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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: NO 27, TEN 17

Update: Mark Ingram is out with turf toe. Nate Washington never practiced and is suffering from a high ankle sprain. He is not likely to play and would be very limited if he tried. I am removing him from the projections.

The 9-3 Saints have all but wrapped up the NFC South but are currently the #3 seed in the NFC and will play for an upgrade regardless of whenever they clinch the division. But the Saints are only 3-3 away from home which included losses to the Rams and Buccaneers. The Titans are 7-5 and on a two game winning streak with a 4-2 home record.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 34-42 10 @ATL 26-23
2 CHI 30-13 11 Bye -
3 HOU 40-33 12 NYG 49-24
4 @JAC 23-10 13 DET 31-17
5 @CAR 30-27 14 @TEN -
6 @TB 20-26 15 @MIN -
7 IND 62-7 16 ATL -
8 @STL 21-31 17 CAR -
9 TB 27-16 - - -
Saints Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ORLEANS at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees - - 310,3
RB Mark Ingram 40 - -
RB Pierre Thomas 50 30 -
RB Darren Sproles 20 50 -
TE Jimmy Graham - 80,2 -
WR Marques Colston - 40 -
WR Lance Moore - 50,1 -
WR Devery Henderson - 30 -
WR Robert Meachem - 40 -
PK John Kasay 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Saints march to the playoffs could see them stringing together nothing but wins from here on out with these Titans as likely the only major hurdle given they beat the Falcons in Atlanta earlier this year. The offense has been in high gear and they are benefited by the week 11 bye to rest them up. Good shape for a playoff run that seems destined to end up in Green Bay.

QUARTERBACK: Drew Brees is on a mission this year and already has 30 passing touchdowns and 4031 passing yards with four games left to play. That is still a pace for a new NFL record for yards that has been held by Dan Marino for decades. Brees is a near lock for 300 yards and three scores every week. He's only averaging 336 yards per game. And he plays in a weather safe dome the last three weeks.

RUNNING BACKS: Darren Sproles continues his odd trend of being really good at home and yet far less productive in away games. He has six scores at home - none away. He drops from 44 rush yards to only 28 rush yards per game when on the road. Mark Ingram has been better recent games but again - mostly at home. He ran for over 50 yards in each of the last three home games and yet never more than 32 yards in the most recent road tilts. Pierre Thomas is less likely to score but has been slightly better in receptions than Ingram.

Bottom line - the Titans were very good at home against the run other than when Arian Foster showed up in week seven and the Saints are going to split it up into three parts anyway. On the road, expect less from the trio as they always decline.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Drew Brees switched around the early season trend. Now he is mostly ignoring Marques Colston who has not scored since week seven and instead mostly looking for Lance Moore who has minimal yardage and yet five touchdowns over the last five games. Even Robert Meachem scored in each of the last two matchups as a change up since he had stopped scoring in week three. It will always be a risk to rely on anyone here since Brees connects regularly with at least five difference receivers.

No opposing wideout has done much in Tennessee but with four playing here it was unlikely anyway. I like at least one score to end up here but flip a coin and then just pick Moore based on the last month. Cortland Finnegan will likely end up on Colston anyway since he is still the #1 concern for a secondary.

TIGHT ENDS: Have to love Jimmy Graham this week against the #30 defense against tight ends. Graham has been rock solid around 80 yards in recent games and could end up with his third two-touchdown game of the year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 2 6 2 3 23
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 13 20 5 30 10 4


Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC 14-16 10 @CAR 30-3
2 BAL 26-13 11 @ATL 17-23
3 DEN 17-14 12 TB 23-17
4 @CLE 31-13 13 @BUF 23-17
5 @PIT 17-38 14 NO -
6 Bye - 15 @IND -
7 HOU 7-41 16 JAC -
8 IND 27-10 17 @HOU -
9 CIN 17-24      
Titans Report | Statistics | Roster
TENNESSEE vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 240,1
RB Chris Johnson 110,1 40 -
TE Jared Cook - 30 -
WR Lavelle Hawkins - 40 -
WR Nate Washington - 40 -
WR Damian Williams - 70,1 -
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Have to like consistency. Take away the Panthers beat down and the Titans lost two games 17-24 and 17-23 and then won two games 23-17 and 23-17. But there in lies the problem this week against the powerful Saints offense - the Titans almost never score more than 24 points in a game. And this week will be the first time the defense has gone against a top offense.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Hasselbeck has taken a step backwards from the start of the season when he had high yardage and multiple scores. Since week five he has only thrown for seven touchdowns in eight games and rarely posted more than 220 passing yards. Some of that stems from the vastly improved ground game with Chris Johnson but certainly not all of it. The Titans enjoyed a largely soft schedule this year and yet Hasselbeck is back to being a game manager.

He could end up higher, but the Saints secondary has been hit up by more productive quarterbacks than Hasselbeck. Expect the normal game manager role but there is upside this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Nice to see Chris Johnson post three of four games with 130+ rushing yards just like it was CJ2K again. Then again, why did those sandwich only 13 yards on 12 carries in Atlanta? He's not guaranteed golden yet but at least Johnson is vastly improved and approaching consistent.

There is nothing special about the Saints rushing defense that actually gets the benefit of most teams abandoning the run when they play. Most opponents on the road sport 100 yard runners against the Saints so Johnson should - SHOULD - have a nice game here with a good chance for a touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: While occasionally good, most weeks have these wideouts as very mediocre players and that alone strips them of most of their fantasy value. Nate Washington had one good game at Atlanta but has otherwise spent two months turning in around 40 yards per week. Damian Williams is the leading wideout with five touchdowns but he too has not been above turning in 35 yards or less in seven different games. Chances are the passing score is going to end up here and Williams is the most likely recipient but the yardage can only be relied on to be moderate at best. This is a lethargic unit and more so the older the season gets. The Saints average allowing over one TD per game to an opponents wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: Jared Cook remains a moderate play and has not scored since week seven, His yardage has also tailed off to where he just is not worthy of a fantasy start. He averages around 30 yards per game since week five.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 20 25 13 19 16 15
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 24 24 25 11 20 5

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)

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