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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 13
December 1, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CIN at BAL* BUF at MIA ATL at TB* DEN at SD PIT at JAX
MIN at CHI TEN at IND* SF at STL* KC at OAK* Mon 9 PM
ARZ at DET CAR at NO   GB at PHI* DAL at SEA
NE at CLE HOU at NYJ *updated NYG at WAS Times ET
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 200,1
RB Domanick Davis 70 30 0
RB Jonathan Wells 10 10 0
TE Miller/Bruener 0 20 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 30 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 70,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 30 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 1 XP -
  NY Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 230,2
RB Curtis Martin 90,1 20 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Wayne Chrebet 0 30 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 60,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 110,1 0
PK Doug Brien 2 FG 3 XP -

HOU (5-6) vs NYJ (8-3)

Game Prediction: HOU 13, NYJ 27

The Texans come off their best offensive showing this season with the 31-21 win over the Titans last week . The Jets are just happy that they went 2-2 while Quincy Carter kept the seat warm for Chad Pennington.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

At 5-6 have only a mathematical shot at an AFC wildcard but a very realistic chance to end at or above .500. That's plenty of motivation.

Quarterback: David Carr had 201 yards last week but it was his first two touchdown game in the last six weeks. The Texans finally got on the NFL bandwagon by actually using a tight end as a receiver and Billy Miller scored for the first time this season. The Texans are still throwing the ball as much as they did earlier this season when Carr looked sharp but the completions are rarely too far over 50%. Last week had him 21-30 but that mostly came because he is throwing to the running back and tight end more than he had. Not great if you own Houston wideouts.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis finally notched a big rushing game this year when he topped the century mark for the first time this season. He gained 129 yards on 16 carries and added 52 more yards on seven receptions. Jonathan Wells is little more than occasional relief these days and it's turning back into a "Davis first" offensive scheme.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson scored against the Titans but it was his first touchdown since week five of the season. He still only gained 34 yards on four catches and had not had more than six receptions in any game during the past month. Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney have been non-factors for more like two months and now that Carr has noticed his tight end again, it could get even worse.

Tight Ends: Billy Miller had a touchdown last week - the first to any tight end this season by the Texans. He had four catches for 42 yards as his season high as well. It is much more likely a blip on the radar compared to his non-use this entire season but given that the Texans were very successful last week, he'll likely see a few more passes until they remember that he is not going to be a contributor.

Match Against the Defense: This will be a good test for Domanick Davis who faces a defense that has allowed only two 100+ rushing efforts this season and only four rushing touchdowns all year. It's not likely that Davis will eclipse the century mark on the ground but he might in total yards. The NYJ linebackers have been very effective against pass-catching backs though and all but Tomlinson and Faulk were held to less than 20 yards receiving.

Carr goes against a secondary that has always allowed at least one touchdown to a visiting quarterback and more often than not, they give up two scores. But Carr has not thrown many scores this season (12) and after his success earlier in the season, he really only notices Andre Johnson in the endzone if it even happens. Since there should be at least one passing score, Johnson has a commanding lead on the others for targets and would be the natural first choice.

If a second one happens, it could end up anywhere including with Johnson again. The Jets have been about average against tight ends but it is too early to expect back-to-back scores from Miller.

Pre-Game Notes - NYJ

While the boat lost steam with Pennington out, it still remained headed in the right direction and did not lose too much ground in the hunt for a wildcard. Pennington should return this week and the Jets need this win before heading into Pittsburgh the following week.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington should be back this week. He was throwing last week but was held out of the Arizona game. In one of those "timing is everything" moves, Pennington returns to face the worst secondary in the NFL in both quarterbacks and wideouts scoring.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin had 119 yards and two scores in the first week without Pennington but only gained 88 and 99 yards in the last two games with no touchdowns and not even one pass thrown his way. He'll face a defense that can be beaten by the run but generally looks good against rushers because everyone throws against the terrible secondary.

Wide Receivers: Santana Moss had five catches for 109 yards and one score last week, his first decent game since Pennington was out. Then again, he only had one decent game with Pennington playing but going against the worst secondary should allow Moss to finally post back to back big games for the first time all season.

Justin McCareins had two scores in the two games before Pennington left. He had one while Carter was at the helm but sandwiched that between two outings with 30 or less yards and no scores. This will be an excellent week for him to get back to him improving ways.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker was making the occasional foray into the endzone up until week eight but there has been nothing from this position since then.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets just have to settle on how they want to score. They can use Martin in a big rushing attack and likely have good success or rely on Pennington throwing against the worst secondary in the NFL and find great success. No doubt a blend, but this is a great chance for Pennington to get back in the saddle and look good doing it. He comes off a rotator cuff injury and the Jets will likely want to limit his throws just to be safe.

HOU NYJ 2004 Averages NYJ HOU
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
249
210
Pass yards
200
261
1.1
1.2
Pass TDs
1.1
2.5
0.8
1.1
Interceptions
0.4
1.5
19
10
Rush yards
8
11
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
86
91
Rush yards
137
98
1.0
0.4
Rush TDs
1.0
0.3
47
35
Receive yards
37
31
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
184
141
Receive yards
142
171
0.9
0.8
Receive TD's
0.6
1.6
---
---
TE's
---
---
16
33
Receive yards
21
59
0.1
0.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.0
Field Goals
1.4
0.9
2.1
1.7
Extra Points
2.2
2.9
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
0.5
Fumbles
0.9
0.8
1.5
0.6
Interceptions
0.9
0.8
0.3
0.1
Touchdowns
0.2
0.3
1.4
2.2
Sacks
2.0
2.8
0.0
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Texans (5-6)
Score Opp.
20-27 SD
16-28 @DET
24-21 @KC
30-17 OAK
28-34 MIN
20-10 @TEN
Week 7 bye
20-6 JAX
13-31 @DEN
14-49 @IND
13-16 GB
31-21 TEN
Week 13 @NYJ
Week 14 IND
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 CLE
Jets (8-3)
Score Opp.
31-24 CIN
34-28 @SD
Week 3 bye
17-9 @MIA
16-14 BUF
22-14 SF
7-13 @NE
41-14 MIA
17-22 @BUF
17-20 BAL
10-7 @CLE
13-3 @ARI
Week 13 HOU
Week 14 @PIT
Week 15 SEA
Week 16 NE
Week 17 @STL