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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 Ronnie Brown 10 4-20
RB Arian Foster 100,1 2-10
WR Andre Johnson 5-60,1
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 Ryan Fitzpatrick, HOU @OAK 10000020011 ***
Nothing in either Fitzpatrick's track record suggests he can be banked on for anything more than a pedestrian effort here. Copy and paste, at least until Ryan Mallett takes over.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Arian Foster, HOU @OAK 11013200000 ****
The Jets split their 174 RB rushing yards amongst three backs, though Chris Ivory did reach triple digits on his own. Foster will house all of those for Houston, as well as any receiving yards--and probably any touchdowns the Texans score as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Johnson, HOU @OAK 006800000 ***
Johnson is still the big dog in this hunt, though not quite as big as last year when he saw 17 of the Texans' 28 WR targets against Oakland. A more even distribution shouldn't put too much of a damper on his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @OAK 005500000 ***
Hopkins is still a wingman to Andre Johnson, but he's definitely closing the gap--enough so that he's a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, HOU @OAK 1122 ***
Bullock should see an uptick in opportunity this week--maybe not enough to be a great fantasy start, but at least enough to warrant plug-in consideration if you're streaming kickers.

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 Jake Locker, TEN DAL 10000029020 ***
If you accept the premise that Locker is an upgrade over Kirk Cousins, Matt McGloin, and Christian Ponder--the only quarterbacks in the past nine games not to throw multiple touchdowns against the Dallas secondary--then you have to like his chances of building on Week 1's 266 & 2.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shonn Greene, TEN DAL 701000000 ***
The Cowboys couldn't slow the 49ers' ground game tag team of Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde; no reason to think the Titans' version of Old Guy/Young Guy shouldn't have similar success. And since Old Guy is getting the vast majority of the carries, he's a solid fantasy bet this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, TEN DAL 005801000 ***
Consider Hunter's 3-63 on a team-high eight targets last week as an appetizer; against a Cowboys defense that's been gutted at cornerback, you may get the breakout game you drafted him for.
Update: After practicing on a limited basis Thursday, Hunter should be good to go for this weekend's tasty fantasy matchup with the Cowboys' depleted secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, TEN DAL 0081000000 ***
Wright remains the volume guy, the Mary Ann to Justin Hunter's Ginger. Hey, nothing wrong with Mary Ann--especially against a wafer-thin secondary like Dallas'.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nate Washington, TEN DAL 004500000 ***
You could go three deep against a secondary like the Cowboys, but that's better played once the bye weeks hit; until then, Washington's an unreliable fantasy third wheel.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN DAL 005501000 ****
Walker's no Vernon Davis, who scored twice against the Cowboys last week, but he managed a touchdown of his own and is involved enough in this offense to warrant regular fantasy consideration.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN DAL 1144 ***
Succop doesn't have the added bonus of revenge against his former team, but he should still enjoy the benefits of facing a struggling defense.

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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