fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    
HOME ARTICLES NEWS DRAFT GUIDE REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS NFL TEAMS MESSAGE BOARDS

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 8
October 27, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
ARZ at BUF NYG at MIN* ATL at DEN SF at CHI* MIA at NYJ
DET at DAL* NE at PIT CAR at SEA Bye Week: Bye Week:
IND at KC CIN at TEN* BAL at PHI CLE NO
JAX at HOU* GB at WAS OAK at SD* TB STL
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 10 0 270,2
RB Fred Taylor 100,1 40 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 20 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 100,2 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 40 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 30 0
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 3 XP -
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 10 0 240,2
RB Domanick Davis 60 50 0
RB Jonathan Wells 30 10 0
TE Miller/Bruener 0 30,1 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 70,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 30 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

JAX (5-2) vs HOU (3-3)

Game Prediction: JAX 24, HOU 20

The Texans come off a bye week and greet the leader in the AFC South which suddenly has discovered that a great passing game helps the win column. While the Texans are improved in their own passing attack, the difference in the defenses will make the difference here.

Update: Taylor has a quad contusion and is listed as questionable but he still is expected to play. I am not lowering his numbers though he may give way to Fuamatu-Ma'afala if it bothers him. Particularly if it is a short run at the goal line.

I am lowering Corey Bradford's numbers since he is still hampered by a groin strain and may not even play. He will be limited if he does so he is a very risky fantasy start this week.

Pre-Game Notes - JAX

With the Colts now nipping at their heels, the Jaguars have to keep winning and with a pretty kind schedule, they just might do exactly that.

Quarterback: Byron Leftwich passed for 300 yards and two scores last week which made it four straight games of at least 298 passing yards. He's thrown for two scores in each of the last two games. And now he faces one of the weakest secondaries in the entire NFL.

"cha-ching"

Running Backs: Fred Taylor finally turned in a big week this season when he ran for 107 yards on 20 carries against the Colts and added 67 more yards on five receptions. The problem still is that he is not scoring. He only has one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown on the season. He missed another short plunge last week and with Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala healthy again, the plan is to let him take the goal line runs since his bulk is almost impossible to stop when he reaches the line of scrimmage.

Fuamatu-Ma'afala was inactive last week with a shoulder injury but should be back for this game. If the Jaguars follow through on their plan to make him the goal line guy, he's worth a pick-up in touchdown only leagues.

Wide Receivers: The trend continues. All that passing yardage and the only fantasy player of note is Jimmy Smith who either scores or has 90+ yards or both in this four game stretch for Leftwich. The best any other wideout managed was 32 yards last week. It was only 41 yards the previous week. Leftwich is spreading the ball so well that there's too many receivers to make one, other than Smith, fantasy relevant.

Tight Ends: Kyle Brady caught a score last week but that was unusual for the position. The team is still waiting for George Wrighster to return since he is the better pass catcher.

Match Against the Defense: Here comes the good part.

The Texans defense has allowed four different runners to turn in big yardage and Taylor is looking better now that defenses have to respect the pass. Mark him down for another good game with a definite shot at 100 yards.

The secondary against Leftwich has already allowed 14 touchdowns in the first six games and the best receivers have always been merely the primary one used by the offense. Consider Smith a lock for another solid game with Leftwich dipping down in yardage only if the running game works very well.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

The Texans are pleased with their 3-3 showing so far this season but the reality is that they've built that record by beating the Titans, Raiders and Chiefs. Those teams have a combined record of 5-12. The next few weeks will pit them against Jacksonville, Denver and Indianapolis so 3-6 would not be any surprise heading into the game against the Packers in week 11.

Quarterback: David Carr is showing the improvement that mirrors how much better a healthy offense is doing this season. Carr has thrown for scores in each of his last five games and has already topped 300 yards twice this year. He'll be much more tested in the two games when he faces the Jaguars and then travels to meet the Broncos. On his side is the greater diversity of the offense this season but those next two defenses should remind him more of 2003.

Running Backs: The bye week can only help Domanick Davis since he's been constantly dinged up already this season. He remains the clear #1 runner for the Texans but has done little in the last four games he's played when he has struggled to gain even three yards per carry and has never exceeded 87 yards on the ground all season. He had 16 catches for 165 yards in the first two weeks but only five catches for 46 yards total in the last three games he's played.

Jonathan Wells has passed Tony Hollings on the depth charts and ran for 73 yards on 22 carries for one score against the Titans when Davis was ineffective and hampered by a turned ankle. The offense has gone away from heavily featuring Davis even when he is healthy though Wells will always be #2 to Davis.

Davis is practicing again and should be at close to full strength.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson has been on a nice pace this season, exceeding 100 yards twice already and totaling four touchdowns. Johnson has become such a weapon that the Texans are now moving him around the offense to gain better matchups, using him in the slot on three receiver sets with Jabar Gaffney moving to the outside.

While both Gaffney and Corey Bradford remain typically good for only a couple of catches a game, they have combined for three scores so far and Derick Armstrong is making a difference when the team expands to a four receiver set. Armstrong has the only other 100 yard game by a Houston receiver in 2004.

Bradford is still nursing a groin strain but is confident he can play this week.

Tight Ends: Billy Miller is little more than a trivia question about the first year of the Texans. He spends about every other game with no catches and has never exceeded 39 yards in any game this season.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars defense has declined in the past few weeks but that's still better than the Texans are used to facing. They've faced a "who's who" of top running backs in James (twice), Holmes, Tomlinson and Chris Brown and still never allowed more than 103 yards or one score to any of them. They recently held Tomlinson to 56 yards, Holmes to 75 yards and James to only 87 yards with only Tomlinson scoring. With Wells and Davis now splitting more carries, look for Davis to turn in only a moderate game at best.

David Carr gets a chance at a nice afternoon here against a team that has allowed at least two passing scores in each of the last four games. The passing game has improved in Houston and this game should be closer to a shootout than a defensive war. It'll likely be the Texans chasing the scoreboard for most of the day.

The Jaguar corners are very good and typically force more passing to the backs and tight ends which should favor Davis and Billy Miller though Andre Johnson is so hot now you can never count him out.

JAX HOU 2004 Averages HOU JAX
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
238
248
Pass yards
274
235
1.3
2.6
Pass TDs
1.3
1.4
0.7
1.0
Interceptions
0.8
0.3
9
9
Rush yards
21
9
0.3
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
90
115
Rush yards
81
105
0.3
0.6
Rush TDs
0.8
0.6
45
31
Receive yards
48
50
0.1
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
162
154
Receive yards
207
142
0.9
2.0
Receive TD's
1.3
0.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
30
64
Receive yards
19
49
0.3
0.4
Receive TD's
0.0
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
0.6
Field Goals
1.8
1.3
1.3
3.2
Extra Points
2.2
1.9
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
1.0
Fumbles
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.8
Interceptions
1.5
0.9
0.0
0.2
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
1.7
3.0
Sacks
1.8
2.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Jaguars (5-2)
Score Opp.
13-10 @BUF
7-6 DEN
15-12 @TEN
17-24 IND
21-34 @SD
22-16 KC
27-24 @IND
Week 8 @HOU
Week 9 bye
Week 10 DET
Week 11 TEN
Week 12 @MIN
Week 13 PIT
Week 14 CHI
Week 15 @GB
Week 16 HOU
Week 17 @OAK
Texans (3-3)
Score Opp.
20-27 SD
16-28 @DET
24-21 @KC
30-17 OAK
28-34 MIN
20-10 @TEN
Week 7 bye
Week 8 JAX
Week 9 @DEN
Week 10 @IND
Week 11 GB
Week 12 TEN
Week 13 @NYJ
Week 14 IND
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 CLE