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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 4
2011
* ATL at SEA * DET at DAL * NO at JAC * SF at PHI
BUF at CIN * MIA at SD * NYG at ARI * TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL * WAS at STL
* UPDATED * DEN at GB * NE at OAK PIT at HOU * IND at TB (mon)

Prediction: NO 31, JAC 17

Players to Watch: None

Update: Marques Colston was able to do limited work in practices this week and is now considered questionable. He may play this week but will be limited in the game. I am not adding him to the projections because the risk is too big at least this week. HC Sean Payton said he expects Colston to play but that he won't play a full game. Colston has been out healing up a broken collarbone.

The Saints held on to beat the Texans with a wonderful 40-33 shootout and start a trek of four road games over the next five weeks. So far the Saints have always scored at least 30 points. The Jaguars drop to 0-2 with their 10-16 loss in Carolina and have yet to score more than 16 points in any game.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 34-42 10 @ATL -
2 CHI 30-13 11 Bye -
3 HOU 40-33 12 NYG -
4 @JAC - 13 DET -
5 @CAR - 14 @TEN -
6 @TB - 15 @MIN -
7 IND - 16 ATL -
8 @STL - 17 CAR -
9 TB - - - -
Saints Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ORLEANS vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees - - 310,3
RB Mark Ingram 40,1 10 -
RB Darren Sproles 20 70 -
TE Jimmy Graham - 80,1 -
WR Lance Moore - 70,1 -
WR Devery Henderson - 50 -
WR Robert Meachem - 30,1 -
PK John Kasay 1 FG 4 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Saints offense is in high gear already and the defense still needs a bit of work when faced with a powerful passing team which is clearly not the case on Sunday in Jacksonville. There are four road games in the next five weeks but they are JAC, CAR, TB and STL which are all games that can be won. The Saints are already looking playoff bound with few teams in the NFL that are able to challenge them.

QUARTERBACK: Drew Brees is so consistently good that it makes you wonder if he is just following a script. He has passed for no less than 270 yards and has averaged 353 yard per game. He has exactly three touchdowns in every matchup. It is only a question of who gets rich every week.

The Jaguars have allowed at least one passing score to every opponent and have faced nothing like the Saints. And yet the Saints have been in games with nothing but playoff contenders so playing a weaker team may not inspire a monster game where none will be needed. Brees is a must start and could have a huge game here but probably won't need to do that much.

RUNNING BACKS: While it is a three-headed attack, there is still fantasy value here. Darren Sproles has been remarkable and only getting better every game. He turned in eight catches for 43 yards and a score against the Texans. In a reception points league, he is becoming a must start. Pierre Thomas hangs on for about six or so carries per week but never enough to merit much fantasy consideration. The rookie Mark Ingram ran nine times for 38 yards and scored for the first time and he also had two receptions. Put all these together and it would be awesome.

But split it in three and you have some marginal fantasy value and Sproles catching seven passes per week.

The Jaguars have been tough against the run this year and no one has gained more than 59 yards as a runner. But none of the offenses have been remotely as good as the Saints. I like one rushing score but it could end up with any one of the three.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Lance Moore is over his groin injury now that he had nine catches for 88 yards and one touchdown including two two-point conversions. He had nine targets - caught every one. That dropped Devery Henderson from his 100 yard games to only 60 against the Texans and that was on just three receptions. Henderson has 265 yards on just 12 catches for a hefty 22.1 yard average. Robert Meachem has scored once in every game this year though his yardage has remained mostly moderate.

Have to like both Moore and Meachem to score this week. The Jaguars have allowed three scores to the position already this year against less powerful offenses.

TIGHT ENDS: This is a diverse passing attack and yet it always makes room for Jimmy Graham. He's scored twice already and averages 78 yards per game. The Jaguars have been dinged by Dustin Keller (6-101, TD) and Greg Olsen (7-57, TD) so expect a nice showing here by Graham.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 2 8 3 6 6 20
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 11 2 5 26 13 23


Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 TEN 16-14 10 @IND -
2 @NYJ 3-32 11 @CLE -
3 @CAR 10-16 12 HOU -
4 NO - 13 SD -
5 CIN - 14 TB -
6 @PIT - 15 @ATL -
7 BAL - 16 @TEN -
8 @HOU - 17 IND -
9 Bye -      
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
JACKSONVILLE vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert - - 210,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 80,1 30 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 30 -
WR Cecil Shorts - 20 -
WR Jason Hill - 40 -
WR Mike Thomas - 70,1 -
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars offense needs a lot more than what Maurice Jones-Drew can offer but this is a rebuilding year at quarterback and the prospects are not great for much improvement soon. The switch to the rookie Blain Gabbert last week indicated that the team was not willing to stand pat but his learning curve will be steep with upcoming games against these Saints and the Steelers, Ravens and Texans before the week nine bye.

QUARTERBACK: In fairness to Blaine Gabbert. the rookie did debut in a monsoon so passing for only 139 yards and one score was not that surprising. Even Cam Newton took a nose-dive from his previous stats because of the weather. And at least encouraging was connecting to Mike Thomas for the only touchdown in the game in the second quarter. Gabbert is still very hard to gauge from just one wind-swept rainy game.

Expect no more than one score and moderate yardage and only that if there is enough trash time. Not worth starting yet.

RUNNING BACKS: The Jaguars reverted to a run heavy attack in Carolina and gave Maurice Jones-Drew 24 carries to gain122 yards and he even added 45 yards on three catches. All encouraging signs with Gabbert playing.

Jones-Drew has been solid with around 90 rushing yards per game but has only the one touchdown. The Saints rushing defense has been stellar with nor more than 82 rushing yards allowed but Matt Forte and James Casey both had over 110 yards as a receiver on the Saints. Expect a decent total yardage from Jones-Drew and hope they continue to use him in the passing game since he can be more dangerous as a receiver in this game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Last week is no measurement with the rainy game making receiving nearly impossible. But at least Mike Thomas caught one touchdown on his team leading four catches for 55 yards. No other receiver had more than 15 yards in that game. The Saints have allowed five touchdowns to wideouts already and while there is no star here, Thomas is the only one with any shred of fantasy value. Consider Thomas as an interesting player to watch because Gabbert needs someone reliable and Thomas is by far the most talented receiver on the roster.

TIGHT ENDS: Gabbert only passed to Marcedes Lewis three times for two catches and 15 yards so expect Lewis to be a nonfactor for the near future. That may change this week on dry ground and is worth watching because rookie quarterbacks often love to rely on a big target usually close by. He'll be likely to dump off to Lewis in this game if he intends to do much with the position in the long-term.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 32 12 31 30 26 29
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 26 27 28 10 28 18

WEEK 4
2011
ATL at SEA DET at DAL NO at JAC SF at PHI
BUF at CIN MIA at SD NYG at ARI TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL WAS at STL
  DEN at GB NE at OAK PIT at HOU IND at TB (mon)

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