Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: GB 20, HOU 24 (Line: HOU by 5)

Players Updated: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley

Players to Watch: James Starks, Alex Green

The 2-3 Packers bring their 0-2 road record to Houston where the 5-0 Texans come off a short week.The Packers offensive strengths match the Texans defensive strength. I'll raise you one Arian Foster and rake in the chips.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI 23-10 11 @DET -----
3 @SEA 12-14 12 @NYG -----
4 NO 28-27 13 MIN -----
5 @IND 27-30 14 DET -----
6 @HOU ----- 15 @CHI -----
7 @STL ----- 16 TEN -----
8 JAC ----- 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB @ HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 260,2
RB James Starks 30
WR Randall Cobb 4-60
WR Jordy Nelson 2-40
TE Jared Cook 3-30,1
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers drag their losing record down to Houston with a couple of notable injuries and an inability to score more than 28 points in any game. The Packers were a scoring machine in 2011 but now struggle to post more than two touchdowns against all but the weakest of defenses. Their last three games were all decided by three points or less and came one point away from being a 1-4 record. Playing on the road has been even tougher for the Packers who now miss Cedric Benson, Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley has a bad shoulder.

Aaron Rodgers has bounced back with seven touchdowns in the last two weeks but facing the Saints and Colts have made that happen. Against the tougher defenses of Seattle and Chicago he only totals one touchdown and passed for no more than 223 yards in either game. Rodgers has also been hurt by worse pass blocking and has 21 sacks already this year with 13 coming in just the two games against those two good defenses. Rodgers is dealing with a diminished set of receivers thanks to injuries and this year has not been good enough to rise above the challenges.

Cedric Benson suffered a Lis franc injury to his foot and will be out at least eight weeks meaning he won't show up until the end of the year if even then. In his place the Packers are likely to use a committee between Alex Green who they cannot trust with a full load and James Starks who has been out with a turf toe but should be ready to return. The reality is that even left to just one runner, the rushing stats here have been marginal and Benson had just one touchdown on the year.

Jermichael Finley says that he will play this week though HC Mike McCarthy was less certain after he suffered a shoulder injury last week. Finley has not scored since the season opener and has been stuck at four catches for moderate yardage every week when healthy anyway.

Greg Jennings missed last week with his groin injury and is no lock to return for this game. In his place James Jones has been very effective with two scores in each of the last two games though only around 50 yards in each. In a matter of just two games as a replacement for Jennings, Jones is now the scoring leader for the Packers with five touchdowns. No one else has more than just one. Randall Cobb just had his first touchdown last week and has also seen a nice uptick in receptions and yardage since Jennings left. Jordy Nelson has been unable to rekindle the magic he had in 2011 when he was a scoring machine in every home game. His only truly good fantasy game came at home against the Saints when he posted 93 yards and one score on eight catches. Otherwise he has just struggled to do anything in road games where he has only caught two passes for no more than 30 yards in either Seattle or Indianapolis. He's barely relevant at home and nearly invisible when he is away.

This does not match up well with the Texans who have not allowed more than two scores to any opposing quarterback and after five games no running back has scored a rushing touchdown. The only decent game by a runner was shockingly Chris Johnson when the Texans openly allowed the Titans to run draws when they were hopelessly behind on the scoreboard. Worse yet there have only been two touchdowns given up to any wide receivers and none of them had more than 50 receiving yards in Houston.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 10 26 3 12 30 19
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 3 8 4 8 3 8

QB Aaron Rodgers, GB CHI 0000029020 ***
Rodgers was downright awful last week. In two games versus Chicago last year, he didn't top 202 yards passing and threw four TDs to one interception. Historically, he has torched the Bears. Chicago has allowed only seven passing and one rushing over six games. Despite the stats working against him, expect Rodgers to look more like Rodgers.
RB Don Jackson, GB CHI 400000000 *
Just called up from the practice squad but at least is familiar with the offense and could become a factor with Eddie Lacy now on IR. First game out complete unknown.
RB Knile Davis, GB CHI 200000000 *
Eddie Lacy is out. James Starks is out. Newcomer Knile Davis is in. The former Chief is a sneaky receiver and has some speed. The system isn't all that different from KC's. He's a wild gamble in any format.
WR Randall Cobb, GB CHI 006901000 ***
Chicago is a neutral matchup overall, but it has allowed 83 catches for 1,097 yards in six games. Five TDs against is what holds this matchup from becoming higher in the rates. Cobb is a fine play.
WR Jordy Nelson, GB CHI 006701000 ***
Nelson should contribute nicely against a team allowing 37.3 fantasy points per game to the position. Aaron Rodgers usually plays well against the Bears, and this one should show as a rebound effort for the duo.
WR Ty Montgomery, GB CHI 1005600000 ***
Montgomery should fill in for Davante Adams (questionable) if he cannot go ... there's some PPR appeal here against a team that has allowed 13.8 catches per game.
TE Richard Rodgers, GB CHI 002200000 ***
Chicago presents a matching that leans negative, but it could go either way for a better tight end. Rodgers struggles to gain separation and is low on the pecking order of any given play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB CHI 3322 ***
Green Bay's offensive struggles, coupled with a short week, should lead to more field goal kicks than usual for Crosby. Chicago has allowed 11 field goal kicks, although only eight have gone through.

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 38-14 13 @TEN -----
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE -----
6 GB ----- 15 IND -----
7 BAL ----- 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Brandon Weeden 240,1
RB Lamar Miller 30,1
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Texans join the Falcons as the only unbeaten teams in the NFL and with three straight home games coming up, that may not change. The schedule becomes much more challenging starting in week ten with four road trips out of five weeks but these Texans are the real deal and their defense will always help them to stay in every game. Add in one of the top rushing attacks in the league and it is a safe bet that the Texans will be still busy in January.

One notable here - ILB and 2011 team MVP Brian Cushing appears to have torn his ACL on Monday night and that will poke a hole in an otherwise great defense.

Matt Schaub is still mostly a game manager and has the luxury of usually playing with a lead. He has scored in all but one game but rarely has more than low 200's in passing yardage and has only eight passing scores over five games played. But he has just two interceptions on the season and never has to throw more than 35 times in any game. With a dominating ground game, Schaub is hard to rely on for a big game because the easier the opponent is, the more likely he'll just hand off for most of the day.

Arian Foster is the top fantasy back in most leagues and has a NFL-best six touchdowns on the season with 106 rushing yards per game. He has not had even a remotely moderate game this year since he has scored every week and produced solid yardage though with minimal receptions. Brandon Tate has been out with a toe injury but his replacement Justin Forsett only gained six yards on four carries against the Jets and is no jeopardy of keeping the back-up spot when Tate is healthy. Safe assumption this week with the Packers visiting is that the Texans will be running the ball no less than they have every week.

The only bad fantasy surprise this year is that Owen Daniels has become the preferred target for Schaub and has scored in each of the last three games while turning in 70 yard or so almost every week. That is bad because Andre Johnson has become an afterthought in this offense and was held to only one catch for 15 yards by the Jets. Worse yet he dropped two of his six targets. No other receiver here remotely matters. Kevin Walter has the only touchdown among wideouts.

This should be interesting since the Packers have a good rushing defense that has only allowed one rushing touchdown for a running back back in the season opener and held all but Frank Gore to under 100 rushing yards. But this is the best rushing team that the Packers have faced and on the road no less. The pass defense has given up two or more touchdowns in all but one game. The Texans are on a shorter week but back at home will be good enough here.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 23 2 31 7 7 3
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 24 13 21 22 14 15

QB Brock Osweiler, HOU @DEN 10000019002 ***
Brock returns to the Rockies to face his former employer. The matchup rates as the fifth hardest, but if you remove the two rushing touchdowns against, since that's not really Osweiler's deal, we're looking at the third toughest rating.
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @DEN 6015400000 ***
Denver is actually a positive matchup for pass-catching backs, and Miller is versatile enough to exploit it. The Broncos have allowed 24.6 PPR points per game to RBs, including an average of one offensive touchdown.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @DEN 004400000 ***
Playing six games, this defense has allowed fewer points than every team playing five games. The Broncos prove to be the toughest in the league. Hopkins is a must for fantasy lineups, but it won't come easily against Aqib Talib and shaded safeties.
WR Jaelen Strong, HOU @DEN 003300000 ***
Strong should see a few looks when Hopkins and Fuller are blanketed. The matchup is awful, statistically, anyway, so playing him is an unnecessary risk.
WR Will Fuller, HOU @DEN 002200000 *
Fuller was active last week but didn't see the field. He should return in Week 7 and has a tough matchup in Denver. The Broncos have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to the position.
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU @DEN 005500000 ***
The third-year tight end has finally started to emerge over the past three weeks, scoring twice and hauling in 14 balls. His involvement is still suspect, but this matchup should force Brock Osweiler into ample checkdowns based on Denver's secondary strength.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, HOU @DEN 1111 ***
Following a brilliant start to 2016, Novak's fantasy prospects continue to slide with Houston's offensive inconsistency. This week, a tough road matchup should go in Denver's favor.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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