FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK

Prediction: SD 27, JAC 17 (Line: SD by 7.5)

Players of Interest: Chad Henne

Update: Ace Sanders was ruled out for this game because of his concussion. Cecil Shorts was able to have limited practices on Thursday and Friday and says he intends on playing. He won't be 100% this week but will be active. Justin Blackmon is also listed as questionable but is expected to be active and unlimited. He was held out on Wednesday and Friday to rest his hamstring after such a heavy load in the last two weeks.

The Chargers rose to 3-3 with their win over the visiting Colts last Monday but are only 1-2 on the road. The Jaguars are a very convincing 0-6 with the lowest points per game of any NFL team. That's just around 11 point on average and yet they are allowing around 33 points per week. No reason to like the home team here.

1 HOU 28-31 10 DEN -
2 @PHI 33-30 11 @MIA -
3 @TEN 17-20 12 @KC -
4 DAL 30-21 13 CIN -
5 @OAK 17-27 14 NYG -
6 IND 19-9 15 @DEN -
7 @JAC - 16 OAK -
8 BYE WEEK 17 KC -
9 @WAS - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 280,2
RB Ryan Mathews 60,1
RB Danny Woodhead 30 6-50
WR Keenan Allen 5-80,1
TE Antonio Gates 7-70,1
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Unfortunately a 3-3 record doesn't do much for the Chargers when they live in a division that contains the only two remaining unbeaten teams. But the offense continues to exceed expectations and the defense is improving. This is a lighter week to help them ease onto their bye but then the schedule takes a decided turn for the worse. Considering that the year started with the Chargers considered one of the weakest teams, they've made some nice strides under new HC Mike McCoy.

QUARTERBACKS: The Colts held Philip RIvers to only 237 yards and one score but he's never failed to post points in every game and his 14 touchdowns go against only five interceptions. Rivers is running the new offense well and making progress incorporating new players into the offense. That should be even more evident facing a weak team like the Jaguars.

RUNNING BACKS: The committee is settled down to Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews sharing the load. Mathews comes off a season best 102 yards on 22 carries but has nearly no role as a receiver and hasn't scored as a runner. Woodhead gets five to ten carries per week but does his damage as a receiver with no fewer than five receptions. He posted a season best nine catches for 58 yards and a touchdown versus the Raiders but then fell back to five catches for 47 yards last Monday. This unit doesn't score rushing touchdowns but has four scores catching passes.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Eddie Royal declined so far from his five touchdown start to the year that he was never even thrown a pass against the Colts. Keenan Allen is the rookie wideout who is sparking the offense and topped 100 yards with a touchdown in each of the last two games. He's been effective all over the field and already gained the confidence of Rivers. He is proving to be everything that Vincent Brown was supposed to be. Brown showed up big in Oakland but was a nonfactor in all other weeks.

That Allen was so successful against good secondaries is very encouraging in the future given the many tough matchups looming that will require plenty of passing by the Chargers.

TIGHT ENDS: Oddly enough, Antonio Gates turns in monster games when facing the NFC East teams but otherwise is only a moderate play in all other weeks. He remains one of the most targeted receivers but comes off his worst game of the year when he was limited to only four receptions for 28 yards last Monday. Gates gets plenty of passes, but he's not much better than the defense normally allows any decent tight end.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jaguars are always giving up great field position so that while opposing quarterbacks are being mostly limited to moderate yardage from the short field, they are also scoring multiple touchdowns. With 15 scores allowed to the position, Rivers will be golden this week. Realize too that all those scores to quarterbacks included players like Alex Smith, Russell Wilson and Sam Bradford while guys like Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning are stopping well short of what they could have done were they interested in scoring a lot of points. The Jags are one of the worst teams against running backs as well and that bodes well for both Mathews and Woodhead who become start worthy this week. Look for Gates to show up with points again going against a defense that allowed five touchdowns over the last four games to tight ends. Wideouts score well against the Jags but rarely have much yardage because of the short fields and the lack of need to throw much.

WHAT TO WATCH: This is a week where everything should work pretty well. The Chargers aren't good enough to try to mail in a game this week and only the bye awaits. This will be a solid fantasy effort from all the normal suspects.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 5 6 13 9 7 30
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 23 29 16 26 26 30

 

1 KC 2-28 10 @TEN -
2 @OAK 9-19 11 ARI -
3 @SEA 17-45 12 @HOU -
4 IND 3-37 13 @CLE -
5 @STL 20-34 14 HOU -
6 @DEN 19-35 15 BUF -
7 SD - 16 TEN -
8 SF - 17 @IND -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
JAC vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne 250,2
WR Tandon Doss 3-50
WR Ace Sanders
WR Cecil Shorts 5-70
TE Marcedes Lewis 2-20
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars so bad that now good teams are not preparing much to play them and making the game look closer than it should. Case in point - the Broncos playing their worst game of the year at home versus the Jaguars. Really? That won't be the case against most teams though and certainly not this week. The only surprising thing here is that the Chargers are only favored by 7.5 points when the Jaguars have never lost by less than ten points and their average losing margin is over 21 points.

QUARTERBACKS: Chad Henne gets another start and there is no guarantee that Blaine Gabbert gets his job back after Henne has played so well. At least in a compared to Gabbert sort of way. He passed for 303 yards in Denver which alone should grant him the starting gig. All combined the Jags have only thrown three touchdowns all year against 11 interceptions.

RUNNING BACKS: Perhaps the best sign that teams are just not taking the Jags seriously is that Maurice Jones-Drew comes off his best game of the year in Denver when he ran for 71 yards and scored a touchdown for only the second time. The other was when he was also on the road and playing the Seahawks. Trash time holds minor promise for a moderate performance each week. At home against a team that will play them seriously is less likely to be productive.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Cecil Shorts left last week with a sprained sternoclavicular joint but the early prognosis is not as bad as initially feared. He has not been ruled out this week though it is more likely than not. I will assume that he can only play a very limited role and update as needed. Justin Blackmon may be one infraction from taking a year off but he is back with a vengeance after rolling up 136 yards in St. Louis and then 190 yards in Denver. Ace Sanders has completely disappeared now but Blackmon is one of the rare players to ever deliver to his owners who thought "I can wait a month".

Blackmon is banged upon with groin and hamstring issues but it has not gotten in the way and is not expected to this week either.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value here though Marcedes Lewis may try once again to return from his calf injury.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Chargers are weak against the pass though not as much as the Jags are. And the Jags passing game has become really just pitch and catch with one receiver. Blackmon is an obvious starter here and Henne should end up with maybe his best game of the year whatever that proves to be since this will be his easiest matchup. Jones-Drew faces a defense that has not allowed any running back to score and is one of the top units in the NFL. Not a promising prospect for a mediocre back.

WHAT TO WATCH: Chad Henne can make a mark this week and hope to keep the job away from Gabbert. This will be his lightest matchup of the year and his last chance to post notable stats.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 32 28 19 30 31 26
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 29 3 27 12 18 22

WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK


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