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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 6, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Nite
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   SEA at ARZ *updated

Prediction: OAK 7, CIN 17

Trap game? Of monumental proportions were it to happen. The Raiders are 0-6 on the road this season and rely on opponents discounting them each week. Problem is that even then they have only won two games this season. The only true fun in watching this is to see how the Raiders manage to beat themselves.

Oakland Raiders (2-10)
1 0-27 SD 10 13-17 DEN
2 6-28 @BAL 11 13-17 @KC
3 Open Bye 12 14-21 @SD
4 21-24 CLE 13 14-23 HOU
5 20-34 @SF 14 --- @CIN
6 3-13 @DEN 15 --- STL
7 22-9 ARZ 16 --- KC
8 20-13 PIT 17 --- @NYJ
9 0-16 @SEA - MON SAT
OAK at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Brooks 20 0 180,1
RB Justin Fargas 50 10 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 20,1 0
TE Randal Williams 0 30 0
WR Randy Moss 0 40 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 30 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 40 0
PK S. Janikowski 0 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Just when you think the Raiders could not drop a notch - ker-thunk! The Texans took the win in Oakland despite having -5 passing yards and now the malaise has spread to Sebastian Janikowski who not only missed all three field goal attempts last week, he doinked two of them off the goal posts. Sometimes you just have to admit that all elements of luck and good fortune have their back facing you. The Texans only had 124 total offensive yards against 353 yards for the Raiders and yet the Texans won by nine points. And likely with that the final chance the Raiders have of winning another game this year. Now the only question is if Detroit is going to win any more games and give the Raiders the clear ownership on the first pick in April.

The Raiders are #31 in points scored this year, a mere one point better than the Buccaneers and yet 53 points behind #30 Houston.

Quarterback: Aaron Brooks threw for 238 yards last week with two interceptions. It would have been more but his receivers lost two fumbles. Three games back as the starter and Brooks only has two scores against five interceptions. It just gets no better.

Running Backs: The Raiders backfield now involves the liberal mixing of Reshard Lee (6-42), Justin Fargas (14-48, 1 TD) and even Zack Crockett (2-5) and that was in a home game against the softest defense that the team will face for the rest of the year. Fargas is the starter but Lee gets most of the goal line work if Crockett doesn't... oh just never mind. If you start any of these players you are so desperate that logic will not sway you.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss comes off his best game for the last month when he caught four passes for 44 yards. Break out the champagne. The Raiders have been having more success with the tight ends lately even though they like to end their runs by fumbling the ball away.

Tight Ends: Randal Williams had a big (relative term) game last week when he caught six passes for 36 yards but he lost two fumbles and one was returned for a touchdown. The hero of week 12 was John Madsen with three catches for 69 yards and one score. That meant that last week he only had one catch for eight yards though at no point did he lose possession of the ball.

Match Against the Defense: The match-ups are largely immaterial but the Bengals have only allowed one runner to score in Cincinnati since week four and Tomlinson does not play for the Raiders. Expect the mixture of runners to produce no scores on only moderate yardage for Fargas at best.

Brooks faces a secondary that has given up at least one score to each of the last five visiting quarterbacks and four of them had at least two scores - that seems a bit unrealistic here. There's a good chance that Brooks will eventually throw a touchdown which heavily favors on of the three tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 32 27 31 12 31 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 27 20 8 31 6 8


Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
1 23-10 @KC 10 41-49 SD
2 34-17 CLE 11 31-16 @NO
3 28-20 @PIT 12 30-0 @CLE
4 13-38 NE 13 13-7 BAL
5 Open Bye 14 --- OAK
6 13-14 @TB 15 --- @IND
7 17-14 CAR 16 --- @DEN
8 27-29 ATL 17 --- PIT
9 20-26 @BAL - MON THU
CIN vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 180,1
RB Rudi Johnson 110,1 10 0
TE Reggie Kelly 0 10 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 70,1 0
WR Houshmandzadeh 0 60 0
WR Chris Henry 0 30 0
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The tendency to call this as a mail in effort is huge this week. Coming off a big win over the Ravens and about to hit the road to Indianapolis and Denver, why would the Bengals be motivated to excel this week? At 7-5, they remain in the thick of the hunt for a wild card and cannot afford to let a winnable game like this get past. But - no need to over-exert themselves either.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer took a big step down when he only passed for 234 yards and one score last week but he had no interceptions against the Ravens unlike the two he had in the first meeting. Palmer has thrown for multiple touchdowns in five of the last seven games and the only two that he settled for just one score both came against Baltimore. Palmer is now tied with Peyton Manning for the most touchdown passes thrown this year (22).

Running Backs: It was a rainy field and the opponent was Baltimore, so Rudi Johnson only ended with 47 yards on 16 carries last week for his worst game of the year. Johnson had scored in four of the last five games and topped 100 rushing yards even when he did not have a touchdown. But Johnson only has three games over 100 rushing yards this season and he has played very little in the passing game. His value comes from moderate to good yardage each week with one touchdown in most games.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson finally fell back below 100 yards but he came close when he ended with 91 yards on eight catches - seven came in the first half. The performance against the Ravens still was a solid sign that Johnson remains an elite wideout that has put his slow start to the season behind him. T.J. Houshmandzadeh had the lone score last week and turned in 10 catches for 106 yards - his best yardage on the season. The player that disappeared last week was Chris Henry who failed to record a catch. The trio are among the deadliest in the NFL but the return of Johnson to being a heavily used wideout has meant that Henry's numbers have declined over the last month. He returning to being just another slot receiver but one that can catch a score about every other week.

Chad Johnson leads all NFL receivers with 1147 yards on the season - over 100 yards more than second place Roy Williams. Both Johnson and Houshmandzadeh are one short of the NFL lead with seven touchdowns on the year.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value and no catches last week.

Match Against the Defense: Rudi Johnson has to be a lock to score at least once this week against a defense that has given up big scores and yards on the road this year - thanks in no small part to having Larry Johnson and Tomlinson in their division. But Every road opponent has run for over 100 yards. Expect a big game here by Rudi Johnson while the Bengals are trying to just get through this week.

Palmer faces a secondary that ranks tops against quarterbacks because there has been almost no reason to throw against the Raiders this year. Every road opponent this year has thrown for 176 yards or less because of this. Sure. Palmer could carve them up for 300 yards and three scores but why? Expect a low game here but for Chad Johnson to score once just because.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 6 22 1 29 5 18
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 1 23 3 8 27 32