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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: STL 23, GB 20

The same team that couldn't beat the 49ers is currently 3-1 with wins over Denver, Detroit and at Arizona. The new Linehan-era Rams are indeed exceeding expectations. The Packers return home with just the one win over Detroit to their credit but surprised for the first half of play before the Eagles woke up and waxed them. This is a coin toss game that depends mostly on which colored jersey ends up with the ball when Favre throws a pass. This is about as good a shot at a home win as the Packers will see this year.

Update: Ahman Green has not been practicing with his sore hamstring but he has not been ruled out this week. HC Mike McCarthy said that he expected Green to be able to play this week on Wednesday but obviously he would do so with little or no practice time if he does. I am not going to add him into the projections despite what McCarthy said because Green hasn't really practiced for two weeks and wouldn't take a full load even in the best case scenario. Morency will get playing time here and could get it all. About all Green could be expected to do is to lower Morency's numbers for the week.

Donald Driver is also listed as questionable with bruised ribs and hips and he was held out of practice on Wednesday and returned on Thursday. He is expected to play though he won't be 100%. I am lowering his projections because of his health and the likely absence of Robert Ferguson this week means that Driver could get even more attention by the secondary.

Since the Packers are pretty banged up in key spots, I am lowering their score and switching to the Rams as the winners here.

St. Louis Rams (3-1)
1 18-10 DEN 10 --- @SEA
2 13-20 @SF 11 --- @CAR
3 16-14 @ARZ 12 --- SF
4 41-34 DET 13 --- ARZ
5 --- @GB 14 --- CHI
6 --- SEA 15 --- @OAK
7 Open Bye 16 --- WAS
8 --- @SD 17 --- @MIN
9 --- KC - - MON
STL at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 300,2
RB Steven Jackson 70 40 0
TE J. Klopfenstein 0 30 0
WR Torry Holt 0 120,1 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 80,1 0
WR Kevin Curtis 0 20 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The wins have not come by much and Jeff Wilkins is enjoying a banner season so far, but a 3-1 record is hard to argue with even if one loss went to the 49ers. The Rams offense finally managed to post points last week with the added benefit of making Mike Martz watch and this week head into Green Bay where an even worse secondary awaits.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger built up to last week, with no scores in week one and then one score in week two. He had just one score in week three but threw for 309 yards. Then last week he put it all together for 328 yards and three scores. His progression is not all that unexpected in learning a new offense and this week against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL, it should remain on track.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson finally recorded his first touchdown on the season when he gained 81 yards on 22 carries against the Lions. Jackson is consistently getting right at those 22 carries every week and his production just depends on how well his yards per carry are that particular week. But he's also grown into a more featured aspect of the passing game as well and has added more yardage and catches every week, ending with 65 on six catches against the Lions.

Wide Receivers: So far Torry Holt has been the only "top" wideout from fantasy drafts this summer to deliver on his draft pick (Harrison too to some extent). Holt has scored in each of the last three games and has exceeded 100 yards the last two weeks. Isaac Bruce has also done well, finally scoring for the first time this season but remaining above 70 yards each week. Outside those two, the others don't matter much, not even slot player Kevin Curtis who has only six catches for 45 yards this season.

Tight Ends: The promise to include the tight ends finally happened when the rookie Joe Klopfenstein scored on his two catches for 23 yards against the Lions. The position still has no real fantasy value yet with no more than two or three catches per week.

Match Against the Defense: As bad as the Packer secondary is - and it is plenty bad - the rushing defense is good. No runner has topped 81 yards this year and the three scores allowed where mostly just short plunges. Look for a moderate game from Jackson who would be the first runner to have 22 carries against the Packers if it happens.

Bulger goes against a secondary that has been absolutely ravaged the last three weeks for at least 280 yards and two scores. Look for that to be the least of what Bulger will do, especially with the rushing game likely only mediocre this week. The beauty here is that the primary wideouts are the ones with the big games - Bruce and Holt should turn in some nice numbers this week.

Green Bay Packers (1-3)
1 0-26 CHI 10 --- @MIN
2 27-34 NO 11 --- NE
3 31-24 @DET 12 --- @SEA
4 9-31 @PHI 13 --- NYJ
5 --- STL 14 --- @SF
6 Open Bye 15 --- DET
7 --- @MIA 16 --- MIN
8 --- ARZ 17 --- @CHI
9 --- @BUF - MON THU
GBP vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 250,2
RB Vernand Morency 90 30 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 30 0
WR Donald Driver 0 70,1 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 30 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 30 0
WR Greg Jennings 0 80,1 0
PK Dave Rayner 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Packers made the Monday night game seem like it was going to be close but that was just until halftime when McNabb decided enough was enough. What was worse was that Favre had another terrible game with three turnovers and was banged up at the end of the evening. Back at home about to reach their bye week, this is a good chance to have the Packers get a win if they can stay healthy enough. The home town crowd is still waiting on that first win at Lambeau.

Quarterback: After two big weeks with mirror 340 yard, three touchdown games, Brett Favre reverted to his interception throwing ways and only managed 205 yards in Philadelphia while losing the ball on one fumble and two interceptions. Back at home against an average (at best) defense, he'll be able to cover up those turnovers with enough production to eke out a win.

Running Backs: Ahman Green was a scratch last week due to a hamstring strain - a new one from the injury the previous week. In his place Vernand Morency gained 99 yards on 26 carries though many of those yards came when the game was already decided and the Packers had no business running dives and counters. I am assuming that Morency will play again this week until word is given that Green has been cleared for action. Like Green the week before, Morency added six receptions to his totals though he only gained 19 yards via the pass.

William Henderson appears to have lost his starting job to previous practice squad player Brandon Miree. It will take some time before Miree can become a part of the passing game as had Henderson but he had two catches for nine yards last week.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver was banged up against the Eagles but remained in most of the game and ended with just five catches for 50 yards. That makes two straight weeks with sub-par numbers though he scored in week three. Greg Jennings led the wideouts again this week with five catches for 86 yards and he has the team lead with two touchdowns. Jennings is a constant deep target for Favre and will continue to post some big games because his catches come way down the field.

Tight Ends: The tight ends have progressed to where Bubba Franks is the only one with any fantasy value and that is limited to around three catches for 30 yards per week. No tight end has scored for the Packers this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams rushing defense has allowed at least one rushing score to every opponent this year and each opponent has put up a runner with at least 90 yards in every game. If Green cannot play, Morency becomes a decent start this week with a nice chance to score.

Favre faces a secondary that is much better than it has been but still gives up significant yardage via the pass. Look for Favre to deliver a nice game for the home town fans this week that will have two passing scores. Driver should catch one of them and likely Jennings on a bomb snags the second one.