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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 11
November 15, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
ATL at BAL MIN at MIA STL at CAR DET at ARZ SD at DEN
BUF at HOU NE at GB TEN at PHI SEA at SF
Monday
CHI at NYJ OAK at KC WAS at TB IND at DAL NYG at JAX
CIN at NO PIT at CLE     updated

Prediction: MIN 16, MIA 17

Here's a messy coin flip sort of game between the Vikings with a good defense and no offense and the Dolphins who seem to get better the more that it is not expected. Minnesota is on a three game losing streak and is just 2-2 away from home while the Fins are on a two game winning streak with a 2-2 record when at home. These teams match up strengths to strengths with each other so a single big play could change the winner in this one.

Update: Chester Taylor is listed as questionable this week with the same calf injury he had last week. He was held out of part of practices on Wednesday and Thursday but is still expected to play. I am not changing the projections since this is just a continuation from last week.

Ronnie Brown is also questionable with his groin strain and was held out team drills on Wednesday and Thursday. He is still expected to play but Sammy Morris may get more work in to keep from overloading Brown. I am changing the projections slightly and realize that Brown's groin has been an issue this week.

Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
1 19-16 @WAS 10 17-23 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 3-9 @SF - MON THU
MIN at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 190,1
RB Chester Taylor 80 30 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 10 0
WR Bethel Johnson 0 40,1 0
WR Billy McMullen 0 30 0
WR Troy Williamson 0 50 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 30 0
PK Ryan Longwell 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: After opening to a 4-2 record, the Vikings have hit the skids with an offense that continues to sputter and a defense that is no longer enough by itself. Losing in San Francisco was the low point of the season until the Packers showed up in Minnesota and beat the Vikes. This team needs a turn around in the worst way but help does not appear to be on the way.

Quarterback: Brad Johnson comes off one of his best games of the year when he threw for 257 yards and one score against the worst secondary in the league last week. Johnson still has never had more than one touchdown in any game and four times he failed to turn in any. He's even been on a turnover kick as of late with five interceptions and three lost fumbles over the last three games (against just one score). Johnson was never considered the quarterback of the future and he's only begrudgingly been the quarterback of the present.

Running Backs: Chester Taylor only had 75 yards on 20 carries last week and he is plagued by the offense throwing short and keeping the defenders always near the line of scrimmage. Last week he had a season low two catches for 20 yards so the team is not even using him as a receiver much anymore. Taylor has only two scores on the year and none since week seven. To make matters a little worse for fantasy owners, the Vikings are now using Mewelde Moore as the receiver and he had five catches for 57 yards last week. In away games this year, Moore has done almost nothing. While Taylor has three of his best four games on the road. That may not seem to make sense, but little does on this offense.

To further the bad news, Tony Richardson fractured his right forearm last week.

Wide Receivers: Adding even more confusion was that the Vikings, as always, had Troy Williamson (1-0) and Travis Taylor (3-28) as the starting wideouts last week. Later on they used Bethel Johnson (2-75) and Billy McMullen (3-64, 1 TD). There has been no word that HC Brad Childress is contemplating a change to the wideouts if only because he is focusing on why the offensive line is playing so poorly. I will project for Williamson and Taylor again this week and assume that Marcus Robinson remains out with a lower back injury. But obviously McMullen and Johnson can not only figure in, they can out play the starters.

Tight Ends: The lone consistency for the Vikings is that Jermaine Wiggins no longer matters. He did not even make a catch last week.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins defense is much better than usually credited and is usually obscured by an ineffective offense that loses games. The Fins have only allowed two rushing scores this year to running backs though both came in Miami. Expect Taylor to continue to provide moderate yardage and should see an increase in receiving gains this week though he likely will not score.

Johnson goes against a defense that almost always allows at least one passing score and often two but Johnson has been so up and down it is hard to rely on more than one touchdown here that could favor Wiggins if they still used him but more likely will end up with a wideout. I am awarding it to Bethel Johnson but it could go anywhere other than Williamson who has never scored this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 16 23 23 21 3
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 8 5 10 23 15 24

 

Miami Dolphins (3-6)
1 17-28 @PIT 10 13-10 KC
2 6-16 BUF 11 --- MIN
3 13-10 TEN 12 --- @DET
4 15-17 @HOU 13 --- JAX
5 10-20 @NE 14 --- NE
6 17-20 @NYJ 15 --- @BUF
7 24-34 GB 16 --- NYJ
8 Open Bye 17 --- @IND
9 31-13 @CHI - MON THU
MIA vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 230.1
RB Ronnie Brown 60,1 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 60,1 0
WR Marty Booker 0 50 0
WR Wes Welker 0 60 0
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins evidently were emboldened by their win over the Bears since they returned home to take down the Chiefs and enjoyed consecutive victories for the first time this year. This from the same team that was throttled by the Packers in week seven for their fourth loss in a row. The wins have sparked a new confidence in the Dolphins who recall their winning streak to end 2005. While that is highly unlikely, this week likely won't do much dispel the notion. The Dolphins lost OF Jeno James last week but shouldn't feel the impact this week.

Quarterback: Joey Harrington had two big games recently when he went against the Packers (414, 2 TD) and the Bears (137, 3 TD's) but his 201 yards and no score last week was much more typical. In five starts this year, Harrington only has six scores and three came in one game. For the first time this season, Harrington did manage to throw no interceptions though and had at least two in each of the prior starts.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown tweaked a groin injury last Sunday and missed two series but returned to the game and finished with 89 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown scored. He currently has five scores on the year but has disappeared from the passing game. Last week he had only one catch for a three yard loss. Brown has eclipsed the 100 rushing yard mark only twice this year and both during road games.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers continues his season long trend of catching a touchdown in every other game when he was scoreless last week. Chambers did have 66 yards on three catches but went out on the one yard line on one play because it was not an odd numbered week. Chambers has yet to exceed 66 yards in any game this year. Marty Booker had scored in weeks 8 and 9 but was held to just two catches for 16 yards last week. Even Wes Welker could only come up with 46 yards though he has been much more consistently around 50 or 60 yards per week.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael was enjoying a good season until week nine when he only had one reception for 11 yards. Last week was better but still only ended with five catches for 34 yards. He has yet to score this year and his worst two games of the last six weeks came in the only two wins during that time.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings have been outstanding against the run this year and no runner has turned in more than 78 rushing yards against them. I like the chance that Brown could score once but his yardage should be moderate at best, particularly since they no longer throw much to him.

Harrington faces a secondary that held opponents scoreless and under 150 passing yards on the road and yet gave up over 350 yards and six total touchdowns in the last two home games. While that seems the reverse of what should be expected, that sort of describes the Vikings organization this year. Look for Harrington to connect with Chambers on a touchdown but only moderate passing yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 21 22 13 17 25 19
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 20 2 25 6 27 11