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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
  Washington Rush Catch Pass
QB Patrick Ramsey 10 0 170,1
RB Clinton Portis 130,2 20 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 30,1 0
WR Lavernues Coles 0 80 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 30 0
PK Jeff Chandler 1 FG 3 XP -
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Ken Dorsey 0 0 190,1
RB Kevan Barlow 20 10 0
RB Maurice Hicks 60 20 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 30 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 70,1 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 20 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 40 0
PK Todd Peterson 1 FG 1 XP -

WAS (4-8) vs SF (2-11)

Game Prediction: WAS 24, SF 10

Here's a matchup that should provide a bad viewing experience. A terrible 49er team facing an awesome defense of the Redskins who have little offense to stay in games. The biggest positive for the Redskins here is that the 49ers are coming off a win and the notion that they could string two together is unthinkable.

Update: Hicks has been named the starter though he is suffering from torn cartilage in his ribs. Barlow should see at least some playing time though.

Jon Hall was lost for the season with a torn quad muscle and the Redskins have signed Jeff Chandler to take over for the rest of the season.

Pre-Game Notes - WAS

Tuck this thought away for next season - the Redskins have a terrific defense that could be one of the very best in fantasy football if the offense ever picks up the pace enough to force opponents into making mistakes while they are trying to mount a comeback.

Quarterback: Patrick Ramsey has not been flashy, he's not even been often victorious but he's been solid lately as he settles into the starting role this season and should cement a gig for next season. Ramsey has had a high completion percentage and not thrown more than one interception in any of the last four games.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis comes off an 80 yard, two touchdown effort against the Eagles and since his season low 17 yards in week 12, he's looked much better against NYG and PHI. This week he gets to face one of the very worst rushing defenses and with final games against DAL and MIN, there is a chance that he'll erase some of the bad karma from his inauspicious start to the season.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles had 100 yards on 12 catches last week against the Eagles and while he only has one touchdown on the year, he's re-evolved into an average fantasy receiver with 60 yards or better in most games. Rod Gardner seems like a bigger factor when you watch the games but the reality is that he's never had more than 35 yards in any of the last four games and hasn't scored since week eight.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley comes off his best game of his young career when he had five catches for 75 yards last week. His five touchdowns ties Gardner for the team lead and he's evolving into an equally important target with Coles. He's also the #1 red zone target for the Redskins.

Match Against the Defense: The 49er rush defense should be just the right thing for Portis to exploit and earn enough money to keep paying $5000 each week that he is fined for wearing red socks. This will be a big game from Portis who needs some production in the final weeks to feel good about his decision to join the Redskins this year.

There is no reason why Ramsey won't have at least a moderate game here and he could do more if he wants. It all depends on how much he needs to do in order to win. Chances are he'll be handing off mostly with the occasional toss to Coles or Cooley.

Pre-Game Notes - SF

The 49ers come off a rare win and once again beat the Cardinals 31-28 in overtime. Their last win in 2003 was in Philadelphia where they won 31-28 in overtime. There is virtually no chance that the could score 31 points against the Washington defense, so absolutely no chance that they can win.

Quarterback: Ken Dorsey threw for three touchdowns last week because, for whatever reason, the 49ers can only beat the Cardinals. In four other starts this season he had no touchdowns and never threw for more than 205 yards. Currently the Redskins have the #1 defense against fantasy quarterbacks. That's not a recipe for success.

Tim Rattay remains out with a torn fascia muscle in his right foot.

Running Backs: Maurice Hicks took his first NFL start and turned in 139 yards and one score on 34 carries. Kevan Barlow missed the game due to his concussion and was quoted as saying that he wanted the 49ers to use their seven draft picks in 2005 to draft offensive linemen. He should be back this week and will try to make amends with his blockers by spitting on them in every huddle to motivate them. With the team in a shambles, it's anyone's guess what the roles of Barlow and Hicks will be this week but the assumption is that Barlow returns and Hicks does a little better anyway.

Wide Receivers: Cedrick Wilson comes off an 83 yard, two touchdown game last week and since the last time he scored was in week one, he's due to score again mid-season 2005. Brandon Lloyd also scored last week but only had two catches for 18 yards and hasn't managed more than about 60 yards in almost any game this year.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson set the team record for tight end receptions in a season last week but he only had two catches for eight yards and has been a near non-factor since his monster week five game.

Match Against the Defense: This really does not look good for the Garnet and Gold. Dorsey faces a secondary that allows scores only to the very best quarterbacks and there is not general consensus yet that Dorsey actually is a quarterback. The Redskins are plenty motivated to win here and the 49ers are mainly wondering when the coach will be leaving.

This is not a week to start any 49er players. Hicks and Barlow will likely share the ball and the Redskins defense has been stout. Dorsey has been a total flop outside of Arizona and faces a top notch secondary. Look for Lloyd to do the best since CB Shawn Springs will be out this week.

WAS SF 2004 Averages SF WAS
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
175
232
Pass yards
227
189
1.0
1.7
Pass TDs
1.0
0.9
1.1
0.6
Interceptions
1.1
1.0
6
6
Rush yards
5
6
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
106
105
Rush yards
84
80
0.4
1.4
Rush TDs
0.7
0.5
25
27
Receive yards
40
40
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
123
162
Receive yards
123
127
0.5
1.0
Receive TD's
0.8
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
28
32
Receive yards
64
24
0.4
0.3
Receive TD's
0.2
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.1
1.4
Field Goals
1.4
1.1
1.5
2.8
Extra Points
1.5
1.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
1.3
Fumbles
0.6
0.5
1.0
1.0
Interceptions
0.6
1.1
0.1
0.3
Touchdowns
0.2
0.5
2.2
3.6
Sacks
2.0
2.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Redskins (4-8)
Score Opp.
16-10 TB
14-20 @NYG
18-21 DAL
13-17 @CLE
10-17 BAL
13-10 @CHI
Week 7 bye
14-28 GB
17-10 @DET
10-17 CIN
6-28 @PHI
7-16 @PIT
31-7 NYG
Week 14 PHI
Week 15 @SF
Week 16 @DAL
Week 17 MIN
49ers (2-11)
Score Opp.
19-21 ATL
27-30 @NO
0-34 @SEA
14-24 STL
31-28 ARI
14-22 @NYJ
Week 7 bye
13-23 @CHI
27-42 SEA
27-37 CAR
3-35 @TB
17-24 MIA
6-16 @STL
31-28 @ARI
Week 15 WAS
Week 16 BUF
Week 17 @NE