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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 10
2011
OAK at SD (thu) DEN at KC * NE at NYJ * STL at CLE
* ARI at PHI * DET at CHI * NO at ATL * TEN at CAR
BAL at SEA HOU at TB * NYG at SF WAS at MIA
* UPDATED * BUF at DAL JAC at IND * PIT at CIN MIN at GB (mon)

Prediction: HOU 24, TB 16

The Texans are in the all new position of being in first place - by two full games - at midseason. The 2-2 road record is a concern. The Buccaneers are two games back of the Saints at 4-4 and are 3-2 at home (really 3-1 excluding London).

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 34-7 10 @TB -
2 @MIA 23-13 11 Bye -
3 @NO 33-40 12 @JAC -
4 PIT 17-10 13 ATL -
5 OAK 20-25 14 @CIN -
6 @BAL 14-29 15 CAR -
7 @TEN 41-7 16 @IND -
8 JAC 24-14 17 TEN -
9 CLE 30-12      
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON at TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub - - 260,2
RB Arian Foster 90 50,1 -
RB Ben Tate 40,1 - -
TE Joel Dreesen - 30,1 -
TE Owen Daniels - 60 -
WR Kevin Walter - 40 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 40 -
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: A win here and the Texans land on their bye at a giddy 7-3 with a softer out schedule that includes CAR, @IND and TEN to end the year. The bad part of that is the Texans may actually be in a place where they wrap up the suddenly soft division early and end up resting players in final weeks. Actually, given a weaker AFC in general, the Texans could well be in the running for a first week bye. All this mostly without Andre Johnson makes it a good year indeed.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Schaub has been good enough to score in every game this year and has 13 passing touchdown but that spans a wide range of yardage from week to week. As good as 416 and as low as 119 yards - it mostly depends on how well the rushing effort is doing since they lead the way for the offense. Schaub is still a decent fantasy quarterback overall, just rarely the difference maker he once was.

The Buccaneers have allowed at least one or more scores in every home game and healthy passing yardage. The Texans won't pass more than they have to but with the opportunity, figure on Schaub with a decent game here of two scores and good yards.

RUNNING BACKS: Arian Foster has been held in check only once this year - in Baltimore and still produced 101 total yards. The last three games have been atmospheric with a total of five touchdowns, 351 rush yards and 11 catches for 157 yards. He's healthy and so prolific that there's often plenty left over for Ben Tate who has two 100+ yard efforts and two scores in that time frame as well. This is currently the premiere rushing unit in the NFL and hits you with two players plus Foster is a great receiver.

This rush defense is nothing special and they have allowed three games over 100 rushing yards though all were away from Tampa Bay. Foster could roll up another big game here but the Buccaneers have been much tougher at home and a monster game is less likely.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Another week, another rumor that Andre' Johnson is just about to return from his hamstring injury. Pending something wildly positive, the Texans are likely better off waiting, taking their week 11 bye and then cruising into January with a completely healthy Johnson (pun not intended). They'll need just that since the rest of this unit has nearly no fantasy or NFL value. Jacoby Jones has replaced Johnson and scored once while averaging just 40 yards per game. Kevin Walter should be the #1 but that has not been anything notable. He has not scored since week five and barely qualifies to cover a bye week in a fantasy league of 16 teams.

Expect the normal mediocre stats here though the Buccaneers are below average against the position. The Texans have become nearly the bottom ranked unit without Johnson around.

TIGHT ENDS: Owen Daniels took up some of the slack from the departed Andre Johnson and had healthy yardage in most games - up to 89 yards. But he has not scored since week four. Joel Dreesen has joined in for a two tight end attack and while he trails in yardage to Owens, Dreesen has scored three times in the last five games. Look for both players to follow those roles this week against one of the softer defenses against the position.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 16 2 30 4 7 10
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 21 28 22 27 25 7


Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET 20-27 10 HOU -
2 @MIN 24-20 11 @GB -
3 ATL 16-13 12 @TEN -
4 IND 24-17 13 CAR -
5 @SF 3-48 14 @JAC -
6 NO 26-20 15 DAL -
7 CHI 18-24 16 @CAR -
8 Bye - 17 @ATL -
9 @NO 16-27      
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman - - 220,1
RB LeGarrette Blount 80 10 -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 40 -
WR Preston Parker - 30,1 -
WR Mike Williams - 50 -
WR Dezmon Briscoe - 40 -
WR Arrelious Benn - 40 -
PK Conner Barth 4 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers are on a slide with three losses over the last four games and the schedule is worse in the second half of the season with five road games nothing remotely close to a "gimmee" game. The passing has been marginally improved in recent weeks but the rushing effort has waned and this offense lacks any explosive element or even a decent way to stage a comeback. The lack of sizzle means the Bucs need to get a lead and sit on it - hard to do with this schedule.

QUARTERBACK: Josh Freeman finally threw for two scores in a game and even had decent yardage but last week in New Orleans he was right back to the standard one touchdown pass with almost no help from the rushing offense. The problem is not that Freeman is losing games, it is that he has a hard time winning them when they fall behind.

The Texans have been great against quarterbacks though they have hardly faced a daunting string so far.. But that also describes Freeman. The Texans secret strength has been their defense. Expect the normal mediocre showing by Freeman.

RUNNING BACKS: LeGarrette Blount came back after missing three games and rushed for 72 yards on only 13 carries against the Saints. But he still has never used as a receiver more than a catch or two even with Earnest Graham on IR. Blount only has three scores on the year and those came against the Vikings and Colts defenses. The Texans have been great against the run this year and losing Mario Williams two weeks ago hasn't shown to be noticed.

A home game means Blount should get the carries to matter and end with good yardage but a score is less likely and so far - no real receptions to help out.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is nothing special here and this is why the Buccaneers just cannot play "catch-up". Mike Williams was the wonder boy last year and now has not scored since the season opened and turns in around 50 yards or so in most games. Each time Arrelious Benn seems like he is taking the next step up, he turns around and combines the last two weeks for only two catches for 22 yards. All the wideouts here have their one or maybe two decent games with a score and then back to being a dog. And they have combined for two scores only once.

The one passing score is more likely to end up here but it could go to any of the receivers. None of these are good enough to merit a starting spot on a fantasy team.

TIGHT ENDS: Kellen Winslow still plods along with marginal yardage each week but he has turned in a touchdown in the last two games to merit some fantasy relevance. This week he faces a Texans squad that has been one of the best against the position. THat should make the hat trick a hard thing to rely on this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 24 19 19 14 19
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 5 3 12 3 7 1

WEEK 10
2011
OAK at SD (thu) DEN at KC NE at NYJ STL at CLE
ARI at PHI DET at CHI NO at ATL TEN at CAR
BAL at SEA HOU at TB NYG at SF WAS at MIA
  BUF at DAL JAC at IND PIT at CIN MIN at GB (mon)

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