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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 5
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
On Bye
CIN, MIN
Monday
OAK, PHI
*updated

Prediction: DAL 31, BUF 13

Here's an obvious mismatch between a 4-0 team leading the league in scoring and a 1-3 team that squeaked out their first win over the stumbling Jets last week. But the Cowboys have to host the Patriots next week and this game just gets in the way. The Bills got a surprising effort from their rookie quarterback but that won't help their defense. Cowboys have to resist the urge to mail this one in because it is a Monday night game that didn't look that appealing last summer and has even less interest now.

Dallas Cowboys (4-0)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYG 45-35 -5.5 44
2 @MIA 37-20 -3.5 40.5
3 @CHI 34-10 +3 41
4 STL 35-7 -13 47
5 @BUF   -10 44
6 NE 14-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
7 MIN 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 BYE - - -
9 @PHI 4-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
10 @NYG 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 WAS 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 NYJ 22-Nov THU 4:15 PM
13 GB 29-Nov THU 8:15 PM
14 @DET 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 PHI 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 @CAR 22-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
17 @WAS 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DAL at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     290,3
RB Julius Jones 70    
RB Marion Barber 50,1 20  
TE Jason Witten   70,1  
WR Terrell Owens   120,2  
WR Patrick Crayton   40  
WR Sam Hurd   20  
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 4 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Rams game went predictably well and now the Cowboys hit the road where they once again have to fight the urge to under prepare and mail in the effort. The offense is playing extremely well but has not faced a team with a winning record yet. This game is just a warm up for next week and now that there is a little game film on Edwards, it should deliver Dallas to next week's much anticipated showdown.

Quarterback: So far Tony Romo has not failed to throw at least two scores in every game and three of the four weeks he has topped 300 passing yards. The greatest aspect of all is that he continues to throw and score even when the Cowboys have the game well within their grasp. With so many accolades and comparisons to being "a young Favre", Romo is due for a down game eventually but not this week.

Running Backs: The softest match-up of the year and Marion Barber finally has a game without a touchdown. And for insult to injury, Julius Jones not only scored, he had more yardage than Barber did against the Rams. That could happen again this week at least for the yardage since the Bulls are weak against the run but Barber should manage at least one score this week. Thanks to the sharing scheme, the duo has only one game over 100 rushing yards this year. Barber had scored twice in each of the two previous games.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens not only had his worst game of the year when he only caught three passes for 33 yards, he actually took it all in stride and was happy for the team. First Randy Moss is back and now this? Patrick Crayton enjoyed a career best game when he had seven catches for 184 yards and two scores last week but that was one catch and 106 yards more than he had in the first three games combined. Nice to have when they need it but that is not the way this offense is designed to operate. It was the first time this season that Owens did not have either a score or at least 100 yards if not both.

Tight Ends: Other than a down game in Miami, Jason Witten has been as good a tight end as any in the league. He currently has three scores on the season and at least six catches for 70 yards in three of the four games this year. In most weeks he trails only Owens in the number of passes he is thrown.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rush defense has allowed opposing runners to gain over 100 yards in three of the four games this year and the Cowboys should have reason to run just to use up the clock but the sharing scenario will cause both Jones and Barber to ring in with less than 100 yards individually. Expect one score here from Barber.

Romo faces a secondary that has allowed around 300 passing yards in almost every game and those go to the wideouts principally. Since losing CB Jason Webster, the Bills have turned to Ashton Youbouty who sprained his ankle last week. Look for Owens to get back into the endzone with that match-up this week and for Witten to score as well unless the Cowboys just try to end the game with rushing. The Bills first priority here should be making it through the game without losing even more defensive players. They lost a safety last week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 1 3 4 2 3 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 28 27 30 23 25 12

 

Buffalo Bills (1-3)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 14-15 +3.5 37
2 @PIT 3-26 +10 37.5
3 @NE 7-38 +16.5 41
4 NYJ 17-14 +3 37.5
5 DAL   +10 44
6 BYE - - -
7 BAL 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 @NYJ 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 CIN 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @MIA 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 NE 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @JAC 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @WAS 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 MIA 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @CLE 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 NYG 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @PHI 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
BUF vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     240,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 70    
TE Robert Royal   30  
WR Lee Evans   80,1  
WR Josh Reed   50  
WR Peerless Price   30  
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bills finally get their first win of the season and yet the offense still only produced 17 points as a season high. Last week not withstanding, this remains one of the weakest teams in the league but Trent Edwards offered a spark last week and Marshawn Lynch remains a solid contributor each game. The bye week awaits after this Monday night game but a national stage for the Cowboys will be far too much for the Bills to handle.

Quarterback: With J.P. Losman out with a sprained MCL, the rookie Trent Edwards looked remarkably sharp completing 22 of 28 passes for 234 yards and one score with only one interception against the Jets. He even gave Lee Evans decent yardage for the first time this year and after only one game, the call for Edwards to replace Losman has already started. The schedule is not very kind in the next few weeks but even one more good game that allows Evans to matter could be enough to send Losman to the bench for good.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch may still be searching for his first 100 rushing yard game but he's been nothing short of spectacular considering the state of this offense. Lynch has scored in three of the four games this year and averages 77 rushing yards per game with a 3.9 yard average. He has three of the four touchdowns scored by the entire Bills team this year.

Wide Receivers: This has been a sad group through the first three games and Lee Evans only had five catches for 39 yards in those weeks. But against the Jets with Edwards passing, Evans six catches for 72 yards were considered astronomic. Even Josh Reed had four catches for 64 yards. Granted no wideout here has scored and until last week there was no fantasy value at all, but at least Edwards gives some promise to this group for this season.

Tight Ends: Michael Gaines now leads all Bills receivers because he has the only passing score of the year. Edwards relied on Gaines (4-20) and Robert Royal (3-31) for more production than the first three weeks combined had produced.

Match Against the Defense: This game has two aspects to it that must be considered. First, the Cowboys are on a big roll and with a meeting against the Patriots looming, they could be in for a down game. But this is Monday night and a national stage so likely the Bills will not get that benefit. Secondly, Edwards was very successful last week but that often happens with new quarterbacks who have never played since the defense has nothing to use for preparation and realistically going against a rookie quarterback rarely strikes fear into the defense (though it should have for the Jets).

That all considered, look for Lynch to turn in decent yardage here but likely not score since the Cowboys have only given up one rushing touchdown this year. CB Anthony Henry may miss this week and that will help Lee Evans to be sure. Expect at least one passing score there that should favor Evans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 32 23 30 19 31 26
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 17 6 24 6 8 11

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