FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: JAC 10, HOU 34 (Line: HOU by 16)

Players to Watch: Arian Foster is all that really matters

The Battle of the Inverses. The 1-8 Jaguars are on a six game losing streak head to Houston to face the 8-1 Texans. This is a replay of week two when the Texans won 27-7 in Jacksonville. Sign you are not respected - the Jaguars are 16 point underdogs.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND 10-27
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU -----
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN -----
4 CIN 10-27 13 @BUF -----
5 CHI 3-41 14 NYJ -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK 23-26 16 NE -----
8 @GB 15-24 17 @TEN -----
9 DET 14-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Justin Blackmon 2-30
WR Cecil Shorts 3-40
TE Marcedes Lewis 2-20
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The six game losing streak is not likely to end going to Houston this week and by this point there may not be any more games where they are favored this year. They have the lowest scoring offense in the NFL with right at 14 points per game. The new ownership wants to build a winning franchise but there may not be the pieces here to get the job done. Particularly if Maurice Jones-Drew ends up on another team in 2013.

Blaine Gabbert injured his shoulder again last week but is expected back and HC Mike Mularkey once again is solid in backing his starter. Gabbert injured his non-throwing shoulder in Oakland and again against the Colts. Chad Henne came in and threw for 121 yards and one score in relief of Gabbert but Mularkey is not looking for "a spark". Gabbert's passed for nine touchdowns this year but topped 220 yards just one since the season opener.

Maurice Jones-Drew remains out and he's stated that he thought he'd be out for maybe another week or so. In other interviews he is so vague that you'd swear he was practicing to become a politician. Rashad Jennings has done no one any favors these last two weeks with only 52 total yards in the loss to the Lions and then 27 yards total versus the Colts. If he only gains 27 yards in a home game against the Colts, it boggles the mind what a road game in Houston might produce.

Cecil Shorts continued his hot streak with 105 yards and a score last Thursday and that gives him four scores total on the year - no other receiver has more than one. He's also the only receiver with a 100 yard game thanks to converting a bomb into a touchdown twice. Laurent Robinson erupted last week with a season high nine catches for 77 yards and his 15 targets were six more than any other game. Justin Blackmon continues to look like a first round flop though he scored in week nine for the first and only time.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 30 26 24 30 31 32
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 6 2 7 9 3 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC @HOU 30000019001 ***
Bortles threw for 336 yards in the earlier meeting with Tennessee, but he accompanied that total with just one TD--and he hasn't had a game as helpful to fantasy owners since. No reason to reach for him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC @HOU 4002100000 ***
The Texans are far from an easy mark from running backs; since their Week 10 bye the haven't allowed a running back touchdown, and only one back (Jeremy Hill) has rushed for more than 60 yards. Gerhart should see the largest volume of carries, but doubtful it will be enough for him to squeeze out fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC @HOU 004500000 ***
It's been a consistent grouping of Jacksonville receivers; last week it was Lee's 4-65 that paced the pack. With three mouths to feed and not a lot of stats to go around, your best bet is to avoid the Jacksonville WR situation entirely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC @HOU 005400000 ***
Hurns found the end zone the last time these teams met, part of a 5-36-1 afternoon. He's been wildly inconsistent, with an upside of his 7-112-2 game and a downside of being the third wheel in Jacksonville's passing game. The upside doesn't come nearly frequently enough, so plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC @HOU 002300000 ***
Shorts continues to audition for his impending free agency, though last week's 2-15 won't add much to his bank account. You'll want to find your fantasy receivers elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC @HOU 003400000 ***
Lewis' 69 yards in the earlier meeting with Houston was the biggest TE game the Texans had allowed since Week 1. It was also Lewis' best effort since Week 2; while he scored last week, his typical three or four targets doesn't offer enough opportunity for him to be a reliable fantasy performer.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC @HOU 2100 ****
Scobee's recent surge has him over five points per game for the season, and he tallied seven when facing the Texans three weeks back. So if something in the half-dozen neighborhood floats your boat, Scobee is your guy.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI 13-6
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 24-42 15 IND -----
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF 21-9 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 290,2
RB Arian Foster 120,2 4-30
WR Andre Johnson 6-100,1

Pregame Notes: The Texans left Chicago now confident they can prevail even going toe-to-toe with another great defense on their turf in the freezing rain. Games like that are when the move to so many passing offenses are questioned and it is nice to have a dominating ground attack. The Texans currently have a one game lead over the Ravens for the #1 seed and that is likely a difference that won't change. Having already beaten the Ravens 43-13, the Texans even have a tie breaker. Schaub only passed for 195 yards and no score in the first game with the Jags.

Matt Schaub has pretty much just been whatever the Texans needed for that week. That leads to some inconsistency with two efforts that never scored and yet as good as 290 yards and four touchdowns in Denver. In fantasy terms, he's just a moderate play with more risk to be bad than good thanks to the rushing of Arian Foster.

Foster's been plenty successful in yardage with 872 yards to rank #3 in the league but he shines in scoring. Nine games in, Foster has scored in every single game and his 12 touchdowns on the year are four more than anyone else. He's been phased out as a receiver this year and rarely catches more than one pass. But he always scores. Foster gained 147 total yards and scored once in Jacksonville back in week two.

Owen Daniels was held out last week but made it to pre-game warmups before they decided to rest him one more week. His hip is expected to be better this time and let the Texans highest scoring receiver play. Daniels scored five times over the last six games that he played though his yardage generally stalls out around 70 or so. He's a big part of the passing equation and will come to matter more in matchups tougher than this one. Daniels only gained 47 yards on six catches in the last meeting with the Jaguars.

Andre Johnson is still the only wideout of any significance but he has not scored since week two. He's been good for eight catches and 75+ yards in the last three home games though he only ended with 21 yards earlier in Jacksonville.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 26 2 31 5 10 3
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 19 28 15 4 27 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Case Keenum, HOU JAC 20000018000 ***
At this point it's no longer a surprise that the Jags aren't the cupcake matchup many assume; Tony Romo in Week 10 is the last quarterback to throw multiple touchdowns against them, and not since Philip Rivers in Week 4 have they surrendered a 300-yard game. No reason to think Keenum's stat line gets well this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Arian Foster, HOU JAC 13023200000 ***
Foster has seven touchdowns in seven career games against the Titans; that total includes four 100-yard rushing days as well. He's averaged 25 carries per game over the past three, producing 322 yards in the process. No reason to think he won't find similar success against the Jags this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Blue, HOU JAC 301000000 **
If Arian Foster goes down with an injury, or if the Texans get ahead by so much they can start playing the backups, or if Foster just needs to share the load in what by necessity will be a run-first game plan for Houston... well, then, you're my boy, Blue!
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU JAC 004700000 ***
Reduced quarterback numbers trickle down to reduced receiver numbers, as the Texans haven't had a WR TD or a receiver top 80 yards in almost a month. That stretch includes a combined 10 WR catches (on 14 targets) against the Jags; tough to carve fantasy value out of such a small number, even though Hopkins has taken over as the Texan's WR1.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, HOU JAC 005600000 ***
Johnson returned to double-digit targets last week, but he'll face quarterback issues this week and is no longer doing enough with his WR2 targets to get a free pass into your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Garrett Graham, HOU JAC 002200000 ***
Graham's been dinged up, leaving Ryan Griffin to get the targets... except when CJ Fiedorowicz steals the touchdowns. It's a cluster, with not nearly enough production to float one boat let alone three.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU JAC 1144 ***
Bullock has at least nine points in three of his last four, including Week 14 in Jacksonville. Balance the motivation of a Houston squad still alive for the postseason with the issues of a backup-to-the-backup quarterback and you should still get a solid kicker outing this week.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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