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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 17
December 28, , 2005
Season Ticket
Sat 4:30 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM SEA at GB*
DEN at SD* ARI at IND CHI at MIN* NO at TB WAS at PHI*
Sat 8 PM BAL at CLE CIN at KC Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
NYG at OAK* BUF at NYJ* DET at PIT* HOU at SF* STL at DAL
Updated* CAR at ATL MIA at NE TEN at JAC* Times ET

Prediction: Houston 13, San Francisco 17,

The Reggie Bush Bowl has lost a little luster when the 49ers screwed up and won last week. Now if the Texans win, there could be five teams with a 3-12 record vying for that coveted first pick in the draft. Houston is actually favored in this game despite being 0-7 on the road.

Update: Jonathan Wells is still hampered by a bruised thigh and could be limited this week and possibly not even start. I am lowering his numbers and adding in Vernand Morency, but consider this as the best that Wells does and the worst that Morency may do.

Houston Texans (2-13)
1 7-22 @BUF 10 17-31 @IND
2 7-27 PIT 11 17-45 KCC
3 Open Bye 12 27-33 STL
4 10-16 @CIN 13 15-16 @BAL
5 20-34 TEN 14 10-13 @TEN
6 10-42 @SEA 15 30-19 ARI
7 20-38 IND 16 20-38 JAC
8 19-16 CLE 17 Jan 1 @SFO
9 14-21 @JAC . . SAT
HOU at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 220,1
RB Jonathan Wells 30 0 0
RB Vernand Morency 40 20 0
TE Marcellus Rivers 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 90,1 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 40 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 50 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: Houston hits the final turn of the season with a league worst 2-13 record and a chance to win the rights to Reggie Bush in their grasp. Even if they do not use the pick and trade it off, it could be the only positive that comes out of this season.

Quarterback: David Carr comes off his second game of the year with any fantasy relevance when he had 295 yards and two scores last week against the Jaguars. But other than the one other game against the Rams, Carr has never thrown more than one score in a game nor been over 182 yards more than once. He has only 14 scores against 11 interceptions and six lost fumbles on the year.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis missed last week with his knee that continues to have problems with swelling and fluid. Davis had been on a hot streak prior to the last two weeks and could end up missing the final game as well. Davis has been the lone feature of the offense that has been consistently good but that still is not necessarily enough to prevent the Texans from considering the supposed savior Reggie Bush from being drafted. Of course always getting hurt is not a positive for Davis either. Until Davis is named starter, I am assuming Jonathan Wells takes his third start.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson comes off a 119 yard, one touchdown game against the Jaguars and that makes his second game over 100 yards with a score. Of course, those are the only games he has scored. And his only games of any real fantasy note. But those two games - they were good. The 49ers have a terrible secondary, so there is a chance that Johnson could actually score in three games this year.

Tight Ends: The 28 yards by Marcellus Rivers last week was a season high for all Texans tight ends. And yes, none have never scored.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers have a decent rush defense which is why so many teams opt to throw against them (plus they have a bad secondary, so decision made and all). Look for only moderate rushing yards this week from Wells or Davis if he plays.

Carr has a chance to end the year with a decent showing against the worst secondary, statistically, in the NFL. Unfortunately, Carr has never had more than one score in any road game this year and has only been above 179 yards in one road game this year (and that was just 219 yards). Look for one score here but anything more is just risking losing that first pick.

San Francisco 49ers (3-12)
1 28-25 STL 10 9-17 @CHI
2 3-42 @PHI 11 25-27 SEA
3 31-34 DAL 12 22-23 @TEN
4 14-31 @ARI 13 10-17 ARI
5 3-28 IND 14 3-41 @SEA
6 Open Bye 15 9-10 @JAC
7 17-52 @WAS 16 24-20 @STL
8 15-10 TBB 17 Jan 1 HOU
9 6-24 NYG . . SAT
SFO vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10 0 140
RB Frank Gore 90,2 30 0
TE Trent Smith 0 10 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 40 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 20 0
WR Arnaz Battle 0 40 0
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The 49ers took their first road win of the year last week when they beat the Rams in St. Louis and now may have lost the 2006 Bush Challenge depending on tie breakers and on whether the Texans can actually win a road game this year. The 49er defense is playing well and the running game has looked strong even with out Barlow (maybe stronger actually) but the passing game? Well, they need something to work on during the offseason.

Quarterback: Alex Smith now has started six games this year and still has not experienced that thing called a "touchdown". Nor has he done better than 185 yards in a game. But he has made progress since he comes off a game with 131 yards against the Rams with no interceptions.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow has missed the last two games with a sprained knee and the 49er running game has never looked better. Frank Gore has been very effective for the last two weeks, gaining 136 total yards against the Jaguars and then running ten times for 68 yards and two scores last week. Maurice Hicks broke a 73-yard touchdown run to open the games against the Rams. Barlow claims he is not worried about the 49ers taking Reggie Bush. Perhaps he should be more concerned about the two lockers next to his.

Wide Receivers: Alex Smith rarely throws for more than 150 total yards and has never thrown a touchdown. There is no fantasy value here. None at all. Maybe none next year at this rate.

Tight Ends: Unlike the wideouts, tight ends have never mattered regardless of which quarterback played.

Match Against the Defense: The Texans rush defense has been even worse in all road games and the last four trips have allowed seven rushing scores to the running backs. Expect a decent game here by Gore that could turn into a big one if Barlow or Hicks does not take carries away. Gore should score once and easily could score twice on this defense.

Expect the same thing from Alex Smith since there has never been a reason to expect more.