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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 10
November 9, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
ARI at DET* MIN at NYG DEN at OAK CLE at PIT DAL at PHI*
BAL at JAC NE at MIA NYJ at CAR On Bye:  
HOU at IND* SF at CHI GB at ATL CIN, SD  
KC at BUF WAS at TB* STL at SEA TEN. NO Times ET

Prediction: Houston 10, Indianapolis 31

Could be a bit of a mismatch here when the 1-7 team travels to the 8-0 team, especially when the Colts already beat the Texans 38-20 just three weeks ago. But the Colts come off a short week and emotional win over their nemesis of the Patriots while the Texans are playing much better. Maybe not "winning" better, but "not get blown out" better.

Update: Domanick Davis returned to practice on Friday and while he is still listed as questionable on the injury report, he is expected to play on Sunday. I have changed the projections to include him.

Houston Texans (1-7)
1 7-22 @BUF 10 Nov 13 @IND
2 7-27 PIT 11 Nov 20 KCC
3 Open Bye 12 Nov 27 STL
4 10-16 @CIN 13 Dec 4 @BAL
5 20-34 TEN 14 Dec 11 @TEN
6 10-42 @SEA 15 Dec 18 ARI
7 20-38 IND 16 Dec 24 JAC
8 19-16 CLE 17 Jan 1 @SFO
9 14-21 @JAC . . SAT
HOU at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 180,1
RB Domanick Davis 80 10 0
TE Matt Murphy 0 10 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 50,1 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 40 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 20 0
WR Jerome Mathis 0 20 0
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Texans actually had the lead over the Jaguars last week going into the fourth quarter but eventually lost. They've oddly matched up well against the Jaguars though, even if they do not match up well against almost any other team. Domanick Davis was out with a sprained knee but the Texans still managed to get some production out of Jonathan Wells and David Carr - get this - suddenly pretended it was 2004 again and started throwing to - no really - Andre Johnson. The Texans may be getting competitive again, only not this week.

Quarterback: Maybe it was not having Domanick Davis around or maybe it was getting Andre Johnson back. Maybe it was both. Maybe it was just a freak game. Whatever the case, David Carr threw for 219 yards and one score against the Jaguars last week in his best game of the year. He's thrown for a touchdown in each of the last seven games though, despite never throwing for more than 174 yards in any previous game. And he has never had more than one score in a game as well.

Carr only threw for an amazing 48 yards against the Colts this year though he had one touchdown.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis was held out last week after not practicing due to a knee sprain. Jonathan Wells took the start and turned it into 13 carries for 56 yards and one score with an additional five catches for 55 yards. Vernand Morency had eight runs for 24 yards but Wells was the primary carrier and most successful back. Pending reports that Davis can play this week, I am assuming that Wells gets the start again.

Davis ran for 98 yards and one score against the Colts this season.

Wide Receivers: The great news is that Andre Johnson returned to the playing field last week and had nine catches for 91 yards. The bad news is that no one in the country actually dared to start him last week on their fantasy team. Basically Johnson had more yardage in that game than he had in all other games this year. One week is an aberration, two could mean he is back. Corey Bradford had 71 yards and one score last week as well for a season high for him. Jabar Gaffney moved back to the slot and only had one catch for seven yards. Now the question is if the Texans can turn one decent passing game into two? In Indianapolis this week, the answer is most likely no.

Gaffney was the only wideout with any catches in the last meeting against the Colts and he scored only four catches for 25 yards.

Tight Ends: Even if Carr threw for 450 yards in a game, it would be doubtful that tight ends here would matter.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts already squashed the Texans in Houston this year already and the only chance that Houston has here is a let down by the Colts after their big Monday night win. Expect only moderate yardage from Wells because that 98 yards that Davis had against the Colts earlier this year was the most any runner has had - and that was because the Colts were less than motivated for the game.

Carr had only 48 passing yards last time but suddenly he resembles an NFL quarterback again. Still, going against the Colts secondary is not a good thing here and expecting more than minimal numbers is just hoping that the Colts are trying to mail in the game.

Indianapolis Colts (8-0)
1 24-7 @BAL 10 Nov 13 HOU
2 10-3 JAC 11 Nov 20 @CIN
3 13-6 CLE 12 Nov 28 PIT
4 31-10 @TEN 13 Dec 4 TEN
5 28-3 @SFO 14 Dec 11 @JAC
6 45-28 STL 15 Dec 18 SDC
7 38-20 @HOU 16 Dec 24 @SEA
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 ARI
9 40-21 @NE . MON SAT
IND vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 200,2
RB Edgerrin James 120,2 10 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 20 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 70,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 60,1 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 20 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: And so dies that monkey on Manning's back. The Colts offense dismantled the Patriots and now they can look at the rest of the season and know "yes, we really are all that". Everything is working and even the passing game has sparked lately. Bad sign for the rest of the NFL.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning saved his best game for the biggest game, throwing for 321 yards and three scores in New England. He's had two or more touchdown passes in each of the last three games and 12 scores over the last five match-ups.

Manning threw for 237 yards and two scores against the Texans earlier this season.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James remains the clear third best back in the NFL and comes off a 104 yard effort against the Patriots though that required 34 carries to produce. He's scored at least once in each of the last six games and has remained over 88 rushing yards in every game this year. He has also never failed to have at least 21 carries in each game this year.

James turned in a monster game in the last meeting with the Texans, gaining 143 yards and three scores in week seven.

Wide Receivers: Marvin Harrison started the season slowly but he's turned it up in the last five games, scoring six times with only the one 17 yard stinker against the Rams as a black spot. His 128 yards against the Patriots is a season high. Reggie Wayne also comes off his season best game when he had nine catches for 124 yards and a score last week and he has three scores on the year. Brandon Stokley? Well, everyone cannot be happy this year. He still has not scored yet nor topped 54 yards in any game.

Harrison had one touchdown and 39 yards and Reggie Wayne turned in 89 yards and no score against the Texans this season.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark has been a relative non-factor this year since the rushing game has asked him to block much more than go out for a pass. He only had one catch for four yards against the Patriots. Clark had his best game of the year when he caught three passes for 51 yards and one touchdown against the Texans this year. It was his only score of the year.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts could rip this defense and already has done just that this year but they'll likely experience a slight let down after the big win over the Patriots. Not nearly enough to affect who wins, but there'll be little need to run up the score here.