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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
  Green Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 290,3
RB Ahman Green 110 20 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 30 0
WR Javon Walker 0 110,2 0
WR Donald Driver 0 80,1 0
WR Antonio Chatman 0 40 0
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 3 XP -
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 0 0 340,4
RB Moe Williams 30 20,1 0
RB Michael Bennett 60 30 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 30 0
WR Randy Moss 0 120,2 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 100,1 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 30 0
PK Morten Andersen 1 FG 4 XP -

GB (8-6) vs MIN (8-6)

Game Prediction: GB 27, MIN 31

This is a rematch of week 10 when the Packers won 34-31 with Longwell nailing a field goal as time expired. This is the game for the NFC North title though the loser here still has the inside track on a wild card bid.

These games are always close. Neither team has swept the other this century and the last four meetings were decided by four points or less. Whoever wins usually waits until the final minute.

Pre-Game Notes - GB

The Packers had won six straight before dropping two of their last three games which included a heart-breaking fourth and final loss at home last week against the Jaguars.

Quarterback: Brett Favre had 367 passing yards last week with two touchdowns but his errant throws once again killed the Packers - he had three interceptions. Favre has been off the mark for the last three weeks but he'll look to return to the same form he had in week 10 when he threw for four scores and no interceptions in the first meeting against the Vikings.

Running Backs: Ahman Green's 94 rushing yards on 17 carries was his best effort in the last five weeks but he still has not scored a touchdown since week eight. He only has seven on the season. With Favre's passing less a positive factor lately, Green never gets enough carries to rack up the big yardage.

Green ran for 145 yards on 21 carries in the last Vikings game and it was his last 100+ yard effort. Touchdowns were scored on passes by both William Henderson and Tony Fisher who both had minimal roles otherwise.

Wide Receivers: After a six week drought, Javon Walker finally recorded his fifth 100 yard game last week when he had 11 receptions for 152 yards but never scored. He has ten touchdowns on the year though none since week 13. Donald Driver has scored in four of the last five games but usually ends up around 80 yards a week during the last month even with the passing problems by Favre. Driver usually serves as the possession receiver that gets his catches in first, with Walker a factor later in games with deep passing.

Robert Ferguson will obviously be ruled out this week after an incredible clothesline job last week put him in the hospital. His role will be filled by Antonio Chatman but his absence hurts the multiple receiver schemes because only Walker, Driver, Chatman and Ferguson have any wideout catches this entire season for Green Bay.

Walker had 74 yards and one score in the last Vikings game while Driver only managed 28 yards. The last game had Favre using his running backs and tight end more in the passing scheme.

Tight Ends: Bubba Franks scored once in the last Vikings game but has only one other touchdown in the four successive games with never more than 40 yards.

Match Against the Defense: Favre had four the last time against the Vikings and he threw for three touchdowns last year in Minnesota. He's a bigger risk to repeat with three less than stellar games recently but Minnesota has been handing out season-best games to most quarterbacks and this is an important game. Expect plenty of passing yards and scores with only those interceptions to get in the way.

Ahman Green should have some nice yardage here as well, he had 137 yards last year as a visitor though his scoring drought is almost hard to fathom. Expect yardage and be delighted if there are any touchdowns attached.

Expect at least one score from Walker here. He had three touchdowns last season against Minnesota and two of them were as a visitor. Favre used Henderson and Fisher on pass routes to score last time but those were the only passing scores to running backs allowed by the Vikings this season. Expect the return to wideouts this time around.

Pre-Game Notes - MIN

The Vikings come off perhaps the luckiest win in the NFL this season - the Lions missed the last second extra point to prevent the game from going into overtime. Coupled with the Packer loss last week makes this game a must win since the Packers already hold the advantage in head to head via the previous win in Green Bay.

Quarterback: Daunte Culpepper stumbled mid-season when Moss was out but his 404 yard effort with three scores last week erases any notion that he is still not a fantasy god. Culpepper threw for 363 yards and four scores in the last meeting against the Packers and is at home this time around.

Running Backs: Only a few weeks after Onterrio Smith was deemed the starting running back for the rest of the year, now he has been replaced by Michael Bennett again. Bennett gained 51 yards on 13 carries last week while Smith only had four runs for six yards. Throw in Moe Williams as the only scoring back and the Vikings backfield is no easier to decipher than it was before.

Back in week 10, Smith, Bennett and Williams all participated and none of them had more than 21 rushing yards though both Williams and Smith scored on passes. I'll project considering Bennett and Williams, but Smith will still figure in and the Vikings have not been running well lately anyway.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss has topped 100 yards in both of the last games with a touchdown in each. He has eleven scores on the year in spite of only playing in 11 games. Nate Burleson had his best fantasy game of the year last week with 134 yards and two scores. It was second best for yardage since that happened in week 10 against the Packers when he had 141 yards and one score. Moss did not play in that game.

Marcus Robinson and Kelly Campbell have been non-factors since Moss returned to form.

Tight Ends: As Culpepper returns to using Moss in a heavier role, Jermaine Wiggins keeps trailing downward. He only had 39 yards at most in either of the last two weeks and his best game of the year was 94 yards and one score against the Packers - when Moss was gone.

Match Against the Defense: Culpepper already had 363 yards with four scores without Moss around against the Packers and now at home with everything on the line, here's where vintage Culpepper passing should reign supreme. Expect no less than 300 yards and no less than three scores with a ceiling that could easily add another 100 yards and a few more scores. These games are always shootouts, always close and always all about Culpepper.

Moss always scores against the Packers - both games last year - and now the Viking passing game is even better since Culpepper has had to get to know all his other receivers. If your fantasy championship is this week and you have Culpepper, Moss or Burleson - let me be the first to congratulate you.

GB MIN 2004 Averages MIN GB
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
273
253
Pass yards
295
245
2.0
1.8
Pass TDs
2.4
2.1
1.3
0.6
Interceptions
0.8
0.5
4
12
Rush yards
26
13
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
117
112
Rush yards
88
100
0.6
0.7
Rush TDs
0.4
0.7
49
44
Receive yards
66
43
0.4
0.3
Receive TD's
0.2
0.8
---
---
WR's
---
---
199
168
Receive yards
178
167
1.4
0.9
Receive TD's
1.9
1.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
27
43
Receive yards
52
37
0.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.6
Field Goals
1.1
1.2
2.9
2.6
Extra Points
2.9
2.9
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
0.7
Fumbles
0.6
0.9
0.6
0.8
Interceptions
0.7
1.1
0.3
0.2
Touchdowns
0.1
0.1
2.2
2.8
Sacks
2.5
0.9
0.0
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Packers (8-6)
Score Opp.
24-14 @CAR
10-21 CHI
31-45 @IND
7-14 NYG
27-48 TEN
38-10 @DET
41-20 DAL
28-14 @WAS
Week 9 bye
34-31 MIN
16-13 @HOU
45-17 STL
17-47 @PHI
16-13 DET
25-28 JAX
Week 16 @MIN
Week 17 @CHI
Vikings (8-6)
Score Opp.
35-17 DAL
16-27 @PHI
27-22 CHI
Week 4 bye
34-28 @HOU
38-31 @NO
20-3 TEN
13-34 NYG
28-31 @IND
31-34 @GB
22-19 DET
27-16 JAX
14-24 @CHI
23-27 SEA
28-27 @DET
Week 16 GB
Week 17 @WAS