0 50,1 0
PK John Kasay 1 FG 4 XP -

STL (6-6) vs CAR (5-7)

Game Prediction: STL 14, CAR 31

The Rams remain tied for the NFC West lead mainly because no one really wants it (or at least deserves it) while the Panthers have won their last four games and now that they know what their limitations are this season, they're putting together a good team with the pieces they have to work with.

Update: Steven Jackson is now considered out this week. Marshall Faulk is listed as probable this week but the concensus is that he won't play or at most be only a minor contributor.

Arlen Harris will take the start though Faulk could figure in potentially. I am changing to Harris as the starter.

Pre-Game Notes - STL

The Rams were already struggling the last three weeks but now have lost Marc Bulger for at least this game if not several. Chris Chandler will be the starter this week with one main mission - "live to see tomorrow".

Quarterback: Chris Chandler did well enough to win last week when pressed into action. He threw for 216 yards and one score with only one fumble and interception but that was at home against the 49ers (The NFL version of "As Good As It Gets"). He had evidently not paid enough attention to know that all the passes were supposed to go to Isaac Bruce this year instead of Torry Holt.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson had his first NFL start last week and ran for 119 yards on 26 carries and added 30 yards on three receptions. Jackson bruised his knee on the final carry of the game but HC Mike Martz says that Jackson is expected to start again this week. Marshall Faulk was inactive last week with a sprained knee that has been bothering him and not improving. I am assuming he is unable to play this week but will update as warranted.

Wide Receivers: With Chris Chandler as the quarterback, Torry Holt had his best game of the season with 160 yards on 10 receptions and one touchdown. Isaac Bruce only had two catches for 18 yards last week. He had a sprained wrist and did not practice last week but was expected to play. Going against the Panthers this week, he'll need to be healthy enough since the Panthers can cover Holt if they have no other real concerns.

Chandler made little use of Kevin Curtis or Shaun McDonald last week. They will also need to increase their role against a decent Panther secondary.

Tight Ends: Chandler continued the practice of ignoring the position for all but one completion per game.

Match Against the Defense: The Panthers rush defense has improved since week eight and in the last five games have not allowed a runner to exceed 54 yards though they have given up five running scores. They held McAllister to only 22 yards on seven carries last week and at home are much more formidable. Expect that Jackson only has a moderate game that could turn bad if the Rams fall behind and have to throw.

Chandler faces a secondary that has allowed scores to each of the last four opponents but he's obviously not Bulger and will not play as well. Expect one score here that favors Bruce by matchup more. This game will have to use Bruce more than last week and Holt gets a matchup that has only allowed one score all season.

Pre-Game Notes - CAR

The Panthers have won their last four games and are now comfortable knowing what they have to use this season. It is much different than 2003 but the adjustments have been made and both sides of the ball are playing better.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme has thrown scores in each of his last six games and last week was the first game in the span that did not have at least two scores. While the receivers have almost all been of little production, Delhomme is giving Muhsin Muhammad a career year.

Running Backs: Nick Goings has three straight 100+ yard games and last week added 46 receiving yards to his 122 rushing yards. Goings is fresh enough to carry a heavy load when asked and toted the ball 36 times against the Saints - the highest in the NFL for the week.

Brad Hoover is back but he's mainly a blocking fullback which is all he really was ever supposed to be. He had four carries and only gained 10 yards.

Wide Receivers: Muhsin Muhammad is hardly a secret weapon this season but he still had 10 catches for 179 yards and one score last week - his best this season. Keary Colbert only had one catch for 22 yards and other than his week 12 game with 72 yards and two scores, he's been a relative silent partner to Muhammad this year. Even Ricky Proehl has done little and has yet to score a touchdown.

Tight Ends: While the occasional score goes to either Kris Mangum or even Mike Seidman, there has been no touchdowns by the position since week nine.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams bring in one of the worse rushing defenses in the league and Goings should be a lock for a fine effort here. Expect at least 100 yards and one score from Goings who will likely carry the game for the Panthers yet again.

Delhomme faces a secondary that has allowed at least two scores in every road game this year and three each to the Bills and Packers most recently. While Colbert may get involved again, Muhammad should have little trouble with at least a moderate game and likely will do quite well again. The main factor here is if Chandler stumbles while Goings rumbles and the need to pass does not exist.

STL CAR 2004 Averages CAR STL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
292
231
Pass yards
235
217
1.5
0.9
Pass TDs
1.7
1.5
1.1
1.3
Interceptions
1.1
0.4
6
11
Rush yards
4
15
0.3
0.0
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
99
107
Rush yards
95
119
0.5
1.3
Rush TDs
0.6
0.8
38
43
Receive yards
42
35
0.1
0.4
Receive TD's
0.3
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
240
138
Receive yards
160
140
1.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.9
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
14
50
Receive yards
22
46
0.1
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.5
Field Goals
1.2
2.1
2.1
2.4
Extra Points
2.0
2.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
0.3
Fumbles
0.8
1.1
0.4
1.1
Interceptions
1.3
1.1
0.2
0.3
Touchdowns
0.1
0.3
2.1
1.7
Sacks
1.8
3.2
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Rams (6-6)
Score Opp.
17-10 ARI
17-34 @ATL
25-28 NO
24-14 @SF
33-27 @SEA
28-21 TB
14-31 @MIA
Week 8 bye
22-40 NE
23-12 SEA
17-37 @BUF
17-45 @GB
16-6 SF
Week 14 @CAR
Week 15 @ARI
Week 16 PHI
Week 17 NYJ
Panthers (5-7)
Score Opp.
14-24 GB
28-17 @KC
Week 3 bye
10-27 ATL
17-20 @DEN
8-30 @PHI
6-17 SD
17-23 @SEA
24-27 OAK
37-27 @SF
35-10 ARI
21-14 TB
32-21 @NO
Week 14 STL
Week 15 @ATL
Week 16 @TB
Week 17 NO