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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  
DIVISION DEN at NE HOU at BAL NYG at GB NO at SF

Prediction: HOU 10, BAL 30

Line: BAL by 7.5, OU = 35.5

The Texans ended the season 10-6 but on a three game losing streak. They turned that around against the visiting Bengals 31-10 in the Wild Card Round and now hit the road where they are 5-3 on the season. The Ravens have been on a first round bye and open up with a perfect 8-0 record at home that includes beating the Texans 29-14 back in week six.

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 20-19
6 @BAL 14-29 15 CAR 13-28
7 @TEN 41-7 16 @IND 16-19
8 JAC 24-14 17 TEN 22-23
9 CLE 30-12 18 CIN

31-10

Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON Rush Catch Pass
QB Taylor Yates - - 190,1
RB Arian Foster 50 50 -
RB Ben Tate 30 - -
TE Owen Daniels - 10 -
WR Andre' Johnson - 70,1 -
WR Kevin Walter - 30 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 20 -
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Texans stopped their losing streak with a strong showing by the defense at home along with the obligatory fine play of Arian Foster but this week it's going to be far tougher. In the first meeting with the Ravens, Matt Schaub was still the starter and Foster was not very effective as a runner. That's not a winning equation going into this rematch with the rookie under center.

QUARTERBACK: Back in week six, Matt Schaub passed for 220 yards and one score in Baltimore and while he had no turnovers, he was sacked four times. Now Taylor Yates is the starter and aside from his one nice game against the Bengals, he has not thrown for more than 212 yards in four games and scored only twice in that time.

Problem too is that the Ravens at home have never allowed more than one passing score and over half of the visiting quarterbacks could not produce more than 155 passing yards there. The Ravens have a top five defense against each of the fantasy positions so expect little here from Yates who only passed for 159 yards and one score versus the visiting Bengals last week.

RUNNING BACKS: It is no secret that Arian Foster is the engine of the offense and stopping him means stopping the Texans. In the first meeting in Baltimore, Foster was held to only 49 yards on 15 carries and never scored. He did add 52 yards on six receptions while Ben Tate ended with 41 yards on nine runs.

This is where the entire game turns and the Ravens are well aware. Expect no better showing than last time with Foster who will again need to catch the ball to make the biggest impact.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The one difference in this game versus the first meeting is that Andre' Johnson will be playing and in his place, Jacoby Jones caught four passes for 76 yards and one score in Baltimore. Kevin Walter was held to 52 yards on six catches with no scores in that game. But that was with Matt Schaub playing, not the rookie Yates. Andre Johnson is always worth starting and has the best chance of scoring of any Texan but he's more likely to be held to moderate yardage as the only receiver of any note.

TIGHT ENDS: The Ravens are one of the best defenses against tight ends and held Owen Daniels to only 13 yards on two catches while Joel Dreesen was held to no receptions. No reason to expect any improvement this time with a rookie quarterback.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 21 2 31 5 6 12
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 2 5 4 2 4 17


Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 35-7 10 @SEA 17-22
2 @TEN 13-26 11 CIN 31-24
3 @STL 37-7 12 SF 16-6
4 NYJ 34-17 13 @CLE 24-10
5 Bye - 14 IND 24-10
6 HOU 29-14 15 @SD 14-34
7 @JAC 7-9 16 CLE 20-14
8 ARI 30-27 17 @CIN 24-16
9 @PIT 23-20   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 240,1
RB Ray Rice 100,1 60 -
TE Ed Dickson - 20 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 90 -
WR Torrey Smith - 70,1 -
PK Billy Cundiff 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: This week should be a done deal with the Ravens perfect at home and having already beaten a stronger version of the Texans in week six. Next week will be a different issue though when the Ravens hit the road where they have consistently been a weaker team but at home coming off a first round bye against a team they have already beaten? Should be no worse than the last time these two played and coincident enough - the Ravens were coming off a bye week in that game as well.

I like a defensive score in this game.

QUARTERBACK: Joe Flacco did not throw for any scores in the last meeting with the Texans but turned in 305 passing yards and one interception along with his only rushing touchdown of the year. Flacco has improved since that week with eight of his last nine games producing at least one score. His production generally hinges on what Ray Rice does as a runner but in this home game he should no worse than last time.

The Texans usually allow one passing score and Flacco at home should be good for at least that much. Likely the passing yardage will be lower though.

RUNNING BACKS: This has been a very strong year for Ray Rice - 1364 rushing yards, 76 catches for 704 yards and 15 total touchdowns. Rice ran for 101 yards on 23 runs in the last meeting with the Texans and added 60 yards on five receptions as well. Expect a similar showing this time along with a touchdown. Rice will be the feature player and should end up with 25 to 30 touches yet again.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Torrey Smith produced 84 yards on three catches in the last meeting with the Texans and ended his rookie season with seven touchdowns and two efforts over 100 yards. He was upstaged by Anquan Boldin in that game when he gained 132 yards on eight receptions in one of only two 100+ yard game by Boldin this year. The Texans secondary has been stellar most of this season and should hold the Ravens to just the one passing score that should end up here this time.

Both Boldin and Smith are about equal risks in this game though Boldin should have the most catches.

TIGHT ENDS: Ed Dickson was held to only 20 yards on two catches by the Texans before so look for just another marginal showing again this week. Dickson rarely accounts for more than around 20 yards per game anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 24 4 29 11 9 7
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 4 2 10 4 14 4

DIVISION DEN at NE HOU at BAL NYG at GB NO at SF

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