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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
Monday
On Bye
JAX, NO
*updates
TEN, WAS

Prediction: DEN 14, IND 27

After sheepish grins following their last second wins to start the year, the Broncos finally had their inability to convert points or stop opponents come back to bite them with a home loss to the Jaguars. The Colts remain undefeated but are clearly not enjoying how good the Titans and Texans have become this year. Played in Indy this week, the Colts take their advantage to the bank.

The Colts squeaked past the Broncos last year 34-31 in week four.

Denver Broncos (2-1)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BUF 15-14 -3.5 37
2 OAK 23-20 -10 37.5
3 JAC 14-23 -3 35.5
4 @IND   +9.5 45.5
5 SD 7-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
6 BYE - - -
7 PIT 21-Oct SUN 8:15 PM
8 GB 29-Oct MON 8:30 PM
9 @DET 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @KC 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 TEN 19-Nov MON 8:30 PM
12 @CHI 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @OAK 2-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
14 KC 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 @HOU 13-Dec THU 8:15 PM
16 @SD 24-Dec MON 8:00 PM
17 MIN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
DEN at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     220,1
RB Travis Henry 60,1 20  
TE Daniel Graham   10  
WR Javon Walker   70  
WR Brandon Stokley   50  
WR Brandon Marshall   60,1  
PK Jason Elam 2 XP    
Pregame Notes: The Broncos still feature a great pass defense this year - the best statistically - but allowing opponents gain 166 rushing yards per game finally caught up with them last week. With games against the Colts and then the Chargers up next, the Broncos need to fix things fast because they host the Steelers when they leave their week six bye. Denver normally can rely on a big advantage when they play at home but this year it just hasn't been a big factor.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler started the season with a 304 yard passing game against the Bills and still posted 269 yards versus the Raiders but only managed 222 yards against the Jaguars and has only scored once in every game with at least one interception as well. He's been improved from last year but not quite good enough yet to compensate for the failures of the rush defense. Cutler was treated for a sprained ankle after the game on Sunday but is expected to be fine this week.

When Jake Plummer was the starter last year, he only threw for 174 passing yards and one score against the visiting Colts.

Running Backs: Travis Henry had a huge start to his career in Denver with 267 rushing yards in the first two weeks but was held to only 35 yards on 11 carries against the Jaguars though he did have his first score of the year. When Henry runs well, the Broncos can compensate for opponents running successfully but when he cannot, Cutler has to come up bigger in games. Selvin Young has taken over as the primary backup and had two catches last week though he lost a critical fumble as well.

The Broncos ran very well against the Colts last year, with Mike Bell ringing up 136 rushing yards on just 15 carries with two scores and Tatum Bell tossing in 27 more yards on 13 carries.

Wide Receivers: With Javon Walker held to only two catches for ten yards against the Jags, Brandon Marshall came up big with seven catches for 133 yards. He remains a solid complement to Walker that can turn it up when the Broncos need the help. Walker will always come first, but Marshall already is averaging almost 90 yards per game while Brandon Stokley has never had more than 65 yards in any game. Denver will need all three to contribute this week. Stokley gets to return to the site of his biggest success. He just doesn't have Manning anymore.

Javon Walker only had four catches for 40 yards against the Colts last season.

Tight Ends: This position has just completely disappeared from use under Cutler this year. Daniel Graham had only one pass last week which was the crucial fourth down toss which he not only failed to catch, he also spiked the ball and drew a penalty.

Tony Scheffler caught four passes for 51 yards when the Colts visited Denver last year.

Match Against the Defense: This should prove a problem this week. The Colts have not allowed any runner to turn in more than 64 yards against them this year and Travis Henry struggled against a decent defense last week. Decent chance for one score here but moderate yardage at best.

Cutler goes against a secondary that has not allowed any opponent more than one passing score this year, nor more than 236 yards and the Colts are back at home this week. Expect only moderate numbers here against a defense that recorded three sacks in each of the last two games and that has four interceptions on the year. Denver brings in best set of wideouts to face the Colts this year with Walker, Marshall and Stokley, so there could be some trash time yards if the Colts get an early lead and force the Broncos to pass.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 18 9 8 23 19 16
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 10 13 11 11 11 16

 

Indianapolis Colts (3-0)
Homefield: RCA Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NO 41-10 -6 51.5
2 @TEN 22-20 -7 46
3 @HOU 30-24 -6 47.5
4 DEN   -9.5 45.5
5 TB 7-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
6 BYE - - -
7 @JAC 22-Oct MON 8:30 PM
8 @CAR 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 NE 4-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
10 @SD 11-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
11 KC 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @ATL 22-Nov THU 8:15 PM
13 JAC 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @BAL 9-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
15 @OAK 16-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
16 HOU 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 TEN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
IND vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     250,2
RB Joseph Addai 100,1 10  
TE Dallas Clark   60,1  
WR Marvin Harrison   50  
WR Reggie Wayne   70,1  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   40  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Colts opened with their big win over the Saints but road games against the Titans and Texans were victories by less than a touchdown. Shades of 2006 when the Colts kept beating teams by small margins. Facing the Broncos with their big pass defense should hold the scores lower this week but Manning always has a way to get the job done and Addai gets to face a Denver defense that hasn't stopped the run yet this year.

Quarterback: After three games, Peyton Manning still has yet to throw for less than 270 yards in a game though he only has five scores on the year. Back at home this week should help him find the scoreboard more.

Manning threw for 345 yards and three scores in Denver last year.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai opened with a nice game in week one but only had 81 and 72 rushing yards against the Titans and Texans respectively. But what Addai has added this year is the ability to score touchdowns. He already has four on the season and has yet to turn in a game without a score. Facing the Broncos this week should keep that streak alive.

Addai gained 93 yards on 17 rushes in Denver last season.

Wide Receivers: Both Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne only have one game this season with a score and only Wayne has topped 100 yards but both remain solid even in down games with around 80 yards or so. Anthony Gonzalez is starting to show up but only has five catches over the last two games. He is coming along and running good routes and should become a factor before the season is done.

While Harrison was held to just 38 yards against the Broncos while covered by Champ Bailey, Reggie Wayne went nuts with ten catches for 138 yards and three scores - the highest scoring game of his career.

Tight Ends: One of the bigger surprises with the Colts - and maybe the only one really - has been the consistency of Dallas Clark who is the only Colts receiver to score in more than one game and he has been good for around 60 yards per week. Bryan Fletcher and Ben Utecht have yet to show up and steal scores from Clark.

Clark caught six passes for 68 yards in Denver last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Denver pass defense has been awesome in only allowing two scores and an average of about 110 passing yards per game with nine sacks already recorded this year. But then again, they only faced Losman, McCown and Garrard. Not exactly the same as Manning at the Edward Jones Dome. Look for good numbers here from Manning but unlikely any big games from Wayne or Harrison. I like two passing scores this week that should favor Wayne the most and even Dallas Clark. Harrison was held in check by Champ Bailey last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 9 12 7 4 2 9
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 1 16 1 7 8 26

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