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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 11, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
HOU at DAL TEN at WAS     updated

Prediction: OAK 0, DEN 34

This long time battle between division rivals is looking more like the U.S. invasion of Grenada. The Raiders missed their shot at a win when they let the Browns come roaring back in Oakland and now they'll probably have to wait until week thirteen for when the Texans visit. The Broncos can win this game, of course, the only question is by how much. The hatred between the teams may run deep but at some point - who cares? This could be a total annihilation if Denver chooses.

The Broncos swept the Raiders in 2005, winning 31-17 and 22-3.

Oakland Raiders (0-4)
1 0-27 SD 10 --- DEN
2 6-28 @BAL 11 --- @KC
3 Open Bye 12 --- @SD
4 21-24 CLE 13 --- HOU
5 20-34 @SF 14 --- @CIN
6 --- @DEN 15 --- STL
7 --- ARZ 16 --- KC
8 --- PIT 17 --- @NYJ
9 --- @SEA - MON SAT
OAK at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Walter 0 0 110
RB Lamont Jordan 40 0 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 10 0
TE Randal Williams 0 10 0
WR Randy Moss 0 40 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 20 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 30 0
PK S. Janikowski 0 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: Just when the offense seems to be getting better, the defense gets even worse and the Raiders still are searching for their first win. The Black Hole is now a very apt description of the hardcore Raider fans.

Quarterback: Things are so bad in Oakland that they have already taken to the standard coaching move of "look like you are still trying to find the answer" and Andrew Walter was benched after his second interception last week so that Marques Tuiasosopo could come in and throw his two interceptions. The Raiders did record two passing scores though so progress is being made even if it needs trash time in San Francisco.

Aaron Brooks has not been cleared to play yet and if he is smart, he'll practice his "ouch" before seeing the team doctor this week.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan had his time in the sun when he gained 128 yards and scored once in week four. Last Sunday, he only had 71 yards on 12 carries and gave way to Justin Fargas who had eight runs for 54 yards. None of this really matters this week though. In Denver, bad really can get worse.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss dropped another sure touchdown last Sunday but he actually snared one as well with help from clutching the ball between his knees. That gives Moss a score in two straight games and makes him the leading scorer for the Raiders with just two touchdowns. Of course he only had six catches for 57 yards combined from those two games. Ronald Curry showed up last week with 94 yards on just four catches which is astronomic by Raider standards this year. He's clearly better than Alvis Whitted who so far is better than no one. Curry makes an interesting free agent grab in the event that the Raiders ever do throw well though all bets are off so far.

Tight Ends: The Art Shell manual says tight ends all catch one pass per game. So far, so good. Courtney Anderson even caught his last week standing in the endzone for the very first notable game from a tight end this year. It was just an eight yard pass.

Match Against the Defense: Matching up the Raiders to the defense is pretty surreal by now since it is hard to gauge how much either team is going to care what happens. The Broncos have not allowed a running back to score this year so that's out as is any notable rushing yards.

Andrew Walter, assumedly, will go against a defense that has allowed only one touchdown this year. Denver as a defense has only allowed all opponents combined just one touchdown this year. That ain't likely to happen here. Look for this to be a great week to start the Denver defense and to bench your Raider players. The only hope here is that the Broncos get bored and let the Raiders have some fourth quarter fun and that is rather hard to count on. This game could very well be the dagger in the heart of the Art Shell regime.

Denver Broncos (3-1)
1 10-18 @STL 10 --- @OAK
2 9-6 KC 11 --- SD
3 17-7 @NE 12 --- @KC
4 Open Bye 13 --- SEA
5 13-3 BAL 14 --- @SD
6 --- OAK 15 --- @ARZ
7 --- @CLE 16 --- CIN
8 --- IND 17 --- SF
9 --- @PIT - MON THU
DEN vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 10 0 180,2
RB Tatum Bell 100,1 10 0
TE Tony Scheffler 0 20,1 0
WR Rod Smith 0 50,1 0
WR David Kircus 0 20 0
WR Javon Walker 0 80 0
PK Jason Elam 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Broncos are on a three game winning streak and their defense has never looked better. After four games, they've only allowed one touchdown. Then again, the Denver offense has only scored four touchdowns over four games and continues to make match-ups far more interesting than they should be. Plummer remains the starter and Tatum Bell evidently won the sweepstakes but so far - the scoreboard is barely getting used. That could change a bit this week.

Quarterback: Jake Plummer did not help his case when he only had 106 yards and one score last week but it was a wet night against a top defense. Plummer has exactly one game - 256 yards and two scores in New England - to prevent him from being a total loss this year. If the defense was any worse and actually allowed opponents to score, Plummer would likely get the boot.

Running Backs: The Broncos are set on using Tatum Bell as the heavy-use back now and even when he fumbles they continue to use him. Bell had 92 yards on 19 carries against the Ravens and has been above 90 yards in three of four games this year. Mike Bell doesn't even get a carry any more. With Oakland coming to town, Tatum should only further cement his starting role.

Wide Receivers: The Broncos finally used Rod Smith last week when he had his first touchdown of the season but he still only ended with four catches for 30 yards and has never had more than 44 yards in any game. Plummer clearly favors Javon Walker who has the only decent games by a Denver wideout this year. Walker has quickly become the lone receiver in Denver with any fantasy value.

Tight Ends: Just one catch a week. That's all they ask, that's all Tony Scheffler ever gets.

Match Against the Defense: How this game unfolds is entirely dependent on how motivated the Broncos are to continue to stick it to the Raiders. Figure 100 yards and a score for Tatum Bell but others could get involved by the end of the game.

Plummer could really use a nice game in front of the home town fans if only to stop all the eggs thrown at his house. The Raiders have allowed three passing scores in each of the last two games so figure on Plummer taking two here unless the running game scarfs them up. They would favor Rod Smith slightly and even Scheffler since the Raiders have already given up four touchdowns to tight ends this year. I also love the chance for a defensive score here - how could it not happen?