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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 18, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
JAX at HOU SD at KC WAS at IND   *updated

Prediction: JAX 24, HOU 13

The Jaguars come off their bye week having just throttled the visiting Jets while the Texans come off their spanking by the Cowboys. This appears to be a mismatch at first glance, but upon further review it is even worse. The only question is how motivated the Jaguars will be or if they will just extend their bye for another week.

The Jaguars swept the Texans in 2005, winning 21-16 at home and later 38-20 in Houston.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
1 24-17 DAL 10 --- HOU
2 9-0 PIT 11 --- NYG
3 14-21 @IND 12 --- @BUF
4 30-36 @WAS 13 --- @MIA
5 41-0 NYJ 14 --- IND
6 Open Bye 15 --- @TEN
7 --- @HOU 16 --- NE
8 --- @PHI 17 --- @KC
9 --- TEN - - MON
JAX at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 10 0 230,2
RB Fred Taylor 80 10 0
RB Maurice Drew 40,1 20 0
TE George Wrighster 0 30 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 100,1 0
WR Ernest Wilford 0 50,1 0
WR Cortez Hankton 0 20 0
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Other than one surprise game in Washington, there's nothing on this team that doesn't smack of a playoff contender. The Skins were able to steal a win thanks to a couple of long catches by Santana Moss but otherwise, the Jaguars efforts every week have been impressive. Now rested and ready for the rest of the year, the Jags only have a trip to Philly next week as a challenge for the next month.

Quarterback: Byron Leftwich has produced wildly varying games this year ranging from 140 to 289 yards and from zero to three touchdowns. About the only consistency he offers is that he doesn't do the same thing two games in a row. On the road he has been very good when pressed as he was in Washington. Supported by a ground game, he typically only throws as much as he needs to in order to win. He did record two touchdowns against the Jets in the blowout of week five, but he only had 140 yards.

Leftwich had games of 218 and 292 yards with one score in the two match-ups against the Texans last year.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor is having a good year - he hasn't been injured yet and has two touchdowns and one effort over 100 yards - but he hasn't been anything special either. The concern this week is that Taylor has never scored in a road game and his worst two games came in the only two away trips this year. Maurice Drew-Jones had turned in very nice fantasy numbers over the last three weeks when he scored four times and turned in at least 55 yards and unlike Taylor, he scored twice in the home whipping of the Jets.

Jones is also a much bigger factor in the passing game with two scores via the pass. He had no catches against the Jets because it was not necessary but collected seven passes for 85 yards over the two prior games. When the defenses have been tough, Jones factors into the passing equation.

Taylor only gained 48 yards against the Texans last year in his home game but had 101 yards and one score in Houston.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Williams reclaimed his starting job from Ernest Wilford and has never looked better. Williams has four touchdowns on the season - no other wideout has any. He has two games over 90 yards - no other wideout has 73. Matt Jones was the preseason darling to some but he's been a major disappointment during his sophomore slump that has been compounded with groin and hamstring injuries. Jones may not play this week even with the bye week of rest so I am not projecting for him until it is clear he will play. Ernest Wilford had had plenty of playing time this year but still has not turned in more than 58 yards in any game or scored.

Ernest Wilford enjoyed two nice games in 2005 when he faced the Texans. He had 89 and 118 yards and scored in each.

Tight Ends: George Wrighster continues to offer a little fantasy value with about 30 yards per game and he even scored in the last game but Marcedes Lewis should start to figure in more as the season progresses.

Match Against the Defense: The Texans rush defense has seemed good only because most teams prefer to win via the pass. Figure on Taylor getting the most carries and nearing 100 yards on the ground but for Drew-Jones to figure in enough to also offer fantasy value. I like one rushing score in this game - at least - and that slightly favors Jones-Drew.

Leftwich goes against a secondary that always allows at least one score if not up to three so he could have a decent game here. This sort of match-up could leave him with a sub-200 day if the rushing game is big but expect a solid game here with two scores as most likely. Houston is an inter-divisional foe and that could eventually play into a tie breaker later on.

Houston Texans (1-4)
1 10-24 PHI 10 --- @JAX
2 24-43 @IND 11 --- BUF
3 15-31 WAS 12 --- @NYJ
4 17-15 MIA 13 --- @OAK
5 Open Bye 14 --- TEN
6 6-34 @DAL 15 --- @NE
7 --- JAX 16 --- IND
8 --- @TEN 17 --- CLE
9 --- @NYG - - -
HOU vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 10 0 190,1
RB Wali Lundy 20 10 0
RB Samkon Gado 20 0 0
TE Owen Daniels 0 10 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 50 0
WR Kevin Walter 0 30 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: It just doesn't get any better for the Texans who are slogging through their season thankful they were able to nip the visiting Dolphins. The offense has been lethargic outside of throwing to Andre Johnson and the defense is so bad that opponents have to decide which weakness to exploit. The new Kubiak offense has yet to show up as any progress other than for the one wideout - Johnson.

Quarterback: David Carr had been looking better this year with scores in every game and yardage over 200 in every match-up but in Dallas last week he was held to only 128 yards and two interceptions with no scores. Carr has posted better numbers than last year to be fair, but he's never used any receiver much outside of Andre Johnson and occasionally Eric Moulds. What's worse is that there is not even a shred of a running game to respect, so Carr is going against a secondary that knows he is coming - and who he likes to target.

Running Backs: What a colossal mess. For a head coach who was supposed to be a running back dream, this has been a major disappointment. Kubiak started out with Wali Lundy and then opted to pretend that Ron Dayne was a viable option. Over four games, that has led to a total of 57 carries for 167 yards for a 2.9 yard average. Last Sunday against the Cowboys, Dayne looked more like a walking back than a running back. He's slow and the holes aren't there anyway. Samkon Gado has been given a little playing time and over the last three games he has turned 11 carries into a paltry 14 yards. By comparison, Lundy lost his job when he had 17 carries for 57 yards and 3.4 yards per carry seems like an accomplishment in this offense.

Kubiak says that he is going to bring Lundy back into the mix if only to look like he is trying to fix things and there is no one else to use. Dayne has a sprained knee and since it is not sure that he will play this week, I am projecting for Gado and Lundy to share the load but realize that anything could happen here (other than a big rushing game that is).

Wide Receivers: Maybe the rest of the offense is mired in mediocrity, but at least Andre Johnson is enjoying his best season yet. He has scored three times this year and topped 100 yards in three of five games. Even against the Cowboys he had 75 yards on nine catches because he had 16 passes thrown to him. Johnson is such a preferred target for Carr that he has been getting around 14 passes in each of the last three games. By comparison, Eric Moulds only has around five or six passes a week and catches about four of them. This offense if pretty unimaginative and relies almost solely on Andre Johnson.

Tight Ends: There is never any yardage for the tight ends really but at least both Owen Daniels and Mark Bruener have both scored twice this season.

Match Against the Defense: This could be ugly but at least Houston should be better at home this week. The rushing game has never counted for anything and it is not going to turn around this week. David Carr goes against a secondary that has been very good other than allowing Santana Moss to catch two long passes but look for one score that should end up Johnson most likely since he has such a higher volume of passes.