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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 14
December 7, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CHI at PIT NE at BUF* NYG at PHI* KC at DAL DET at GB
CLE at CIN* OAK at NYJ SF at SEA MIA at SD* Mon 9 PM
HOU at TEN STL at MIN WAS at ARI*   NO at ATL
IND at JAC TB at CAR BAL at DEN Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Detroit 13, Green Bay 27

The Lions won 17-3 when they hosted the Packers in the season opener this year. Both these teams have nose dived since that meeting with the Packers losing most their players and the Lions losing several of their coaches. Bottom line - this may be the final win for Brett Favre because at home against a rudderless Lion team, it can happen.

Detroit Lions (4-8)
1 17-3 GBP 10 29-21 ARI
2 6-38 @CHI 11 7-20 @DAL
3 Open Bye 12 7-27 ATL
4 13-17 @TBB 13 16-21 MIN
5 35-17 BAL 14 Dec 11 @GBP
6 20-21 CAR 15 Dec 18 CIN
7 13-10 @CLE 16 Dec 24 @NOR
8 13-19 CHI 17 Jan 1 @PIT
9 14-27 @MIN . THU SAT
DET at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 0 0 200,1
RB Kevin Jones 50 10 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 10 0
WR Roy Williams 0 70,1 0
WR Mike Williams 0 50 0
WR Scottie Vines 0 40 0
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: When teams lose their head coach, one of two things happen. Some and maybe even most will then band together and look suddenly good again before returning to the mediocrity that led them to the coach's firing. Then others, say like the Lions, continue to use the same tired offensive scheme with the same lackluster results to produce yet another loss. The Lions are not looking inspired and not apparently in fear of their jobs. Not a good way to end their season.

Quarterback: Jeff Garcia has been named the starting quarterback for "as long as he is healthy" by interim head coach Dick Jauron (a valid and needed qualifier). Garcia only managed to throw for 126 yards last week with one interception. He remains the starter though.

Harrington threw for 167 yards and two scores in the opener against the Packers this year.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones had a quad injury from the Thanksgiving game and though he practiced on Wednesday and Thursday last week, he could not get it "loose" and was made inactive for the game. Artose Pinner stepped in and gained 64 yards and a score but the job remains with Jones. I am assuming that Jones returns this week but as always seems to be the case, you just rarely know what you are getting with him, if you even get him at all.

Jones gained 87 yards on 25 carries against the Packers this year.

Wide Receivers: The post-Mariucci era evidently does not include Charles Rogers who was made inactive last week. The passing game remains Roy Williams, Mike Williams and Scott Vines and it does not appear to be likely for any improvement for the rest of the year. Roy Williams only had two catches for 13 yards and no wideouts for the Lions exceeded 38 yards against the Packers earlier this year.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard opened the season with a bang when he had five catches for 58 yards and a score against the Packers. But he only had ten yards last week and Garcia seems unaware that Pollard can be a receiver as well as a blocker.

Match Against the Defense: This is a replay game and the Lions are 0-5 on the road. I like the Packers to be motivated for this game since it may be their final win. The Lions are just playing out their schedule. The Packers rushing defense is nothing special lately but neither are the Lions when they run. Expect a moderate game here as the best that Jones could do and he could turn in a low game if the Packers can put together one more big effort.

Garcia could end up with one score here and even two if the Lions all get on the same page. Expect the one score and around 200 passing yards with a chance for bigger numbers.

Green Bay Packers (2-10)
1 3-17 @DET 10 33-25 @ATL
2 24-26 CLE 11 17-20 MIN
3 16-17 TBB 12 14-19 @PHI
4 29-32 @CAR 13 7-19 @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 14-21 @CIN 17 Jan 1 SEA
9 10-20 PIT . . MON
GBP vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 220,2
RB Sam Gado 80,1 10 0
RB Tony Fisher 20 30 0
TE Donald Lee 0 30 0
TE David Martin 0 40,1 0
WR Donald Driver 0 50,1 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 20 0
WR Antonio Chatman 0 30 0
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Brett Favre is not going out with a bang and if he continues to get hit like last week in Chicago, he won't even be able to manage a whimper. The Green bay offense has declined in points scored for the last month and Bubba Franks has been knocked out of the second consecutive game. The Packers have three home games remaining but the final two are against the Bears and Seahawks - division leaders. And Green Bay is only 1-6 on the road so even the trip to Baltimore doesn't look appealing. But this week can be a victory and one that Favre will want.

Quarterback: Brett Favre is about as battered as he has ever been and left the game in Chicago with his right hand in a cast because his index finger was cut when he hit it against a helmet. He also had some swelling in his right forearm and was completely leveled on a brutal sack. But he has started 237 games in a row and what could be a final meeting against the Lions will not be missed even if passes by tossing the ball up and hitting it like a volleyball.

Favre only managed to throw for 201 yards and two interceptions in the opener against the Lions.

Running Backs: Samkon Gado is surprising if nothing else. He looked horrible against the Vikings when he only had seven yards on ten rushes and yet he has scored at least once in each of the other four starts including the first time all season that any runner has scored in Chicago. Even more unusual his best games were all on the road.

Tony Fisher has been back for three games now and is contributing to the passing game. He had seven catches for 69 yards against the Bears last week for a season high.

Wide Receivers: No real changes here. Donald Driver remains the primary receiver who is good for at least 60 yards in almost every game and neither Antonio Chatman nor Robert Ferguson has done much despite the big need in the passing game. Ferguson is the starter but has not gained more than 37 yards in the three games since he returned.

Tight Ends: Bubba Franks was once again knocked out of the game and with a refresher for his previous concussion, I am assuming he is out this week. David Martin is filling in with about four catches per game but minimal yardage. Donald Lee has been throwing in about 30 yards a game.

Match Against the Defense: As noted, I like this game to be a bit more slanted towards the Packers than mere numbers may suggest. The Lions have not won a road game this season and after last week, there is no reason to expect them to play any better here. That should mean that Gado will score once as have each of the last five opponents running games against the Lions. His yardage will likely remain below 100 but he does surprise at times.

Favre's hand will impact his throwing ability to some extent but the Lions secondary has been giving up a couple of scores in about half of their games with no real trend to who will score. Even Dre Bly was burned last week by Koren Robinson, so look for the scores to most likely end up with Driver and either a tight end or Fisher.