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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 6
October 11, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
BUF at DET NYG at ATL KC at PIT OAK at DEN CLE, GB
CAR at BAL PHI at NO MIA at NYJ
Monday
IND, JAX
CIN at TB SEA at STL SD at SF CHI at ARZ MIN, NE
HOU at DAL TEN at WAS     updated

Prediction: BUF 24, DET 20

The Bills come off a big-time spanking in Chicago last week and remain on the road where they are only 1-2 this season. The Lions continue searching for their first win of the year despite being in most games this year. This smacks of a messy game that could end up with either 10 or 50 total points. Both teams are injured in critical spots but the Lions haven't held an opponent to less than 26 points in the last four games.

Update: Just to correct an inadvertent omission, 40 yards was credited to Kevin Jones instead of the previous "0" which was a mistake. Jones has been a consistent part of the passing game in four of five games this year and should once again end up around his normal 40 yards.

Buffalo Bills (2-3)
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 7-40 @CHI 14 --- @NYJ
6 --- @DET 15 --- MIA
7 --- NE 16 --- TEN
8 Open Bye 17 --- @BAL
9 --- GB - - -
BUF at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 0 0 270,3
RB Willis McGahee 50 0 0
TE Robert Royal 0 10 0
WR Peerless Price 0 50 0
WR Lee Evans 0 110,1 0
WR Roscoe Parrish 0 40,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 50,1 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bills ran into an expected buzz saw last week when they went to Chicago and the numbers team wide were bleak. But that should not detract too much for the small steps forward that the team has been making this year as it learns new schemes and finally is sticking with just one quarterback. With the Patriots left to play in week seven, this is a win that the Bills need to pick up while they still can.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman is consistent if nothing else. He has thrown exactly one touchdown in each of the last four games though his yardage has been all over the map, as high as 328 and as low as just 83. Losman had three interceptions in Chicago on Sunday but had thrown only one in the previous four games. He's a bit of a gunslinger but isn't always on target.

Running Backs: With only 14 carries for 50 yards, Willis McGahee comes off his worst game of the year but he has only scored one touchdown on the season anyway and had only one game over 100 yards. He's no factor in the passing scheme so his fantasy value relies entirely on how many carries he gets.

Wide Receivers: Last week's fiasco not counting, the group of wideouts here have been contributing though none nearly as much as Lee Evans who comes first for Losman. Even in the pathetic numbers in Chicago last week, Evans still reigned in nine catches for 94 yards and one score and that was from only 14 completions from Losman on the day. Evans has remained above 90 yards in each of the last three efforts with at least seven catches in each game. Josh Reed, Peerless Price and even Roscoe Parrish come into play more against softer defenses but none have truly distinguished themselves as a reliable #2 in fantasy terms.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal was banged up last week but still played. He had no catches, breaking the string of one catch in every game (and never more than just one).

Match Against the Defense: The Lions at home have only played two opponents but held Shaun Alexander and Ahman Green to very pedestrian games. This rush defense is secretly fairly good and only have allowed one rushing score this year. Look for a moderate yardage game here from McGahee who won't get enough carries to come up big. His lack of a role in the passing game is unfortunate since gains could have been made there.

Losman faces a secondary that overall is pretty weak. The Lions have allowed 11 passing scores this year and three efforts over 290 yards to teams that could and would throw a lot. Look for a nice game here from Losman who should manage at least two scores thrown to wideouts and likely three since the tight ends and tailbacks are not a factor. That obviously has to benefit Evans as the primary and then likely the slot player - either Reed or Roscoe Parrish.

Detroit Lions (0-5)
1 6-9 SEA 10 --- SF
2 7-34 @CHI 11 --- @ARZ
3 24-31 GB 12 --- MIA
4 34-41 @STL 13 --- @NE
5 17-26 @MIN 14 --- MIN
6 --- BUF 15 --- @GB
7 --- @NYJ 16 --- CHI
8 Open Bye 17 --- @DAL
9 --- ATL - - THU
DET vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 240,2
RB Kevin Jones 70 40 0
TE Pollard/Campbell 0 20 0
WR Roy Williams 0 70 0
WR Mike Furrey 0 40,1 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 60,1 0
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions return home after a very tough two game road stretch where they gave up 67 combined points to the Rams and Vikings. The reality here is that for the last three weeks, their opponents have all been turning in their biggest scores of the year so far while the Lions continue to post points as well - just not nearly enough in any game. The killer so far has been turnovers and now key injuries are not going to make this any better. Obviously the Lions are due for a win, but we could be saying that for a while.

Quarterback: Jon Kitna has enjoyed the typical characteristics of being a Martz quarterback. He has thrown for pretty good yardage, doesn't have enough rushing game to balance the offense, he throws interceptions and gets banged around in almost every game. Kitna has scored in each of the last three efforts and has never turned in less than 225 yards in any game this year. But he's getting worse each week with turning the ball over with a high last week of one lost fumble and three interceptions. With a very banged up offensive line and possibly without Roy Williams, his challenge is not decreasing.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones comes off the worst game of his career - almost anyone's career ever - when he gained only eight yards on ten carries as the full-time running back last week. Welcome to Martzsville. Jones did have four catches for 42 yards but he was coming off nice games against the Rams and Packers where he had scored three times and topped 80 rushing yards in each. A big step backwards last Sunday, but at least his role as a receiver props up his fantasy value. Jones received a concussion last week but I am assuming that he practices and plays without a problem. Updates if warranted.

Wide Receivers: The big scare in Detroit came last week when Roy Williams was popped on his first catch and left the game with a back stinger. He never returned and while he may be okay this week, I am projecting for him to start but to be limited. Williams will likely gut it out even if he is hurt but a sore back is not conducive for a wideout to be productive. In his place, the Martz favorite pet player Az-Zahir Hakim stepped up to a big eight catch, 92 yard game as he continues to warrant more playing time. Mike Furrey only had three catches for 41 yards in a game that they really needed him to do more. The Lions tried using Eddie Drummond as a fill-in but he failed to catch any of his four passes. Without Williams, the offense shrinks down to little more than just Hakim and Furrey.

Tight Ends: No matter if the game is close or a blowout, the tight ends have almost no role here. Dan Campbell did score last week but on his only catch in the game. Between him and Marcus Pollard, they usually have two catches each week for no real fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rush defense has been very good this year, allowing a big game for Chicago but other teams have not fared nearly so well. Jones should bounce back this week but that still won't likely account for much more than 70 rushing yards and no touchdowns. The Lions are likely going to be missing three offensive linemen this week - Tucker, Verba and Woody and that won't be any help here.

Kitna is going to throw for more than 225 yards because he always does though only two opponents have done that to the Bills this year. The Bills secondary has held opposing wideouts to less than 80 yards in every game until Berrian last week caught a long pass. I like Kitna to throw for two scores against this defense that will end up with Hakim and Furrey if Williams ends up limited this week.