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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
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 230,2
RB Shaud Williams 60,1 0 0
TE Tim Euhus 0 10 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 80,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 40 0
WR Lee Evans 0 80,1 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 3 XP -
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Ken Dorsey 0 0 190,1
RB Kevan Barlow 40 10 0
RB Maurice Hicks 20 10 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 50 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 50,1 0
WR Rashaun Woods 0 20 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 40 0
PK Todd Peterson 2 FG 1 XP -

BUF (8-6) vs SF (2-12)

Game Prediction: BUF 24, SF 13

Here's a study in contrasts. The 49ers are wrapping up what will be a tie for the worst season in franchise history while the Bills have won their last five games and have been one of the best teams in the NFL over the last half of the season.

Update: Rashaun Woods is expected to get some playing time this week as a precursor to how he may be used next season. I am removing Conway and substituting Woods.

Pre-Game Notes - BUF

The Bills will likely take a big hit with McGahee hobbled but seriously - that defense against the 49ers? The offense may not need to score any points for the Bills to win here.

Quarterback: Drew Bledsoe has not been doing much lately thanks to a light schedule and a dominating defense. The passing game has been relatively dormant the last two weeks but with McGahee out and going against the 49ers this week should be enough to prop the passing numbers back up to respectability again.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee has a hyper-extension of his right knee and won't be playing at least this week. Shaud Williams will likely take the start this week after gaining 72 yards on 24 carries over the last two weeks. Could be an interesting waiver wire pickup if you are absolutely out of options but the 49ers typically lose by the pass anyway.

There's some talk about trying to rush Travis Henry back in but it's likely still too early. I won't consider him for now.

Wide Receivers: Eric Moulds still commands the double coverage but there seems to be less reason why each week. Moulds has only scored once in his last seven games. Lee Evans is on a tear now, with touchdowns in each of his last four games and though Bledsoe only had 183 passing yards last week, Evans snagged 101 of them.

Tight Ends: Not much here other than Tim Euhus occasionally sneaking in a score. The loss of Mark Campbell this season has left the tight ends mostly blocking.

Match Against the Defense: While McGahee would have turned in a nice game here, expect that Shaud Williams only manages a moderate game against a defense that has been at least adequate against most rushers. The 49ers are soft against the pass and that should yield some nice numbers for the only three players that really matter - Bledsoe, Evans and Moulds who all have a great chance for a nice game here.

The 49ers are playing in their final home game but that is no major motivation. There is no guarantee any of them will be back next year.

Pre-Game Notes - SF

The 49ers are 2-12 and with the Bills and Patriots up next, that's likely as good as it is going to get.

Quarterback: Ken Dorsey threw for 206 yards and two scores against the the Redskins but he had four interceptions to ensure that the 49ers would not be competitive in the game in spite of the score. After no scores in his first four games, Dorsey has five touchdowns in his last two efforts. He'll need just as big an effort to stay in the game with the Bills this week.

Running Backs: Maurice Hicks only gained 37 yards on 11 carries against the Redskins which was roughly equal to the 18 yards that Kevan Barlow gained on six runs last week. The 49er rushing game needs a soft opponent before anything good happens and with the Bills bringing one of the toughest rush defenses to town this week, there's little chance that the 49ers will be running well.

Barlow has been named as the starter this week and Hicks will be backing him up.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Lloyd rarely gets much yardage - his 51 yards last week was well above his average with Dorsey as quarterback. But he has scored in both of the last two games and was joined by Curtis Conway in the Redskins game. Conway had his first touchdown in the last four weeks and only had one catch for five yards in the three previous games. Cedrick Wilson may have been the big scorer in week 14 in Arizona with two touchdowns and 83 yards but he only had three receptions for 40 yards last week which is much closer to what he normally does (which includes two games with no catches).

Tight Ends: The biggest positive from the game last week was that Eric Johnson had eight catches for 73 yards - easily his best game since week five when he led the NFL with 162 yards on 13 catches. He had topped 60 yards only once in the last eight weeks.

Match Against the Defense: Barlow could have timed getting the starting nod back better with BUF and NE left to play. Expect that Barlow struggles because he always does against even average defenses.

Dorsey was actually much improved against the Redskins last week but he'll be hard pressed to match even those numbers (206 yards, 2 scores). The Bills have allowed more than one passing score in only three games all year and the biggest hope that the 49ers have is that the Bills try to overlook this game with the Steelers left in week 17.

Buffalo has featured a solid secondary and has allowed only two 100 yard games all year to wideouts. Don't expect much here but there should be one passing score and that favors Lloyd the most.

BUF SF 2004 Averages SF BUF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
186
231
Pass yards
226
194
1.4
1.6
Pass TDs
1.1
1.4
1.1
0.6
Interceptions
1.3
1.4
4
5
Rush yards
4
7
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
102
106
Rush yards
82
88
0.7
1.3
Rush TDs
0.6
0.4
24
28
Receive yards
39
19
0.0
0.1
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
139
161
Receive yards
122
145
0.8
0.9
Receive TD's
0.9
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
26
32
Receive yards
64
29
0.5
0.4
Receive TD's
0.1
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.6
Field Goals
1.3
1.6
2.6
2.8
Extra Points
1.5
1.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.1
1.2
Fumbles
0.6
0.6
1.1
1.2
Interceptions
0.6
1.2
0.6
0.4
Touchdowns
0.2
0.1
2.9
3.4
Sacks
1.9
2.5
0.1
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Bills (8-6)
Score Opp.
10-13 JAX
10-13 @OAK
Week 3 bye
17-31 NE
14-16 @NYJ
20-13 MIA
6-20 @BAL
38-14 ARI
22-17 NYJ
6-29 @NE
37-17 STL
38-9 @SEA
42-32 @MIA
37-7 CLE
33-17 @CIN
Week 16 @SF
Week 17 PIT
49ers (2-12)
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
26-16 WAS
Week 16 BUF
Week 17 @NE