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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 15, 2004
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
PIT at NYG 1 * BUF at CIN * SD at CLE* STL at ARZ BAL at IND *
WAS at SF 5 * HOU at CHI SEA at NYJ DEN at KC * Mon 9 PM
CAR at ATL 8:30 JAX at GB * DAL at PHI * NO at TB NE at MIA*
Times ET MIN at DET TEN at OAK * *updated Times ET
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 190
RB Domanick Davis 90,1 50 0
TE Miller/Bruener 0 10 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 30 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 40 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 30 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 1 XP -
  Chicago Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Hutchinson 0 0 220,2
RB Thomas Jones 60 30 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 30 0
WR Bernard Berrian 0 50,1 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 30 0
WR David Terrell 0 60,1 0
PK Paul Edinger 2 FG 2 XP -

HOU (5-8) vs CHI (5-8)

Game Prediction: HOU 13, CHI 17

Here's an interesting game between relative equals. The Texans once had an offense but now have become little more than Domanick Davis while the Bears really never had an offense and are just relying on their defense to keep them in games.

Update: Desmond Clark is expected to play - I have swapped him in for Dustin Lyman.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

The Texans have lost their last two games which has been one way to say goodbye to the chance they could reach .500 this season. For any sense of accomplishment, they'd need to win both here and in Jacksonville next week but this offense is going backwards and shrinking on a weekly basis.

Quarterback: David Carr started out hot this season but now is lucky if he ever rises above 200 yards or one score in a game. He's only been that good once in the last four games. He's only thrown four scores in the last six matchups and never gone exceeded 245 passing yards in that time.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis has been golden the last six weeks with a score and at least 100 total yards in every game. Good thing too - the Texans are not using anyone or anything else. Davis had every successful play in the first half against the Colts last week - every single carry or catch other than one pass to Wells when Davis needed a breather. He's proving that he can be durable over a stretch of time but he's also proving that using him so heavily is not a good idea since the Texans have gone 1-5 during this six game stretch of heavy use for Davis. Makes you wonder why the Texans don't see that.

Wide Receivers: Carr's passing has ben so anemic lately that all the wideouts have been devoid of fantasy value other than Andre Johnson. But Johnson has only scored once in the last eight games and comes off a 34 yard, three catch game last week. Neither Corey Bradford or Jabar Gaffney has turned in more than 40 yards per game in the last month.

Tight Ends: And you thought the wideouts were bad.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears rushing defense has not been very good this season - they rank average at best and have allowed six 100+ rushing yard performances to any runner with more than 22 carries. There's no doubt that Davis will get the workload - he's all they use lately. Figure him for safely a moderate game and likely a good one with receiving yardage thrown in.

The Chicago secondary has given up some nice games to big name quarterbacks but Carr hardly merits that association anymore. Carr should settle in under 200 yards with a chance at one touchdown but given that Carr only throws to Johnson when he does pass, there's likely no score going to happen in the air.

Pre-Game Notes - CHI

The Bears come off a spanking by the Jaguars last week but the offense has shown at least some life lately, even if it is still poor by most standards. They've only exceeded 20 points scored once in the last five games and will continue to live and die by their defense. You know the season is not going well when the biggest news in town is that the Sporting News published a poll of NFL scouts that said Brian Urlacher is the most overrated played in the NFL.

Quarterback: Chad Hutchinson did not match his gaudy three touchdown game against the Vikings when he had his second start of the season last week in Jacksonville. But he did throw for 212 yards and only one interception which in Chicago terms is pretty successful. He's thrown for more yardage in each of the last two weeks than Krenzel or Quinn were able to produce.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones seems get a little worse each week, rushing for only 26 yards on 13 carries against the Jaguars and he has not tipped the 100 rushing yard mark since back in week three when he stopped scoring. But he's adding yardage in the receiving game which is mainly why Hutchinson seems to produce decent passing yardage. Jones had three catches for 68 yards last week.

Wide Receivers: The Texans come to town sporting a truly bad secondary - perhaps the worst in the league and while that should spell good things, there's nothing here to suggest that the wideouts will profit. Hutchinson has throw for 212 yards or more the last two weeks and yet the best performance has been Bernard Berrian's 46 yards on two catches. David Terrell has connected with Hutchinson for only five catches and 57 yards over two games though he has the only wideout touchdown scored in the last six games.

Tight Ends: Desmond Clark missed last week with rib and shoulder injuries and in his place Dustin Lyman had two catches for 19 yards and dropped at least three passes. He had seven throws in the game.

Match Against the Defense: The Texans have a surprisingly good rush defense by appearance, but mainly because they are so easy to beat with the pass that no one runs much against them. Jones doesn't get the blocking to turn in a big game but he could end up with moderate yardage here. A rushing score is not likely since only three runners have managed that all season.

Hutchinson needs to use this game to keep his job and it is a wonderful opportunity. At home, expect that Hutchinson should throw for at least 200 yards again and likely two scores against a team that has already allowed 31 passing scores this year.

HOU CHI 2004 Averages CHI HOU
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
236
215
Pass yards
166
256
1.0
1.5
Pass TDs
0.6
2.4
0.9
1.2
Interceptions
1.0
1.3
18
9
Rush yards
11
11
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
87
124
Rush yards
84
106
1.0
0.5
Rush TDs
0.5
0.3
47
45
Receive yards
45
34
0.2
0.1
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
173
145
Receive yards
99
166
0.8
1.2
Receive TD's
0.2
1.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
16
25
Receive yards
23
56
0.1
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.5
Field Goals
1.1
1.2
2.0
2.1
Extra Points
1.5
2.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
1.3
Fumbles
1.1
0.9
1.2
1.1
Interceptions
1.1
0.8
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.5
0.2
1.4
4.1
Sacks
2.2
2.9
0.0
0.1
Safeties
0.2
0.0
Texans (5-8)
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
14-23 IND
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 CLE
Bears (5-8)
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
24-14 MIN
3-22 @JAX
Week 15 HOU
Week 16 @DET
Week 17 GB