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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
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 220,1
RB Lee Suggs 80 30 0
TE Steve Heiden 0 10 0
WR Frisman Jackson 0 30 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 90,1 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 50 0
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP -
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 180,1
RB Domanick Davis 130,2 30 0
TE Miller/Bruener 0 10 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 70,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 40 0
PK Kris Brown 3 FG 3 XP -

CLE (3-12) vs HOU (7-8)

Game Prediction: CLE 13, HOU 30

The season mercifully ends for the Browns while the Texans are looking at finishing with a .500 season - at home no less.

Update: Holcomb is now expecting to start in spite of still having soreness from his cracked ribs.

Pre-Game Notes - CLE

Close did not count last week in Miami and the reality is that the Browns have lost their last nine games and no one worries much about playing them since a final drive to win can always be made. They don't catch a break here either with the Texans motivated to win big in their final home game.

Quarterback: Luke McCown isn't a bad quarterback, he's just been... no, wait. He actually is. At least probably since it is hard to tell with the entire team slogging through the final vestiges of a season that will finally go away.

Kelly Holcomb might be back this week but until that happens, I am projecting for more fun for McCown.

Running Backs: Lee Suggs had 38 carries last week which broke the all-time record for a Browns' running back in a single game, the previous mark held by Jim Brown. When a player gets more use than Jim Brown, he's rather "favorable" in the eyes of the coaching staff.

The same cannot be said for William Green who never had a single carry last week. Green had been somewhat a project by headcoach Butch Davis but has never impressed the OC/interim HC Terry Robiskie who clearly prefers Suggs when healthy. Suggs had to battle through a neck injury and turf toe this season. Nothing else is working now anyway.

Wide Receivers: Dennis Northcutt had 114 yards and one score last week, so the offense is not without some decent play. Northcutt and Antonio Bryant catch a break here against a secondary that has been scorched most of the season though Houston has improved lately.

Tight Ends: Still counting the days until we see Kellen Winslow Jr. again.

Match Against the Defense: Lee Suggs faces a defense that has been good against the rush in the last two months. Only Edgerrin James topped 100 yards in Houston during that time and that required 28 carries. Look for a moderate to good game by Suggs, but the better that Suggs does just means the worse the rest of the Browns end up.

Antonio Bryant pulls the matchup with the rookie Dunta Robinson which is getting be more something to avoid than to exploit. Look for the passing game to work better this week since the Browns will need to throw and the Texans secondary has been suspect other than the developing Robinson.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

The Texans come off their first ever shut out of an opponent. In Jacksonville, they faced a team without Fred Taylor and one concussion to Leftwich left them without a passing game either. The Texans are ending the year on a high note and this will be just the game to send off 2004 with a smile.

Quarterback: David Carr didn't do much last week since he did not need to pass big in order to win. But he has scored at least one time in five of the last six games. The Texans are enjoying good rushing from Davis and there is no reason why that should not continue this week. That'll just serve to depress whatever passing numbers that Carr could have had.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis comes off his best game of the year - 150 rushing yards and one score against the Jaguars. He has scored in each of the last eight games and now faces one of the worse rush defenses in the NFL. This is a good time to be a Davis owner, if even he did little in the first half of the season.

Wide Receivers: There has been little passing as of late but at least Andre Johnson caught his sixth touchdown for the season last week against the Jaguars. All the rushing success of Davis has made this crew only marginally relevant for fantasy football.

Tight Ends: I was going to say that a tight end in Houston is as useful as a snow shovel, but even a snow shovel has had more use lately.

Match Against the Defense: This should prove to be the Domanick Davis show going against a defense that almost always is ripped by runners. Whatever is left over for the passing game will likely be little more than one touchdown and that would strongly favor Andre Johnson who would enjoy a final touchdown at home.

CLE HOU 2004 Averages HOU CLE
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
190
236
Pass yards
228
197
1.3
2.1
Pass TDs
1.0
1.1
1.3
1.3
Interceptions
0.9
1.0
13
10
Rush yards
18
8
0.1
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
88
101
Rush yards
95
129
0.3
0.3
Rush TDs
1.0
1.3
22
34
Receive yards
45
21
0.1
0.2
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
130
153
Receive yards
169
141
0.7
1.3
Receive TD's
0.8
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
38
49
Receive yards
14
35
0.5
0.4
Receive TD's
0.1
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.1
Field Goals
1.1
1.6
1.8
2.4
Extra Points
2.1
2.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
0.8
Fumbles
0.6
1.3
1.1
0.8
Interceptions
1.3
1.3
0.1
0.2
Touchdowns
0.3
0.4
1.7
2.9
Sacks
1.5
2.8
0.0
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.1
Browns(3-12)
Score Opp.
20-3 BAL
12-19 @DAL
10-27 @NYG
17-13 WAS
23-34 @PIT
34-17 CIN
31-34 PHI
Week 8 bye
13-27 @BAL
10-24 PIT
7-10 NYJ
48-58 @CIN
15-42 NE
7-37 @BUF
0-21 SD
7-10 @MIA
Week 17 @HOU
Texans (7-8)
Score Opp.
20-27 SD
16-28 @DET
24-21 @KC
30-17 OAK
28-34 MIN
20-10 @TEN
Week 7 bye
20-6 JAX
13-31 @DEN
14-49 @IND
13-16 GB
31-21 TEN
7-29 @NYJ
14-23 IND
24-5 @CHI
21-0 @JAX
Week 17 CLE