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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: HOU 27, IND 17 (Line: HOU by 7)

Players to Watch: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson

This game takes an interesting twist. Now it is that the Texans must win this to ensure a first round bye and homefield advantage throughout - pretty important stuff. And yet the Colts are locked into their #5 seed wild card and have nothing to play for. So it is now the Texans hoping to sponge off a meaningless game for the Colts and not vice-versa.

This is a replay of just two weeks ago when the Texans won 29-17 at home.

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 24-10
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE 14-42
6 GB 24-42 15 IND 29-17
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN 6-23
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF 21-9 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Texans have really stumbled here at the end with a 1-2 record these last three weeks and their losses were not just overtime lose-by-a-field-goal variety. They were trounced and embarrassed by the Patriots and then beaten shockingly well by the visiting Vikings. At least the one win was against the Colts and everything is on the line this week because no one wants to travel to Denver for the Championship game.

Arian Foster was pulled from the game last week right when fantasy owners needed him the most. He ended with only 29 total yards and had an irregular heartbeat that prompted them to shut him down. He has since been to a cardiologist and gotten the thumbs-up and will play. With a week to rest, this will be a full effort from him and shortened only in the event the Texans got a large and seemingly insurmountable lead. Foster ran for a season high 165 yards on 27 carries in Indy.

Owen Daniels has not practice on Thursday to rest his hamstring but so far is expected to play this week. He only caught four passes for 40 yards in the last meeting.

Matt Schaub threw for 261 yards and one score against the Colts and 151 of those yards - and the touchdown - all went to Andre Johnson on his 11 catches. Johnson has been on a hot streak for the last six weeks and will again need to show up to secure this game. He remains the only wide receiver of any fantasy relevance on this team all year.

Foster should be a lock here for a big game since they will rely on him first and mix in as much passing as needed to win the game. Johnson is a must-start regardless and along with Foster are the only two really attractive starts this week. Had the Texans won just one more game this year, there would be no fantasy players from the Texans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 19 1 28 3 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 14 27 26 6 23 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Brock Osweiler, HOU @GB 10100023011 ***
Green Bay offers the second highest opportunity rating that has translated into surrendering the seventh most fantasy points per game since Week 7. Quarterbacks have averaged 298.6 yards and a TD every 10.5 completions vs. Green Bay. A great matchup shouldn't translate to a starting gig for Osweiler in fantasy, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @GB 6002100000 ***
Green Bay went from being the toughest opponent for RBs to face much of the season to becoming fantasy's most opportunistic matchup in PPR over the last five weeks. While it has allowed only the fifth most PPR points, Green Bay is dead last in allowing running TDs, combined scores, and points per touch in that window.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @GB 005600000 ***
Is this the week Nuk goes bonkers? Probably not, but the numbers work in his favor. Green Bay has allowed receivers to score once every 7.1 grabs, which is the second weakest defense of this category. The Packers offer the fifth most exploitable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Will Fuller, HOU @GB 003400000 ***
Fuller has upside against a weak secondary like Green Bay's, although trusting Brock Osweiler can do his end of the deal is risky.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Braxton Miller, HOU @GB 003300000 ***
Miller sees scraps each week and doesn't (yet) belong in the fantasy conversation for traditional leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU @GB 005501000 ***
Green Bay has permitted the fourth most fantasy points on a per-game basis using data since Week 7. This stems from giving up the fourth most catches and fifth highest yardage figure per meeting over that span.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, HOU @GB 1122 ***
Green Bay has given up the fifth most combined kicking tries and ninth highest fantasy points average to kickers since Week 7.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC 27-10
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE 24-59
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF 20-13
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET 35-33
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN 27-23
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU 17-29
7 CLE 17-13 16 @KC 20-13
8 @TEN 19-13 17 HOU -----
9 MIA 23-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 20 280,2
RB Frank Gore 60 1-10
WR T.Y. Hilton 4-60
TE Dwayne Allen 4-40,1
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: HC Chuck Pagano said he will not rest players in Sunday's game against the Texans and he may believe that. But unless the game remains very close, the players may see the sideline eventually anyway which makes relying on any of them at least a small risk. These Colts are new at heading to the playoffs and could use the time to stay sharp.

Andrew Luck already scored twice in Houston though he completed just 13 of 27 passes for 186 yards and was sacked five times. J. J. Watts needs just two sacks to tie the single-season record and three to break it which seems highly likely in this game. Luck has been sacked 18 times over the last five games and now stands in the way of a record. And he wants to play in a meaningless game.

Vick Ballard ran for a career best 105 yards on 18 carries in Houston and the Colts are no longer shy about feeding him 18+ carries a game. That could be impacted by a big Texans lead or just the reality that Ballard needs to be healthy for next week too and taking a pounding for nothing may not be the wisest plan.

Reggie Wayne specifically made an appeal to not be rested this week and to play the game despite only coming up with 14 yards on three catches in the previous matchup. T.Y. Hilton was the lead receiver that week with 78 yards on three catches and one score.

Relying on any Colt this week is risky. The Texans have a great rushing defense and while they have played much worse against the pass overall in the second half of the year, they are getting all their defenders back from injury and they have to win this game. The Colts have good intentions on starting players but how long they play could become the issue.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 10 29 4 19 17 26
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 20 1 24 28 7 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND @NYJ 0000026021 ***
Luck is expected to return after a week off due to a concussion. The Jets boast fantasy's second toughest matchup for quarterbacks, having allowed only one aerial TD per game in the last four games. New York solidly rates in the bottom 10 of all notable fantasy passing categories, so Luck is not the best of starts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND @NYJ 5003300000 ***
Only one of every 44 attempts in the last five weeks has scored against the Jets. New York has allowed the seventh most PPR points on a per-game basis, but this is the fifth most generous from an offensive yardage allowed perspective.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @NYJ 006701000 ***
Hilton should be fine after leaving early last week. He faces a Jets defense that has given up one touchdown per contest over the last five weeks. One of every 12.5 receptions have scored, and the Jets are a negative-leaning-neutral opponent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @NYJ 005501000 ***
Moncrief is very quietly stringing together as strong of a return from his six-week injury hiatus as possible. The promising receiver has scored in four straight games and takes on a Jets team that has allowed one score per contest to receivers since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Phillip Dorsett, IND @NYJ 003300000 ***
Dorsett, a deep threat first, is a hard sell for gamers in non-DFS situations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @NYJ 002300000 ***
Allen doesn't have a large enough role on a consistent enough basis to be on a roster, let alone in a fantasy lineup. The Jets are also harsh against his position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND @NYJ 002200000 ***
New York has allowed only 13 receptions for 121 yard and a TD over its last four games to tight ends. There isn't enough upside with Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett both healthy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @NYJ 3322 ***
In the last four weeks, kickers have been afforded 11 tries (10 made). That is the second highest per-game average for the position, which has helped lead to New York being the second friendliest matchup to exploit.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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