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 Ryan Fitzpatrick 10 260,2
RB Arian Foster 80,1 4-40
WR Andre Johnson 5-60,1

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 Case Keenum, HOU BAL 0000020011 *
Brees, Rivers, Roethlisberger; those are the three quarterbacks who've had fantasy success passing on the Ravens (Andrew Luck and Andy Dalton augmented their numbers with rushing scores). Keenum is nowhere near those gentlemen and should take up a similar proximity to your fantasy lineup.
RB Arian Foster, HOU BAL 6016500000 *
Gutted at quarterback, all the Texans will be able to do is hand the ball to Foster and hope for the best. Unfortunately, it's a brutal matchup with a Ravens defense that hasn't allowed a back to top 68 yards all year or 59 yards in Baltimore. So while Houston will lean heavily on Foster, that doesn't mean big carry numbers will translate directly into big fantasy numbers.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU BAL 005601000 *
The Ravens have had their issues in the secondary, but they've given up just one TD in the past two games and no receiver topped 76 yards in either game. Hopkins should see plenty of targets, but coming from either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum that doesn't necessarily mean much. He's Houston's best bet for fantasy success, but he's far from a sure thing.
WR Andre Johnson, HOU BAL 004500000 *
Maybe Johnson returns to action this week, but even if he does he has serious issues at quarterback dampening his fantasy impact.
TE Garrett Graham, HOU BAL 003300000 *
Graham remains bothered by an ankle injury, and this is far from a favorable matchup anyway. If you must reach for a Texans tight end, Ryan Griffin is your better bet.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU BAL 1122 *
Multiple treys are no lock for Bullock, who has turned the trick in just half of his 14 games--and only two of six at home. The Ravens might enable, however, having given up multiple field goals in four straight. Still, we're talking about two field goals and maybe a PAT so don't set the bar too high here.

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 Cecil Shorts 2-20
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-50,1
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP

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 TEN 10000025011 ***
Bortles has but one multiple passing TD outing in his 11 NFL starts, none in his past five games. He threw for 336 and 1 in the earlier meeting with Tennessee; he's banged up and it's a short week, so that feels like the top end of his prospects here.
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC TEN 5012100000 ***
Gerhart will get first crack at taking advantage of one of the league's softest run defenses. If you're reaching for fantasy help, he's a guy that could pay off--probably not 100-yard help, though the Titans have already allowed seven backs to cross that threshold including five in the last seven games.
RB Storm Johnson, JAC TEN 300000000 ***
Toby Gerhart gets first crack at the carries, leaving Storm with table scraps. It's a favorable matchup, but the Jags need to get one back to fantasy relevancy before worrying about a second.
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC TEN 006800000 ***
Shorts has been the more frequently targeted Jaguar, though barely, over the past three games. Unfortunately, he has fewer catches and yardage in those games than either Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns and has failed to reach the end zone. He posted 10-103 on 16 targets in the first meeting with Tennessee, so if you're forced to start a Jaguar receiver he's your best bet.
WR Marqise Lee, JAC TEN 005700000 ***
Lee has come on of late, but this is still three wideouts equally splitting what amounts to a minuscule amount of passing game production so proceed with caution.
WR Allen Hurns, JAC TEN 004300000 ***
Despite Cecil Shorts getting more targets, Hurns has matched fellow rookie Marqise Lee in catches, yardage and scores over the past three games. Still, it's a one-third share of some pretty ordinary numbers from Blake Bortles, so you can likely do better fantasy-wise.
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC TEN 003501000 ***
Lewis isn't seeing consistent enough targets to warrant a fantasy start--even against a Tennessee defense that gave up 3-91-1 to Clay Harbor in the earlier meeting with Jacksonville.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC TEN 2222 ***
Scobee has come alive with three straight multiple field goal games, and no team gives up more kicker points than the Titans. Of course, the last time these two juggernauts got together Scobee managed two points so ease back on the throttle a bit.

* 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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