FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* 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
Grass
  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
vs Rush Catch Pass

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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 22 7 22 17 6 8
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 6 24 12 13 28 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Savage, HOU ARI 0000022021 ***
Savage has been brutal for fantasy purposes and doesn't belong anywhere near a lineup, even against Arizona's fifth-weakest defense of quarterbacks. The matchup regresses to being the ninth-best if the two rushing TDs are removed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU ARI 6003300000 ***
One of every 41 rushing attempts (14th) has gone the distance, and none of the 29 receptions faced by Arizona has scored. Miller takes on a defense giving up 77.8 rushing yards (22nd) but 64 receiving yards (2nd).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU ARI 300000000 ***
This matchup is mediocre, with its highlights coming by way of aerial production surrendered. Foreman could do some work on third-down or via the screen game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU ARI 006701000 ***
Hopkins' target count has been through the roof with Tom Savage under center. The veteran wideout is QB proof for anyone not named Brock Osweiler, it turns out. Arizona is a reasonable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Bruce Ellington, HOU ARI 003301000 *
Arizona has been a friendly opponent for much of the year. In recent weeks, the tide has turned. Arizona has given up a good chuck of yardage each week (10th-most) but rates in the bottom half of the league in receptions (19th) and TD efficiency (17th). This is an optimistic projection for Ellington, even with Will Fuller out of commission.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU ARI 002200000 ***
CJF returned last week and has a pretty good matchup this time out. The Cardinals have given up the fifth-most receptions per game, and three of those 23 balls have made it into the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Stephen Anderson, HOU ARI 003200000 ***
Anderson isn't a fantasy commodity, even with a good matchup like this one. Keep him on the wire.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU ARI 2222 ***
All 16 kicks (7 FGs) have been on the mark against the Cards, which averages out to being a middle-of-the-road 7.0 fantasy points per outing.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  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
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 11 14 17 11 16 22
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 2 22 5 4 3 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC @CLE 0000022011 **
Bortles has a marvelous fantasy schedule down the stretch, and it begins here with Cleveland. The Browns rank 10th when rushing touchdowns have been removed, but it's still the 13th-best with them included. One out of every 10.3 completions makes it into the end zone, or two per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Leonard Fournette, JAC @CLE 4012100000 *
Cleveland ranks in the middle of the league against running backs in in basically every notable category. The position has averaged 87 rushing yards, 47.8 receiving gains, and a TD every 42.3 offensive touches.

Update: Fournette was limited Wednesday and Thursday before sitting Friday. He's a gametime call.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC @CLE 1003300000 ***
Yeldon sees some spell work and checkdowns but isn't a viable fantasy play when Leonard Fournette is alive and well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC @CLE 004501000 **
The Browns are better against wideouts than perception suggests. Since Week 5, the position has averaged only nine catches a game for 131.5 yards. This is the second-best defense to face if you're looking for a WR TD, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keelan Cole, JAC @CLE 003400000 ***
Cole isn't likely to have enough of a role to warrant fantasy lineup inclusion, even with Allen Hurns on the mend. The matchup isn't all that appealing, either, even though it is the Browns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dede Westbrook, JAC @CLE 002300000 *
Assuming he is indeed active for Week 11, all signs point to Westbrook having a bit role. Avoid him for now, but he could be worthy of stashing if Keelan Cole fails to step up with Allen Hurns out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC @CLE 004301000 ***
Cleveland has been a disaster against the position all year. This is currently the seventh-best matchup from a defense that has given up 6.3 catches a game to the position. No Allen Hurns could mean more looks for Lewis. He's a sly play in deep leagues.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, JAC @CLE 1133 ***
Fresh off of nailing the game winner vs. his former boss, Lambo draws Cleveland's top-five matchup for exploitation. Kickers have made 10 of 11 field goals and eighth of 10 PATs against the Browns.

WEEK 2
2012
* 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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