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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 16
December 22, 2004
Season Ticket
Friday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
GB at MIN CHI at DET ATL at NO * NE at NYJ * CLE at MIA
Saturday NYG at CIN * BAL at PIT BUF at SF * Mon 9 PM
DEN at TEN 8:30 HOU at JAX * CAR at TB WAS at DAL PHI at STL
OAK at KC 5 * SD at IND * Good Luck!!! ARZ at SEA *updated
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 250,1
RB Domanick Davis 60 30 0
TE Miller/Bruener 0 10 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 50 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 70 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 80,1 0
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 1 XP -
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 270,3
RB Fred Taylor 70 20 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 10 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 120,2 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 60,1 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 40 0
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 3 XP -

HOU (6-8) vs JAX (8-6)

Game Prediction: HOU 13, JAX 24

This is a rematch of week 8 when the Texans won 20-6 when Leftwich was injured. It's time for some payback.

Update: Fred Taylor is still questionable this week and has not practiced. I am lowering his projections because of his sprained knee. The Jaguars remain hopeful that Taylor will be able to play on Sunday.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

The Texans come off a win in Chicago but have only won two of their last seven games. A .500 season is still in reach, at least before this weekend.

Quarterback: David Carr only completed 13 of 28 passes last week for 220 yards and one score and revived his problem with incompletions during the second half of the season. He had no turnovers last week though and his last truly good game was against the Jaguars back in week eight when he threw for 276 yards and one score. He only has five touchdowns in the seven games since then against seven interceptions.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis is staying healthy and visiting the endzone every Sunday for the last seven weeks. He's been on a roll in the last seven games with nine scores and 638 rushing yards combined with 265 receiving yards in that time. The problem is that his last game without a score came in week eight against these Jaguars when he only ran for 56 yards on 22 carries.

Wide Receivers: Maybe it was because everyone had forgotten about him, but Jabar Gaffney turned in his best game of the year when he had 109 yards last week in Chicago. Gaffney had been cruising around 85 yards per game for a stretch before disappearing for a month. Andre Johnson only had 31 yards last week and still only has one score in the last nine games.

Back in week eight, Johnson gained 74 yards on nine catches while Gaffney had 88 yards on five receptions. The passing game has realistically sputtered since mid-season and the previous game in Houston against the Jags was about the last we have seen of David Carr as a an attractive fantasy quarterback.

Tight Ends: Sometimes they have no catches in the entire game. Like last week for example.

Match Against the Defense: Domanick Davis should see his lowest numbers for a good while. He faces a rush defense that has given up only one touchdown in the last eight games and no receiving scores to tailbacks. Davis only had 56 yards in the first meeting and will likely struggle to reach that again.

The Jaguar secondary is probably only average and often surrenders two scores to opponents and at least 220 yards per week. They gave up 367 yards last week to Favre. But Carr has not been throwing very well and his one score like week eight is the most you can hope for here against a resurgent Jaguars team. He should manage decent passing yardage though and could be forced into making Johnson and Gaffney into decent fantasy plays this week if he has to throw much to catch up.

Pre-Game Notes - JAX

The Jaguars lost three of the four games that Leftwich did not start or at least finish or otherwise they would be viewed as a much bigger contender in the AFC. They come off a nice win in Green Bay under bad game conditions and came within one point of beating the Steelers. At 8-6, they have to win in order to stay in the race for the wildcard and with two final games against HOU and OAK, they have the inside track to get there.

Quarterback: Byron Leftwich sprained his non-throwing wrist last week but still played and should not be bothered by it this week. He still managed two scores in Green Bay and has scored in all but one game this year - the odd one being the Houston game when he was injured. Leftwich is a lock for throwing over 230 yards as long as the thermometer doesn't dip too low and at home, he'll be primed to make amends for the one game this season that sent the team in a mini-tailspin thanks to Houston.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor bruised his knee last week but is expected to play on Sunday. He still cranked out a season high 165 yards and scored his third touchdown on the year against the Packers last week. Taylor entered the previous game against the Texans coming off a quad bruise and then suffered a hip pointer in the game. He too has a reason to want to excel this week. He only had three carries for nine yards in that game.

Wide Receivers: Jimmy Smith has scored three times in the last two weeks with about 85 yards in both games. He had 117 yards on nine catches in the first meeting against the Texans. Troy Edwards brief fling with significance started and ended with the Pittsburgh game - he only had 10 yards last week and only 43 yards in the first meeting with Houston.

The rookie Reggie Williams was the ninth pick in the draft, but he looks like a bust so far. Other than his one score and 62 yards against the Bears, Williams has never had more than 42 yards in a game even though he gets up to nine passes per week.

Tight Ends: One catch a week.

Match Against the Defense: This should be a semi-revenge game for the Jaguars since the loss in week eight included losing Leftwich. The Jaguars are returning to a heavy load for Taylor and he should challenge 100 yards easily in this game though scoring will be tough - only three runners this season have rushing touchdowns against the Texans.

Leftwich faces one of the worst secondaries in the league that has routinely given up three more more passing scores a game. This should be a great game for Leftwich even with Taylor getting his carries. Look for a nice statement game here in the last homestand for the Jags this season. Smith is a lock for a score and great yardage and even Gaffney and Willford or Williams could get involved.

HOU JAX 2004 Averages JAX HOU
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
235
235
Pass yards
222
249
1.0
1.2
Pass TDs
1.2
2.2
0.9
0.7
Interceptions
0.6
1.3
18
10
Rush yards
12
10
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
88
89
Rush yards
107
103
1.0
0.4
Rush TDs
0.4
0.3
45
44
Receive yards
38
37
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
174
155
Receive yards
156
160
0.8
0.7
Receive TD's
0.9
1.4
---
---
TE's
---
---
15
38
Receive yards
28
53
0.1
0.4
Receive TD's
0.2
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.3
Field Goals
1.6
1.2
2.1
1.8
Extra Points
1.4
2.6
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.6
Fumbles
0.8
0.9
1.3
0.7
Interceptions
0.8
0.7
0.3
0.4
Touchdowns
0.0
0.2
1.4
2.1
Sacks
2.2
2.9
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.1
Texans (6-8)
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
7-29 @NYJ
14-23 IND
24-5 @CHI
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 CLE
Jaguars (8-6)
Score Opp.
13-10 @BUF
7-6 DEN
15-12 @TEN
17-24 IND
21-34 @SD
22-16 KC
27-24 @IND
6-20 @HOU
Week 9 bye
23-17 DET
15-18 TEN
16-27 @MIN
16-17 PIT
22-3 CHI
28-25 @GB
Week 16 HOU
Week 17 @OAK