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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 Brandon Weeden 220,1
WR Cecil Shorts 5-90,1
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 2 XP

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 Brock Osweiler, HOU JAC 10000024010 ***
The Chargers have held four straight quarterbacks to one or zero touchdown pass and 216 yards or less, including Osweiler's 166 and 1 in Week 13. Osweiler has averaged better than 300 yards in the three games since facing San Diego, and a home date with playoff positioning on the line should yield better results than the earlier meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Blue, HOU JAC 801000000 ***
Blue seems slated for the largest share of touches against a defense that's allowed four RB TDs in the past two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU JAC 7004300000 ***
Miller scored last time out against New England, scored last week... and can't be trusted with a fantasy start because the Dolphins inexplicably bench him even when he's producing. There's upside with touches, but Jay Ajayi looms.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Polk, HOU JAC 200000000 ***
Polk crept up on Alfred Blue's carries last week, swiping 11 of his own. Were he more productive than three yards a pop we'd project more in a favorable matchup--but he wasn't, so we won't.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU JAC 0081102000 ***
Hopkins gouged the Jags for 10-148-2 in the earlier meeting, and a defense that's given up four straight 100-yard games to WR1s--with three also finding the end zone--is no better equipped to slow him than before.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Ryan Griffin, HOU JAC 002200000 ***
Griffin hasn't scored in a month, hasn't topped 30 yards in longer, and didn't even see the field in the earlier matchup with Jacksonville. Little reason to like him here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, HOU JAC 2233 ***
Multiple field goals
in three straight games for Novak
That's a solid trend

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Dexter McCluster 20 2-20
WR Kendall Wright 2-30
TE Anthony Fasano 2-20
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 Zach Mettenberger, TEN @IND 0000025012 ***
Following last week's shutout of Ryan Tannehill the Colts have gone back-to-back games of holding QBs without multiple TDs for the first time this season. So it's a favorable matchup for Mettenberger; he's just not well-equipped to take advantage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN @IND 3002200000 ***
Mike Mularkey says Sankey will get more playing time this week--this after Sankey took over the Titans ground game last week following a pair of Antonio Andrews turnovers. It's a favorable matchup, but it'll take stones the size of Pluto to trot out Sankey in a Week 17 championship game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Antonio Andrews, TEN @IND 4001100000 *
Indy's run defense rallied last week, holding Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi to a shade over two yards per carry--though Miller did score. Andrews scored on the Colts earlier this year, but he may not get the 13 touches he received in that game. So there's a smidgen of fantasy upside here--which, in Week 17, may be enough.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN @IND 004700000 ***
DGB went from 113 against the Pats to a goose egg against Houston, so reliability may not be his strong suit. He scored over Vontae Davis in the earlier matchup this year, and the Colts have allowed six 90-plus yard WRs in the past month so there's undeniable upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN @IND 008901000 ***
The Colts have been pretty good against tight ends this season, but they surrendered 7-68 to Walker (and 55 yards to other Titans TEs) in the earlier meeting. And Walker has seen double-digit targets in three of the last four games, scoring three TDs and compiling 26-286 in that span. He's Tennessee's go-to pass catcher, and nothing in the Titans' current state of wideouts suggests a deviation from that plan.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN @IND 1122 ***
Has not topped ten points
Nine in earlier meeting
No fantasy help

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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