FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9 CIN at MIA (THU) KC at BUF PIT at NE CHI at GB (MON)
ATL at CAR MIN at DAL SD at WAS On Bye:
BAL at CLE NO at NYJ TB at SEA ARI, DEN, DET
*UPDATED IND at HOU PHI at OAK TEN at STL JAC, NYG, SF

Prediction: TEN 17, STL 20 (Line: TEN by 3)

Players of Interest: Chris Johnson

Update: Daryl Richardson was downgraded to questionable and held out of practice on Friday because of his foot. He is no lock to play. Zac Stacy was held out on Wednesday, then full on Thursday and dialed back to limited on Friday. He is expected to play with little or no limitation from his foot. Justin Hunter is listed as questionable because of his finger but had a full practice on Friday and will play.

The 3-4 Titans are on a three game losing streak and are only 1-2 in road games. The 3-5 Rams are on a two game slide but are 2-2 in home games and came really, really close to beating the Seahawks last week.

1 @PIT 16-9 10 JAC -
2 @HOU 24-30 11 IND -
3 SD 20-17 12 @OAK -
4 NYJ 38-13 13 @IND -
5 KC 17-26 14 @DEN -
6 @SEA 13-20 15 ARI -
7 SF 17-31 16 @JAC -
8 BYE WEEK 17 HOU -
9 @STL - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN @ STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 30 210,2
WR Nate Washington 4-60
WR Kendall Wright 7-80,1
TE Delanie Walker 4-40,1
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans are only two games behind the Colts with their two matchups yet to play. But the running game is a weakness and the offense is in decline at generating points. The return of Jake Locker helps but overall the Titans are getting worse, not better. A tough schedule is partially to blame and a home game against the Jaguars in week ten is sure to make the world seem right again.

QUARTERBACKS: Jake Locker returned in week seven after missing a few games with knee and hip injuries. He passed for 326 yards and two scores on the 49ers but much of that happened in the fourth quarter when the game was already decided. Still, it boosts Locker to a four game streak of multiple touchdowns and it was his first trip over 300 yards this year. It was also distinctly better than what Ryan Fitzpatrick accomplished in his two starts.

RUNNING BACKS: The rushing totals remain anemic as ever for Chris Johnson who hasn't gained over 40 rushing yards in the last four games played. He scored on a screen pass late last week but that's highly unusual and unreliable. Johnson has been limited by facing some truly great defenses in recent weeks - KC, SEA, SF and NYJ. Facing the Rams is bound to be better.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There have only been five touchdowns thrown to a wideout this year and none of them total more than two. In fact, while facing this tougher stretch of the schedule, no wideout scored since week four. But Kendall Wright remains solid every week with five or six catches for around 70 yards. Nate Washington is much less productive though he has both of the only 100 yard games by a Titans wideout this year. This unit should become more productive for the next two weeks facing the Rams and Jaguars.

The trade deadline came and went without Kenny Britt attracting any interest other than by moving companies and realtors.

TIGHT ENDS: Delanie Walker scored three times this year but somewhat randomly and he never amounts to more than around 50 yards in any week. He's a marginal play and nothing more than a bye week cover. Notable though is that Locker's last four starts resulted in three touchdowns thrown to Walker.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams are average against the pass and most teams throw for moderate yardage and one or two touchdowns. That fits into Locker's style anyway. There this team had been weakest was against the run but Marshawn Lynch was stuffed last Monday in an inspired bit of defense. But Chris Johnson has been pedestrian at best as a runner and is hard to rely on for more than marginal yardage. If the Rams are deflated from their loss to the Seahawks it could play into a better game for the Titans and it is a short week with the Titans coming in from their bye. Johnson is worth a start here from the upside of the situation but the Rams defense just showed they can play a tight game.

WHAT TO WATCH: Chris Johnson needs to have a decent game. He still has not ran in a score and his yardage has been minimal outside of a few pass receptions in recent weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 14 30 17 25 21 7
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 13 24 21 3 9 17

 

1 ARI 27-24 10 @IND -
2 @ATL 24-31 11 BYE WEEK
3 @DAL 7-31 12 CHI -
4 SF 11-35 13 @SF -
5 JAC 34-20 14 @ARI -
6 @HOU 38-13 15 NO -
7 @CAR 15-30 16 TB -
8 SEA 9-14 17 @SEA -
9 TEN - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Zac Stacy 80,1 2-10
WR Tavon Austin 2-20
WR Chris Givens 4-60
TE Jared Cook 4-30
TE Lance Kendricks 2-10,1
PK Greg Zuerlein 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams came so close to a big win over the Seahawks but ended on the one-yard line with an errant pass. The offense has faced better defenses in recent weeks but the Rams have also improved on defense themselves. This will be the easiest remaining game other than the Buccaneers in week 16. This is the best shot for a win for the next two months.

QUARTERBACKS: Kellen Clemens first start was a rusty as would be expected and he completed just 15 of 31 passes for 158 yards and two interceptions against the aggressive secondary of the Seahawks. He was not helped by the several dropped passes that would have extended drives and likely provided the points for a winning margin. At least he was at home and remains so here against another solid secondary. Clemens did have a few moments of impressive play and just needs more time under center.

RUNNING BACKS: Zac Stacy left the Seahawks game with a bad ankle but early reports say he did not suffer a high ankle sprain and that he'll likely suit up this week. Stacy has been the lone bright spot on the offense and rolled up 134 yards on 26 runs on Monday night. He's basically taking the same role that Daryl Richardson had and doubling the yardage. The Rams still have not scored a rushing touchdown all year but face a weaker rush defense by the Titans. If Stacy can go, he should at least have a good game here and could end up with another very nice effort.

I will assume Stacy can play but will update as needed.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There wasn't much happening here with Clemens n board and the best wideout was Chris Givens with only 59 yards on four catches. Brian Quick missed all three of his passes including the last play of the game in the endzone which begged the question "why in the world did they throw the most important pass to Brian Quick?" Changing quarterbacks did nothing to dispel the notion that Tavon Austin is a bust receiver in over his head.

TIGHT ENDS: Clemens did use Jared Cook (3-31) and Lance Kendricks (2-23) but Cook in particular had a couple of very bad drops at critical times. He also was involved on the first interception as well. So far Clemens didn't exclude the tight ends but he certainly did not make either fantasy relevant.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Titans secondary has been very good with only six passing scores allowed all year and four of those came during the three road trips. The Titans are much weaker against the run and given up seven touchdowns to running backs and numerous good yardage games. This would be a nice spot to start Stacey if he is healthy and a place where the Rams might actually end up with that first rushing score. But the only player worth fantasy consideration besides Stacy is perhaps Chris Givens who can fill a bye week with a handful of catches and yards.

WHAT TO WATCH: Still need to see if Kellen Clemens can improve of if the Titans need to start developing Plan C.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 21 31 24 4 20 9
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 7 26 2 23 7 19

WEEK 9 CIN at MIA (THU) KC at BUF PIT at NE CHI at GB (MON)
ATL at CAR MIN at DAL SD at WAS On Bye:
BAL at CLE NO at NYJ TB at SEA ARI, DEN, DET
*UPDATED IND at HOU PHI at OAK TEN at STL JAC, NYG, SF


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