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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 15, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
CIN at NO PIT at CLE     updated

Prediction: BUF 13, HOU 17

The Bills came close to pulling an upset in Indy, at least that's what the Colts wanted you to think, but they are only 1-4 on the road this year. The Texans come off their second win over the Jaguars this season but otherwise it's been business as usual in Houston. One thing is for sure - this game should be starved for points since both teams are in the bottom five of the league for points scored this year. The Texans have won their last two home games and should manage to stay ahead in this game.

The Bills won 22-7 when they hosted the Texans in week one last year.

Buffalo Bills (3-6)
1 17-19 @NE 10 16-17 @IND
2 16-6 @MIA 11 --- @HOU
3 20-28 NYJ 12 --- JAX
4 17-12 MIN 13 --- SD
5 7-40 @CHI 14 --- @NYJ
6 17-20 @DET 15 --- MIA
7 6-28 NE 16 --- TEN
8 Open Bye 17 --- @BAL
9 24-10 GB - - -
BUF at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 0 0 160
RB Anthony Thomas 90,1 10 0
TE Robert Royal 0 20 0
WR Peerless Price 0 40 0
WR Lee Evans 0 60 0
WR Roscoe Parrish 0 20 0
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bills needed a defensive score last week to make a game of it in Indianapolis since the offense was unable to cross the goal line. The passing game is in a shambles and the rushing game without McGahee is even less effective. This week is a coin flip because one surprise big play could shift the game one way or the other but the Houston offense has been improving while the Bills are in decline.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman has been in decline since week six when he had 207 yards and two scores against the Lions but the good news is that the successive decreases are bound to end this week. He's bound to increase his production if only because he had a mere 83 passing yards last week. He only had 102 against the Packers the previous week. If Losman could just connect on a decent long pass he would likely double his game stats. He only has one score in the last three games and has lost any shred of fantasy value he may have once had.

Losman threw for 170 yards and one score against the Texans last year.

Running Backs: Anthony Thomas replaced the injured Willis McGahee last Sunday and while he had 109 yards - second best for the team this year - it required 28 carries and came in a losing effort. Thomas had a long run of 19 yards but was unable to score. I am assuming that McGahee will not play this week but will update if warranted.

McGahee gained 117 yards when the Texans visited Buffalo in 2005.

Wide Receivers: When the quarterback has been hovering around 100 passing yards for the last couple of games, it is safe to say that the wideouts are pretty disappointing here. Lee Evans somehow managed to produce 70 yards on five catches last week. Outside of Evans, there has been almost no production from this unit. Losman doesn't even like to look at them in the locker room either. Josh Reed was out last week but his replacement Roscoe Parrish never even had a pass thrown to him. I am projecting for Reed to miss another week but for Parrish to sub in and do little.

Evans had 68 yards and no scores against the Texans last year.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal was finally able to break out of his one catch for ten yard pattern last week when he failed to catch the only pass thrown to him.

Match Against the Defense: Houston may have a poor ranking against quarterbacks, but that mainly stems from getting shredded by McNabb and Manning to start the year - they have been much better as the year progresses. Losman has been horrible lately and wouldn't post much against the worse secondary, let alone an average one. Expect no passing score here though a bomb to Evans is always possible.

McGahee should still be out with his broken ribs so Anthony Thomas faces a defense that has only allowed three runners to top 100 rushing yards but nine different tailbacks have scored against them. Look for one score and moderate yardage this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 31 28 19 32 22 14
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 23 29 7 8 10 23


Houston Texans (3-6)
1 10-24 PHI 10 13-10 @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 27-7 JAX 16 --- IND
8 22-28 @TEN 17 --- CLE
9 10-14 @NYG - - -
HOU vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 170,1
RB Wali Lundy 100,1 0 0
RB Samkon Gado 30 10 0
TE Owen Daniels 0 30 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 30 0
WR Kevin Walter 0 10 0
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The good news is that the Texans have some magic every time they play the Jaguars. The bad news is that the magic never works on the other 30 NFL teams. More bad news is that OT Zach Wiegert will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and the Texans had numerous players injured last week. Even the rookie Mario Williams is struggling to play with plantar fasciitis. But back at home the Texans play the best (non-JAX games that is) and the road Bills should allow the always rare back-to-back wins.

Quarterback: David Carr only threw for 167 yards in the win over the Jaguars and suffered a shoulder contusion that has been called "week to week". He can still throw but he doesn't have the needed power so far. I will project for a slightly limited Carr to play this week and will update as needed. Carr had a hot start to the season but hasn't thrown a touchdown or had more than 176 yards in the last three games.

Carr opened the 2005 season by only throwing for 70 yards against the Bills.

Running Backs: While Wali Lundy did score for only the second time this year (for all Texans running backs no less), he only gained 34 yards on 16 carries against the Jaguars rather unlike the 93 yards (and the only other touchdown) he gained when the Jaguars came to Houston three weeks prior. In this meeting, Lundy gave way to Samkon Gado for most of the second half and Gado ended with 67 yards on 17 carries as the Texans tried to protect their lead and run down the clock with inside runs. HC Gary Kubiak showed confidence in Gado by using him on a successful fourth and inches late in the game to lock up the win. While Kubiak could return to a sharing scenario again, chalk that ratio last week up to the game situation. Lundy remains the starter here and as long as he runs well, he'll keep Gado on the bench.

The Texans only rushed for 48 yards in Buffalo last season.

Wide Receivers: While Andre Johnson comes off his worst game of the year (3-56), he clearly remains the primary wideout here that has a team leading four receiving touchdowns and four efforts over 100 yards already. In most games you divide Johnson's production by three or four and that is what the second best receiver will produce for the week. Eric Moulds has not exceeded 35 yards in a game for the last four weeks. Kevin Walter has never been over 28 yards in any game this season.

Tight Ends: While no other wideout matters outside of Andre Johnson, the same is not true for tight ends. Owen Daniels turned in 55 yards on four catches last week to continue his surprising rookie season. If Johnson is not open, Carr typically looks to Daniels next.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills are soft against the run so look for a decent game here by Wali Lundy that should result in one score and nice yardage. Buffalo has allowed at least one score in each of the last three road games and big yardage efforts to each road opponent.

Carr is banged up and hasn't been that effective lately anyway. Look for him to throw for one score since every opponent of the Bills this season had at least one. The passing yardage will struggle to reach even a moderate level if Carr plays to his typical level lately. The touchdown favors Andre Johnson this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 9 31 22 8 28 32
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 12 30 22 16 8 22