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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
October 26, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ARI at DAL JAC at STL* WAS at NYG* TB at SF* BUF at NE
CHI at DET* MIA at NO* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
GB at CIN OAK at TEN* PHI at DEN ATL, SEA *Updated

Prediction: Green Bay 14, Cincinnati 30

The Packers roll into Cincinnati with a 1-5 record that can only get worse since the next three games are against CIN, PIT and ATL. They have actually already had their easy part of the schedule and only won one game. The Bengals come off a disappointing home loss to the Steelers that proved that the team is not quite yet "all growed up". Nothing like the visiting Packers to help the Bengals feel good about themselves once again.

Green Bay Packers (1-5)
1 3-17 @DET 10 Nov 13 @ATL
2 24-26 CLE 11 Nov 21 MIN
3 16-17 TBB 12 Nov 27 @PHI
4 29-32 @CAR 13 Dec 4 @CHI
5 52-3 NOR 14 Dec 11 DET
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 19 @BAL
7 20-23 @MIN 16 Dec 25 CHI
8 Oct 30 @CIN 17 Jan 1 SEA
9 Nov 6 PIT . . MON
GBP at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 230,2
RB Tony Fisher 40 10 0
RB William Henderson 10 30,1 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 20,1 0
WR Donald Driver 0 60 0
WR Taco Wallace 0 20 0
WR Antonio Chatman 0 60 0
PK Ryan Longwell 0 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: It is fortunate that Brett Favre is an icon in Green Bay because he may be the only remaining recognizable name by the end of the season. Ahman Green has been lost for the season and Robert Ferguson will miss time while no one in the Packers organization dares to ask the question on everyone's mind - "can it get any worse?"

Quarterback: This is a prime example of where fantasy football and the NFL diverge. Yes, the Packers are horrible and may have won their final game. They started the year already stripped because of the salary cap and then were decimated with injuries. And yet - Brett Favre is the highest scoring quarterback in many fantasy leagues. He has thrown for multiple scores in each of the last five games and has 14 touchdowns on the season. He has thrown for over 300 yards in three games already. While other franchises have quarterbacks who cannot connect with a roster full of college all-stars, Favre is now the best and is using a crew of players that would not likely start on any other team outside of Driver.

Running Backs: Goodbye, Ahman, and thanks for the memories. Green now will miss the rest of the season with a torn tendon in his quadriceps and will join Najeh Davenport on that most popular of places in Green Bay - the injured reserve. Tony Fisher becomes the starting tailback by sheer attrition and he can add an option to Favre for passing since he has been the third down back. But behind that horrible offensive line, Fisher won't even meet the lackluster numbers of Green who topped out at 58 rushing yards this season. Other than in the game against the Saints when Davenport scored twice, the Packers have not scored any other rushing touchdown this year.

Reshard Lee will become the backup at least until another warm body that fits a jersey can be found. William Henderson will also become more valuable.

Wide Receivers: Wanted - Split End. Must provide your own health insurance.

The Packers lost Robert Ferguson to a torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and he will miss up to a month or more as he rehabs. That makes Donald Driver and Antonio Chatman the only wideouts with any experience and the Packers only have the rookie Jamal Jones on the roster as a wideout which was a done a week ago when he was moved up from the practice squad. He should just start studying the playbook for split end duties now. Driver comes off his best game of the year with 114 yards and one score against the Vikings but now he is a marked man to the secondary. Chatman has never been more than a slot receiver and yet with Favre throwing, he is almost a lock for fantasy points of some note as long as he stays healthy.

Tight Ends: Bubba Franks returned last week after missing four games and ended with three catches for 38 yards. David Martin had 30 yards on his two grabs and even Donald Lee had three catches for 20 yards. Funny thing about losing all the wideouts, it makes the tights ends start to really matter.

Match Against the Defense: Tony Fisher on the road in Cincinnati where they are still steamed about last week is not a place to play. Look for even lower numbers from the rushing game this week with virtually no chance of a rushing score here.

Favre will be throwing all game, delightfully so, but he no longer has a clear set of receivers to use. Driver goes against a team that has allowed only three scores to wideouts this entire season and only three times has anyone managed to go over 65 yards against the Bengals. Chatman should manage moderate numbers here with all the attention that Driver will be getting and the tight ends, backs and fullbacks are going to have to chip in. This could actually be fun to watch except that the only known weapon Favre still has will be double and triple covered this week. There will likely be a couple of passing scores here but they could go anywhere.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
1 27-13 @CLE 10 Open Bye
2 37-8 MIN 11 Nov 20 IND
3 24-7 @CHI 12 Nov 27 BAL
4 16-10 HOU 13 Dec 4 @PIT
5 20-23 @JAC 14 Dec 11 CLE
6 31-23 @TEN 15 Dec 18 @DET
7 13-27 PIT 16 Dec 24 BUF
8 Oct 30 GBP 17 Jan 1 @KCC
9 Nov 6 @BAL . . SAT
CIN vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 270,3
RB Rudi Johnson 90 0 0
RB Chris Perry 40 20 0
TE Matt Schobel 0 10 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 120,2 0
WR Houshmandzadeh 0 80,1 0
WR Chris Henry 0 30 0
PK Shayne Graham 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bengals looked so great this season until they faced top defenses like the Jaguars and Steelers in games that they lost. Not to worry, Palmer goes against the Packers this week and even though the Bengals will be a bit down emotionally this week, again, they are playing against the visiting Packers. This defense has already held MIN and CHI to only 15 total points - both have better NFC North records than the Packers.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer's electric season grounded out last week when he only had 227 passing yards and no scores against two interceptions. But he's thrown for two or more scores in five games this season. He'll like these Packers. He'll like them just fine. They give all opposing quarterbacks multiple scores too.

Palmer needs to pad his stats with this game since his upcoming schedule goes against BAL twice, IND and PIT. That'll likely depress his surprisingly high season production.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson comes off his worst game of the year when he only had 65 yards on 12 carries while Chris Perry added 43 yards on five receptions. Johnson only has two scores on the season but had been staying around 80 yards a game until last week. Going against the Packers this week should result in 20+ carries for Johnson with enough left over for Perry to have some fun as well.

Wide Receivers: The Bengals were spanked by the Steelers last week, but Chad Johnson still managed to catch four passes for 94 yards and he had a touchdown called back on replay. Johnson has scored in over half his games and has five touchdowns on the year. T.J. Houshmandzadeh played after missing two games and turned in 75 yards on seven catches. He was unaffected by the sore hand that had hampered him and his return pushed Chris Henry back into the slot where he had no catches against the Steelers.

Tight Ends: No value here on one or two catches per week.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers rushing defense has been pretty solid this year, hidden by the relative collapse of everything else. They have only allowed one runner to rush in a touchdown this year and only Cadillac Williams has topped 100 yards against the Packers. The weak secondary has served as an open door to teams wanting to score against the Packers and that will likely once again see Johnson and Perry not rush in a score though anything could happen if the ball ends up on the one-yard line.

Look for a stellar game here from Palmer who could use some ego refreshing after last week. The Packers have allowed five teams to throw for two or more touchdowns and Chad Johnson should be a lock to score in this game, if not more than once. The Packers are trying not to fall apart with all the injuries, but all their three and outs will provide Palmer and company with plenty of opportunities to score in this game.