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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 8, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
GB at MIN NYJ at NE     Updated

Prediction: BAL 23, TEN 7

The Ravens now take a two game lead over the Bengals in the AFC North after their defeat of Cincinnati last week. It was a big game and the Ravens came through. The Titans had won two games in a row but went to Jacksonville last week and were drummed 37-7 with every flaw and weakness showing. Now the Titans rank 29th in points scored (120) and 31st in points allowed (216). Match that up with the Ravens only allowing 120 points this year and this game doesn't look like a change in the status quo is due.

The Titans won 25-10 when the Ravens came to Tennessee during week two of last year.

Update: David Givens is listed as questionable this week but he has practiced on both Wednesday and Thursday and appears to be ready to play this week while wearing a protective brace on his thumb. I am not adding him into the projections because he had minimal production even before he fractured his thumb but this should be his first week back. Bobby Wade is also questionable this week but he too has practiced and is expected to play.

As always, Todd Heap is questionable and has been held out of practice but that describes almost every week this year anyway. There are no reports that he won't play.

Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
1 27-0 @TB 10 --- @TEN
2 28-6 OAK 11 --- ATL
3 15-14 @CLE 12 --- PIT
4 16-13 SD 13 --- @CIN
5 3-13 @DEN 14 --- @KC
6 21-23 CAR 15 --- CLE
7 Open Bye 16 --- @PIT
8 35-22 @NO 17 --- BUF
9 26-20 CIN - THU MON
BAL at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 10 0 190,1
RB Jamal Lewis 80,1 10 0
TE Todd Heap 0 60,1 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 50 0
WR Mark Clayton 0 40 0
WR Demetrius Williams 0 20 0
PK Matt Stover 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Ravens defense is no longer as foreboding as it was earlier in the season when no one could score more than 14 points - the last three teams have all had at least 20. But the offense now under HC Brian Billick has been posting points and the defense still remains solid even if it is giving up more points lately from a harder schedule. This game certainly should not be a big challenge unless the Ravens try to mail in a win - even then they could probably win here.

Quarterback: After a couple of weeks with new offensive direction, Steve McNair hasn't really changed that much. He had his best game of the year when he went against the Saints and scored three times but last week against the Bengals only produced 245 yards and no scores. Just as importantly, McNair has not had a turnover since Jim Fassel was shown the door. McNair is just a game manager and the absence of mistakes weighs just as important as the presence of scores.

The Ravens only had 212 yards and one score against the Titans last year when Anthony Wright was the quarterback.

Running Backs: HC Brian Billick has remained true to his word - he is using the ground game more and relying almost entirely on Jamal Lewis who scored his second touchdown of the year last week. But Lewis only gained 72 yards on 24 carries against the Bengals and even his 109 yards against the Saints needed 31 carries to get there. Lewis has little burst this year and plods along at around 3.5 yards per carry this season, no matter who the opponent is. Musa Smith had 46 yards on three runs last week but he hasn't had more than three carries in the last six games.

Jamal Lewis only gained nine yards on ten carries against the Titans last year.

Wide Receivers: Mark Clayton had a season high eight catches last week for 73 yards but he only had one catch the previous week against the Saints. His role increased for one game but that's all so far. Derrick Mason only had two catches for 20 yards last week and still has yet to score a touchdown. This offense likes to throw to Heap the most and the wideouts get very little to divide up each week.

Mason had eight catches for 60 yards and one score in Tennessee last year.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap injured his ankle last week and could be limited in practice but that is nothing new for Heap who has been listed as questionable almost every week this year. Heap only has one "bad" game this year and that was back against Denver. Otherwise, he has scored in five different games and comes off a season high 84 yards on four catches last Sunday.

Heap had five catches for 56 yards against the Titans last year.

Match Against the Defense: Jamal Lewis should turn in at least moderate numbers here against one of the worst rushing defenses but at home the Titans should be better. Lewis is nothing special this year but figure on him getting enough carries to produce decent fantasy points with a good shot at a touchdown if it isn't hawked by Mike Anderson or Musa Smith.

McNair will just manage this game and the Titans always give up passing scores but rarely that much passing yardage because teams just run their way to a win against them. Expect just an average showing here by McNair but with at least one passing score that will favor, of course, Todd Heap. The defense is enough to win this game with a dash of running by Lewis.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 19 28 31 1 8 1
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 26 26 27 23 22 16


Tennessee Titans (2-6)
1 16-23 NYJ 10 --- BAL
2 7-40 @SD 11 --- @PHI
3 10-13 @MIA 12 --- NYG
4 14-45 DAL 13 --- IND
5 13-14 @IND 14 --- @HOU
6 25-22 @WAS 15 --- JAX
7 Open Bye 16 --- @BUF
8 28-22 HOU 17 --- NE
9 7-37 @JAX - - -
TEN vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 20 0 140,1
RB Travis Henry 50 0 0
RB LenDale White 20 0 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 10 0
TE Bo Scaife 0 20 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 40 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 30 0
WR Brandon Jones 0 20 0
PK Rob Bironas 0 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Just when the offense was feeling good about making progress, the Jaguars squashed any sense of accomplishment. While the Titans were able to avoid a shut out, that only happened with two minutes left to play. The Titans are going to be hard pressed to find that third win this year with a brutal stretch left to play including this week's Ravens, then the Eagles, Giants, Colts, Jaguars and Patriots left to play. The only two "easy" teams that they get are Houston and Buffalo and both of those are road games. Might be a nice time to move any Titans on your team for whatever you can get.

Quarterback: To his credit, Vince Young has scored at least one touchdown in every start this year even if it does come late in the game to prevent a shutout. But he has never had more than 163 passing yards in any game even with that ample trash time in most games. Young also has a penchant for turnovers whenever he faces a very good defense as well so expect multiple interceptions this week.

Steve McNair threw for only 195 yards and one score against the Ravens last year.

Running Backs: Regardless of his terrible showing against the Texans when he only gained 29 yards on 15 carries in week eight, the Titans continued to use Travis Henry as the primary runner and that netted only 67 yards on 19 carries last week against the Jaguars who were dropped deep defending the pass for most of the game. Lendale White is getting seven or eight carries each week and doing more with them than Henry is but the Titans have not changed the rotation yet. Henry banged up his leg last week but is expected to play on Sunday.

Travis Henry gained 62 yards on 18 carries against the Ravens last season.

Wide Receivers: The Titans are using four wideouts in every game for several weeks now and that has ensured that none of them have any reliable fantasy value. The best any Titan wideout has turned in this year is just 60 yards since Young took over and there has only been three passing scores to wideouts in that time - all to different wide receivers. Drew Bennett is about as good as it gets and even he never has more than 60 yards in any game. This is pretty much a wasteland for fantasy significance. David Givens is going to show up one of these weeks, but his thumb has kept him out so long that even when he does show up, he'll be too rusty for any expectations.

Tight Ends: If only you could rely on any one game for a true change in direction, then Bo Scaife would merit fantasy interest after his 70 yards on five catches last week but he only had three catches for 21 yards over the three previous games. It is an encouraging sign that his bump in production came when facing a tough defense as he will this week.

Match Against the Defense: Needless to say, this doesn't look very pretty. The Ravens rank #1 against running backs and have allowed only one to score a touchdown this year. Forget about Travis Henry this week who should end up with only minimal rushing yardage and will split with White to some degree anyway.

Young goes against a secondary that has been giving up yards and scores lately but Young is hardly in the same category as Drew Brees or Carson Palmer. Look for no more than one passing score that can keep Young's streak alive even if it takes 58 minutes in the game to happen again. That should strongly favor one of the four wideouts Young will use. Scaife had a big game last week but he faces the #2 defense against tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 25 25 29 14 31 19
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 12 1 17 2 6 3