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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 8
2010
*GB at NYJ *CAR at STL *MIN at NE *HOU at IND
*DEN at SF WAS at DET *SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL *BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
*UPDATED MIA at CIN *TEN at SD *PIT at NO NYG, PHI

Prediction: HOU 24, IND 31

Update: It is concerning that Joseph Addai and Donald Brown were both held out of practice and both are not locks to play on Monday night. I will downgrade both tomorrow if they do not return for at least limited work and they may end up as game time decisions which no one wants for a Monday night game.

Update: Joseph Addai still has not practiced and is likely to miss this Monday night game. Donald Brown did return for limited work on Friday and still has a good shot at starting. Mike Hart will play a role with Addai out but Brown should have more of the carries.

Not only is this the league's first 2010 rematch, but both teams come off their bye week with an identical 4-2 record. The Texans won the season opener 34-24 when the Colts were the visitor. This should be a high scoring Monday night affair.

Houston Texans (4-2)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND W 34-24 10 @JAC --
2 @WAS W 30-27 11 @NYJ --
3 DAL L 13-27 12 TEN --
4 @OAK W 31-24 13 @PHI --
5 NYG L 10-34 14 BAL --
6 KC W 35-31 15 @TEN --
7 Bye - 16 @DEN --
8 @IND -- 17 JAC --
9 SD --   - -
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub - - 250,2
RB Arian Foster 90,1 30 -
TE Owen Daniels - 30 -
WR Andre' Johnson - 100,1 -
WR Kevin Walter - 20 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 50,1 -
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Texans show up after their bye week with a chance to really help their playoff aspirations against their long-time nemesis who they beat in the opener. The problem is that the defense has never held any opponent to less than 24 points and this defense is among the worst in the league with no signs of improving. That means a shootout every week and that's just good football to us fantasy leaguers.

QUARTERBACK: No denying that Matt Schaub has been effective this season but he's not been up to the high standard of 2009. Schaub comes off his bye week with nine touchdowns against five interceptions which is healthy enough but he has only thrown for more than 241 yards in two of six games after the leading the NFL in passing yardage last season. The success of Arian Foster in most games has been the culprit but it isn't as if Schaub hasn't posted numbers worthy of a fantasy start.

Schaub's season opener was when he passed for only 107 yards and one score against the visiting Colts while Foster had the big game. Outside of a 476 yard game by Kyle Orton, the rest of the Colts opponents have been less than 246 yards and four never topped 170 yards. The Colts have also never given up more than two scores in any game. Look for them to do a better job against Foster and force Schaub to pass.

RUNNING BACKS: Arian Foster started the year with his eye-popping 231 yards and three scores against the visiting Colts. Foster has continued to run well in most games and has seven touchdowns but had slowed down in yardage for recent games. He scored twice against the visiting Chiefs but only managed 71 yards on 18 carries. Against the Giants he was held to only 25 yards on 11 runs. Foster's stats could also fall victim to HC Gary Kubiak wanting to involve Derrick Ward more to help keep Foster from wearing down. And Ward has scored once in each of the last three games. Foster should maintain his role as a receiver which will help but he will at least temporarily be affected by Ward. The coaching move observes the hefty 8.7 yards per carry of Ward which of course largely came from his breaking of several 30+ yard gain runs. Chances are he won't continue that with more use and that Foster will keep his same level of workload.

The Colts have spent their bye week thinking about what Foster did the last time. In the two home games by the Colts, they have only given up no more than 89 rush yards to any runner and no touchdowns. Still, you have to like Foster in this game - even half of what he did last time would be a great game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Andre' Johnson proved his ankle was healthy in his last game where he caught eight passes for 138 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. That leaves him with only two scores so far but he is healthy again and ready to get back to his elite status. Kevin Walter has fallen so far out of favor that he never had a pass thrown to him. Jacoby Jones has taken over as the #2 wideout but he has yet to score so far and has topped out at 53 yards. This pass attack is still mainly little more than Johnson.

The Colts are good in the secondary and have not allowed a wideout to score since week three. Johnson only had three catches for 33 yards in the season opener because of the Foster running but Johnson had 103 yards on ten catches at Indy last year. No reason to consider benching him this time.

TIGHT ENDS: Owen Daniels has finally gotten back in his groove with a five catch, 79 yard game against the Chiefs but he has yet to score and the Colts are #1 against tight ends so expect a more marginal effort this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 11 1 13 15 12 31
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 12 28 20 1 19 3
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) HOU 1 27 7 -14 7 -28


Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU L 24-34 10 CIN --
2 NYG W 38-14 11 @NE --
3 @DEN W 27-13 12 SD --
4 @JAC L 28-31 13 DAL --
5 KC W 19-9 14 @TEN --
6 @WAS W 27-24 15 JAC --
7 Bye - 16 @OAK --
8 HOU -- 17 TEN --
9 @PHI -- - - -
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
INDIANAPOLIS vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning - - 320,3
RB Joseph Addai 40 10 -
RB Donald Brown 50,1 10 -
RB Mike Hart 30 10 -
TE Jacob Tamme - 10 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 110,2 -
WR Anthony Gonzalez - 20 -
WR

Blair White

- 40 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 80,1 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts come off their bye on a two game winning streak but not only are they a game back of the Titans and tied with these Texans in the AFC South, but they lost to the Texans and the Jaguars so losing here is not an option. The Colts have handily won both home games and have spent two weeks thinking about how to hit Aaron Foster with a tranquilizer dart. The only real problem that the Colts have had in 2010 is when they face divisional rivals.

QUARTERBACK: Aside from the win over the Chiefs, Peyton Manning has thrown for at least two scores in every game and topped 300 yards in four different weeks. Manning has thrown 13 touchdowns against only two interceptions but faces a new challenge with Dallas Clark on Injured Reserve and Austin Collie out for a few more weeks.

Fortunately Manning is facing the softest secondary of them all. He already lit them up for 433 yards and three scores in the season opener and the Texans have not improved, already giving up a total of 14 passing touchdowns. Expect a big week here by Manning.

RUNNING BACKS: Joseph Addai injured his shoulder in week six and even the two weeks of rest may not have been enough. I am going to assume that Addai can only play a limited role and that Donald Brown will return from his hamstring injury to take a significant role this week. Should Addai be unable to play, Brown would get most of the action with some help from Mike Hart.

The Colts only rushed for 44 yards in the season opener because the Texans forced them to pass. But the Texans have given up seven scores to running backs over the last five games played. Look for only moderate yardage and a chance for one score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Figuring out who is hurt and who is not is a moving target with the Colts. Austin Collie is out for several more games after hand surgery but the report last week that Anthony Gonzalez had re-injured his ankle was refuted by Gonzalez himself who said he fully expects to play this week. Blair White will join the party as well and it should be a nice week for all the involved wide receivers since the Texans not only rank 31st against wide receivers but they are on the road as well.

Wayne is a lock for a big game this week and Pierre Garcon should have nice stats as well.

TIGHT ENDS: Jacob Tamme has assumed the starting tight end spot but the third year player only has six catches to his credit. He's worth owning since he is a starting Colts tight end but not worth starting yet.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 3 21 2 11 6 22
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 32 25 31 31 25 9
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) IND 29 4 29 20 19 -13

WEEK 8
2010
GB at NYJ CAR at STL MIN at NE HOU at IND
DEN at SF WAS at DET SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
  MIA at CIN TEN at SD PIT at NO NYG, PHI
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