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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 17
January 2, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
MIA at BAL * CLE at HOU * DET at TEN TB at ARZ DAL at NYG *
PIT at BUF SF at NE * MIN at WAS IND at DEN Happy
GB at CHI CIN at PHI * Sun 4 PM JAX at OAK * New Year!
NO at CAR NYJ at STL ATL at SEA * KC at SD * *updated
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 190,2
RB Rudi Johnson 110,1 10 0
TE Matt Schobel 0 10 0
WR Houshmandzadeh 0 50,1 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 30 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 80,1 0
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 3 XP -
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Koy Detmer 0 0 130
RB Reno Mahe 30 20 0
RB Dorsey Levens 40,1 10 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 10 0
WR Greg Lewis 0 30 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 20 0
WR Billy McMullen 0 30 0
PK David Akers 2 FG 1 XP -

CIN (7-8) vs PHI (13-2)

Game Prediction: CIN 24, PHI 13

The Bengals catch a break by facing the Eagles when they no longer care - abundantly proven last Monday night.

Update: Palmer still has not fully practiced and is expected to only be the #2 quarterback this week. Kitna will take his third straight start.

Pre-Game Notes - CIN

This game is a chance that the Bengals can do the unthinkable - end up with a .500 record and when a season has as many wins as losses - that's a success for a franchise that has languished near the bottom for years.

Quarterback: After struggling through games against the Bills and Patriots, Jon Kitna finally looked more like his 2003 version when he threw for 248 yards and two scores last week against the Giants. Carson Palmer has missed the last two games with a sprained knee but said that he expects to play this week and that he will practice by Wednesday or Thursday.

I am assuming that he will get to play. If there is any way that he can be on the field, he'll want to end his first starting season on a better note than holding a clipboard.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson may be playing his final game for the Bengals - it depends on what happens to the soon to be free agent though the Bengals would like him to remain if possible. Money will be the question. He's been everything that they need, the question is how easily he might be replaced. The rookie Chris Perry was a bust for 2004 since he languished with injuries and ended the season with a hernia surgery. Still, he was the second back taken in the 2004 draft, before Kevin Jones or Julius Jones or Tatum Bell.

Wide Receivers: The season ends with T.J. Houshmandzadeh having pushed Kelly Washington out of the #2 spot but Peter Warrick will be back next year... for however long before he is injured again. Chad Johnson took it in the shorts while Palmer was learning the ropes but ends the season with a solid seven touchdowns in the last six games.

Tight Ends: This crew was a three-headed monster for most of the year but in the recent weeks, Matt Schobel has stepped up as the better scorer. He had two scores in the last three games but this position is rarely counted on for any yardage, just the odd catch in the endzone.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles pretty much laid down last week against the Rams and have nothing to play for other than keeping players healthy. Talking about wanting to win sounds good, but there is no reason why they will put any player in significant harms way.

Expect that Rudi Johnson wraps up the season with a nice bang here. Steven Jackson ripped thought the Eagles last week and Johnson will undoubtedly get some nice opportunities here. Playing in Philly will make the game a bit tougher than the Rams just had in St. Louis, but Johnson should be a very safe play since Perry is out of the equation.

Whatever passing happens is more of a guess since it will depend on what the Eagles offense produces and how that effects what the Bengals need to do in the game. Expect nothing more than a moderate passing game here - there is no need for a shootout in a meaningless game.

Pre-Game Notes - PHI

The Eagles are obviously on cruise control in the slow lane with nothing to win until the playoffs start. With Thomas Tapeh getting a hip dislocation last week, it was a reminder that no significant player needs to be risked for nothing.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb played one series last week, scored a touchdown during his three completions and then left the game. He may not have that much playing time here.

Running Backs: Wisely the Eagles say Brian Westbrook last week and watching Tapeh on the turn getting taped up last week means there should be no inclination to play Westbrook this week either. They may even make him stand behind the bench so he doesn't get hit by someone running out of bounds.

Look for Dorsey Levens and Reno Mahe to again share the load.

Wide Receivers: Life without Terrell Owens didn't look very attractive, but it didn't last year anyway. The Eagles tried to involve Greg Lewis (1-6) and Billy McMullen (1-5) with very little success despite throwing 10 passes to the duo.

Tight Ends: For the first time all season, no tight end caught a pass in a game last week.

Match Against the Defense: Just assume that more of the folly from Monday night shows up. The Eagles may use McNabb, Pinkston and Mitchell in the first series, but anything more than that is almost impossible. The Eagles will end the season with running Levens and Mahe and throwing whatever they can to McMullen and Lewis.

This is a home game, but the fans have to understand - better to tank now and win later with healthy players.

CIN PHI 2004 Averages PHI CIN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
224
221
Pass yards
261
218
1.5
1.0
Pass TDs
2.1
1.5
1.5
1.1
Interceptions
0.5
1.1
5
8
Rush yards
15
7
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.2
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
100
106
Rush yards
88
124
0.6
0.5
Rush TDs
0.5
0.7
22
35
Receive yards
65
36
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.4
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
180
140
Receive yards
154
139
1.0
0.5
Receive TD's
1.1
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
22
43
Receive yards
42
42
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.6
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.7
1.1
Field Goals
1.7
1.8
2.4
1.5
Extra Points
2.7
2.6
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.0
0.5
Fumbles
0.8
0.7
1.1
0.6
Interceptions
1.1
1.5
0.3
0.0
Touchdowns
0.1
0.5
2.3
2.2
Sacks
3.1
2.1
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.1
Bengals (7-8)
Score Opp.
24-31 @NYJ
16-13 MIA
9-23 BAL
17-28 @PIT
Week 5 bye
17-34 @CLE
23-10 DEN
20-27 @TEN
26-3 DAL
17-10 @WAS
14-19 PIT
58-48 CLE
27-26 @BAL
28-35 @NE
17-33 BUF
23-22 NYG
Week 17 @PHI
Eagles (13-2)
Score Opp.
31-17 NYG
27-16 MIN
30-13 @DET
19-9 @CHI
Week 5 bye
30-8 CAR
34-31 @CLE
15-10 BAL
3-27 @PIT
49-21 @DAL
28-6 WAS
27-6 @NYG
47-17 GB
17-14 @WAS
12-7 DAL
7-20 @STL
Week 17 CIN