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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Dexter McCluster 2-20
WR Harry Douglas 2-20
WR Kendall Wright 4-50
TE Anthony Fasano 4-40
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 Marcus Mariota, TEN OAK 30000027021 ***
Oakland has held the last two quarterbacks they've faced to single touchdowns, while Mariota hasn't thrown a TD since Week 9 in New Orleans. However, he's running with more regularity and scored his first rushing TD as a pro last week, while Oakland let Matthew Stafford take a QB draw to the house. The upside of Mariota's rushing stats alone bump him up the fantasy charts.
RB Antonio Andrews, TEN OAK 800000000 ***
With David Cobb still in negative yardage as a pro this remains Andrews' gig. You would presume that means 15-plus carries, which he's consistently turned into positive yardage--230 at 4.6 yards per carry over the last three games in which he's seen that workload. Backs with more than 15 carries against Oakland have produce 63 & 2, 91, 170 & 2, and 203 & 1, so... volume, volume, volume.
WR Kendall Wright, TEN OAK 005601000 **
Wright is expected to return this week, and he'll likely slide right back into his gig as Marcus Mariota's favorite target. Against an Oakland defense that's allowed multiple receivers to score and/or top 50 yards in all five road games he doesn't even need to be the go-to guy; wingman duties will do just fine.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN OAK 003500000 ***
DGB has seen an uptick in targets but hasn't done much with them, and with Kendall Wright back in the mix Green-Beckham moves to the back burner--at which point his fantasy value hinges on his red zone work, and an Oakland D that's allowed only four WR TDs all year doesn't present a favorable matchup.
WR Harry Douglas, TEN OAK 002400000 ***
Douglas has done a serviceable Kendall Wright impersonation while Tennessee's WR1 has been sidelined with a knee injury. With Wright back at practice this week, Douglas returns to his usual role in the Titans' receiver rotation.
TE Delanie Walker, TEN OAK 007901000 ***
Last week was only the third in which a tight end didn't score against Oakland--and one of those was the bye week. Walker is coming off his third 10-target game of the season, targets he turned into 8-109. He's a solid bet to rack up plenty of yardage as Marcus Mariota's go-to guy, with the tangy zip of upside in the form of yet another TE TD against the Raiders.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN OAK 2222 ***
Succop has yet to reach double-digit points this season. The Raiders have given up at least 10 in three straight and six of nine this season--at least seven points in every contest, and multiple field goals in every game. Something's gotta give.

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 Brandon Weeden 10 230
RB Arian Foster 100,1 5-40
RB Jonathan Grimes
WR Cecil Shorts 2-30
WR Nate Washington 3-50,1
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP

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 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?

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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