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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 29, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
ATL at WAS MIN at CHI   TB at PIT Updated

Prediction: JAX 17, MIA 13

This game now looks far more competitive than it seemed a month ago. The Dolphins have won their last four games and are on a roll again this year. The Jaguars two of their last three and are only 1-4 on the road this year. This should be a defining game for both teams for what to expect for the rest of the season.

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5)
1 24-17 DAL 10 10-13 HOU
2 9-0 PIT 11 26-10 NYG
3 14-21 @IND 12 24-27 @BUF
4 30-36 @WAS 13 --- @MIA
5 41-0 NYJ 14 --- IND
6 Open Bye 15 --- @TEN
7 7-27 @HOU 16 --- NE
8 13-6 @PHI 17 --- @KC
9 37-7 TEN - - MON
JAX at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 30 0 180,1
RB Fred Taylor 60 0 0
RB Maurice Drew 40,1 30 0
TE George Wrighster 0 30,1 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 40 0
WR Ernest Wilford 0 50 0
WR Matt Jones 0 30 0
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars have fallen to 6-5 and now almost have to win out to hope for a wild card this year. With remaining match-ups with the Colts, Patriots and Chiefs, they cannot afford to allow a winnable game like this get past but there is no denying that the Jaguars on the road have consistently struggled. The rushing game has been solid and kept the Jags in most match-ups but the passing game just hasn't been good enough to get the lead back, especially on the road.

Quarterback: So far David Garrard has only started in two road games this year and he only managed passing yardage of 87 and 132 yards in those match-ups. He did score twice last week but that came in a loss. Garrard has never thrown for more than 249 yards in a game and never had more than 177 yards in any game that also had him scoring.

Running Backs: The Jaguars feature one of the best rushing games in the NFL but it takes both Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. Taylor comes off his first 100 yard game in the last five weeks but he only scored one touchdown in that time and is almost never a part of the passing game. Jones-Drew has scored in each of the last three games and while his rushing yardage usually trails Taylor's, Jones-Drew always turns in at least two receptions every week if not four or five. Jones-Drew has the better fantasy value thanks to the scoring and receiving but if just one back took the whole load he could be among the elite in the NFL - if he held up. The Jags have run over 30 times in each of the last two games.

Wide Receivers: No Jaguars wideout has managed a 100 yard game this year and none have come even remotely close without Leftwich as the starter. Matt Jones finally recorded his first touchdown on the year but had only two catches for eight yards. Ernest Wilford had been the best wideout with Garrard as the starter but he had a sprained ankle that limited him last week. There have only been five times that a Jaguar wideout has scored in a game this entire year - it's mostly about rushing here.

Tight Ends: George Wrighster had 33 yards last week and 54 yards the previous game but those numbers dwarf what he had been doing. He can be a factor in the passing game but typically is not.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins have been outstanding against the run this year but then again they have hardly faced the top runners in the league. Chester Taylor just had two scores in Miami two weeks ago and Larry Johnson scored once. Look for the duo of Taylor and Jones-Drew to combine for around 100 rushing yards and score once. Jones-Drew could have a nice game here if they will use him as a receiver much because the Dolphins have played against almost no backs that catch the ball.

Garrard faces a very good pass defense that is markedly better at home. They have only allowed four passing scores to road opponents this year and Garrard is hardly lighting the world on fire with his passing. If there is a passing score, it will favor Wrighster but the passing yards should remain no higher than 200 if that.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAX 20 2 25 19 6 26
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 8 4 9 24 14 22


Miami Dolphins (5-6)
1 17-28 @PIT 10 13-10 KC
2 6-16 BUF 11 24-20 MIN
3 13-10 TEN 12 27-10 @DET
4 15-17 @HOU 13 --- JAX
5 10-20 @NE 14 --- NE
6 17-20 @NYJ 15 --- @BUF
7 24-34 GB 16 --- NYJ
8 Open Bye 17 --- @IND
9 31-13 @CHI - MON THU
MIA vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 200,1
RB Sammy Morris 60 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 20 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 40 0
WR Marty Booker 0 60,1 0
WR Wes Welker 0 50 0
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins are on a roll again just like 2005 with a four game winning streak that included wins over the Bears and Chiefs. But Ronnie Brown has a fractured hand and unlike 2005 when the Fins had both Ricky Williams and Brown down the stretch, now it will be Sammy Morris. That may work well against the Lions but the Jaguars defense should prove more challenging. The remaining schedule remains tough too with match-ups against the Pats and Colts.

Quarterback: Joey Harrington finally got a bit of revenge over Thanksgiving when he threw for 213 yards and three touchdowns against his old team of the Lions. He undoubtedly enjoyed the many defensive injuries that prevented the Lions from mounting much of a pass rush. Recall too that Harrington had a three touchdown game against the Bears on the road as well - just matches up well with the NFC North for some reason. But the Jaguars will be bringing in a very good defense this week and Harrington has struggled more against teams that can defend the pass and apply a pass rush - excluding Chicago in the trap game of the season.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown fractured his hand last week and the injury should keep him out at least for this game. He was having a nice game against the Lions with 68 yards on 15 carries and after he left, Sammy Morris gained 91 yards on just 12 carries. Ronnie Brown is out this week and potentially longer with a fractured hand which leaves Sammy Morris as the starter. That's probably not ideal but it's the best the Dolphins have.

Wide Receivers: The games just keep getting worse for Chris Chambers despite being the primary target each week. Chambers only had two catches for 23 yards in Detroit and he still has yet to gain more than 66 yards in any game. Harrington loves to throw to him but the defenses are well aware of the trend. Marty Booker had a season high 115 yards and two scores in Detroit but he has been as low as 14 yards in a game and usually turns in sub-50 yard efforts. Wes Welker is still about the best bet each week because he is consistently around 40 or 50 yards.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael continues to do less each week and was down to only three catches for 25 yards in Detroit. He has only scored once this year.

Match Against the Defense: Sammy Morris will face one of the better rushing defenses in the league this week that should allow him no more than moderate yardage. The Jaguars are getting desperate while the Fins are enjoying another great stretch. That should play into the Jags putting up a better rush defense than what the Fins have encountered lately.

Harrington has only played in three road games and only scored once in the last two when facing decent visiting defenses of the Chiefs and Vikings. The Jaguars have not allowed a passing score in the last two road games but Harrington could manage one score here with around 200 passing yards. The Jaguars have no real weaknesses in the secondary other than CB Brian Williams missing last week with a hamstring injury. That makes Booker the most likely to catch a score here - if it happens.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 19 25 12 15 19 5
Preventing Fantasy Points JAX 5 6 4 11 6 5