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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
  JAX at TEN WAS at NO STL at OAK *updated

Prediction: NYJ 20, MIN 17

Here's a coin flip game with the Jets actually a better road team than at home and the Vikings hoping that their win last week was more than just about how bad the Lions defense has become. The defense of the Vikes will keep the Jets from scoring much while the offense of the Vikes will keep themselves from scoring as well. This is a game that will hinge on one long pass or one defensive score.

Update: Chester Taylor is still listed as questionable to play and has not practiced due to his sore ribs but insists that he is playing this week and the ribs are only being given more time to heal. Based on the success of Artose Pinner last week, what is expected here is that Pinner could still have a short yardage role which is reasonable to protect Taylor's ribs from undue pounding. I am changing the projections to reflect this but Taylor could end up good enough for all the action and Pinner is by no means a safe play. But figuring on Taylor being well enough by Sunday for a full load and all inside work has at least a little risk as well.

New York Jets (7-6)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 17-14 @NE
2 17-24 NE 11 0-10 CHI
3 28-20 @BUF 12 26-11 HOU
4 28-31 IND 13 38-10 @GB
5 0-41 @JAX 14 13-31 BUF
6 20-17 MIA 15 --- @MIN
7 31-24 DET 16 --- @MIA
8 13-20 @CLE 17 --- OAK
9 Open Bye - - MON
NYJ at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 260,2
RB Cedric Houston 50 10 0
RB Leon Washington 40 20 0
TE Chris Baker 0 20 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 70,1 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 30 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 90,1 0
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jets were 7-5 and appeared to be making a run for a wildcard bid and then were swamped by the Bills despite beating them in Buffalo earlier in the season. The Jets will finish no worse than 8-8 thanks to the season ending against the visiting Raiders but two road games against good defenses will make a winning season a challenge. The Jets have stumbled this year when they face good defenses.

Quarterback: Unless Chad Pennington is facing a bad secondary like the Texans or Packers, he has struggled to reach more than 180 passing yards in any game and has scored only twice in the last four games besides those soft secondaries. What's even worse is that Pennington has thrown for two interceptions in four of the last six games.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow remained inactive last week and he was only spoken about in terms of special teams play. His time appears over this season. Cedric Houston had a nice match-up against the visiting Bills last week but only came up with 50 yards on 18 carries while Leon Washington ran for 55 on only seven carries. The Jets continue to mix in both backs but at least they have settled on just two per game.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles has scored in two of the last three games but those were both home stands - even playing the Packers on the road in week 13 only gave Coles 28 yards. Coles has three games over 100 yards and four with at least one score - all of them came at home. Oddly enough, Jerricho Cotchery has played better on the road lately and his last two scores came in Green Bay and New England. He doesn't always show up big, but if he does it typically happens on the road.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker was turning in just one catch per game but the last two weeks has seen him score once and catch six passes for 67 yards. It may only be temporary but it happened in two straight weeks.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings have been outstanding against the run this year and the Jets split carries anyway. Expect only minimal gains by either Houston and Washington this week.

Pennington will have to win this game and the Vikings secondary has been torched lately with the last three visiting quarterbacks (Brady, Favre and Leinart) all throwing for 350 yards and at least one score. Look for two passing scores by Pennington here with surprisingly good yardage that will favor both Cotchery and Coles. This could be the time when Coles finally shows up in a road game. The Vikings secondary is their weakness and goes against the only strength of the Jets' offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 26 18 15 27 27 19
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 16 2 25 5 26 28


Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
1 19-16 @WAS 10 17-23 GB
2 16-13 CAR 11 20-24 @MIA
3 16-19 CHI 12 31-26 ARZ
4 12-17 @BUF 13 13-23 @CHI
5 26-17 DET 14 30-20 @DET
6 Open Bye 15 --- NYJ
7 31-13 @SEA 16 --- @GB
8 7-31 NE 17 --- STL
9 3-9 @SF - MON THU
MIN vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 190,1
RB Chester Taylor 90,1 20 0
RB Artose Pinner 20,1 0 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 40 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 50,1 0
WR Billy McMullen 0 40 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 30 0
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Vikings pulled off a victory last week after dropping the five of the previous six games including two other AFC East opponents. The win got Brad Johnson off the hot seat at least temporarily but it was a surreal game to say the least with three scores by Artose Pinner and another rushed in by Johnson. With the Packers and Rams left on the schedule, there's still time to avoid a losing season even with a loss here but it will require the Vikings to win out in order to reach a winning season. At only 2-5 in the last seven games, that seems a very tall order.

Quarterback: After completely falling apart against the Bears, Brad Johnson held on to his starting job last week against the horrible Lions defense and completed 14 of 22 passes for 159 yards and just one interception (down from four the previous week). Johnson even ran in a score for the first time this year. Johnson has played better in most home games this season but only had 185 yards and three interceptions against the visiting Patriots.

Running Backs: In a season filled with surprises, few were as big as last week when Chester Taylor was out and the Vikings naturally had a chance to let Ciatrick Fason play. After all, Fason had gained 75 yards on 11 carries and scored once against the tough Bears defense. But instead, Fason was only given six carries and instead Artose Pinner had 29 carries for 125 yards and three scores. Previous to Sunday, Pinner had only carries in four games this year and gained just 49 yards on nine carries. His last game played was five weeks prior in San Francisco. But Pinner was gifted a chance to stick it to his ex-employer and took advantage of the depleted Lions front line.

That all said - Taylor remains the man here as verified by HC Brad Childress. Taylor missed last week with sore ribs but has vowed to play against the Jets this week. I am assuming that he does with little or no limitation but will update as needed.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts here remain almost without any fantasy value since few ever manage more than 30 yards in any game save for Marcus Robinson who is the primary wideout such as it exists. The last two weeks? Just 37 and 45 yards for Robinson with no scores.

Tight Ends: The big rushing effort last week negated the need to use Jermaine Wiggins but has been good for at least 30 yards in each of the three prior games.

Match Against the Defense: No wonder why Taylor wants to play. Pinner turned in a great game last week and the visiting Jets have one of the worst rushing defenses. Look for one score and likely over 100 yards if Taylor is healthy enough to play.

Johnson faces a secondary that has allowed almost every opponent to score but most only have one passing score. That alone is the high side for Johnson so expect moderate yardage and one touchdown. Johnson has to be extra careful now to avoid interceptions and eventually his job, so the passing numbers here will be low and just dink-and-dunk stuff.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 28 7 20 20 19 3
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 18 28 19 15 9 12