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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: HOU 27, TEN 17 (Line: HOU by 5.5)

Players to Watch: Jake Locker, Chris Johnson

The 10-1 Texans won 38-14 when the 4-7 Titans visited in week four. Just to throw some lack of clarity into this game, the Titans just fired their offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and replaced him with QB coach Dowell Loggains. Hard to imagine that will immediately improve the offense.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI 13-6
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC 43-37
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET 34-31
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 @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 230,2
RB Arian Foster 100,1 2-10
WR Damaris Johnson 3-30

Pregame Notes: What a difference a cornerback must make. It may seem extreme, but the last two full games played by CB Johnathan Joseph resulted in allowing a combined 15 points total. In two games without him, the Texans gave up 68 points. And the Jaguars and Lions were hardly the highest scoring teams prior to playing the Texans. Joseph's hamstring wasn't able to heal up in the short week before Thanksgiving but will have ten days to rest before this week.

After Schaub threw for a career best 527 yards and five touchdowns on the Jaguars, he still passed for 315 yards in Detroit though with only one touchdown. Oddly enough, letting the Texans get into shoot-outs these last two weeks have done wonders for the fantasy value of the passing game. Schaub only threw for 202 yards and two scores against the visiting Titans in week four.

Arian Foster was finally held to no touchdowns in week 11 but he was right back at it on Thanksgiving with 102 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He added five catches for 15 yards as well. Ben Tate remains out and in his place Justin Forsett had the cheapest touchdown in the history of the NFL when he was clearly down, then got back up and ran for an 81-yard touchdown. HC Jim Schwartz threw a challenge flag which was not to be done since it was to be reviewed anyway. Instead he made the play stand and got a penalty to boot. This team remains pure Foster when it comes to rushing the ball. Foster gained 86 yards and one score in the last meeting with the Titans.

Andre Johnson just set the all-time record for most yardage over two consecutive games with 461 yards. He only scored once on those 23 receptions and it was his only score since week three. Johnson only caught three passes for 56 yards versus the Titans last time. Owen Daniels turned in one of his best games of the season in week three when he reeled in six passes for 72 yards and one touchdown versus the TItans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 17 1 27 2 4 8
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 26 29 19 29 29 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
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.

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 19-24
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 vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 230,1
RB Shonn Greene 70
RB Dexter McCluster 20 2-20
WR Nate Washington 3-40
WR Kendall Wright 2-30
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans let OC Chris Palmer go after struggling to score against the Jaguars last week and that should make the DC Jerry Gray squirm since his defense has allowed 34+ points six times already this year.

The remaining games are not likely to get much better until the season ender against the Jaguars. The season is already over and what now strikes some fear is if they will start to try out other players or mess around with the offense and impact Chris Johnson since he's been the only real fantasy starter in this offense up until now.

Jake Locker was knocked out of the week four meeting with the Texans that led to him missing six weeks. Matt Hasselbeck ended up with 193 pass yards and two touchdowns in that game that ended up with Kendall Wright (4-46) and Craig Stevens (2-24). Kenny Britt was still out that week and Nate Washington ended with only 43 yards on three receptions in that game.

Chris Johnson actually kicked off his return to prominence in that game when he rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries. He's since posted five more games with at least 90 rushing yards and scored four times. At home there's no worry that the interim OC will change up the one thing that actually works on the offense.

The Texans have been giving up major passing yardage in the last two games which at least in part happened with CB Johnathan Joseph out but he's due to return this week anyway. A switch in coaches is unlikely to spark the offense much, especially against the Texans who are already familiar with the Titans personnel.

What happens this week will be interesting since the Texans defense has not allowed anyone else to gain more than 80 rushing yards on them and only two rushers have scored on them all year. The Titans are in some turmoil this week and the Texans just see a divisional opponent they can beat. Jake Locker is less likely to have the same success that Chad Henne and Matt Stafford recently did when facing the Texans. This week should answer more about the Texans defense than the Titans offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 22 26 19 9 16 18
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 15 1 20 24 7 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Charlie Whitehurst, TEN IND 0000020011 ***
Whitehurst saw plenty of action in the earlier game with Indy, throwing for 177 yards and a touchdown. That's actually a pretty typical game for him; no reason to set your expectations differently.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN IND 5011100000 **
Sankey scored in the earlier meeting with Indy, and at this juncture there's really no reason to give anyone else carries; the Titans need to find out what their second-round pick is capable of going forward. With greater volume comes greater responsibility--like, he'll need to turn 14 carries into more than 44 yards, like he did against Jacksonville last week, if he wants to become the feature back in Tennessee.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nate Washington, TEN IND 004500000 ***
Washington had his moment in the sun with 6-102 against a bad Jets' secondary; now he's just taking up roster space.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, TEN IND 004500000 ***
Wright is playing through a hand injury; despite that he led all Titans receivers with 4-73 last week against Jacksonville and is the best bet to post something similar against an Indy team he took for 5-55 (also team-leading) in the earlier meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN IND 005601000 ***
Walker scored against Indy in the earlier meeting--hardly surprising, seeing as the Colts have given up 10 TE TDs on the year. They've also allowed six games of 80 yards or more, including Walker's 84 earlier in the year. Given how heavily targeted Walker is, and how bad the rest of Tennessee's receiving corps is, a similar stat line feels like a starting point for Walker this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN IND 1122 ***
The Colts have allowed one multiple-field goal outing in the past 10 games. No reason to think the Titans suddenly find one between the couch cushions this week.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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