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 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
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 190,1
RB L. Tomlinson 120,2 20 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 50,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 30 0
WR Kassim Osgood 0 50 0
WR Eric Parker 0 30 0
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 3 XP -
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Luke McCown 0 0 160,1
RB William Green 30 10 0
TE Steve Heiden 0 20,1 0
WR Frisman Jackson 0 20 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 40 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 60 0
PK Phil Dawson 0 FG 1 XP -

SD (10-3) vs CLE (3-10)

Game Prediction: SD 24, CLE 7

Here's two perfectly matched teams. The Chargers are 10-3 and have won their last seven games. The Browns are 3-10 and have lost their last seven games. And there is absolutely no reason to expect that these trends are going to change this week.

Update: Keenan McCardell is questionable this week and has not practiced due to his hamstring strain. He may not play and will be limited if he does. I am lowering his projections but realize that the may not play at all.

Also be aware that the weather in Cleveland is predicted to be 32 degrees with a 21 mph wind and possible snow showers. I see that as driving down the numbers across the board and have adjusted the game score accordingly.

Lee Suggs may play this week but with limited rushing expected, I am not including him in the projections.

Pre-Game Notes - SD

The Chargers have occasionally found themselves in a dog fight over the last month, but they've always been good enough to come out on top. With the way the Browns are playing, San Diego may have the win in their pocket before they start their second offensive series.

Quarterback: Drew Brees is no longer throwing for lots of scores and yards lately but mainly because he has not needed to in order to win the game. He has 23 touchdowns already this season against only six interceptions.

Running Backs: It is said that LaDainian Tomlinson is still not 100% from his groin injury but that isn't suggested by his stats. He's scored in the last ten games and comes off a solid 131 yard effort against the Buccaneer defense. The only suspense in Tomlinson's play is if he will score one or two touchdowns. This week - bet the two.

Wide Receivers: Keenan McCardell only managed 30 yards on three carries against his old team last week and left the game with a hamstring strain. I am assuming he plays this week but he really has not been a big factor in the last three weeks anyway and has only one touchdown in the seven games that he's started for the Chargers. I'm assuming he will be available this week.

Eric Parker comes off his season best effort - 118 yards and one score last week which was his first truly good game since week six before McCardell showed up. The player to watch here is Kassim Osgood who doesn't catch many passes but has two scores in the last three weeks.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates has only managed four catches and 48 yards over the last two weeks after a full month of scoring unheard of points for a tight end. Denver and Tampa Bay sport good defenses. That should not be a factor this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Browns have officially folded their tents and left the playing field. They just no longer have the personnel to get the job done, let alone any motivation or direction. Expect a very big game from Tomlinson that will eventually lead into Jesse Chatman just to save Tomlinson for later games that matter.

Brees could have a huge game here but really - why bother? Expect only moderate numbers from him since all opponents now just run all over the Browns. I like Gates to catch one touchdown just to keep the taste in his mouth.

Pre-Game Notes - CLE

The Browns come off the 5th worst offensive showing in the history of the NFL. Pretty heady stuff. They ended with only 17 net yards in the game last week against the Bills. They tried to dust off Garcia and lost him on his first play. This is now a comedy of errors that has lost all heart and soul. It's just punching a clock from here on out and hoping not to challenge any more NFL records for futility.

Quarterback: Luke McCown only had 62 passing yards last week and was sacked nine times. He actually had 277 yards the previous week with two scores against the Patriots. While the Browns are throwing in the towel, McCown is playing for a job this week. But only because Holcomb and Garcia are both out.

Running Backs: William Green gets no blocking any more and will face one of the better rushing defenses anyway. He only had 5 yards on 11 carries last week and only 15 yards on 12 runs the previous week. It's sad really. Lee Suggs remains perpetually out injured and at this rate, there is little reason for him to want to play because his final carries for the season will undoubtedly work against him when the new coach determines who will stay and who will go in the offseason.

Wide Receivers: Antonio Bryant has having a a good start in Cleveland until last week when he was the leader with only 37 yards. The Chargers are about on par with the Bills for stopping wideouts but it's hard to believe that Bryant could go from two games of 115+ yards and two scores to being worthless. Then again, the Browns are breaking all new ground lately.

Tight Ends: Steve Heiden and Aaron Shea are both decent tight ends if they played on a team that could throw better. They should figure in more this week since the Chargers biggest weakness on defense is against the tight end.

Match Against the Defense: Safe enough to bet that the Browns do better this week. How much better? Hard to say since it goes into the hearts and minds of the Cleveland players that are shell shocked after last week. Don't expect that there is any fantasy value here outside of potentially Bryant on a few passes and the tight ends possibly scoring.

SD CLE 2004 Averages CLE SD
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
220
208
Pass yards
198
256
1.8
1.1
Pass TDs
1.5
1.2
0.5
1.2
Interceptions
1.2
1.3
7
10
Rush yards
15
9
0.2
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
119
127
Rush yards
81
70
1.3
1.3
Rush TDs
0.3
0.9
33
24
Receive yards
25
52
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
116
153
Receive yards
133
154
0.8
0.8
Receive TD's
0.8
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
70
31
Receive yards
41
50
1.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.5
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.4
1.8
Field Goals
1.5
1.2
3.4
2.9
Extra Points
2.0
2.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.1
1.3
Fumbles
0.6
0.6
1.0
1.2
Interceptions
1.2
0.5
0.2
0.5
Touchdowns
0.2
0.1
1.8
3.0
Sacks
1.8
1.3
0.1
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Chargers (10-3)
Score Opp.
27-20 @HOU
28-34 NYJ
13-23 @DEN
38-17 TEN
34-21 JAX
20-21 @ATL
17-6 @CAR
42-14 OAK
43-17 NO
Week 10 bye
23-17 @OAK
34-31 @KC
20-17 DEN
31-24 TB
Week 15 @CLE
Week 16 @IND
Week 17 KC
Browns(3-10)
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
15-42 NE
7-37 @BUF
Week 15 SD
Week 16 @MIA
Week 17 @HOU