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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: TEN 27, JAC 20 (Line: TEN by 3)

Players to Watch: Jake Locker, Chad Henne, Justin Blackmon, Jalen Parmele

The 4-6 Titans come off their biggest win of the year when they plowed over the Dolphins back in week ten. They come off their bye to face the 1-9 Jaguars who have lost seven straight but nearly pulled off a huge upset in Houston last week. The Titans lost 14-16 during the season opener in Jacksonville last year. They later won 23-17 when they hosted in week 16.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA 37-3
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC -----
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU -----
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND -----
6 PIT 26-23 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF 35-34 16 @GB -----
8 IND 13-19 17 JAC -----
9 CHI 20-51 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 20 250,2
RB Jackie Battle 10
RB Shonn Greene 50
WR Nate Washington 5-70,1
WR Kendall Wright 2-30
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The season is realistically already over but at least the Jaguars will provide two more chances for a Titan's win. There has been some progress made this year with Chris Johnson finally running as well as 2010 and before. Jake Locker started the year but dislocating his shoulder robbed him of five games and pushed his development back. Somehow this defense held the Dolphins to only three points after surrendering 51 points to the Bears just the previous week. This remains one of the weaker defenses in the league and that will be where the offseason will concentrate on more in the offseason.

Jake Locker came back in week ten but only completed nine of 21 passes for 122 yards in Miami though he threw two touchdowns. Locker threw at least one score in each of his four uninjured starts and scored twice in each of his last two. Aside from the home game against the Lions, Locker been very marginal as a passer so far. His bigger arm helps the passing game in ways that Matt Hasselbeck can no longer do but Locker is only 1-3 as a starter this year.

Chris Johnson made it four games in a row with over 100 total yards and scored four times in just the last four games. He's been back to vintage CJ2K with 141 rush yards on the Bears and 126 rush yards on the Dolphins in the last game. He's not adding much as a receiver but by now getting 100 yards a game from him is plenty good enough. He is back to form for whatever reason that eluded him for the last year and a half.

Trying to get Kenny Britt more involved has only meant that Kendall Wright is used less even though he's tied for the scoring lead with four receiving touchdowns including two in the last three weeks but his yardage rarely tops 30 yards anymore. Britt scored just once back in week six and still has yet to gain more than 67 yards in any game. Nate Washington has also seen less use in recent games because of the success of Johnson rushing and trying to get the ball more to Britt.

Setting aside the surreal happenings in Houston last week, the Jags defense has been bottom five in nearly every category this year and coming off such an emotional downer losing to the Texans could further play into this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 21 25 17 10 21 18
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 25 29 24 11 29 19

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Zach Mettenberger, TEN HOU 0000024012 ***
Charlie Whitehurst hasn't been the answer; maybe Jake Locker isn't the answer, either, or maybe he's just not healthy enough to get back in the saddle. Either way, the Titans plan to roll with the rookie this week. He'll get a Texans' defense that's allowed multiple passing scores in five straight games, but it would take a leap of faith to give him a fantasy play in his first NFL start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jake Locker, TEN HOU 00000000 **
Either Locker isn't ready yet or the Titans have seen enough to know they won't be renewing his contract at the end of the season. Whatever the reason, Tennessee is giving Zach Mettenberger the start this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN HOU 6002100000 ****
Sankey should again see the bulk of the carries, but if he's losing goal line looks to Jackie Battle and passing game snaps to Dexter McCluster his upside here is limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shonn Greene, TEN HOU 200000000 **
Update: Greene is expected to return from his injury absence this week. Brace yourself for more excitement, three yards at a time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, TEN HOU 003701000 **
The receivers with monster games against Houston have been speed guys, and speed is what Hunter does best. He's wildly inconsistent, but if you're into throwing darts direct one at Hunter; he could give you the home run you're looking for.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, TEN HOU 006600000 **
Wright has been the high volume target, though it remains to be seen whom Zach Mettenberger favors. Odds are the rookie goes where the other QBs have gone, which makes Wright a solid PPR play with upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN HOU 005700000 ****
Lots of reasons not to like the usually reliable Walker this week: he's had a quiet month statistically, the Texans don't give up much to the position, and new quarterback Zach Mettenberger may not be as fond of the tight end as his predecessors. It adds up to looking for fantasy help elsewhere this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN HOU 3311 **
Succop's scored five or fewer points in five of the last six games. With Tennessee's quarterback issues, you should get your kicks elsewhere.

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 37-43
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
JAC vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne 260,2
WR Cecil Shorts 3-50
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-50,1
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars near win over the Texans is hard to wrap your head around even a week later. They sold out to stop Arian Foster, kinda did, but gave up historic passing stats. The switch from Blaine Gabbert to Chad Henne played out like they finally put gas in their engine that didn't have a lot of water in it. The Jags scored 37 points in Houston. This was the lowest scoring offense in the league. Now it is merely the third worse. This week should be fascinating because everything that was wrong with the Panthers did a 180 degree turnaround last week.

Suddenly there are notable changes with the Jaguars. Chad Henne passed for 354 yards and four touchdowns last week. Blaine Gabbert left the game with a bad elbow but has been officially benched anyway since the offense finally looked like they knew what they were doing. Henne is hardly new to the scene having played in 36 games for the Dolphins but he had never thrown for more than two scores either. It is a rare breath of fresh air into a very stale offense.

Rashad Jennings was also demoted and Jalen Parmele was given the starting role in Houston against a ferocious rush defense that allowed him to gain 80 yards in 24 carries. Maurice Jones-Drew is tentatively expected back in week 13 but as has been speculated - what exactly is MJD's motivation since his holdout was denied and he got hurt anyway for a 1-9 team?

Justin Blackmon went from first round flop to posting the #3 best game by a rookie wideout in NFL history. In Houston. He caught seven passes for 236 yards and a score. Roughly it was his entire first nine weeks combined. Laurent Robinson had no catches just to ensure this divorce from reality was complete. This is a must watch game now. The Titans just won 37-3 in Miami and the Jaguars just scored 37 points as well while revamping their entire offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 25 29 19 28 27 29
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 23 31 21 29 30 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC MIA 0000019012 ***
Bortles continues to flirt with fantasy relevancy, but he isn't getting there on a consistent enough basis yet to be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Denard Robinson, JAC MIA 6013200000 *
Robinson shredded the Browns last week, and he should be the Jacksonville back who sees the most touches. However, he'll find the going tougher against a Miami defense that's allowed only one back to top 70 yards all season, so dial back those expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC MIA 200000000 **
Update: Gerhart got in two full practices this week and is listed as probable. Denard Robinson will still start; don't expect Gerhart to see much more than token work this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson, JAC MIA 007700000 ***
It was a bit shocking that the Bears couldn't get their talented wide receiver tandem going against the Dolphins last week, the first time in three games Miami hadn't ceded fantasy helpers to multiple WRs. If that means we're forced to pick one this week Robinson has the most upside as he's been the most consistently productive of the Jags' receiving corps.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC MIA 003400000 ***
Shorts continues to be the most targeted Jaguar since his return from injury, but last week he failed to turn those targets into productivity. He's not nearly reliable enough to be trusted with a fantasy start against a Miami secondary that's allowed just four WR TDs on the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clay Harbor, JAC MIA 006400000 ***
Miami has allowed TE TDs in three of four, and Harbor's steady diet of targets at least puts him in line to capitalize on the Dolphins' largess at the position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC MIA 0022 ***
Scobee's six-point effort last week was his second-best of the season and pushes his average to more than four fantasy points per game. You have better options at your disposal.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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