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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 5
October 4, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
BUF at CHI STL at GB KC at ARZ PIT at SD CIN, HOU
CLE at CAR TB at NO NYJ at JAX
Monday
ATL, SEA
DET at MIN TEN at IND OAK at SF BAL at DEN  
MIA at NE WAS at NYG DAL at PHI   updated

Prediction: BUF 6, CHI 24

The Bills rise to 2-2 with their win over the Vikings and this team seems fated to play in close games regardless of the level of their opponent. The Bears look nothing less than unstoppable with a top defense and now an offense that is clicking in all facets. Played in Chicago, this has to be a home win for the team that is looking more super every week.

Update: Desmond Clark remains listed as questionable and has not practiced this week but he did the same thing and played last Sunday. I am expecting the same from his since his foot has not worsened. Robert Royal is also questionable this week with a sprained ankle and was held out of practice on Wedneday and practiced only partially on Thursday but will likely play. I am not chahing either player's projections but be aware both are not 100%.

Buffalo Bills (2-2)
1 17-19 @NE 10 --- @IND
2 16-6 @MIA 11 --- @HOU
3 20-28 NYJ 12 --- JAX
4 17-12 MIN 13 --- SD
5 --- @CHI 14 --- @NYJ
6 --- @DET 15 --- MIA
7 --- NE 16 --- TEN
8 Open Bye 17 --- @BAL
9 --- GB - - -
BUF at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 0 0 160
RB Willis McGahee 50 10 0
TE Robert Royal 0 10 0
WR Peerless Price 0 40 0
WR Lee Evans 0 50 0
WR Josh Reed 0 30 0
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bills offense has looked better these last two weeks but both games came at home. McGahee is running more to expectations and Losman is finally finding Evans each week. Back on the road to Chicago is an excellent place to take a step backwards this week.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman comes off a very impressive game when he completed 23 of 32 passes for 222 yards and one score against the Vikings last week which had no turnovers as well. Coupled with the 328 yard, one touchdown game the previous week against the Jets suggests that Losman is finally coming around against at least average, if not above average defenses. That won't be the case this week when Losman goes against "the" defense.

Running Backs: After two mediocre showings on the road, Willis McGahee has spent the last two weeks at home racking up some decent production. He had 150 yards on 26 carries against the Jets and then had 78 yards and his first touchdown of the season against the Vikings last week. The nice thing about McGahee is that he has never had less than 20 carries in a game or less than 70 rushing yards but he has just the one score and has almost no role in the passing game.

Wide Receivers: After two weeks on the road, Lee Evans only had a total of four catches for 44 yards but these last two games have been much improved, recording an eight catch, 107 yard game in week three and seven catches for 90 yards just last week. Peerless Price had an impressive touchdown last week but he remains locked around 40 yards each week. Roscoe Parrish had his big 104 yard game with a score against the Jets but returned to his normal 25 yards last week. The passing game has improved though largely limited to Lee Evans and both happened at home - not in Chicago.

Tight Ends: One catch per game, every game. And never a score.

Match Against the Defense: So far the Bears have not allowed a visiting runner to gain more than 44 yards in Chicago and the Bills win over the Vikings last week means that they will not be taken lightly. Look for McGahee to turn in very moderate production this week with a better chance of a bad game than rising as high as his previous worst game of 70 yards.

Losman doesn't use running backs or tight ends in the passing scheme and really only Lee Evans has done much this year. Expect a down game here with a sub-200 yard effort almost a lock.

Chicago Bears (4-0)
1 26-0 @GB 10 --- @NYG
2 34-7 DET 11 --- @NYJ
3 19-16 @MIN 12 --- @NE
4 37-6 SEA 13 --- MIN
5 --- BUF 14 --- @STL
6 --- @ARZ 15 --- TB
7 Open Bye 16 --- @DET
8 --- SF 17 --- GB
9 --- MIA - - MON
CHI vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Rex Grossman 0 0 220,1
RB Thomas Jones 70,1 10 0
RB Cedric Benson 20 10 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 40 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 60,1 0
WR Rashied Davis 0 30 0
WR Bernard Berrian 0 60 0
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears defense has been nothing short of incredible this season and has yet to allow more than just one touchdown for the season. The Chicago passing game has been productive to the point of shocking and now even the rushing game is coming to life. Mix that all together with a home game and playing the Bears this week should just be chalked up as a win if only to save the Bear's fans gas money. There is a very good chance that the Bears will head into New York to play the Giants with an 8-0 record. The reality here is that the schedule really never does get any tougher than the single week 10 game.

Quarterback: Maybe Rex Grossman really was worth waiting around for? After being an annual scratch due to injury, Grossman now has eight touchdowns on the season and has never turned in less than 232 passing yards. He's on a pace for 32 touchdowns on the season which won't happen but so far he's been the fantasy sleeper for quarterbacks. Enough so that most owners haven't started him until recently because it is so hard to believe. The rushing game came to life finally against the Seahawks but he still had two scores. With a schedule that is amazingly soft, this may not be over for a while.

Running Backs: After three very mediocre rushing efforts in the initial games, Thomas Jones finally showed some life last week when he faced what is normally a very stout defense of Seattle. Thomas ran 24 times for 98 yards and scored twice - his first touchdowns on the season. The game turned into a rout which allowed the Bears to have their highest number of carries in any game so far. Even Cedric Benson was allowed to carry 11 times for 37 yards later in the game. It was only one game which was a rout at home, but that could happen this week as well.

Wide Receivers: While Muhsin Muhammad comes off his worst game of the year, his five catches for 45 yards included his first touchdown to maintain his fantasy value. What no one saw coming in the offseason was the breakout of Bernard Berrian who had his best game of the year when he turned in three catches for 108 yards and one score last week. Berrian now has three touchdowns in the last four games which pretty much was as much as the Bears did in all of last year. Muhammad and Berrian - a true surprise but fast becoming a recognized threat in the NFL.

Tight Ends: While he was questionable to play last week, Desmond Clark was able to participate and came up with three catches for 39 yards against Seattle. Clark's pattern has been to show up big against softer defenses (GB and DET) and then to turn in lesser efforts against the tougher foes (SEA and MIN).

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rushing defense has been quite good this year and the Jets scored twice against them but those are the only scores so far this year given up to running backs. This unit held Ronnie Brown to just 70 yards and Chester Taylor only managed 23 yards on ten carries just last week. Figure on the home team Bears having some success rushing but for Jones to weigh in under 100 yards yet again this week.

The Bills secondary has allowed at least one score each week so expect an average game here from Grossman. The Bears could be a little flat this week after the big win over the Seahawks, so don't look for many fireworks this week. The Bills secondary can be beaten for a score but they are solid and no wideout has had more than 78 yards against them this year. There is no weak side here so the touchdown pass could go anywhere. I like the chance for a defensive score in this game.