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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 6, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Nite
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   SEA at ARZ *updated

Prediction: TEN 20, HOU 17

This should be just another game between two also-rans but the recent comebacks by the Titans have certainly energized the team and made them start to appreciate their first draft pick. The Titans are just 2-4 on the road but have won their last three games. The Texans come off a win in Oakland that almost defies explanation other than the Raiders have even worse luck than the Texans have. Houston is only 2-3 at home this year. A coin flip game to be sure, but a team that can beat the Giants and Colts in successive weeks deserves a bit of respect. At least more than for a team that can beat the Raiders while passing for only -5 yards.

The Titans already beat the Texans 28-22 in Tennessee back in week eight of this season.

Tennessee Titans (5-7)
1 16-23 NYJ 10 26-27 BAL
2 7-40 @SD 11 31-13 @PHI
3 10-13 @MIA 12 24-21 NYG
4 14-45 DAL 13 20-17 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 at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 60,1 0 210,1
RB Travis Henry 50 10 0
TE Bo Scaife 0 30 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 50,1 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 40 0
WR Brandon Jones 0 50 0
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Rob Bironas hit a game-winning 60-yard field goal to beat the Colts last week and that makes two games in a row that he has trotted on for the winning kick. His field goal also places him as just the sixth player in NFL history to make a field goal from 60 yards or longer. Add that into Vince Young really playing well and the Titans have to be far more excited than a 5-7 team has the right to be. With games against the Jaguars and Patriots looming, this winning streak needs to continue while it still can. Then again - they did just beat the best record team in the NFL.

Quarterback: Vince Young has been the talk around the league lately and for good reasons. He is 5-4 as a starter on what should be a very bad offense and has thrown for two touchdowns in each of the last two games. Plus he is running the ball far better than anyone not named Vick. Young went against two quality opponents in the Giants and Colts and led big comebacks to win both games. He threw for 249 yards against the Giants and had 163 yards last week. He also has rushed 19 times for 147 yards and one score over those two games.

Young leads all quarterbacks with four rushing scores and his 373 rushing yards are second only to Michael Vick. This week will be a challenge because for all his impressive play lately, those games happened at home. On the road this year he has never had more than one passing score or more than 163 passing yards.

Young threw for just 87 yards and one score in the previous game against the Texans and he ran for 44 yards and a touchdown as well.

Running Backs: Travis Henry has been running strong for the last month and gained 93 yards on 20 carries against the Colts last week. His last two efforts over 100 yards (WAS, IND) were both on the road and he scored once in each. LenDale White was able to play last week despite his hip injury but he re-aggravated it after just four carries and ended up on the sideline. I am assuming that White does not play this week and that Henry will take all the significant work.

Henry only gained 29 yards on 15 carries against the Texans this year and LenDale White ran seven times for 35 yards.

Wide Receivers: While Drew Bennett and Brandon Jones both scored last week, those came on their only catches in the game. Young spreads the ball around so much that none of these wideouts have reliable numbers from week to week though Drew Bennett is the closest in terms of yardage and Brandon Jones has scored in both of the last two games. There's no real development here other than Jones being a new factor in the redzone. Bobby Wade occasionally has a nice game but all four wideouts will rotate in during a game.

Bobby Wade caught the lone touchdown pass in the previous meeting but no wideout had more than 30 receiving yards.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife is about as good as it gets for the Titans and with around 30 yards in most games he's about the most consistently productive receiver even though he only has two scores on the year. Ben Hartsock had one catch for 16 yards last week as a replacement for Ben Troupe - that's about what Troupe would have done.

The tight ends combined for only 27 yards on three catches in the last meeting with the Texans.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans have come a long way since week eight when these teams last met but the Texans at home have always been at least decent against the run and only allowed two visitors to score via the rush. The recent success of Young should help Henry get more room, but it won't likely be more than 80 yards or so in the best case unless this game goes exceedingly well. Young has the better shot at a rushing score this week.

The Texans secondary has been bad this year and there's no reason why Young cannot remain above 200 yards this week with at least one touchdown if not two. As it usually works out, the Texans are better against the run at home and force more teams to pass but Young is progressively improving.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 12 24 28 14 30 14
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 25 22 18 4 13 24


Houston Texans (4-8)
1 10-24 PHI 10 13-10 @JAX
2 24-43 @IND 11 21-24 BUF
3 15-31 WAS 12 11-26 @NYJ
4 17-15 MIA 13 23-14 @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 TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 10 0 210,1
RB Wali Lundy 40 30 0
RB Ron Dayne 60,1 10 0
TE Owen Daniels 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 100,1 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 40 0
WR Kevin Walter 0 10 0
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Texans continues their trend of lose two, win one when they took down the Raiders. Actually they more stood to the side and let the Raiders do it to themselves but that should be the game plan when visiting Oakland. After playing in five road games in the last six weeks, the Texans finally return home with only one trip to New England left on the slate. The only consistency here is that the Texans rarely do the same thing twice (except for lose) and this week is likely their only chance for actual back-to-back wins this season.

Quarterback: Nothing like going from a season best game of 321 yards against the Jets to turning in just 32 yards last week in Oakland that was really a net of a five yard loss when the sack yardage was deducted. David Carr had a score against the Jets in week 12 but that was his lone passing score in the last six weeks. In most weeks he's ending up just under 200 yards in a game though he has been over than mark in every home game. The oddity in the Texans scheduling was that they had six road games in the last eight weeks. Carr has been largely ineffective for the last two months but his schedule had at least partial blame for the downturn.

The previous meeting with the Titans in week eight was when David Carr played for one half and lost the ball three times and Sage Rosenfels came in and had three touchdowns in the second half.

Running Backs: Wali Lundy scored his fourth touchdown of the year last week but he only had nine carries for 33 yards because HC Gary Kubiak is back to playing musical chairs with the backfield. Samkon Gado did not play last week and Ron Dayne returned to gain 95 yards on 18 carries. That performance will likely stick with Kubiak who has a short memory and won't recall that Dayne's previous two efforts ended up with 10 carries for 14 yards in Dallas and five carries for 16 yards against these Titans.

Lundy ran for 116 yards on 18 carries in Tennessee this year. Dayne only managed 16 yards. I am assuming that these two will mix again this week but with Kubiak, the only safe bet is that Lundy is not longer a safe bet.

Wide Receivers: Disregarding that Andre Johnson only managed to gain nine yards on one catch last week, he had been good for at least 60 yards in most games and caught nine passes for 78 yards against the Titans in week eight. Moulds only had 35 yards on three receptions in that game. That level of production is more common for both and their better games have happened when at home. Johnson has four 100 yard games this year - all came in Houston.

Tight Ends: The decline of Owen Daniels was completed last week when he had no catches in Oakland but he went nuts in the previous meeting against the Titans when he had nine catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans rush defense has been poor this year even if most runners do not have big yardage games against them. Most teams do run in at least one score though. Look for the probable duo of Lundy and Dayne to combine for around 100 yards and score once. I will credit that touchdown to Dayne but with Kubiak in control, it may end up as Gado coming in for one play.

Projecting for Carr is a challenge since he was pulled from the last game with the Titans and yet he passed for games of 321 and 32 yards in successive weeks. Splitting the difference, expect a moderate game with one score to Johnson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 16 29 21 13 28 28
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 28 27 30 26 20 14