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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
  Detroit Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 220,2
RB Kevin Jones 100,1 20 0
TE Stephen Alexander 0 10 0
WR Roy Williams 0 80,1 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 70,1 0
WR Tai Streets 0 30 0
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 3 XP -
  Tennessee Rush Catch Pass
QB Billy Volek 0 0 250,2
RB Antowain Smith 40 10 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 20 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 80,1 0
WR Eddie Berlin 0 30 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 90,1 0
PK Gary Anderson 3 FG 2 XP -

DET (6-9) vs TEN (4-11)

Game Prediction: DET 27, TEN 23

Here's a messy game pitting the inconsistent Lions against the Titans who just want the season to end. The Volek/Bennett magic died last week, bringing with it the giggling hopes of many fantasy teams.

Pre-Game Notes - DET

The Lions come off a close win over the visiting Bears and the only truly positive aspect coming out of this year is that Roy Williams is very good when the ball actually reaches him and Kevin Jones means the Lions can enter the 2005 season with one less hole to fill.

Quarterback: While Joey Harrington looked great against the Vikings in week 15, he went back to his old ways the following game when he only posted 166 yards and no scores against Chicago. He only has thrown for four scores in the last seven weeks against six interceptions and other than the delightful blip against the Vikes, he never passes for over 200 yards any more. This week should be his final chance to shine against a terrible secondary that will best mirror what the Vikes were like.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones now has 1061 rushing yards on the year and winds down the season with six straight games of around 100 yards and/or a touchdown. He has scored in each of the last four games and has been as good as hoped, even if it took him ten weeks before regaining his health and hitting his stride.

Wide Receivers: Roy Williams should enjoy the Titan secondary this week. He had 104 yards and two scores against the Vikings but almost nothing for the other seven games before that. Az-Zahir Hakim hasn't scored since week six though he had two 100 yard games. Each of those were followed by efforts of less than 20 yards but this week's matchup should prove to be one of the better opportunities for the Detroit duo.

Tight Ends: Did you really think that Stephen Alexander was going to be anything more than unfulfilled potential? And that was with him remaining healthy no less.

Match Against the Defense: There is no reason why Jones should not have a monster game here against a team that has allowed 100 yard games to any runner that tries. The Titans have allowed seven rushing scores in the last six games and that includes facing the Raiders who have no runners.

The Titan secondary has finally fallen apart and each of the last five opponents there for at least two scores if not up to five. This is a great shot for Harrington to look like a real NFL quarterback again. Both Hakim and Williams are great plays this week.

Pre-Game Notes - TEN

The Titans have not allowed less than 31 points to each of their last five opponents and all came in losses. The season concludes without Brown or McNair or any sign of a defense.

Quarterback: After posting eight scores and two straight 400+ yard games, the Billy Volek train finally found the train tracks blocked by Denver and right when every fantasy owner needed him most, he flopped for his season worst 111 yards on only eight completions. With two interceptions. No scores. He was even hurt late in the game though the Titans hope that Volek's knee is good enough to allow him to finish out the season this week. He injured both his knees last week but the x-rays and an MRI both were negative.

The good news is that Detroit should not be as tough as Denver was. The bad news is that they are better than OAK, KC or IND that allowed him to go wild.

Running Backs: Antowain Smith scored his third touchdown for the year last week but he only managed 14 carries for 59 yards last week with no score. He's not Chris Brown and he's not even the same Smith from a few seasons ago.

Wide Receivers: After posting three straight games of obscene yardage and scores (517 yards, 8 TD's), evidently Drew Bennett was unable to sustain the most prolific pace in NFL history and only ended with 26 yards last week. He has been noticed now. While he may not rise back up to his gaudy numbers of the past, he still has excellent chemistry with Volek and faces only an average secondary this week.

Derrick Mason had 65 yards in the loss last week. He finally returned to being the primary target now that Bennett gets at least equal coverage if not more.

Tight Ends: Ben Troupe has not been a star, but he's been solid over the last two games and gives some hope for 2005.

Match Against the Defense: This could evolve back into a nice passing game by Volek since the Lions can allow multiple touchdowns though they have improved here in the last month thanks to a softer schedule. Expect that Volek turns in at least two scores if he is healthy enough to play and that could favor either Bennett or Mason.

The biggest problem here is how well the Lions can control the game with Jones rushing. If Jones gets into gear, it will depress the scores and yards.

DET TEN 2004 Averages TEN DET
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
185
245
Pass yards
245
231
1.1
1.8
Pass TDs
1.7
1.7
0.8
1.1
Interceptions
1.3
0.9
12
7
Rush yards
12
13
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
99
111
Rush yards
105
104
0.5
1.1
Rush TDs
0.6
0.5
38
31
Receive yards
34
52
0.2
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
120
173
Receive yards
176
143
0.9
1.1
Receive TD's
1.2
1.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
27
42
Receive yards
38
38
0.1
0.6
Receive TD's
0.4
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.4
Field Goals
1.2
1.1
1.8
3.3
Extra Points
2.4
2.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.9
0.9
Fumbles
0.9
0.5
0.7
1.1
Interceptions
1.1
0.7
0.4
0.3
Touchdowns
0.1
0.2
2.5
2.9
Sacks
2.0
2.3
0.1
0.2
Safeties
0.0
0.1
Lions(6-9)
Score Opp.
20-16 @CHI
28-16 HOU
13-30 PHI
Week 4 bye
17-10 @ATL
10-38 GB
28-13 @NYG
21-31 @DAL
10-17 WAS
17-23 @JAX
19-22 @MIN
9-41 IND
26-12 ARI
13-16 @GB
27-28 MIN
19-13 CHI
Week 17 @TEN
Tennessee (4-11)
Score Opp.
17-7 @MIA
17-31 IND
12-15 JAX
17-38 @SD
48-27 @GB
10-20 HOU
3-20 @MIN
27-20 CIN
Week 9 bye
17-19 CHI
18-15 @JAX
21-31 @HOU
24-51 @IND
38-49 KC
35-40 @OAK
16-37 DEN
Week 17 DET