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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND * JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN * DAL at SF * KC at DET SEA at PIT
* CHI at NO GB at CAR * OAK at BUF TB at MIN
*updated * CIN at DEN * HOU at MIA PHI at ATL * STL at NYG (mon)

Prediction: HOU 20, MIA 23

Players to Watch: Ben Tate, Jacoby Jones, Daniel Thomas

Update: Daniel Thomas has been upgraded to probable and is expected to play for the first time this season. The split he gets will be interesting to see along with how they use him - only inside and short yardage or more? I am adding him into the projections but he is still a huge risk to rely on and was not that impressive in training camp anyway. Mostly, he'll take carries away from Bush.

Arian Foster has been able to have limited practices all week and is now expected to play at least a limited role. He will share with Ben Tate in some measure likely depending on how he feels and how the game is going.

This should be a close game that could go either way. The Texans hit the road after spanking the new Colts but were only a 2-6 road team last year. The Fins remain at home after getting slapped around by Tom Brady but the two are divisional rivals and well known opponents. This could go either way.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 34-7 10 @TB -
2 @MIA - 11 Bye -
3 @NO - 12 @JAC -
4 PIT - 13 ATL -
5 OAK - 14 @CIN -
6 @BAL - 15 CAR -
7 @TEN - 16 @IND -
8 JAC - 17 TEN -
9 CLE -      
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub - - 260,1
RB Ben Tate 30 - -
RB Arian Foster 70,1 10 -
TE Owen Daniels - 50,1 -
WR Andre' Johnson - 100 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 60 -
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Last week was like the Texans met their old grade school nemesis only his big brother was no where to be seen. And the beat was on. The Colts were clearly out of sorts with their brand new replacement quarterback and it is unlikely that they will hold all opponents to only seven points. They may not do that again. But the year starts with a bang and a brutal opening stretch to the year looks at least a little easier.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Schaub only passed for 220 yards and one score last week because everything else was working well enough. Even then he had two interceptions and his one score was a ricochet shot in the endzone that could have been an interception. That is not to say Schaub is not a good quarterback, only that we have not yet seen him tested this year.

The Dolphins obviously had some problems with Tom Brady but that offense has six or so often used pass targets. The Texans only have one or two really and just lost Kevin Walter. Schaub is a safe start who should have a good game but it is too early to assume a great one like Brady had.

RUNNING BACKS: Arian Foster remains out with his hamstring strain and I will update if he is able to practice. Derrick Ward sprained his ankle last week and is day-to-day but wasn't much of a factor and got his score and yards when the beatdown of the Colts was going on.

Ben Tate was excellent, rushing for 116 yards on 24 runs and scoring once. I will assume Tate as the preferred runner this week and not consider Ward who is less likely to have a decent showing. The better Tate does, the more interesting it will be when Foster returns. Likely Foster just resumes being the primary back as before but success is always hard to ignore, especially when it gives coaches more options. Watch Tate to see if he can repeat last week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Kevin Walter injured his shoulder and at the very least he is not expected to play this weekend. The team has re-signed David Anderson who already knows the offense and for now, Jacoby Jones finally gets the call to being the #2 wideout. Jones already had three catches for 43 yards last weekend but will need to be more productive this week. Andre' Johnson started his year with a standard game of 7-95 with one score.

The Dolphins secondary was shredded by Tom Brady but mostly from the tight ends. Wes Welker went for a 99 yard score that really boosted the stats. Andre Johnson is the only safe play here but watch Jones who needs to get some time as a starter to see if he is ever going to be more than a #3 with potential.

TIGHT ENDS: The Texans certainly never needed him and Owen Daniels only caught one pass last week. on Sunday he faces the defense that was shredded for 13 catches for 189 yards and two scores to Patriots tight ends. That's not going to happen here but but Owens should see a return to prominence in this game. He is still worth a start this week despite the lackluster numbers from week one.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 26 3 16 18 5 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 32 15 32 32 20 13


Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 24-38 10 WAS -
2 HOU - 11 BUF -
3 @CLE - 12 @DAL -
4 @SD - 13 OAK -
5 Bye - 14 PHI -
6 @NYJ - 15 @BUF -
7 DEN - 16 @NE -
8 @NYG - 17 NYJ -
9 @KC -      
Dolphins Report | Statistics | Roster
MIAMI vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne - - 290,2
RB Reggie Bush 40 50,1 -
RB Daniel Thomas 30 - -
TE Anthony Fasano - 40 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 100,1 -
WR Brian Hartline - 30 -
WR Davone Bess - 70 -
PK Dan Carpenter 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Nothing like starting the season being humbled on Monday night football by your worst rival. But at least Chad Henne and the receivers had a big statistical game and even Reggie Bush delivered as a receiver. The Dolphins hung with the Pats for a while last week before it all became badly unraveled. This week at home, the offense and defense should be better. The Fins normally play the Pats pretty well - last week was more about how good the Pats are this year.

QUARTERBACK: Sure the beat was on last week but Chad Henne responded as well as could be expected. He passed for 416 yards and two scores with only one interception. He also ran for 59 yards and a score on his seven scrambles. Henne has been underrated as a quarterback and a nice game here will do wonders for the team's confidence and success. The Texans were seemingly tough on the Colts last week but were the #32 team against quarterbacks in 2010 and they are not suddenly that good. The Colts? Maybe suddenly that bad.

RUNNING BACKS: While he did little as a runner with only 38 yards on 11 carries, Reggie Bush delivered the goods with nine catches for 56 yards and one touchdown against the Pats. In a league with reception points (and why else would you own Bush), that was a very nice game. He did it with really no help and the rookie Daniel Thomas remains out with a bad hamstring.

Thomas remains in doubt this week as well so I will count him out and update as warranted. But while he did have a poor camp and a hamstring strain, it is still a little early to dismiss him or consider cutting him. The Fins have to use him when he is available as he brings the power running that is absent with Bush. It is a buy low time for Daniels to be sure. Just do not write him off quite yet.

The Texans on the road will be less formidable on defense but Bush is going to have to use his dual role to bring much fantasy value again this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: All the passing last week gave both Davone Bess (5-92) and Brandon Marshall (7-139) bigger than normal games. When Henne passes, he has relied on Marshall the most and an even split with Bess and Brian Hartline (4-47, TD). Again - this was a horrible secondary that is installing a new defense by Wade Phillips who left a horrible secondary in Dallas. No way that the Texans have magically improved that much. Expect decent stats from Marshall and Bess again.

TIGHT ENDS: Nice showing by Anthony Fasano when he caught five passes for 86 yards last week. That was uncharacteristically high and more a product of a game that got out of hand. Expect more normal stats this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 2 20 5 15 18 30
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 5 2 16 9 3 15

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN DAL at SF KC at DET SEA at PIT
CHI at NO GB at CAR OAK at BUF TB at MIN
  CIN at DEN HOU at MIA PHI at ATL STL at NYG (mon)

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