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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

Projections by Team
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WEEK 1
2010
MIN at NO ATL at PIT* OAK at TEN* GB at PHI
MIA at BUF CLE at TB* CAR at NYG DAL at WAS
IND at HOU* CIN at NE* SF at SEA BAL at NYJ
*UPDATED DET at CHI DEN at JAC* ARI at STL* SD at KC

Prediction: IND 31, HOU 27

Update: Owen Daniels has been limited in practice as he tries to get back into 100% football shape. He is still expected to be available for up to 25 plays but his work as a receiver is too risky to rely on quite yet.

Not exactly how the Texans would want to open after finally experiencing a winning season thanks to their 9-7 mark from 2009. The Colts come off a Superbowl loss and feature all the same players. The Colts swept the Texans in 2009, winning 20-17 at hoime and later 35-27 in Houston.

Indianapolis Colts (0-0)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU -- 10 CIN --
2 NYG -- 11 @NE --
3 @DEN -- 12 SD --
4 @JAC -- 13 DAL --
5 KC -- 14 @TEN --
6 @WAS -- 15 JAC --
7 Bye - 16 @OAK --
8 HOU -- 17 TEN --
9 @PHI -- - - -
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
INDIANAPOLIS at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning - - 260,3
RB Joseph Addai 60,1 20 -
TE Dallas Clark - 60,1 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 60,1 -
WR Austin Collie - 50 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 50,1 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 4 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Colts fell short in the Superbowl but they have been so dominant in their division that they are resting for multiple games at the end of every year. The Colts remain one of the favorites to return to the Superbowl this year and anything short is just a disappointment for this powerhouse. The team is not old, but getting plenty "veteran". It will look different next year if only at running back.

QUARTERBACKS: Once again, the Colts O-line did their job allowing an NFL low 13 sacks. Peyton Manning remains Mr. 4000 and probably the only reason that Brett Favre keeps coming back since only Manning can honestly say he can reach those Favrian marks. He's perhaps the smartest quarterback in the league and one of the hardest working. And I am not just talking about commercials.

Manning passed for 244 yards and three scores in Houston last year. He's a fantasy start each week anyway but look for a nice opening to the year since the Texans have some punch to their offense and the Colts cannot sit pretty at just 20 points.

RUNNING BACKS: Joseph Addai is in his final contract year and the team headquarters just hasn't been calling yet. This could be his final season in Indy so he is playing for a new contract somewhere next year. Donald Brown was a big disappointment last year who only gained 3.6 yards per carry, battled injuries and still doesn't do well in pass blocking which is probably job #1 for any Colts offensive player. No one touches the franchise - AKA Manning. Addai had a bounce back season in 2009 with 1164 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Addai rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries in Houston last season and Chad Simpson scored once.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The same cast returns with Reggie Wayne leading the bunch and Pierre Garcon sticking as the flanker after doing a "Pipp" job on the injured Anthony Gonzalez who is still grumbling about how he lost his spot. Austin Collie has been a great find for the slot and is becoming Welkerish for the Colts. This is a very good unit that can post the points and that has now gone through a Superbowl year together.

Both Wayne (3-19) and Garcon (5-63) scored in Houston. Wayne only had 84 yards in the home game against them.

TIGHT ENDS: As if Dallas Clark wasn't already one of the best tight ends, he comes off a career year with 100 catches for 1106 yards and ten scores. It pays to be the preferred outlet for a legendary quarterback.

Clark scored once on his nine catches for 63 yards in Houston last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 6 17 9 2 22 22
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 11 15 11 20 11 13


Houston Texans (0-0)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND -- 10 @JAC --
2 @WAS -- 11 @NYJ --
3 DAL -- 12 TEN --
4 @OAK -- 13 @PHI --
5 NYG -- 14 BAL --
6 KC -- 15 @TEN --
7 Bye - 16 @DEN --
8 @IND -- 17 JAC --
9 SD --   - -
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub - - 270,2
RB Arian Foster 100,1 20 -
TE Owen Daniels - 30 -
WR Andre' Johnson - 80,1 -
WR Kevin Walter - 60 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 50,1 -
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Texans come off a winning season and now can make moves on a playoff spot (wildcard would be just fine for now). This could be an even better Texans team because the same players return, Owen Daniels is getting healthy again and Arian Foster has the look of a new "Ryan Grant" in the league. The offense has been top notch in passing with Andre Johnson involved but the specter of a better rushing game will make these Texans contenders.

QUARTERBACKS: All it took was for Matt Schaub to finally last for all 16 games and the Texans offense really came to life. Schaub threw an NFL-high 583 passes for 396 receptions and 4470 yards. He was a fantasy bonanza for owners and he is still only 29 years of age. The Texans brought in new OC Rick Dennison but HC Gary Kubiak will keep things much the same.

Schaub passed for around 300 yards in both meetings with the Colts and threw for two scores in the home meeting.

RUNNING BACKS: Something about the backfield of the Texans makes stars of surprise players - Domanick Davis and Steve Slaton most notably - and they have really short careers. Slaton is hanging on as the third down back now after neck surgery and currently he has turf toe. But he has been surpassed by Arian Foster as the new guy who has two years to post huge fantsy points before disappearing. Foster holds much promise in this offense that already has opposing defenses scared to death about the pass.

Chris Brown and Steve Slaton combined for 21 carries and 113 yards and a touchdown versus the visiting Colts.

I am not projecting for Slaton until and unless he proves healthy and productive. But Foster should start out the season with a nice game at home against the Colts who are weakest against the run.

WIDE RECEIVERS: For two straight seasons, Andre' Johnson has led the league in receiving yards and he's the defacto best wideout in virtually every fantasy draft out there. He just comes with the smallest risk of any player in such an inconsistent position. He has topped 1500 receiving yards for two straight years and this offense is getting even better. He had a career high nine scores in 2009 and that is the only place he lags against any wideout in the league. The Texans almost lost Kevin Walter but since no one else wanted him he re-signed a nice contract to remain. But contract or not, he is getting pushed by Jacoby Jones who will get playing time even if only the #3 in this offense. Jones has the upside to be a good one while Walter is just a steady performer.

The Colts are tough against the pass and the last time they hosted Indy, only Jones scored and no wideout had more than 73 yards. The addition of Foster should help though and this should be one of the highest scoring games of the weekend.

TIGHT ENDS: Owen Daniels was lost last season because of a torn ACL but he is just now healthy and starting to get back into playing shape. He will play though not full games at first. Temper expectations for at least a few weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 4 11 7 12 15 19
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 8 21 19 1 24 2

WEEK 1
2010
MIN at NO ATL at PIT OAK at TEN GB at PHI
MIA at BUF CLE at TB CAR at NYG DAL at WAS
IND at HOU CIN at NE SF at SEA BAL at NYJ
  DET at CHI DEN at JAC ARI at STL SD at KC
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