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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: HOU 31, NYJ 13 (Line: HOU by 9)

Players to Watch: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow

Players Updated: Dustin Keller, Stephen Hill, Ben Tate

The 4-0 Texans are back on the road but still have not scored less than 27 points in any game. The 2-2 Jets may be .500 but are on the verge of complete armageddon according to the media who delights in such. This could be a trap game, but it would need to happen in an alternate universe and would not be broadcasted on NFL Sunday Ticket unless you purchased the HBO/Dual Reality Package.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI -----
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC -----
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET -----
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN -----
5 @NYJ ----- 14 @NE -----
6 GB ----- 15 IND -----
7 BAL ----- 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 10 230,2
RB Arian Foster 110,2 6-40
WR Andre Johnson 6-80,1
WR Keshawn Martin 2-20

Pregame Notes: Tough game in Denver but otherwise - this has been a cakewalk so far. Three wins were by 20+ points and the Houston defense has been only let up at the end of games to allow a little trash yardage and maybe a score. The passing offense under Matt Schaub has largely been mediocre in stats simply because they were not needed but in the one close game, he threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns in Denver. Schaub is only playing up to the level he needs to and with once again a premier rushing offense, he is just rarely that productive.

Arian Foster has scored in each game and never gained fewer than 79 rushing yards. His role as a receiver has been mostly limited but he makes that up with big rushing yards and touchdowns. Ben Tate is just a relief player and his two scores in the Jacksonville win along with his 74 rushing yards were just a one-time thing. Tate has produced under 30 total yards in all but one game. Foster remains an elite back with a heavy load.

The passing may not be prolific but Owen Daniels has caught a touchdown in both of the last two games and he has always been good for around 50 yards worth of production each week.

As so often happens, the tremendous success of both the rushing effort and the defense means that the minimal passing needs affect all receivers including Andre Johnson. He has two scores on the year but he is only averaging three catches for around 50 yards per game over the last three weeks. No doubt he will come back into play in upcoming weeks with the likes of the Packers and Ravens up next. But against the Jets? Could be another low effort from a guy you have to start regardless because of his potential every week.

No other receiver matters here - ever. The fantasy value has dwindled down to only Foster, Daniels in a pinch and Johnson with your fingers crossed.

The Jets started the season by giving up 169 rush yards to C.J. Spiller and three weeks later have yielded seven rushing touchdowns and well over 100 yards to runners from every opponent other than the Steelers. With the Jets losing Darrelle Revis and now Santonio Holmes, the disarray is ripe for a bulldozer job by the Texans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 21 2 29 9 10 2
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 8 25 6 10 16 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Mallett, HOU CIN 0000023011 **
Mallett wasn't bad out of the gate with a two-TD effort in his first NFL start. He had two weeks to prep for that game, however; now he has just a week and gets a Cincy D that just held Drew Brees in check at home. Tough to like his chances of a repeat.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Blue, HOU CIN 6012100000 **
If Arian Foster's getting his, odds are Blue isn't getting his. Use Blue only if Foster isn't ready to return from his injury. You even have to be wary of Houston's coach speak, as the last time they said Foster would be eased back into the mix he handled 25 touches to Blue's five.
Update: Foster is officially listed as questionable after sitting out practice both Thursday and Friday. Looks like you'll have to sweat this decision out right up through pre-game deactivations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Arian Foster, HOU CIN 5002100000 *
If healthy, Foster's an every-week starter--and a Cincy D that's given up 384 yards from scrimmage and three TDs to opposing running backs in just the past two games should make him feel extremely comfortable.
Update: Foster's only practice session this week was a limited go on Wednesday, and he's officially listed as questionable. Might have to watch this one right up to kickoff to determine if he'll play--and if he plays, it's a favorable enough matchup that he belongs in your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU CIN 005801000 ***
Hopkins and Andre Johnson are essentially splitting the passing game looks, with the key difference being Hopkins has four times as many touchdowns as AJ. Both are viable, but Hopkins a bit more reliable of a fantasy option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, HOU CIN 006700000 ***
Johnson tends to get similar targets to DeAndre Hopkins, and his yardage is usually solid; it's his lack of end zone visits that makes him a shaky fantasy option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Garrett Graham, HOU CIN 002200000 ***
It's been a month since the Bengals allowed a TE TD; just because Graham found the end zone last week doesn't mean he's a safe bet to return here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU CIN 3322 ****
Bullock's been hot of late, with three three-FG games in the past month. He's also been much more active on the road, as four of his five games with double-digit points have come away from home. Split the difference with Bullock as a good-not-great fantasy option this week.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 10 @SEA -----
2 @PIT 10-27 11 @STL -----
3 @MIA 23-20 12 NE -----
4 SF 0-34 13 ARI -----
5 HOU ----- 14 @JAC -----
6 IND ----- 15 @TEN -----
7 @NE ----- 16 SD -----
8 MIA ----- 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 40 240,2
RB Chris Johnson 60 3-20
RB Bilal Powell 30 4-30
WR Eric Decker 6-80
WR T.J. Graham 2-30
WR Percy Harvin 20 7-80,1
WR Jeremy Kerley 5-60,1
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Few teams are 2-2 and have as much bad press as the Jets but then again, losing 0-34 at home to anyone is going to draw negative attention. Plus losing Santonio Holmes who was not only marginally productive, he was clearly the best weapon they had. Plus we have the obligatory "What about Tebow>" side story that only gets stronger with every bad game by Mark Sanchez.

There are even rumors that the owner is lobbying for Tim Tebow to start.

Since the season opener, Sanchez has only thrown two touchdowns and twice failed to reach 140 pass yards. That couples with a horrible rushing attack. In the meltdown against the 49ers, Sanchez only completed 13 of 29 passes for 103 yards and one interception. He had a nice throw to Holmes who crumpled untouched in pain while handing the ball to a defender who scored a touchdown. It kind of is not Sanchez fault.

He has no help.

Holmes is gone for the season with a Lis Franc injury. Stephen Hill has been nursing a hamstring strain. Patrick Turner was cut. Jeremy Kerley has scored twice this year and been as close to a productive wideout as it gets for the Jets but he is no #1 guy on any other team. Tim Tebow has one pass and that was last week when he connected with Dedrick Epps who got busted in the knee and was released on Monday. Dustin Keller has been gone since week one with a hamstring injury. Last year there were veterans like Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason and Holmes. Guys who at least once upon a time were productive. Now it is Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens as the starting receivers? Joe McKnight was changed to a cornerback last week, did poorly on his few plays and is back to being just more dead space on the running back depth chart.

It would make some sense to use Tebow in a rush heavy attack only there are no running backs on the roster that we know of. Shonn Greene may have finally wore out his welcome after four years of falling forward and trying to roll. HC Rex Ryan said he would consider other runners but then gave Greene 11 carries (34 yards) and Bilal Powell only ran four times (11 yards). There are only two real answers here.

1. Start Jonathan Grimes at running back. Yes, he comes from the HOU practice squad and will probably suck as much as Greene and Powell but we don't know that for sure yet. Or maybe Lex Hilliard who just signed.

2. Start Tebow and just let him run it every play. The wins won't likely come but at least the media finally gets what they want.

This will be an interesting week to see how the Jets respond. They are 2-2. But they look like they may be 2-14 at the end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 27 31 19 28 25 6
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 2 14 2 6 3 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Michael Vick, NYJ @BUF 50000019011 ***
The Bills shut out Vick a month ago and have allowed just two TD passes in two games since. Vick is getting more comfortable in the offense but he's still a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @BUF 400000000 ***
The Jets broke Buffalo's maiden with three RB TDs when they met back in Week 8; that total accounts for 75 percent of all the RB TDs the Bills have allowed this season. Can lightning strike twice? Risky to bet a fantasy start on that happening here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @BUF 2002200000 ***
Johnson is hanging around as the Jets' change of pace back, but he was ineffective when last these teams met and isn't likely to see enough touches to warrant fantasy consideration here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ @BUF 2006601000 **
Harvin is getting his touches, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's a viable fantasy play. Between the Jets' struggling pass defense and a stout Buffalo run D you likely have a more reliable fantasy option at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @BUF 005500000 ***
Decker is now essentially splitting the targets with Percy Harvin, and while that still puts him atop the Jets' passing game pecking order often times there simply isn't enough productivity to go around. It wasn't enough the last time these teams met, and this week's rematch is shaping up much the same way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @BUF 003200000 ***
Buffalo has allowed only two TE TDs all year, but Amaro did have 51 yards in the previous meeting and scored last week so he's a fringe fantasy option here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @BUF 3311 ****
Folk scored five points when the Jets hosted the Bills a month ago; he's done nothing this year to suggest a big uptick on that number when he heads to Buffalo this week.

WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

a d v e r t i s e m e n t