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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
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The Huddle
September 20, 2006
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On Bye
GB at DET WAS at HOU STL at ARZ   updated

Prediction: TEN 10, MIA 24

The Titans rebuilding season (Part 4) is not going so well with an offense that has to rely on Oakland to keep it from the bottom of most statistical categories. The Fins were the preseason darlings of the AFC East but at 0-2, this is a game that they have to win. Fortunately, there should be no reasons why they won't.

The Dolphins won 24-10 when they hosted the Titans in week 16 last year.

Update: Now Chris Brown is the tailback with the bothersome toe and he has been held out of practice on Thursday. Travis Henry is also listed as questionable but has been able to practice this week. I am lowering Brown's meager projections but realize the carries - few as they could be - may be split three ways and that Henry should play some role this week. It's a bad situation that has only become worse with two of the three now sporting toe injuries.

Marty Booker is also listed as questionable with an ankle sprain but has not missed practice and is expected to play.

Tennessee Titans (0-2)
1 16-23 NYJ 10 --- BAL
2 7-40 @SD 11 --- @PHI
3 --- @MIA 12 --- NYG
4 --- DAL 13 --- IND
5 --- @IND 14 --- @HOU
6 --- @WAS 15 --- JAX
7 Open Bye 16 --- @BUF
8 --- HOU 17 --- NE
9 --- @JAX - - -
TEN at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 80,1
QB Vince Young 30 0 60
RB Chris Brown 20 10 0
RB Travis Henry 30 0 0
RB LenDale White 40 0 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 20,1 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 50 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 30 0
WR David Givens 0 30 0
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The decision to bring Kerry Collins in at the last minute to be the starting quarterback was apparently rather flawed and Vince Young looked good last week but mainly because he was compared to Collins. That vaunted Norm Chow offense has yet to show up though it was likely never meant to be manned with this motley crew. The Titans are catching no breaks on their schedule either with three tough road games and a homestand against the Cowboys before their week seven bye.

Quarterback: While Kerry Collins appeared to be a stopgap in week one when he had 223 yards against the Jets, he was battered in the Chargers game and only completed six passes on 19 attempts for 57 yards and two interceptions. Vince Young temporarily came into the game with no results but was reinserted late in the fourth quarter and came up with an actual touchdown drive. I am projecting for Collins to start again but it should be expected that Vince Young at least plays if not for the majority of snaps. There can be no reliance on the fantasy value here until Young is made the full-game starter which could be sooner than later.

Running Backs: The fantasy world took note that Travis Henry had a role in week one and scored twice, but he only had about a 2.1 yard average and was held out last week. Chris Brown gained a whopping nine yards on six carries and LenDale White became the more primary runner with 22 yards on eight carries. This remains a potential three headed-monster but the results are so lackluster here that none warrant a fantasy start even if you get the primary back correct.

Chris Brown only had 18 yards on seven carries against the Dolphins in week 16 last year but Travis Henry ended with 65 yards on 16 runs.

Wide Receivers: The biggest offseason acquisition of David Givens has resulted in two mirror games of 27 yards each and so far, Drew Bennett remains the most productive receiver by virtue of catching one scoring pass last week. The anemic passing numbers here have rendered the entire crew worthless other than Bennett and his trash time contributions. If the Titans resort to young as quarterback, the numbers here would likely rise if only because Young can buy a bit more time with his legs unlike Collins.

Tight Ends: During the preseason, Ben Troupe looked great in camp and was given expectations of becoming a force in the Titan offense. After two games, he has only one catch for 23 yards and that was in week one. Second-year player Bo Scaife has been the only tight end of any note with his three catches for 53 yards last week. That says something about the ineffectiveness of the Titans passing game when Scaife is the #3 tight end.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins rush defense has yet to allow a score but two runners have exceeded 90 yards against them already. Problem is that the Titans do not really have a primary runner currently with a muddled situation between the three tailbacks. Look for only minimal numbers here because the Fins are going to be out for blood this week and the Titans are in the way. That spells a certain lack of rushing opportunities.

The Dolphins have given up four passing scores so far but it's impossible to rely on either Titan quarterback. What is most likely here is a replay of last week - low numbers across the board until the prevent defense in the fourth quarter gives up a score to a wideout. No wide receiver has turned in more than 53 yards against the Dolphins this year so expecting anything more this week is very unrealistic. The score will most likely go to a tight end which should favor Troupe but he has been invisible so far this year. Stay away from any fantasy starts from this offense if you can.

Miami Dolphins (0-2)
1 17-28 @PIT 10 --- KC
2 6-16 BUF 11 --- MIN
3 --- TEN 12 --- @DET
4 --- @HOU 13 --- JAX
5 --- @NE 14 --- NE
6 --- @NYJ 15 --- @BUF
7 --- GB 16 --- NYJ
8 Open Bye 17 --- @IND
9 --- @CHI - MON THU
MIA vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 0 0 270,2
RB Ronnie Brown 110,1 30 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 90,1 0
WR Marty Booker 0 50,1 0
WR Wes Welker 0 30 0
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: After ending 2005 on a big winning streak, the Dolphins are now mired at 0-2 and starting to lose all the shine from last year. The acquisition of Daunte Culpepper now brings boos from the stands and Ronnie Brown alone has not been nearly enough to jump start this offense. Fortunately the Titans are coming to town and so far that has been like adding pure alcohol to the carburetor.

Quarterback: Daunte Culpepper finally managed his first Miami touchdown last week but that wasn't enough to quite the booing crowd who had high expectations of the one-time stud. Culpepper has throw for at least 250 yards in each of the first two games though he has three interceptions against the lone touchdown. This week should be a boon for the struggling quarterback and if he cannot get past this week without a big game, then he better get used to all the boos. Last week the Miami fans were chanting for Joey Harrington to come in - there's a first in so many ways.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown had a bad yardage game in week one but scored twice to keep his fantasy stock up. Last week against the Bills, he had no scores but did manage to gain 70 yards on 15 carries and added 52 yards on six receptions. That makes two games this year with both only yielding 15 carries by Brown. That's less than he was doing last year with Ricky Williams by his side. Brown should be a lock for a score this week and after he also plays Houston in week four, fantasy owners should once again feel good about their first round pick.

Ronnie Brown missed this match-up last year in week 16 but Ricky Williams turned in 26 carries for 172 yards and one score.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers only has 114 yards from his two games combined but managed the touchdown last week late in the game. He's currently on a pace for around 880 yards on the season which is pretty much his average every season other than 2006 when he had a monster 200 yard game to skew his stats. Culpepper has been unable to make much use of the wideouts here so far but that should change this week at least for Chambers.

Chris Chambers only had five catches for 51 yards against the Titans last year but scored two touchdowns.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael only had ten yards in the first outing this year and increased to three catches for 34 yards against the Bills but that's barely enough to qualify him as an average tight end, let alone a top ten player. Next to Chambers, McMichael is getting about as many passes as any other receiver but it hasn't equated to any real fantasy rewards yet.

McMichael had four catches for 42 yards against the Titans in 2005.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans on the road last week were shredded by Tomlinson and Turner and this is a chance for Ronnie Brown to get back on track, limit the need for Culpepper to make mistakes and notch a win for the first time this year. Look for a solid game here that could turn into a big one if he can break a long run or two.

Culpepper should also enjoy playing the Titans and giving him a chance to appease the hometown fans with a good game here. Since Brown rushing should be the bulk of plays, Culpepper won't likely have a monster passing game here though he could if he wanted. Look for a score from Culpepper here that could easily be two if Ronnie Brown doesn't double up on touchdowns again. This Sunday and again in Houston next week are the two chances that Culpepper has to boost his confidence and post some decent numbers.