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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 8, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
GB at MIN NYJ at NE     Updated

Prediction: BUF 10, IND 27

Sure, this looks like a mismatch since the Colts are #3 in scoring this year and have traipsed unbeaten through some heavy hitters lately while the Bills are only #29 at scoring points. The only saving grace, if there is one, is that the Colts come off two huge wins over the Broncos and Patriots and come home for a week before traveling to Dallas. A down game would not be surprising though the Colts should pull this off easily with Willis McGahee likely out this week.

Update: Joseph Addai is listed as questionable with a wrist injury but has practiced and will play. Not so for Brandon Stokley who continues to recuperate from his sprained left knee. The most notable injury in this game is safety Bob Sanders for the Colts who returned last week but who has soreness in his right knee after last week and has been held out of practice. The Colts may not decide on his status for this week up until game time but I am adding a few yards to Anthony Thomas on the prospect that Sanders won't be 100% and could even potentially miss this game.

Buffalo Bills (3-5)
1 17-19 @NE 10 --- @IND
2 16-6 @MIA 11 --- @HOU
3 20-28 NYJ 12 --- JAX
4 17-12 MIN 13 --- SD
5 7-40 @CHI 14 --- @NYJ
6 17-20 @DET 15 --- MIA
7 6-28 NE 16 --- TEN
8 Open Bye 17 --- @BAL
9 24-10 GB - - -
BUF at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 10 0 180,1
RB Anthony Thomas 80 20 0
TE Robert Royal 0 10 0
WR Peerless Price 0 40 0
WR Lee Evans 0 60,1 0
WR Roscoe Parrish 0 40 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bills come off a win over the Packers that ended their three game losing streak but that came at home. The Bills are only 1-2 on the road this year and there is a chance that the Colts will prove better than the Dolphins back in week two. Willis McGahee has hurt ribs and Losman hasn't proven he can do much with any receiver outside of Lee Evans - if even then. Back to back wins? Not likely.

Quarterback: J. P. Losman comes off a game with only 102 passing yards and that wasn't even his worst game of the year - plus it came against the Packers and their #32 passing defense. Losman has scored in almost every game this year but only once had more than one passing touchdown. With McGahee likely out of the picture, Losman won't even have as good of a running game to support him this week.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee broke a rib in the game against the Packers last week and while the team has not announced him out yet, I am expecting at least one week for him to mend. Anthony Thomas stepped in last week and racked up 95 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. With the Colts defense having their rushing defense as a weakness, it would suggest that Thomas could have a nice game. He'll undoubtedly be the free agent gem of the week but if the Colts get an early lead, and that is likely, then the Bills may not have the luxury of rushing too much this week.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans had a touchdown last week - his second on the year - but that came against the Packers terrible secondary and he still only had two catches in the game for 58 yards. Evans is the only Bills wideout with any significant fantasy value this year and that has been almost exclusively because he was gaining around 80 or 90 yards each week and yet not scoring. Peerless Price amazingly took his match-up against a bad defense and turned in his worst game of the year - just one catch for nine yards. Josh Reed fared no better and ended up with a bruised kidney that required hospitalization. I am expecting that Reed is out this week and that you probably would never notice anyway. Roscoe Parrish would move up with Reed out but he has not had a catch now since week six.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal gets one catch each week in six of the last seven games. He has never scored this year because Ryan Neufeld had the one score to this position back in week six on his only catch on the season.

Match Against the Defense: Now before you go burning your last free agent dollars to get Anthony Thomas for this game, realize that the Colts have been dinged by many runners this year but not one has actually scored a touchdown in Indianapolis. On the road, Indy has given up seven rushing touchdowns. At home - none. The rushing defense finally has safety Bob Sanders back who had a team leading 11 tackles against the Pats last week. He makes a difference. Even the duo of Maroney and Dillon only had 107 yards on 26 carries last week playing at home. So expect perhaps some moderate yardage here but a big game is not as likely as it may seem.

The worse news is that the Colts are weak against running backs and tight ends, but the Bills have not been using either much as receivers. The Colts have not allowed any wideout to gain more than 56 yards as a visitor and that was Andre Johnson. Eventually the Bills should score once via the pass but anything more than that would be a major accomplishment. Price has the better match-up but the Bills just do not rely on any wideout like they do Evans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 30 27 18 31 27 15
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 20 30 2 19 3 4


Indianapolis Colts (8-0)
1 26-21 @NYG 10 --- BUF
2 43-24 HOU 11 --- @DAL
3 21-14 JAX 12 --- PHI
4 31-28 @NYJ 13 --- @TEN
5 14-13 TEN 14 --- @JAX
6 Open Bye 15 --- CIN
7 36-22 WAS 16 --- @HOU
8 34-31 @DEN 17 --- MIA
9 27-20 @NE - - MON
IND vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 250,2
RB Dominic Rhodes 30 10 0
RB Joseph Addai 110,1 0 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 40,1 0
TE Ben Utecht 0 30 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 80,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 70 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Solid road wins over the Broncos and Patriots could be about as bad as it gets this year and the Colts still have not lost a game. With DAL, PHI, JAX and CIN left to play the Colts can scarcely think the worst is over. But the offense under Manning is just operating on all cylinders and the rookie Addai is getting better every week. The Colts should feel safe enough at home this week to let this game be much closer than it should because by now they know they can always conjure up a win when they need to thanks to Manning. As the only unbeaten team, yet again, the Colts certainly have the look of the one to beat this year - and no one has yet.

Quarterback: As if he wasn't already top notch, Peyton Manning has kicked it up a notch over the last three games and has been over 320 yards for three games now - including at Denver and New England. He has thrown nine scores in the last thee outings and his 17 passing scores is now the best in the NFL. The only downside to Manning - if there is one - is that his production has a habit of being just as good as it needs to be and that likely means a down game this week.

Running Backs: It is official by now - Joseph Addai has taken over the primary running back role from Dominic Rhodes. Addai has 35 carries for 136 yards in the last two games while Rhodes only put up seven runs for 13 yards. Factor in both of the last two weeks were huge games and the Colts have proven they are confident in their rookie. The Colts have yet to have any runner top 100 rushing yards this year but now that Addai is getting the lion's share, that becomes more likely to happen as soon as this week.

Wide Receivers: While the Patriots employ an ever changing passing scheme that rarely uses wideouts much and even less in two straight games, the Colts are the perfect model of a dream passing attack for fantasy football. Not only have Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne been highly productive, they have been the only wideouts to actually catch any passes since Stokley last played in week five. Just Harrison and Wayne. Over and over. It's a beautiful thing really. Almost hate to see Stokley return to diminish the catches though he could this week or next. The dynamic duo have merely accounted for nine touchdowns in the last three games.

Tight Ends: Manning has come to use both Ben Utecht and Dallas Clark in almost equal measures over the last month. Both are posting nearly 40 yards every week though only Clark has scored. Bryan Fletcher shows up on occasion but usually to catch just one pass for a touchdown.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts could likely wax the Bills this week but after two big road wins, they are likely to enjoy a less taxing outing this week. The Bills have a soft rush defense and I like Addai to turn in a nice game here with one score. Figure on the Colts wanting to get the game over with and running more than usual if only because they can.

Manning is more likely to end with a moderate game here with a couple of scores. I like one of the tight ends to score this week - probably Clark but could be Utecht, and for Harrison to take the better match-up for a score as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 3 16 1 5 4 22
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 13 27 25 10 9 21