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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 11
2010
CHI at MIA BAL at CAR OAK at PIT *TB at SF
*GB at MIN *BUF at CIN *CLE at JAC *IND at NE
WAS at TEN DET at DAL *SEA at NO NYG at PHI
*UPDATED *ARI at KC HOU at NYJ ATL at STL *DEN at SD

Prediction: CLE 20, JAC 23

Update: MIke Sims-Walker has not practiced because of his sprained ankle and is not a lock to play. I am lowering his projection and he is not a safe start.

Update #2: Mike Sims-Walker has been downgraded to doubtful this week and has been removed from the projections.

The Browns are only 3-6 on the season and 1-3 on the road but since Colt McCoy took over they have been sudden contenders with upsets of the Saints and Patriots and very nearly the Jets. The Jaguars are 5-4 and one game behind the Colts in the AFC South but are only 3-2 at home. This is a coin flip game between two franchises that are hard to nail down whether they are good or not. Bottom line - the Browns are not surprising anyone anymore.

The Browns won 23-17 when the Jaguars visited in the final game of the 2009 season.

Cleveland Browns (3-6)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB L 14-17 10 NYJ L 20-26
2 KC L 14-16 11 @JAC --
3 @BAL L 17-24 12 CAR --
4 CIN W 23-20 13 @MIA --
5 ATL L 10-20 14 @BUF --
6 @PIT L 10-28 15 @CIN --
7 @NO W 30-17 16 BAL --
8 Bye - 17 PIT --
9 NE W 34-14 - - -
Browns Report | Statistics | Roster
CLEVELAND at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Colt McCoy - - 250,1
RB Peyton Hillis 70,1 50 -
TE Ben Watson - 60,1 -
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - 40 -
WR Chansi Stuckey - 50 -
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Browns nearly made it three major upsets in a row until the Jets brought it to overtime and won. The unheralded star on this team is more the defense but Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis both have far exceeded expectations. The Browns are going to hit the worst part of their schedule now with four of the next five games on the road and then two home games to end the season against BAL and PIT. But these last three games were supposed to be blowout losses and they were everything but.

QUARTERBACK: The surprising Colt McCoy almost made it three in a row when he passed for 205 yards and one score against the Jets and he hasn't thrown an interception in his last three starts. If that isn't enough, he's done it against three of the best teams in the league and not had any actual wide receivers to use in the process. McCoy has settled back to using tight ends and Peyton Hillis with good results.

This week is his best matchup yet with the Jaguars dragging their bottom ranked secondary into the game. The Jaguars have always allowed at least one score to an opposing quarterback and all but two had multiple scores. Six opponents passed for more than 290 yards on them. McCoy may not have the personnel to allow him that many passing yards but as with all Jacksonville opponents, expect at least a decent showing by the quarterback.

RUNNING BACKS: By this point you do not have to understand Peyton Hillis, you just have to accept him. He has scored nine times this season and only once failed to score in a game. He has been a factor in the passing game and has proven to be one of the most consistent running backs in the league. He has tended to run a bit less in most road games but again - he is a touchdown machine. He has literally become bigger than his schedule.

Jerome Harrison rushed for 127 yards and one score on 33 carries against the Jags last year. Josh Cribbs added another score on a run as well.

The Jaguars are nothing special against the run but most teams elect to pass against them. No reason to bench Hillis anyway and even less against a below average rushing defense.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This seems like such a waste - the worst secondary against wide receivers meets the worst set of receivers in the league. When Mohamed Massaquoi caught a touchdown last week, it was the first since week two for the team wideouts and only the third on the season. No wideout has turned in more than 78 yards in a game and otherwise have remained less than 60 yards every week. Josh Cribbs dislocated four of the toes on his right foot in the Jets game but may try to play this week. I am counting him out until he practices in full.

Yeah, the opportunity is there but nothing in the last ten weeks says any of these wide receivers can take advantage of it.

TIGHT ENDS: Ben Watson was quiet for two weeks but resumed his role as the primary receiver when he turned in 74 yards on five receptions against the Jets which gives him four games over 60 yards on the season. Both Evan Moore and even Robert Royal figure in for a catch or two but Watson is the only one with any fantasy value. Expect a nice game from him this week against a very soft secondary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 30 14 32 8 25 18
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 30 21 32 27 12 21
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CLE 0 7 0 19 -13 3


Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DEN W 24-17 10 HOU W 31-24
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 W 35-17 17 @HOU --
9 Bye - - - -
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
JACKSONVILLE vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard - - 240,2
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 70 10 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 60,1 -
WR Tiquan Underwood - 20 -
WR Mike Thomas - 90,1 -
PK Josh Scobee 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars won their last two games while scoring over 30 points per week and this should be about as good as it gets for the rest of the year. The offensive struggles from earlier in the season have been glossed over by facing some weak defenses and then the exciting ending to the Texans game may end up as the scoring pinnacle to the season. After this week, the schedule has them on the road in four of the final six games and they won't be favored in any of them.

QUARTERBACK: David Garrard had a nice boost to his numbers last week when he completed the improbable last second Hail Mary for a 50-yard touchdown but that only made it four straight weeks that he posted two or more touchdowns in each game. He also finally was able to pass for more than 200 yards and has thrown only one interception since week three.

The Browns weakness is against the pass and all four previous road opponents have tossed multiple touchdowns against them with 250+ yards in all but one game. Garrard won't likely replicate the yardage from the Houston game but should have at least this one more productive game before turning back into an average player the rest of the year.

Garrard passed for 202 yards and two scores in Cleveland last year.

RUNNING BACKS: After struggling most of the year, Maurice Jones-Drew has enjoyed these last two weeks with 100+ rushing yards in each and two touchdowns scored on the Texans. That was only his second game of the year with a rushing score and he had been locked into only moderate yardage games for much of the season.

The problem this week is that the Browns have only allowed one rushing touchdown all year and only once gave up more than 85 rushing yards in a game. This is the strength of the defense and should end up taking Jones-Drew back to his previous level of production.

Jones-Drew only gained 82 yards on 16 carries against the Browns last year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Big game for Mike Thomas last week when he snagged that pass deflection on the final play of the game for a 50-yard touchdown. He ended with a season best 149 yards on eight catches and had not topped 88 yards previous to that game. Thomas has also scored in each of the last two games after being held out of the endzone for the first eight weeks of the season. He has consistently been a bigger factor in home games than when on the road.

Mike Sims-Walker was held to only three catches for 26 yards against the Texans after scoring in three of his previous four games and having a season best 153 yards on eight receptions just the previous week in Dallas. Sims-Walker did injure his leg during the game and missed some time but returned and played the rest of the game.

Thomas gained 85 yards against the Browns last year but Sims-Walker was held to just two catches for 28 yards.

The Browns have allowed eight touchdowns to wideouts in just four road games so look for a nice showing this week by Thomas again since he has been the "home weapon" of choice. Sims-Walker could have a decent showing as well but he has been far too inconsistent to rely on.

TIGHT ENDS: Marcedes Lewis has the team lead with seven touchdowns on the year and three times he had two scores in a game. Lewis added about 50 yards each week regardless and remains at least a decent play every week. Zach Miller has figured in occasionally but every week Lewis is a factor.

Zach Miller caught eight passes for 69 yards and two scores in the season finale last year.

Have to like a chance for a score to one of the tight ends this week and that almost has to be Lewis. The Browns have played against very few decent pass catching tight ends and yet still rank only 25th against the position.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 10 19 26 3 14 30
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 26 7 26 26 9 17
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) JAC 16 -12 0 23 -5 -13

WEEK 11
2010
CHI at MIA BAL at CAR OAK at PIT TB at SF
GB at MIN BUF at CIN CLE at JAC IND at NE
WAS at TEN DET at DAL SEA at NO NYG at PHI
  ARI at KC HOU at NYJ ATL at STL DEN at SD
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