Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: TEN 10, HOU 31 (Line: HOU by 12)

Players to Watch: The Player Formerly Known as Chris Johnson

Players Updated: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Lestar Jean, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook

The 1-2 Titans come off a thrilling win over the Lions but make no mistakes here - the Titans defense has been almost nonexistent this year. The only other trip away from home was the 28 point loss in San Diego. The Texans are 3-0 and rolling to nice wins every week with a great defense and plenty of offense to get the job done. The Titans won 23-22 in Houston in during a meaningless week 17 last season. The Texans won 41-7 during week 7 in Tennessee. That is more what to expect in this interdivisional match-up.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA -----
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC -----
4 @HOU ----- 13 HOU -----
5 @MIN ----- 14 @IND -----
6 PIT ----- 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF ----- 16 @GB -----
8 IND ----- 17 JAC -----
9 CHI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN @ HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 20 260,1
RB Shonn Greene 30
RB Dexter McCluster 2-20
WR Derek Hagan 4-50
WR Nate Washington 3-50,1
WR Kendall Wright 4-50
PK Ryan Succop 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Like several other teams in the NFL, you have a two week version of the Titans being inept on offense and being unable to stop anyone defensively. And there is the one week version that has an adequate passing offense and being unable to stop anyone defensively. Chances are the offensive effort at home against the Lions was just part of some fluky cosmic shift that will end once the TItans enter the city limits of Houston. And in the end it doesn't really matter because they are unable to stop anyone defensively.

Jake Locker may have kept Matt Hasselbeck on the bench for a while longer when he passed for 378 yards and two scores on Sunday. Locker was stuck at one score per week and 200-ish yardage. Coaches stood behind him but then again, they had to stand behind him because everyone else was asking when Hasselbeck would get the nod.

Chris Johnson has become one of those backs that you will never forget and for the wrong reasons. Not the 2000 yard rushing season. It was how he went from the height of heights, got paid and then could not get any lower if he was riding on a BunkerBuster missile. The Titans are not the #32 rushing team. They are the #32 rushing team by a mile. Total output for Chris Johnson in three games? 33 carries for 45 yards. That is three games combined. Sure, he throws in a few catches but as a runner? This is beyond comprehension and by now means you cannot start him, you cannot trade him and even if you dump him on the waiver wire - who are you going to get to replace him? He belongs on the roster in that corner you never access just in case the unlikely materializes. All things considered this is unprecedented.

Oh yes, and Johnson only gained 18 yards on ten carries against the Texans last year.

The receivers have carried the team but even that has been marginal. Nate Washington has two scores but his only road effort was two catches for 20 yards in San Diego. Kenny Britt is up to 55 yards on six catches but that's probably half what Hasselbeck would have done. Kendall Wright gets plenty of work but gets nothing but shorter throws. He turned in seven catches for only 41 yards when the Lions visited. This is all the control of Locker who they want to grow into the job. And this is the painful learning curve.

Jared Cook did score once last week on four receptions for 77 yards but he's still not consistent enough to merit a fantasy start.

The Titans offense has sputtered other than last week and a road game to Houston is no place to expect lightning to strike twice. This might end up as a shutout.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 14 32 13 10 15 7
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 4 13 5 3 4 15

QB Charlie Whitehurst, TEN @WAS 0000021021 ***
Update: Whitehurst took most of the first-team reps in practice this week, and with Jake Locker questionable it looks like another start for Charlie. It's a favorable matchup with a Redskins defense that's allowed multiple touchdown passes in four straight, so if you're scrambling for QB help this week you may have found your guy.
QB Jake Locker, TEN @WAS 00000000 *
Nice timing for Locker to send Charlie Whitehurst back to clipboard duty, as the Redskins have allowed multiple touchdown passes in four straight. Might be aggressive to ask that of Locker first game back, though that's what Carson Palmer did last week.
Update: Locker is listed as questionable and practiced on a limited basis all week. He'll probably be a game time decision, and a betting man would take Charlie Whitehurst to start this wee.
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN @WAS 7002200000 **
More was expected of Sankey in last week's favorable matchup. Now, with Shonn Greene potentially returning to swipe touches at three yards per, Sankey returns to tease duty. Doesn't help that this is far from a favorable matchup, against a Washington D that's allowed just two RB TDs on the year.
RB Shonn Greene, TEN @WAS 00000000 *
Green is barely startable in favorable matchups, and this certainly isn't one. Plus, it's only a matter of time until Ken Whisenhunt realizes what everyone else on the planet sees: he's just not that good.
Update: Greene is listed as doubtful for this tilt due to a hamstring injury, so the Whisenator will just have to find other guys to torment Bishop Sankey's fantasy owners with. Jackie Battle, anyone?
WR Justin Hunter, TEN @WAS 003401000 **
Yes, Hunter's hit or miss. But those hit odds are better this week against a secondary that's allowed 10 different receivers to score and/or top 75 yards this year.
WR Kendall Wright, TEN @WAS 005500000 ****
Wright's a volume receiver, so his getting one target against the Jaguars last week is disconcerting to say the least. Until his volume is restored he can't be banked on for meaningful fantasy contributions.
TE Delanie Walker, TEN @WAS 005601000 ****
Walker may be the Titans' most reliable pass-catcher, and while he hasn't been a major fantasy factor the past couple of weeks he gets a bump against a Washington defense that's only a couple weeks removed from giving up four TE TDs in one game.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN @WAS 1122 ***
Succop has exceded five points exactly twice this season; play the odds and get your kicks elsewhere.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI -----
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC -----
3 @DEN 31-25 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 vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 10 230,2
RB Arian Foster 100,1 5-40
RB Jonathan Grimes
WR Andre Johnson 5-90,1

Pregame Notes: The Texans survived the Peyton Manning comeback bid in Denver and should relax a little this week with a game they know they can win. The schedule this year gets tougher after this week but all the more reason to take the win where they know they can get it. The Titans are bringing in one of the worst defenses in the league.

Matt Schaub turned in a big game in Denver when he passed for 290 yards and four touchdowns. He left a part of himself there (ear lobe) and has been just a game manager handing off to Arian Foster and Ben Tate in the other two games. It was nice to see the passing game explosion but it won't much be needed this week.

Arian Foster has scored in every game and is on a two game streak with 100+ rushing yards. He merely ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the one meeting with the Titans last year. Oh, and he added 119 yards and one score on five catches in that game. Ben Tate ran for 104 yards on 15 carries. Every reason to expect more great things from both Foster and Tate this week.

The passing success of week three saw Kevin Walter with 73 yards and a score which alone says it was a one time only sort of game. Andre Johnson turned two catches there into 72 yards and a score but he did not play in the meeting with the Titans last year. Johnson remains the only receiver worthy of fantasy merit and the success of the rushing effort means that his week two performance of only three receptions for 21 yards may not be his last bad game.

Owen Daniels scored as well in the Broncos game but has been mediocre since his week one effort against the Dolphins when he gained 87 yards on four catches. This remains a three man fantasy crew - start Foster always, start Tate in easier match-ups and start Johnson every week with your fingers crossed. Owens is in a good situation if only for this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 22 2 25 14 9 14
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 31 28 25 32 29 14

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, HOU @PIT 0000020011 ***
It's been a while since Fitzpatrick was fantasy relevant; a Monday night trip to Pittsburgh doesn't seem like the time or place for that to change.
RB Arian Foster, HOU @PIT 10013200000 ***
Teams who commit to the run have success against the Steelers, and there's little question the Texans can commit to the run. Foster has four 20-carry games on the year, topping 100 yards in each; all three foes who rushed the ball at least 20 times against the Steelers topped 150 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. All systems go for Arian.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @PIT 005701000 ***
Hopkins took a back seat to the Andre Johnson Show last week, but that's been the exception rather than the rule this season. It's not a particularly favorable matchup for wideouts, but Hopkins has been good enough that he at least warrants fantasy consideration this week.
WR Andre Johnson, HOU @PIT 006700000 ****
Wide receiver production has been tough to come by for Steelers opponents, but last week's showing against the Colts reminded us just how talented Johnson is--and that he belongs in fantasy lineups on a weekly basis regardless of foe.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU @PIT 2233 ****
The Steelers have allowed at least seven points to every kicker they've faced. Bullock is more of an all-or-nothing guy, with five or fewer points in four games and double-digit points in the other two. If seven is your lucky number, however, maybe Bullock's your bobo this week.

CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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