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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 9
November 2, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at MIA* DET at MIN* TEN at CLE* PIT at GB* PHI at WAS*
CAR at TB HOU at JAC* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
CHI at NO OAK at KC* NYG at SF BUF, DEN IND at NE
CIN at BAL SD at NYJ SEA at ARI* DAL, STL Updates*

Prediction: San Diego 20, NY Jets 13

The Chargers head up to New York for a little payback while trying to stay on track in the AFC West. The Jets beat the Chargers in week 2 last year when they outscored them 34-28 in San Diego which was right before the Chargers really took off for the season. Now the Jets are struggling to win any game and the Chargers hope to reach their week 10 bye with a 5-4 record. Anything less makes getting even a wild card a challenge.

San Diego Chargers (4-4)
1 24-28 DAL 10 Open Bye
2 17-20 @DEN 11 Nov 20 BUF
3 45-23 NYG 12 Nov 27 @WAS
4 41-17 @NE 13 Dec 4 OAK
5 22-24 PIT 14 Dec 11 MIA
6 27-14 @OAK 15 Dec 18 @IND
7 17-20 @PHI 16 Dec 24 @KCC
8 28-20 KCC 17 Dec 31 DEN
9 Nov 6 @NYJ . MON SAT
SDC Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 210,1
RB L. Tomlinson 100,1 20 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 60,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 50 0
WR Eric Parker 0 30 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 30 0
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Chargers continue to be competitive in every game thanks to having an improving defense and both the best tight end and best running back in the NFL. Maybe the world. Yeah, definitely the world. In a season with so few players scoring multiple touchdowns, the Chargers have already had Gates turn in three last week and Tomlinson has four efforts with at least two scores - he's even thrown for two touchdowns this season.

Quarterback: Drew Brees may have Tomlinson trying to upstage him in the passing department, but Drew has hardly been a slouch. He's thrown for 13 scores already this season and five in just the last two games. In big games the last two weeks, Brees has thrown for 299 and 324 yards. The big game ability is there, it's usually a question of whether Tomlinson steals the limelight.

Brees only had 146 yards and one score against the Jets last year.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson has now gone a shocking two games without a rushing or even receiving score though he did loft his second touchdown pass of the season last week against the Chiefs. Tomlinson has been quiet in the yards department as well, gaining only 92 total yards against the Chiefs and 33 yards against the Eagles. Tomlinson cannot do it all every single week - just most weeks.

Tomlinson ran for 87 yards and one score against the Jets last season and added 76 yards on three receptions.

Wide Receivers: With Gates playing so well, the wideouts have not needed to be as productive but Keenan McCardell has over 70 yards in each of the previous two games and even Eric Parker showed up last week with four catches for 63 yards and a touchdowns after only have one catch in the last two games combined. Gates not only counts as a wideout in the passing scheme, he counts as the best one.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates was already one of the top tight ends this season despite missing week one and now he's buried all the competition by recording 10 catches for 145 yards and three scores against the Chiefs. That's as much production as the average tight end has in a season. The only time Gates has not turned in a big game is when Tomlinson runs so easily that they never get around to passing much. Fortunately, that has only been one game this season.

Antonio Gates only had four catches for 39 yards against the Jets last year.

Match Against the Defense: Tomlinson goes against a rushing defense that been soft against top-flight running backs and there's a good chance that he'll be back over the century mark this week, though it may require some receiving yards to get there. Expect at least one score here that will come on a rushing attempt.

Brees faces a very good secondary that has not allowed a visitor to throw a touchdown this season. That is in part because they've allowed rushing scores and yards but Brees should still manage to throw for one since the Chargers bring a unique combination of RB, TE and WR that will be new for the Jets. Gates is actually as likely to score here as a wideout though it could go either way. Expect more rushing in this game by both sides which will depress passing numbers.

New York Jets (2-5)
1 7-27 @KCC 10 Nov 13 @CAR
2 17-7 MIA 11 Nov 20 @DEN
3 20-26 JAC 12 Nov 27 NOR
4 3-13 @BAL 13 Dec 4 @NE
5 14-12 TBB 14 Dec 11 OAK
6 17-27 @BUF 15 Dec 18 @MIA
7 14-27 @ATL 16 Dec 26 NE
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 BUF
9 Nov 6 SDC . . MON
NYJ Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde 0 0 220,1
RB Curtis Martin 60 10 0
TE Jolley/ Baker 0 20 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 80,1 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 70 0
WR Wayne Chrebet 0 30 0
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jets come off their bye week hoping that Testaverde can hold up and the rushing defense can correct what has become a glaring problem in the last two games. Both McGahee and Dunn ran for over 140 yards on the Jets which is about half what Martin usually turns in. After this week the Jets hit the road for games in CAR and DEN - the schedule is not their friend.

Quarterback: Vinny Testaverde is back at practice now though his strained right calf will make him even less mobile than before (if that is possible). He is expected to play this week after resting up during the bye.

The Jets (Pennington) threw for 258 yards and two scores in San Diego last year.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin has been on a little streak, scoring in each of the three last games though he only managed to gain 28 yards on 14 carries against the Falcons. Martin only has one game over 100 yards and otherwise remains below 70 rushing yards in every game. In the three home games this year, Martin has not scored.

Curtis Martin ran for 119 yards and scored twice against the Chargers in 2004.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles still has not scored since week two, but at least he has a resurgence when Testaverde was playing, turning in two of three games with 89 or 91 yards. Against the Falcons, he had nine catches for a season high. Justin McCareins turned in a five catch, 116 yard effort against the Bills in week six but otherwise has been little more than an occasional outlet worth around 50 yards each week. Coles has the only score by a wideout this season for the Jets.

Tight Ends: In the last three games since Losman was benched, the tight ends never had more than one catch per week. No fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: Martin will once again find a big challenge to gain anything more than moderate yards this week when the Chargers show up and bring a defense that has limited all runners to 60 yards or less in the last seven games. There is a chance that Martin could score, but expect that his three game streak ends this week.

Testaverde faces a secondary that can be exploited and this is where the Jets will need to be successful in order to win. Vinny has only thrown for one score per game though and hasn't gone over 161 yards - far less than the 224 yards that is the least allowed by San Diego this year. Look for a nice yardage game from Coles this week from sheer volume of passes and McCareins should manage at least moderate numbers as well. There will be at least one touchdown pass and by trend it is more likely to go to the slot receiver but Chrebet has been a very minor player this year. More likely that Coles nets the touchdown.