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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 16
December 22, 2004
Season Ticket
Friday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
GB at MIN CHI at DET ATL at NO * NE at NYJ * CLE at MIA
Saturday NYG at CIN * BAL at PIT BUF at SF * Mon 9 PM
DEN at TEN 8:30 HOU at JAX * CAR at TB WAS at DAL PHI at STL
OAK at KC 5 * SD at IND * Good Luck!!! ARZ at SEA *updated
  Arizona Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 0 0 250,1
RB Emmitt Smith 70,1 10 0
TE Freddie Jones 0 20 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 50 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 80,1 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 70 0
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 2 XP -
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 210,1
RB Shaun Alexander 110,2 20 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 10 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 90,1 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 50 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 30 0
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 3 XP -

ARZ (5-9) vs SEA (7-7)

Game Prediction: ARZ 20, SEA 24

This is a rematch of week seven when the Cardinals won 25-17 and gave us the first clue that these Seahawks weren't going to meet expectations this season.

Pre-Game Notes - ARZ

The Cardinals ended a four game losing streak last week when they took down the Rams in a game that made Arizona appear to have a team again. They're only 5-9 on the season but are still not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Quarterback: Josh McCown comes off a nice effort last week when he threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Combine that with his 307 yards the previous week and the Cardinal offense has shown some life in the passing game and McCown has likely managed to keep his job after being benched earlier this season. McCown threw for 212 yards and one score in the previous meeting with Seattle.

Running Backs: Emmitt Smith is winding down what has been a surprisingly good year. He ran for 71 yards last week on 19 carries and had several nice runs that showed he still had some moves and power. His nine touchdowns on the season in astounding compared to expectations and he goes against the Seahawks that gave up 106 yards and one score to him in week seven.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin still has not scored this season and after recording a 109 yard effort against the 49ers in week 14, he fell back to only 48 yards on four catches last Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald only had four catches for 37 yards against the Rams but he scored two touchdowns for his first career multi-score game. Fitzgerald had six touchdowns on the season but last week was the first time he had scored in the last month.

Back in week seven against the Seahawks, Boldin was still out and Fitzgerald turned in one of his best games when he had 73 yards and one touchdown. Though he has scored only once this year, Bryant Johnson has been quietly effective for the last couple of games with 77 and 69 yards. With McCown showing more poise, Johnson has been able to be productive in three receiver sets.

Tight Ends: The better McCown gets, the worse that Freddie Jones is. He only had 12 yards last week and 34 yards the previous game. Back in week seven, Jones only had 35 yards on four receptions.

Match Against the Defense: Last season you could rely on the Seahawks playing tough at home but they're only 3-3 there this year. Thanks largely to injuries, they rank close to the Top 10 worst in most fantasy categories and while this week will be another must win game for them, that doesn't mean much when all games are must win.

Expect that Emmitt has a solid game here though likely not 100 yards. It has not been determined if Emmitt will be a Cardinal next season nor even guaranteed he will still play so he'll want to end this year well.

McCown faces a secondary that always gives up 220+ passing yards and anywhere from one to three touchdowns every week. This is the defense that made Santana Moss look great last week. You have to love the chance that Fitzgerald can score and not unlike last week, Boldin has a good opportunity at getting his first 2004 touchdown against a defense that has allowed seven wideout scores in the last four games - scored by six different receivers.

Pre-Game Notes - SEA

After posting an impressive win in Minnesota in week 14, the Seahawks fell back into inconsistent play again and were drummed by the Jets. Thanks to the absence of any offense from St. Louis, the Seahawks still have a one game lead over the Rams for the NFC West title which may be secured with the worst win record in NFL history.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck is showing a hot streak at the end of the year, a bit too late for every fantasy owner that suffered through his lethargic first half of the season. Hasselbeck had eight touchdowns in the last three games and has been averaging close to 300 yards in that span of time. Hasselbeck threw for only 195 yards and one score with four interceptions in the previous meeting with Arizona - one of his worst efforts of the year.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander has 16 scores on the season and has been fantasy gold in all but two games this year. One of those came against the Cardinals when he only managed 57 yards because he only had 12 carries in the game. There is virtually no chance that he repeats such a bad performance this week.

Wide Receivers: After two big weeks, Darrell Jackson fell back to only 45 yards on four catches against the Jets last week. Over the last half of the season, Jackson either has a big game with 100+ yards and a touchdown or he stays under 50 yards with no scores. Not much middle ground there. Jackson had 117 yards and one score in the previous meeting with Arizona.

Jerry Rice had an impressive one-handed catch for a touchdown last week but only ended with three receptions for 25 yards. Koren Robinson is back this week though HC Mike Holmgren has not formally said he will return as the #2 receiver. Until there is a reason to not assume as much, I am projecting for Rice to fall back to the #3 role. Back in week seven, Robinson only had 32 yards and Rice managed only one catch for ten yards.

Tight Ends: Jerramy Stevens had a score last week but that was after ten weeks of no fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: Back at home coming off a bad loss, Seattle needs to put together a solid game here if only for their own emotional good. There's also the matter of avenging their previous loss to Arizona.

The Cardinals had no problems with Faulk last week but have given up big games to almost every runner for the previous seven games. Expect that Alexander turns in a very nice game here with over 100 yards and at least one score.

The Cardinals secondary has been absolutely stellar over the last ten weeks and no opponent has passed for more than 200 yards during that time. Hasselbeck has been hot lately and while he'll throw at least one score, this is not likely to be anywhere near the yardage he has been posting lately. Expect a moderate game from him that won't kill you this week but won't make much of a difference either.

ARZ SEA 2004 Averages SEA ARZ
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
201
242
Pass yards
243
209
0.7
1.4
Pass TDs
1.5
1.2
1.1
1.4
Interceptions
1.1
0.9
10
8
Rush yards
7
10
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
95
111
Rush yards
123
118
0.9
1.1
Rush TDs
0.9
0.6
33
38
Receive yards
22
34
0.1
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
136
163
Receive yards
178
142
0.5
1.2
Receive TD's
1.0
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
34
40
Receive yards
44
32
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.2
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.8
Field Goals
1.6
1.7
1.8
2.4
Extra Points
2.4
1.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.0
0.6
Fumbles
0.9
1.1
0.8
1.1
Interceptions
1.4
0.8
0.1
0.0
Touchdowns
0.2
0.4
2.3
2.0
Sacks
2.1
2.5
0.1
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Cardinals (5-9)
Score Opp.
10-17 @STL
12-23 NE
3-6 @ATL
34-10 NO
28-31 @SF
Week 6 bye
25-17 SEA
14-38 @BUF
24-23 @MIA
17-14 NYG
10-35 @CAR
3-13 NYJ
12-26 @DET
28-31 SF
31-7 STL
Week 16 @SEA
Week 17 TB
Seahawks (7-7)
Score Opp.
21-7 @NO
10-6 @TB
34-0 SF
Week 4 bye
27-33 STL
20-30 @NE
17-25 @ARI
23-17 CAR
42-27 @SF
12-23 @STL
24-17 MIA
9-38 BUF
39-42 DAL
27-23 @MIN
14-37 @NYJ
Week 16 ARI
Week 17 ATL