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 Deshaun Watson, HOU @NE 40000015011 ***
No rookie quarterback has won in New England since head coach Bill Belichick was hired in 2000. They are 0-8 with five touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 50.7 passer rating. Watson should struggle to get into a rhythm, even against a softer defense than we're used to seeing from the Patriots.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @NE 5004200000 ***
The matchup is awesome, at least on paper. Miller should get the majority of touches, although D'Onta Foreman and Tyler Ervin are in the fold. Miller was good for 14.7 PPR points in Week 3's trip to New England last year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU @NE 300000000 ***
Foreman saw his workload increase from one carry to 12 last week and could carve out a regular role in the rotation. He is too dicey right now, so keep him in reserve, unless you're looking for a deep dive in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @NE 007801000 **
A target monster, Hopkins has 29 looks to the rest of the team's 25 in two weeks. The Patriots present a wonderful matchup to exploit in what could be a pass-happy game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Braxton Miller, HOU @NE 002200000 ***
Miller, still learning the position, doesn't see enough targets to have much of a chance at producing outside of a singular big play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU @NE 1111 ***
Eight extra points against two field goals later, this is a statistically favorable matchup. Don't expect friendly results for the Houston offense in this one.

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 BAL 0000019012 ***
This one could get ugly. The Ravens have eight interceptions to only one TD allowed, which is easily the biggest differential in the league. Bortles turned it over three times last week, even if one wasn't his doing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Leonard Fournette, JAC BAL 5014300000 **
This is a risky time to deploy the bright rookie rusher. Fournette takes on a Baltimore team that hasn't given up a touchdown in 35 straight carries this year. Consider the projection slightly optimistic for a back who has scored in each of his first two pro games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC BAL 006700000 ***
Baltimore has given up only 20 catches for 242 yards and is one of six teams to keep WRs out of the end zone so far. Lee would be a stretch for a starting lineup spot in conventional leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC BAL 005600000 ***
Hurns enjoyed a strong game last week, by his standards, anyway. This go-around involves Baltimore's No. 6-ranked defense of receivers in fantasy. It may not be such a rosy day for the wideout.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Myers, JAC BAL 2211 ***
With just a lone extra point and single field goal to go through the uprights against the Ravens this year, Myers could struggle to see enough opportunities to matter.

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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