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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
December 14, 2005
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
KC at NYG CAR at NO* SD at IND CLE at OAK* Mon 9 PM
  NYJ at MIA SF at JAC* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Denver 24, Buffalo 10

Denver tried to mail in last week's game and almost got caught but recovered for the two point win over the Ravens. The Bills were demolished by the Patriots 35-7 and are on a four game losing streak and may be without J.P. Losman and evidently Willis McGahee is not making the switch to cold weather well at all. Chances for bad weather here - pretty high.

Denver Broncos (10-3)
1 10-34 @MIA 10 31-17 @OAK
2 20-17 SDC 11 27-0 NYJ
3 30-10 KCC 12 24-21 @DAL
4 20-7 @JAC 13 27-31 @KCC
5 21-19 WAS 14 12-10 BAL
6 28-20 NE 15 Dec 17 @BUF
7 23-24 @NYG 16 Dec 24 OAK
8 49-21 PHI 17 Dec 31 @SDC
9 Open Bye M THU SAT
DEN Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 0 0 200,1
RB Mike Anderson 80,1 0 0
RB Tatum Bell 60,1 10 0
TE Jeb Putzier 0 30,1 0
WR Rod Smith 0 60 0
WR Ashley Lelie 0 50 0
WR Charlie Adams 0 20 0
PK Jason Elam 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Broncos got a scare last week from the Ravens but recovered in time to take the win. At 10-3, the Broncos still have a chance to win the other non-Colt bye for the first round and the next two games should produce the wins that will make the final game against the Chargers meaningless.

Quarterback: Jake Plummer continues to chug along with one score per game and around 230 yards regardless of what is happening in the game. He has not thrown for more than one score in the last five games and has never had a big game on the road this season.

Running Backs: The never ending changes to the rotation continue here with Tatum Bell, Mike Anderson and Ron Dayne each getting varying playing time and even fullback Kyle Johnson scored on a pass last week. In combination - always a good result. Individually results may vary. Mike Anderson remains the most likely to score while Bell either does little or goes off for a big game.

Wide Receivers: Rod Smith is just a possession receiver that turns in around 60 or 79 yards per week with the occasional touchdown. He was on a mini-string mid-season with three scores in four games but only has one touchdown in the last four match-ups. Ashley Lelie has only one score on the year and usually turns in moderate yardage.

Tight Ends: Jeb Putzier had been on a five game streak of yardage between 26 and 39 yards but only had one catch for eight yards last week. Even the tight ends lack consistency here.

Match Against the Defense: This should be a cold weather game that will strongly favor the run which has been the Bills weakness all season long. Look for around 150 Denver rushing yards split out, somehow, between Anderson and Bell. Have to like Anderson a bit more here though cold weather and hard running could add Dayne more into the mix.

Plummer should not need to do more than manage this game and he should end up with only average yardage and no more than one score that actually favors Putzier as much as any wideout.

Buffalo Bills (4-9)
1 22-7 HOU 10 14-3 KCC
2 3-19 @TBB 11 10-48 @SDC
3 16-24 ATL 12 9-13 CAR
4 7-19 @NOR 13 23-24 @MIA
5 20-14 MIA 14 7-35 NE
6 27-17 NYJ 15 Dec 17 DEN
7 17-38 @OAK 16 Dec 24 @CIN
8 16-21 @NE 17 Jan 1 @NYJ
9 Open Bye . . SAT
BUF vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 180,1
RB Willis McGahee 50 10 0
TE Mark Campbell 0 10 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 80,1 0
WR Lee Evans 0 50 0
WR Josh Reed 0 20 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bills season peaked in week six when they were 3-3. Since that time, their only win was a trap game against the visiting Chiefs that only looks more amazing every week. The Pats blew the Bills out last week and the team is now turning downward knowing that the season is dead and even some questions are being raised about Mike Mularkey's job security. This offense is struggling to post any points and McGahee has been little help.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman may miss this week with a sprained shoulder and pending the outcome of an MRI on Wednesday, I am assuming that Kelly Holcomb returns and starts ignoring Lee Evans again. Holcomb had been producing far better results than Losman anyway.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee was knocked "woozy" last week and ended with only eight runs for three yards. He is either wearing down or is not used to the rigors of a full 16 game season. McGahee has not scored since week six and has not had a good game for the last five weeks.

Wide Receivers: If the quarterback change does go through, Lee Evans won't be pleased. He only had one score with Holcomb and never had a decent yardage game but had five scores with Losman. Eric Moulds comes off being suspended for one game and he should enjoy Holcomb's return - all three of his scores this year came from Holcomb as well as all his good yardage games.

Tight Ends: No scores this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Broncos have one of the top rushing defenses in the NFL and the Bills cannot remember what a big rushing game looks like. Mark McGahee down this week.

Holcomb should be able to score at least once on this defense as have almost all teams - if not twice. But the Bills are a team on the downswing and losing motivation. Look for only moderate numbers here.