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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 14
December 6, 2006
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday Nite
CLE at PIT IND at JAX TEN at HOU BUF at NYJ NO at DAL
Sunday
MIN at DET OAK at CIN
Monday
ATL at TB NE at MIA PHI at WAS GB at SF CHI at STL
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   SEA at ARZ *updated

Prediction: IND 23, JAX 20

The Colts stumbled and lost their second game in a match-up they should have won had they not faced the NFL's newest comeback machine of the Titans. The loss now drops them to 10-2 and tied with the Chargers for the best record in the AFC. The Jaguars come off a solid win over the Dolphins but the loss in Buffalo the previous week meant that 7-5 on the season cannot be more than a possible wildcard. Now Indy needs this game as well to stay abreast with the Chargers and since San Diego has two AFC losses, the Colts must win because they only have one and tie breakers could end up being used. More than anything, we can all thank the fantasy gods for making Peyton and company keep playing full speed until the end.

The Colts won 21-14 when they hosted the Jaguars back in week three.

Indianapolis Colts (10-2)
1 26-21 @NYG 10 17-16 BUF
2 43-24 HOU 11 14-21 @DAL
3 21-14 JAX 12 45-21 PHI
4 31-28 @NYJ 13 17-20 @TEN
5 14-13 TEN 14 --- @JAX
6 Open Bye 15 --- CIN
7 36-22 WAS 16 --- @HOU
8 34-31 @DEN 17 --- MIA
9 27-20 @NE - - MON
IND at JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 300,2
RB Dominic Rhodes 30 30 0
RB Joseph Addai 40 10 0
TE Ben Utecht 0 20 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 110,1 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 30,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 80 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: This could be a defining game, at least if the Colts lose. They will take the division no sweat and lock that up this week with a win. The remaining schedule - CIN, @HOU and MIA - should not prove as challenging as this game if only because the Bengals will be playing as the visitors. A big, solid win here says that last week was just one "oops" on the season and that all is fine. A loss here give the Chargers home field advantage and says that all those close wins by the Colts this year maybe were closer than they seemed.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning is now tied with Carson Palmer for most touchdown passes with 22 and his 3315 passing yards rank second behind only Drew Brees this year. Manning threw for 219 yards and one score against the Jags in week three and also ran in one score. Manning had been scoring multiple touchdowns in each away game until last week and in the last two road trips - both losses - he threw two interceptions in each.

Running Backs: The high from his monster four touchdown game against the Eagles didn't last long. Joseph Addai only gained 56 yards on 16 carries in Tennessee while Dominic Rhodes had the touchdown run on only 12 carries for 39 yards. Plus now Rhodes is used more in the passing game with at least three catches in each of the last four games. Addai only had one catch last week and just four over the last three games. This continues to be a split but Rhodes has not stopped hawking yards or scores from Addai.

Joseph and Rhodes combined for just 63 yards against the Jaguars this year and neither scored.

Wide Receivers: After several small games in recent weeks, Marvin Harrison came to life last week with a season high 172 yards on seven catches with one touchdown - his first since week nine. That touchdown catch was the 100th between him and Manning though the Colts were not in a celebratory mood after the loss. Reggie Wayne comes off one of his worst efforts of the year with just 57 yards on three catches and no scores. But Wayne ranks third in the NFL with 1019 receiving yards while Harrison's big game propelled him to fourth best with 993 yards on the year. Wayne is tied for the lead with eight touchdowns on the season.

Brandon Stokley returned last week but only caught one pass for eight yards. It was his first action since week five.

Harrison had six catches for 94 yards and Wayne gained 82 yards on four receptions when the Jaguars visited in week three.

Tight Ends: With Clark out last week, the tight ends did little with Ben Utecht only turning in one catch for 18 yards. The return of Stokley will come at the expense of the tight ends, if it amounts to anything.

Clark caught the lone Colts passing score the last time he faced the Jaguars but that was on his only catch in the game.

Match Against the Defense: Matching up this game is interesting since these teams know each other well and both have motivations to win here. The Colts in Tennessee were underwhelming but the same team in Denver was awe-inspiring. I am expecting the Colts to take the gloves off this week as they did in Denver because they cannot take anything for granted.

The Jags rush defense at home has only allowed two runners to score this year and most end up with 60 yards or less. That spells trouble for a team that splits carries anyway. Look for nothing more than moderate yardage here that could go lower more likely than higher.

Manning threw for 324 yards and two scores in Jacksonville last year and such an effort is in order again. The Jaguars are highly rated across the board but Manning is going to have to make the difference this week and make Wayne and Harrison beat the talented corners of Jacksonville. If Stokley was to show up again in any game, this should be the one. I am projecting for Harrison as the most likely to score and for Stokley to grab a catch in the endzone as well. But Wayne should and will factor in as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 3 9 5 6 4 22
Preventing Fantasy Points JAX 5 3 5 10 4 5

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5)
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 24-10 @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 vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 0 0 200
RB Fred Taylor 90,1 0 0
RB Maurice Drew 60,1 50 0
TE George Wrighster 0 10 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 40 0
WR Ernest Wilford 0 30 0
WR Matt Jones 0 50 0
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The win over the Dolphins showed the Jaguars could win on the road but what they have yet to show is that they can win against the Colts. At 7-5, the Jaguars can barely afford any losses if a wildcard trip is in store and the last two weeks against the Patriots and Chiefs won't be easy. Garrard is looking better these last couple of weeks and the running game is sound if not spectacular. The only question here - is the defense Manning good?

Quarterback: After only scoring in one of his first four games, David Garrard has thrown for two scores in each of the last two games - and both on the road. He's never had more than 249 passing yards in a game because the rushing attack has been good enough in most games. Garrard is starting to connect with Matt Jones lately and that makes the offense far more effective.

Leftwich was still the quarterback when the Jags went to Indianapolis in week three and he had 107 passing yards with one passing touchdown and another rushing score.

Running Backs: Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 103 yards on just 13 carries against the Colts while Fred Taylor added 74 yards on 21 runs but neither runner scored that week. Jones-Drew added 32 yards on four catches and scored on a catch. Taylor has continued to provide around those 70 rushing yards while Drew-Jones has scored in each of the last four games. He's become the goal line back and remains a force in the passing game as well.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts here have not had a great year but at least Matt Jones has finally begun to click with Garrard. Jones has scored in both of the last two games and comes off a career best 128 yards on six catches against the Dolphins. Reggie Williams has also turned it up lately but only in the sense that he no longer has just one catch per week. Now he has four or five for around 40 yards. The trio combined won't normally equal what Harrison or Wayne can do for the Colts, but Garrard is showing progress with them.

Wilford led the Jags wideouts with 32 yards on three catches.

Tight Ends: George Wrighster recorded his third score of the year last week but only had one catch for 16 yards. He'll occasionally turn in up to 50 yards in a week but not consistently enough to warrant a fantasy start.

Match Against the Defense: Bob Sanders returned last week but Travis Henry still had 93 yards - though much less than he had in Indy previously. The Colts rush defense is improved with him there but the Jaguars use Taylor and Jones-Drew to combine for one of the most devastating rushing attacks in the league. Expect a heavy dose of running here for as long as the Jaguars can get away with it. That is what the Jags do best, what the Colts defense least and it keeps Manning off the field.

Garrard is usually just a support to the running game and that should happen again this week. Look for moderate yardage but a score is more likely to happen with Taylor or Jones-Drew.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAX 17 2 22 19 6 24
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 11 28 2 14 5 7