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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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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: TEN 27, SD 24

Update: Antonio Gates has been held out of practice as he was last week but he is expected to play as he always does. Craig Davis also did not practice but is still expected to be ready but Legedu Naanee still looks like he will miss this week. Vince Young is back to practice and is likely to start this week.

The Titans are 5-2 and all alone atop the AFC South. They also sport a 3-0 road record while the Chargers are just 2-5 with a three game losing streak though they are 2-1 at home. The Chargers have some bad mojo going on this year and plenty of injuries to contend with while the Titans are looking more like a late January team with every passing week.

The Chargers beat the Titans 42-17 in Tennessee during week 16 last year.

Tennessee Titans (5-2)
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK W 38-13 10 @MIA --
2 PIT L 11-19 11 WAS --
3 @NYG W 29-10 12 @HOU --
4 DEN L 20-26 13 JAC --
5 @DAL W 34-27 14 IND --
6 @JAC W 30-3 15 HOU --
7 PHI W 37-19 16 @KC --
8 @SD -- 17 @IND --
9 Bye - - - -
Titans Report | Statistics | Roster
TENNESSEE at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young - - 170,1
QB Kerry Collins - - 180,1
RB Chris Johnson 100,1 10 -
TE Bo Scaife - 40 -
WR Nate Washington - 40 -
WR Kenny Britt - 40,1 -
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Titans rank #2 in scoring offense this year with 28 points per game and they have not scored less than 30 for the last three weeks. Unlike last year when Chris Johnson was the "be all, do all" for the offense, the Titans are featuring an average passing attack which is a big upgrade for them. Couple that with a solid defense and these Titans are winning big lately.

I like a defensive score this week.

QUARTERBACK: Vince Young sat out last week with knee and ankle injuries but Kerry Collins filled in admirably. He passed for 276 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles while the best Young had managed was just 173 yards. Young is likely to miss this game since the Titans have a bye and that would allow him to fully heal up until week ten. I will assume Collins to play and change it as warranted.

Young only completed 8 of 21 passes for 89 yards against the visiting Chargers last year though he added 40 yards on six runs and scored once on a run.

The Chargers have been great against the pass and no opponent has passed for more than 220 yards or one score and that includes Tom Brady last week. The mobility of Young would be nice here since the Chargers have 25 sacks on the season but look for Collins to post very average sort of stats in this game.

RUNNING BACKS: Chris Johnson only rushed for 66 yards on 24 carries against the Eagles and he's developed a strange pattern of big games only while on the road. His last three efforts over 100 rushing yards were in away games and he scored five times over that stretch. His three home games resulted in no more than 66 rushing yards and no scores. But Johnson is on the road this week.

Johnson gained 142 yards on 21 carries and scored once against the Chargers last year.

The Chargers have been great at home against the run this season but played against mostly poor rushing teams there. Johnson is a no-brainer start every week and a better player than his schedule would indicate.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Kenny Britt was in a bar altercation last week and while HC Jeff Fisher considered suspending him from the game, he relented and just did not let Britt start. Big deal. Britt merely went on to record a career best seven catches for 225 yards and three scores instead. That makes five straight games with a score for Britt who had been hovering around 30 yards in most games. Nate Washington has not produced more than 42 yards since week one and Damian Williams has been a fill-in for Justin Gage with little consequence.

The Chargers have only allowed two wide receivers to score against them this season and Britt has been meager on the yardage in all but last week anyway. I like the one passing score to end up either here or with the tight ends but until Britt actually fails to catch a score, he has to be the most likely candidate every week.

TIGHT ENDS: Bo Scaife has been only a marginal player this year and has just two scores but he has been slightly better in road venues. The Chargers are much weaker against tight ends than wideouts, so he should see at least a moderate increase to his normal workload.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 25 5 21 20 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 2 5 2 21 15 32
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) TEN -23 0 -19 1 10 27


San Diego Chargers (2-5)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC L 14-21 10 Bye -
2 JAC W 38-13 11 DEN --
3 @SEA L 20-27 12 @IND --
4 ARI W 41-10 13 OAK --
5 @OAK L 27-35 14 KC --
6 @STL L 17-20 15 SF --
7 NE L 20-23 16 @CIN --
8 TEN -- 17 @DEN --
9 @HOU -- - - -
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 300,2
RB Darren Sproles 10 40 -
RB Mike Tolbert 10,1 - -
RB Ryan Mathews 50 - -
TE Antonio Gates - 60,1 -
WR Patrick Crayton - 90 -
WR Buster Davis - 30,1 -
WR Legedu Naanee - 50 -
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers are having a nightmare season that never ends. Nate Kaeding is expected to remain out this week and Kris Brown will remain the substitute kicker despite doinking a potential game tying kick from 50 yards last week. That makes five losses all by the margin of one touchdown or less and the last two were only three point decisions.

It is ironic that this team has lightning bolts on their helmet because there is a black cloud following them around.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers has not been the problem with a score in every game and 13 touchdowns against just six interceptions on the season. Rivers has thrown for at least 241 yards per game and averages 335 yards thanks to two efforts topping 400 yards. Even with injuries to the receivers last week, he still posted 336 yards against the Patriots.

Rivers passed for 264 yards and two scores on the Titans last year.

The Titans seem to be ranked as average against the pass but that stems from facing horrible quarterbacks in most games and then getting lit up by both Kyle Orton (346 yards, 2 TD) and Tony Romo (406 yards, 3 scores). Expect yet another big yardage effort by Rivers with at least two scores.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Mathews takes another step backwards when he only had eight carries for 15 yards last week thought that was more than any other Chargers runner. The difference is that Darren Sproles remains the pass blocking and receiving halfback and that pays dividends in an offense that so often is behind on the scoreboard. Add in Mike Tolbert who has not rushed for more than 11 yards in the last three weeks but who has scored in each of the last four games and the fantasy value here is split up three ways.

Four different running backs for the Charger combined to gain 177 rushing yards and four touchdowns in Tennessee last year.

This season the Titans have allowed only one rushing touchdown and very little yardage. Since it all gets split up on this team, no running back looks that interesting this week other than potentially Sproles being a moderate play in a reception point league.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Malcom Floyd remains out with his sore hamstring but Legedu Naanee has a chance at playing this week after missing two weeks with a hamstring strain of his own. Patrick Crayton has stepped up nicely with games of 117 and 82 yards these last two weeks and Buster Davis has been at least marginally better. This team needs Floyd to return or Crayton needs to add a score or two in games. I will assume a limited Naanee can play this week and adjust later if needed.

The TItans have only allowed four scores to wideouts this year but six different players have logged over 85 yards against this secondary. Expect one of the scores to end up here and more likely it will be a non-starting wideout like Buster Davis.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates had to get an injection of painkiller into his toe to allow him to play the Patriots but he still managed to turn in four catches for 50 yards and one score. That gives him eight touchdowns on the season and five scores in his three home games. The Titans have been good against tight ends but "good" never stops Gates.

Gates gained 74 yards and a score on only three catches in Tennessee last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 2 2 10 1 20 7
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 16 4 17 13 27 13
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SD 14 2 7 12 7 6

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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