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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: JAC 27, DAL 24

Here's a game that will make someone happy. The Jaguars are on a two game losing streak with a defense that has given up more points than the Dow on Black Monday. The Cowboys are still at home but at 1-5 and Romo on the sideline, the public consensus is that each game was just another phase of death and now comes acceptance. The Cowboys are favored by 6.5 points but fool me once twice three four five times and being gun shy is to be expected.

The Jaguars rank #31 against scoring with 30 points per game allowed.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DEN W 24-17 10 HOU --
2 @SD L 13-38 11 CLE --
3 PHI L 3-28 12 @NYG --
4 IND W 31-28 13 @TEN --
5 @BUF W 36-26 14 OAK --
6 TEN L 3-30 15 @IND --
7 @KC L 20-42 16 WAS --
8 @DAL -- 17 @HOU --
9 Bye - - - -
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
JACKSONVILLE at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard - - 170,2
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 80,1 10 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 40,1 -
WR Mike Sims-Walker - 50,1 -
WR Mike Thomas - 50 -
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars are trying to reach their bye week to regroup and try to determine what sort of team they really are. In one game they get decimated by the Eagles and then beat the Colts the next. Twice they have scored only three points in a game (at home no less) and yet twice they had over 30 points. Catching the Cowboys adjusting to life without Romo is just fortuitous timing.

QUARTERBACK: David Garrard is expected back this week after passing all of his concussion tests. He missed the loss in Kansas City and has been very inconsistent even when he does suit up. But Garrard did pass for five touchdowns in his last two full games even though he has not exceeded 180 passing yards in any game this year. He has a total of nine touchdowns against seven interceptions.

The Cowboys have been solid against yardage in most games but have allowed no less than one score in each of the last five games and have yet to give up less than two passing touchdowns in a home game. Garrard won't come up with that much yardage but he should notch a couple of scores this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Maurice Jones-Drew finally had another decent fantasy game when he turned in 74 yards and a score on five catches in Kansas City but he only gained 47 yards on 16 carries and still struggles to find running room. Jones-Drew has only one rushing score and only one game over 100 rushing yards so far.

The Cowboys have been good against the run but recent weeks have given up four touchdowns in just three games to visiting running backs along with two efforts over 100 yards. Jones-Drew isn't likely to have much rush yards and the Cowboys have not allowed many receptions by tailbacks but he could score once and even break a long run with some luck.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Todd Bouman filled in for the concussed Garrard last week and he forgot all about Mike Thomas, the previously #1 pass target for the Jaguars. Thomas had zero catches while Bouman connected with Mike Sims-Walker (3-38, TD) and even the rookie Tiquan Underwood (2-30). With Garrard back, the passing should be more balanced although in road games, the Jaguars have only once had any wideout get over 50 yards and that was back in week two in San Diego.

The Cowboys have allowed seven touchdowns to wide receivers over the last three games though this game is harder to call with Romo out. CB Terrance Newman is also banged up which only helps Mike Thomas more. The yardage is going to be moderate at best here but a chance either starter could end up with a score.

TIGHT ENDS: Marcedes Lewis has been an integral part of the Jaguars passing scheme and he leads the team with five touchdowns. The Cowboys rank highly against the position but have not faced any decent receiver here other than Chris Cooley who had 80 yards on six catches. Lewis has a shot at a score and moderate yardage again this week. His best games have been during the road venues.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 16 25 26 8 13 29
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 9 9 16 6 22 21
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) JAC -7 -16 -10 -2 9 -8


Dallas Cowboys (1-5)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS L 7-13 10 @NYG --
2 CHI L 20-27 11 DET --
3 @HOU W 27-13 12 NO --
4 Bye - 13 @IND --
5 TEN L 27-34 14 PHI --
6 @MIN L 21-24 15 WAS --
7 NYG L 35-41 16 @ARI --
8 JAC -- 17 @PHI --
9 @GB -- - - -
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna - - 270,3
RB Marion Barber 30 - -
RB Felix Jones 40 10 -
TE Jason Witten - 60,1 -
WR Roy Williams - 30 -
WR Dez Bryant - 70,1 -
WR Miles Austin - 70,1 -
PK David Buehler 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Someone remember to put the cat out before you shut the door. The Cowboys season is more officially over now that they have plunged to the icy depths of 1-5 and have lost their star quarterback likely for the rest of the year. With no discernable rushing game, a defense that has allowed 75 points in the last two home games and a starting quarterback who hasn't started for a couple of years, oh yeah. Time to douse the campfire. The Cowboys lost their first four games largely by beating themselves. Without Romo, they couldn't stay even with the Giants who spotted them 17 points in defensive and special teams action.

QUARTERBACK: Tony Romo has a fractured clavicle and is gone for at least six to eight weeks which means the end of the season in all likelihood. Barring a miraculous turnaround of proportions so immense that it bend the fabric of space and time, there is no reason to rush Romo back. Jon Kitna gets the start for the first time since Detroit 2008. On the plus side, he already knew Roy Williams. On the negative - it did not matter on Sunday night when Williams had no catches.

Kitna catches a small break by starting out against one of the worst secondaries in the league and one that all Romo owners were waiting to see (but alas). The Jaguars have never allowed less than two passing scores this year and the yardage is there for the taking for a good quarterback. Kitna is at home which helps and gets a really great matchup with lots of weapons. Figure on a surprisingly good game here that Kitna may repeat in week 11 against the visiting Lions.

RUNNING BACKS: Using Felix Jones as the starter has done nothing to ignite this dormant rushing attack that has only scored one rushing touchdown all year. Jones has topped 45 rushing yards in only one game while Marion Barber only gets worse. Last week he had six yards on four carries. In Minnesota, it was 31 yards on ten rushing attempts. The Titans - six carries for 19 yards. And yet the Cowboys have completely phased out Tashard Choice who has not played since week three. The lack of any credible rushing threat is but one of several major problems for the Cowboys.

The Jaguars have been dinged by running backs only when facing the best in the league. That is not here and there is not any reason to expect more than the same mediocrity by the backfield. Figure the defense has even less reason to worry about the pass from here on out.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The loss of Romo may be catastrophic for this unit at least when they face the better defenses in the league. In his roughly one half of play, Kitna was unable to connect with Roy Williams at all, overthrew Miles Austin about four times but did connect with Dez Bryant who only had four catches for 54 yards but scored twice on receptions and also returned a punt for a score. It is still far too early to assume any pattern or preference for Kitna.

The Jaguars have been doling out wide receiver touchdowns like candy on Halloween. Three players scored twice when they matched up with the Jaguars. I like two of the scores to end up with this unit and all are at least moderate plays this week against the #32 defense against wide receivers. It should look like the Cowboys are going to get over Romo quickly... for one week anyway.

TIGHT ENDS: If last week is any key - and it probably is not - then Jason Witten owners should rejoice because he comes off his season high game of nine receptions for 95 yards and one score. Witten should show up well this week against the bad secondary and is likely to score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 6 27 3 13 22 24
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 31 20 32 25 18 17
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DAL 25 -7 29 12 -4 -7

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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