Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: HOU 23, JAC 17(Line: HOU by 7.5)

Players to watch: Lestar Jean, Blaine Gabbert

Players Updated: Rashad Jennings, Arian Foster

The Texans hit the road after dispatching the Dolphins with minimal effort and head to Jacksonville. The Jaguars return after a solid offensive effort fell short in overtime just to make it hurt a little worse. The Texans swept the Jaguars in 2011, winning 24-14 at home and later 20-13 in Jacksonville. Even if the Jaguars really are better, they are still not this better.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI -----
2 @JAC ----- 11 JAC -----
3 @DEN ----- 12 @DET -----
4 TEN ----- 13 @TEN -----
5 @NYJ ----- 14 @NE -----
6 GB ----- 15 IND -----
7 BAL ----- 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Brandon Weeden 20 150
RB Arian Foster 80,1 4-40
WR Cecil Shorts 2-20
WR Nate Washington 3-40

Pregame Notes: The Texans had a solid effort from Matt Schaub who claims to be finally healthy. He played like it. He passed for 261 yards and one score but had no turnovers and really never needed to throw to win the game. Passing simply because he could was more like the old Schaub. His effort still gets an incomplete though because he relied on just two receivers and nearly ignored the rest.

Andre Johnson turned a team high ten targets into eight receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown. No other wideout had more than two catches or 16 yards. Lestar Jean only ended with one catch for nine yards but the rookie barely missed a 35-yard touchdown catch when one foot caught the sideline. This offense can run obviously but when it comes to passing, Johnson has to have a complement. Kevin Walter is never going to be that guy though they have yet to find anyone better - except maybe now. It may take some time but Jean looks smooth and fast. He could develop into what this offense needs and is worth keeping an eye on.

Owen Daniels was the second most used target last week and ended with 87 yards on four receptions. He is the de facto #2 receiver at least until a wide receiver like Jean steps up. It's rare that he scores and that hurts his value but he's been decent with yardage when healthy.

The fear last week was that Arian Foster was going to be limited because he hit the injury report with a sore knee but that never really mattered when the game started. Foster ran 26 times and while he only gained 79 yards, he scored twice. Ben Tate only managed six yards on five carries to disappoint fantasy owners who thought their seventh round steal was going to pay off in week one. He may never pay off. Foster carries a heavy load and has to be gone for Tate to have "startable" stats.

The Jaguars were typically run over by the Texans last year and that could happen yet again. After allowing Christian Ponder to throw for 270 yards it might spell something good for Schaub who only threw for 225 yards and one score in their last meeting. But the Jags gave up two scores and 84 yards to Adrian Peterson and that's bad when you are about to face the premier backfield in the league. Foster rushed for 65 yards and a score in Jacksonville in 2011 and added seven receptions. The Jaguars are improving at least incrementally but the Texans defense can handle this game well enough. Add in Foster and it will be another Houston win.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 22 7 22 17 6 8
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 6 24 12 13 28 9

QB Brian Hoyer, HOU NO 0000032030 ***
Every quarterback goes off against the Saints. The only QB who failed to tally multiple scores against them this year has been Brandon Weeden; the last four have all topped 320 yards, and the last three have each thrown at least four TDs each. Enter Hoyer, who has multiple touchdowns in all five games he's finished. Next man up!
RB Alfred Blue, HOU NO 8004400000 ***
While most of the damage against New Orleans is being done via the air they've given up 104 and 88 rushing yards the past two games. Blue's a double-dipper, adding receiving yards (and a score last week) to his gig as Houston's primary ball-carrier, so he should enjoy this matchup as much as the rest of the Texans.
RB Jonathan Grimes, HOU NO 4002200000 ***
Grimes has been reasonably productive with a junior share of Houston's backfield touches. Unless and until that share increases, however, he's not doing enough to warrant fantasy mention.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU NO 00101302000 ***
The four WRs to see double-digit targets against the Saints averaged 5-92-1. That's a low-end estimate for Hopkins, who has just two games without a touchdown or 100 yards (or both). Take the over.
WR Nate Washington, HOU NO 004601000 ***
While Washington has been slightly less targeted than Cecil Shorts with both back in the lineup, there's still upside against a Saints secondary that's allowed 20 different wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards this year.
WR Cecil Shorts, HOU NO 004600000 ***
Shorts has been slightly more targeted than fellow wingman Nate Washington, which gives him first dibs against a Saints secondary that's allowed multiple receivers to score and/or top 50 yards in four of the last five and a total of 20 times this year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, HOU NO 1144 ***
It can't get any more favorable for Novak against a defense that's allowed 130 points the past three games. If not now, when?

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND -----
2 HOU ----- 11 @HOU -----
3 @IND ----- 12 TEN -----
4 CIN ----- 13 @BUF -----
5 CHI ----- 14 NYJ -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK ----- 16 NE -----
8 @GB ----- 17 @TEN -----
9 DET ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Justin Blackmon 4-50
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-50,1

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars lost in overtime in Minnesota which is even worse when you consider that they only won once on the road for all of last year. Blaine Gabbert looked much improved from his rookie season when he passed for 260 yards and two scores in Minnesota. Realize that Gabbert never passed for more than one score in any road game and he never gained more than 221 passing yards in any game until Sunday. He threw no interceptions and looked like a real, legitimate NFL quarterback for the first time. This is a wildly encouraging development since the Jags brought on two new receivers.

The rookie Justin Blackmon only managed to gain 24 yards on three catches in his first game but Laurent Robinson threw down five receptions for 66 yards and in this offense - that is something notable. It is a sign that the Jags may pull themselves out of the league passing cellar this season. Cecil Shorts scored once and ended with 74 yards on four catches thanks to a 39-yard score with 20 seconds left to play for what seemed to be the winning touchdown. Did not work out as a victory but the passing stats were superior to anything seen last year. That's plenty of progress for week one.

Marcedes Lewis scored once last week and ended with five catches for 52 yards which was reminiscent of the expectations of 2011 that were dashed. Lewis had two touchdowns in 2010 but then failed to reach the end zone in 2012. This is a good sign that Lewis may be back to form if Gabbert continues to throw better.

The Jaguars lost Rashad Jennings to a knee injury which was still waiting an MRI at this writing. We will update as needed but with Maurice Jones-Drew back, there is no real reason to consider Jennings anyway. MJD gained 77 yards on 19 carries and added three catches though all was not positive. Jones-Drew didn't have much burst which is understandable given his holdout. The question is when that returns. At least he'll continue to be the primary runner and it appears likely that Jennings is not going to interfere as much as initially believed.

This will be a good measure this week facing the familiar Texans with their dominating defense. A win here would be huge but the Texans have a better team in almost every facet.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 11 14 17 11 16 22
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 2 22 5 4 3 20

QB Blake Bortles, JAC SD 20000027021 ***
Bortles stumbled against Tennessee on a short week, but he has both time and the matchup to bounce back here. San Diego has allowed at least 250 passing yards in five straight and multiple QB TDs in four of the five, setting Bortles up for a return to fantasy favor.
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC SD 10012100000 ***
Feature backs have scored and/or topped 100 yards from scrimmage in nine of 10 against the Bolts, with Justin Forsett's 17-69 the only aberration; it's worth noting the rest of Baltimore's backfield chipped in 69 receiving yards in that game. Yeldon should find plenty of room against San Diego, with a baseline of the 87 combo yards per game he's averaged at home and plenty of upside beyond that.
WR Allen Robinson, JAC SD 0061101000 ***
Robinson has scored in four of the past six games and topped 100 yards in the two games he didn't score. San Diego hasn't given up much to the receiver position, but they're hardly a shutdown matchup and Robinson has already punched his every-week starter card.
WR Bryan Walters, JAC SD 003500000 ***
Tough to see Walter carve out fantasy value against a San Diego secondary that's allowed multiple WRs to score and/or top 50 yards just four times this season.
WR Allen Hurns, JAC SD 004400000 ***
Hurns' scoring streak came to an end last week and this isn't a particularly favorable matchup for him to start a new one. That said, one off week shouldn't keep him out of your lineup even in a tougher matchup.
TE Julius Thomas, JAC SD 004301000 **
Thomas' targets continue to increase, with at least five in five straight games and at least eight in three of those five. He also scored last week and could do so again against a San Diego defense that's given up seven TE TDs on the year--three in the last three games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Myers, JAC SD 1133 ***
Myers has three or more field goals in three straight games, with a very kicker-friendly San Diego defense coming to town. Stream away!

* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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