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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) * HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ * NYG at DAL TB at JAC
* Update * CHI at DEN * MIN at DET * OAK at GB * STL at SEA (mon)

Prediction: HOU 24, CIN 20

Players to Watch: Taylor Yates

Update: Kevin Walter was sick on Friday and landed on the injury report. If you need him, make sure he is active and over his illness on Sunday.

The 9-3 Texans are two games up in the AFC South and 4-2 on the road but are still losing pieces of the offense. The Bengals are 7-5 and at least in the running for a wildcard. They are 3-2 at home.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 34-7 10 @TB 37-9
2 @MIA 23-13 11 Bye -
3 @NO 33-40 12 @JAC 20-13
4 PIT 17-10 13 ATL 17-10
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 CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Taylor Yates - - 190,1
RB Arian Foster 90,2 50 -
RB Ben Tate 30 - -
TE Owen Daniels - 30,1 -
WR Kevin Walter - 50 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 50 -
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Sure, the offense is missing their first two quarterbacks and Andre Johnson is back on the sidelines but there is no sense of hurry or worry in the Texans and their six game winning streak. The rushing game remains scary good and the defense hasn't allowed more than 14 points over the last six games. Even the rookie quarterback looked good in his first start. Most teams implode without their starting QB and best WR. On the 2011 Texans, you barely notice.

QUARTERBACK: The Texans have never been more than an average passing team this year with Matt Schaub under center and now the rookie Taylor Yates takes over and his brief performance has been good enough so far. Yates passed for 188 yards and a score with one interception in the win over the Falcons. He mostly hands off and tries not to make a mistake and the Texans are not worried about the position. Granted he will miss Andre Johnson but he never really knew him anyway.

This week he faces a injury-racked secondary that has problems with both cornerbacks but Yates won't throw more than he needs to and with the Texans defense playing so well - chances are he will have just another average sort of outing.

RUNNING BACKS: Hard to imagine going three weeks to start the year with little or no Arian Foster because he's becoming the entire offense now. Even more so with Schaub and Johnson out. Foster has scored in each of the last six games and been equally as dangerous as a receiver as a runner. Foster has three games with over 100 receiving yards. When they face a very soft defense even Ben Tate can turn in fantasy significant stats but Foster has been a force on the offense that is only getting bigger.

The Bengals are only average against the run and have allowed their last three opponents to each run in two touchdowns - Rashard Mendenhall twice and Ray Rice. Consider this to be yet another good showing by Foster and a must start as always. Chances are Tate won't get enough slop to matter.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Andre' Johnson is likely to miss two weeks but hopefully is back and good to go for the end of the season or at least the playoffs. Johnson already reeled in four catches for 97 yards from Yates last week. No other wideouts had more than 35 yards in either of the last two games that Yates has played. Jacoby Jones will fill in for Johnson again but he was marginally effective this year anyway. Too early to consider any of these wideouts as worthy of a start even with the Bengals fielding a banged up secondary.

TIGHT ENDS: Yates only has one touchdown pass so far and it went to Joel Dreesen on his only catch in the game. I like the one touchdown pass but it could end up with any receiver. I am giving it to Owen Daniels more as a place holder.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 19 1 31 3 8 6
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 15 17 4 6 8


Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 27-17 10 PIT 17-24
2 @DEN 22-24 11 @BAL 24-31
3 SF 8-13 12 CLE 23-20
4 BUF 23-20 13 @PIT 7-35
5 @JAC 30-20 14 HOU -
6 IND 27-17 15 @STL -
7 Bye - 16 ARI -
8 @SEA 34-12 17 BAL -
9 @TEN 24-17      
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton - - 250,1
RB Cedric Benson 60 - -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 50 -
WR A.J. Green - 90,1 -
WR Jerome Simpson - 60 -
WR Andre Caldwell - 30 -
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bengals come fresh off their spanking in Pittsburgh and while they have exceeded expectations all things considered, the reality is they lose to teams with winning records and even more so to teams that feature a good defense like the Texans. The Rams and Cardinals still offer a chance to reach a winning record but this week is going to be a big challenge - bigger than maybe it seems on the surface.

I like a defensive score in this game.

QUARTERBACK: Andy Dalton would be all the talk about Offensive Rookie of the Year were it not for Cam Newton. He has already thrown 17 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions and he's thrown for as much as 373 yards in a game. He was more productive earlier in the year though and only scored once in each of the last three games.

Drew Brees is the only QB who passed for more than one score on the visiting Texans and most fail to reach 200 passing yards. Dalton could push the yardage up but more than one score would be only the third time this year that the Texans allowed that to happen.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson is winding down what is likely his final season in Cincinnati and he has been the definition of mediocre. He has only topped 100 rush yards three times and twice it was against the Browns. He faces a defense that ranks highly against all positions including running back and the Texans have only allowed five touchdowns to a running back this year. Only one runner has topped 100 yards (Ray Rice) since week one.

Expect another mediocre game from the back who can only play to the level that the defense allows everyone else.

WIDE RECEIVERS: A.J. Green has already scored seven times this season and produced three 100+ yard games. He has taken over the unit and now turns in around 80 yards per game for the last month. Jerome Simpson has varied wildly this year though mostly remained well below any fantasy value. Green is a must start every week and this is a tough matchup but one that Dalton will end up needing to use Green even if it means 15 targets. Expect a decent to good game here but the rookie though no other wideouts have any real fantasy value this week.

TIGHT ENDS:Jermaine Gresham remains a cog in the offensive machine good for around four catches per week and a score about every other game. This week he goes against the Texans who have only allowed two touchdowns to the position this year and only two players managed more than 50 yards against them. There is a small chance for a score but mostly rely on decent yardage this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 17 26 10 15 13 9
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 4 3 7 3 7 1

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ NYG at DAL TB at JAC
  CHI at DEN MIN at DET OAK at GB STL at SEA (mon)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t