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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

Prediction: OAK 10, MIN 17

Update: The Raiders are starting Daunte Culpepper this week which sets him up for another "revenge" game on the road to an ex-employer. Culpepper was highly productive against the Dolphins (who hasn't?) but faces a far better defense this week. I am adding him back into the projections. Jerry Porter has been limited in practice this week but is expected to play. Porter did have two scores in that game against the Dolphins with Culpepper starting.

The Raiders are on a five game losing streak with little reason to expect a turnaround or many points scored for that matter. The Raiders are 1-3 on the road and only thanks to playing the Dolphins in Miami. The Vikes not only come off a painful shutout in Green Bay, they also lost the only working part of the offense when Adrian Peterson tore a ligament in his knee. This game smacks of about ten total points and if I was in Vegas I would run to a sportsbook to take the under. Oakland is averaging 11 points per game over the last five weeks and the Vikings are without the guy that has scored nine of the 15 touchdowns posted by the Vikes offense. Then again, defensive scores could loom large in this game. Tickets to see this game are the equivalent to a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.

Oakland Raiders (2-7)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 21-36 -1 39
2 @DEN 20-23 +10 37.5
3 CLE 26-24 +3 40.5
4 @MIA 35-17 +3.5 40
5 BYE - - -
6 @SD 14-28 +9.5 44
7 KC 10-12 -3 37.5
8 @TEN 9-13 +7 41
9 HOU 17-24 -3 41.5
10 CHI 6-17 +3 38.5
11 @MIN   +5.5 35.5
12 @KC 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 DEN 2-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
14 @GB 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 IND 16-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
16 @JAC 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 SD 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
OAK at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 210
QB Daunte Culpepper     220,1
RB Justin Fargas 40 30  
TE Zach Miller   40  
WR Jerry Porter   50,1  
WR Ronald Curry   40  
WR Tim Dwight   50  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Oakland offense may be slowly wafting to the bottom of the pool but the defense has managed to make games at least appear competitive this year. The quarterback play has declined to 2006 levels and the only offensive spark has been from Justin Fargas who almost certainly will not be starting next year. The Raiders will still have to lose a few more games before they trot JaMarcus Russell out for his initiation ritual of being the next Oakland quarterback to get clobbered but until then we'll just be treated to more sub-par passing and decent defense.

Quarterback: The starter for this week has yet to be named and Josh McCown had a severe bruise on his leg last week while passing for 108 yards against the Bears. Since week one, he has yet to have more than 158 yards in a game or score more than once. HC Lane Kiffen has declined to name a start so I will project for McCown again though it could end up being Daunte Culpepper or even a slight chance that Russell gets the nod. Most likely it will be McCown and that it will not matter who is the starter.

Running Backs: Justin Fargas gained 81 yards on 23 carries against the Bears last Sunday and in his two weeks as the starter, he's averaging right at four yards per carry which is up sharply from what Lamont Jordan was doing before they gave up on him. The fall from grace is complete now for Jordan and even Dominic Rhodes only had one carry on Sunday. This is the Fargas show now for what that is worth.

Minor note - the Raiders have until today (Wednesday) to either activate Michael Bush or stick him on injured reserve.

Wide Receivers: Hard to recall the promise that Ronald Curry seemed to have this year when he had ten catches for 133 yards and a score in week one. Since then he has been in constant decline though he has scored twice along the way. Over the last four games combined, he only has 122 yards. Jerry Porter has fared slightly better with around 50 yards in most games but he has only scored since week four. This offense just cannot move without a decent quarterback.

Tight Ends: A minor positive is that the rookie Zach Miller has been more involved and comes off a four catch game with 43 yards. He has promise for next year but minimal fantasy value for 2007 unless Russell is the starter and quickly becomes everything that McCown and Culpepper are not (ie. productive).

Match Against the Defense: Fargas faces one of the best rush defenses in the NFL this week and on the road no less. So far in Minny, no opposing runner has topped 55 rushing yards and Fargas is no rebel here. Consider other options if you can.

The Vikings have been soft against the pass but less so at home and realistically the Raiders are not going to suddenly catch on fire. Look for only moderate yardage that comes with turnovers and a few sacks. The Vikings have only allowed Favre and McNabb to score via the pass and there's no equivalents here.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 20 13 23 29 28 26
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 27 4 29 23 20 8


Minnesota Vikings (3-6)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ATL 24-3 -3 36
2 @DET 17-20 +3 42.5
3 @KC 10-13 +3 33.5
4 GB 16-23 +1 38
5 BYE - - -
6 @CHI 34-31 +5 35.5
7 @DAL 14-24 +9.5 46
8 PHI 16-23 +1 37.5
9 SD 35-17 +7 41
10 @GB 0-34 +6.5 40.5
11 OAK   -5.5 35.5
12 @NYG 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 DET 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @SF 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 CHI 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 WAS 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @DEN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
MIN vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson 20,1   120
RB Chester Taylor 90,1 20  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   10  
WR Troy Williamson   20  
WR Bobby Wade   40  
WR Sidney Rice   30  
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Consider it the Minneapolis version of the apocalypse. Adrian Peterson tore his LCL and will be gone this week and potentially many more and with him goes the only offensive spark for the Vikes. The defense has been exposed against the pass which is ironic since the Vikings themselves have almost no passing game anyway. This week should be the easiest game left on the schedule and if there was any time good to lose a player who was a lock for Rookie of the Year, this would be the week. Not so much for the rest of the season though.

Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson was held out last week because of his concussion but likely will start on Sunday because Brad Childress has clearly lost his mind. In the middle ages, Childress forebears likely spent time trying to make gold out of mustard seed and a shiny rock. Brooks Bollinger is no treat but Jackson's last three games failed to contain as many as ten completions or more than 136 passing yards. Without Peterson, this offense reverts to 2006 and remember why the Vikings were in a position to draft Peterson this year.

Running Backs: The Vikings turn back to Chester Taylor as the starting tailback and hope he doesn't harbor a grudge for that whole "you suck, Peterson rocks" thing. The reality is that Taylor is probably an average back and can move the chains as he did when he was the sole weapon of 2006. Plus Taylor does not inspire fear in the defense and therefore less attention devoted to him than Peterson warranted. He's actually a decent fantasy back prospect with games against DET, SF, CHI and DEN on the horizon.

Wide Receivers: Sidney Rice was held out last week because of his hamstring and Robert Ferguson turned in six catches for 59 yards which is astronomic in Vikings terms. I will project for Rice to return this week as well as Troy Williamson but touching any of these wideouts this week is a bad fantasy play. Make that any week. With Jackson likely to return as the starting quarterback, it's purely hands off this group.

Tight Ends: The only time that Vishante Shiancoe has mattered this year was when Kelly Holcomb was playing. No fantasy value here with Bollinger or Jackson under center.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders have a good secondary and the Vikings have a terrible pass offense. Forget all components of the pass this week but the Raiders are weak against the run even with Taylor as the starter. Look for a solid game from Taylor who will want to make a mark in the wake of the Peterson hysteria. This is a great week to have held on to Taylor.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 30 1 31 30 27 5
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 4 31 7 8 15 26

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

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