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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 1, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
GB at BUF NO at TB CLE at SD *updated NYJ, PHI

Prediction: MIN 20, SF 24

The ever inconsistent Vikings hit the road this week with a 2-1 away record that includes a win in Seattle and a loss in Buffalo. The 49ers come off a big-spanking by the Bears and head home where they are 2-2. The Vikings savior this year has been the defense and that was ripped to shreds by Brady and the Patriots. The 49ers offense has been there for their two wins, but has disappeared in many games. Strengths against strengths and weaknesses against weaknesses. Coin flip game here but the favored Vikes might find a harder game then they expected.

Minnesota Vikings (4-3)
1 19-16 @WAS 10 --- GB
2 16-13 CAR 11 --- @MIA
3 16-19 CHI 12 --- ARZ
4 12-17 @BUF 13 --- @CHI
5 26-17 DET 14 --- @DET
6 Open Bye 15 --- NYJ
7 31-13 @SEA 16 --- @GB
8 7-31 NE 17 --- STL
9 --- @SF - MON THU
MIN at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 210,1
RB Chester Taylor 100,1 30 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 30,1 0
WR Bethel Johnson 0 20 0
WR Troy Williamson 0 70 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 30 0
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Vikings were looking good at 4-2 coming off wins over Detroit and Seattle that proved they could score more than 17 points in a game. And then the Patriots showed up to remind them that maybe there are not quite there yet. The Vikes had no scores by the offense and suddenly the secondary had soft spots everywhere and gave up 31 points. This week seems like a nice match-up but it is a short week and a rather depressing loss is still on their mind.

Quarterback: Brad Johnson comes off a score-less game last week that had only 185 passing yards and a season high three interceptions. The dink and dunk scheme still worked about the same but that doesn't do much when they trailed badly in the game. Johnson has never thrown more than one score in a game this year and has three efforts without any. Oddly enough, of his four touchdowns on the season, he had one in each of the three road games.

Running Backs: Chester Taylor comes off his worst game of the year when he had only ten carries for 22 yards last Monday though he added three catches for 27 yards. The Vikings spent more of the second half in passing formation that put Taylor on the sideline and Mewelde Moore in the backfield. Moore had four catches for 91 yards but 78 yards came in the fourth quarter with Brooks Bollinger as quarterback. No changes in the pecking order for the Vikes.

Chester Taylor only has two scores on the season and both came in road games.

Wide Receivers: The minimal passing numbers have caused the wideouts to lose pretty much all fantasy value this season. Troy Williamson gets the most passes but hasn't had more than 44 yards in a game since week two. Travis Taylor - exactly the same thing. Marcus Robinson had scored three times this year and has two 75 yard games but he's recovering from a lower back injury and likely won't play this week either. No matter how soft the opposing secondary has been, this offense has never used the wideouts much - at least not successfully.

Tight Ends: Jermaine Wiggins is stuck at around 25 yards every week and has one score on the season.

Match Against the Defense: There is no denying that the 49ers have one of the worst defenses but like so many crappy teams out there, they play better at home. Chester Taylor should enjoy a solid game here and score once but he'll likely top at around 100 rushing yards.

Johnson faces a secondary that is bad, but better at home where opponents have been held to just one or two scores. Johnson never throws more than one so look for this week to be just more of the same for the Vikes. The scoring pass could go anywhere but Wiggins is due and the 49ers are worse than everyone else at stopping tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 17 22 19 11 3
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 31 31 24 32 32 25


San Francisco 49ers (2-5)
1 27-34 @ARZ 10 --- @DET
2 20-13 STL 11 --- SEA
3 24-38 PHI 12 --- @STL
4 0-41 @KC 13 --- @NO
5 34-20 OAK 14 --- GB
6 19-48 SD 15 --- @SEA
7 Open Bye 16 --- ARZ
8 10-41 @CHI 17 --- @DEN
9 --- MIN - - THU
SFO vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 0 0 220,2
RB Frank Gore 80,1 20 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 20 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 80,1 0
WR Bryan Gilmore 0 40 0
WR Arnaz Battle 0 50,1 0
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The 49ers have been door mats every time they have left the Bay area but at home they have won twice and only lost when going against a top-notch offense - that 's not the case this week. The Vikings are coming off a humbling loss and have a short week before a road game - all in the 49ers favor. This is a good spot for an upset though the Vikes are favored by almost a touchdown. But the Vikings have not been that good on the road this year and their recent big win in Seattle was really just another 17 point effort with a returned interception for one score and a 95 yard run by Taylor to get to 31 points.

Quarterback: Alex Smith still manages to throw an interception in every game but he's been better than may seem at first glance. He threw a touchdown in Chicago last week and more importantly, he had two scores at home against the Chargers and three when the Raiders came to town. Smith isn't going to set any records in a road game (at least not the kind he would want to set) but at home he has always thrown at least one score every game and now five in just a two game span.

Running Backs: Frank Gore has hired Drew Rosenhaus to represent him so expect the holdout next summer. Gore comes off a shocking 111 yard effort in Chicago that came on only 11 carries thanks to a 53 yard run in the fourth quarter. His production has been very consistent in terms of average gain this year but depends entirely on his volume of carries. He has only been give the ball more than 16 times twice this season and both times resulted in games over 120 yards. His role in the passing game has turned into just three or so catches each week but Gore can move the ball - he just needs the opportunities.

Wide Receivers: While Arnaz Battle seems forever stuck around 40 or so yards every week, Antonio Bryant has been as low as 29 and as high as 131 yards this season. Bryant scored in Chicago but only had one other touchdown this year. Bryan Gilmore has scored once this season but rarely has more than one catch every week. This unit revolves mainly around Bryant who rises and falls in relation to the defenses.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson has not scored since week three but he has been turning in around 30 yards each week. almost never more than that but at least he offers some marginal production each week with the shot at bigger numbers with more use.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings rush defense has been solid this year but has given up scores on the road and should see Gore cross the goal line once this week. His yardage likely won't be that big unless he pops another long run but a moderate to good game is in order this week. One mitigating fact here is that the Vikings may be without MLB Napoleon Harris who dislocated his wrist on Monday and DT Kevin Williams had a high ankle sprain as well. That should help Gore if not Alex Smith.

Smith faces a secondary that seems had seemed very good until Tom Brady tore it apart last week. The reality though is that the Vikings had given up good yardage to most quarterbacks and seemed better than it was thanks to having faced Losman, Brunell and the week two Delhomme. I like Smith to throw for two scores this week. Figure on Bryant as most likely to score and then either Gilmore or Battle as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 21 6 19 21 22 25
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 22 4 28 12 25 11