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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: HOU 10, OAK 17

This game means that someone gets to stop their three game losing slide. And the other gets their fourth loss in a row. The Texans are only 1-3 on the road with their lone win away was way back with all players healthy including Andre Johnson. The Raiders are only 1-2 at home and have been struggling to score points lately. This would be a coin flip game but tips toward the healthier home team.

The Texans won 23-14 in Oakland last year.

Update: Matt Schaub remains out this week while he recovers from his concussion. While I am not changing the projections, be aware that Andre Johnson again went through limited practice this week and has not been ruled out but don't count on relying on him until after the bye next week. Andre Davis has also been limited in practice with his bruised chest but will play this week. Lastly, Joe Echemandu has been limited in practice this week as well from what is described as a deep contusion in his hamstring. I am not adding him in either but he has not been officially counted out. Ahman Green was held out of Wednesday practiced but returned on Thursday for very limited work. I am not adding him either. Owen Daniels was also held out on Wednesday and then limited on Thursday from his sprained ankle. Since it is a high ankle sprain, I do not expect him to play this week.

The Texans offense is littered with injuries and really need this upcoming bye week to heal up. If you need one of the above players, check the Sunday inactives just in case but lower any expectations if they do play.

Josh McCown has been given back his starting job this week and has been added to the projections. The Raiders have limited Ronald Curry in practice as a precaution because of his sprained foot and he is expected to play

Houston Texans (3-5)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 KC 20-3 +3 38
2 @CAR 34-21 +6.5 39
3 IND 24-30 + 6 47.5
4 @ATL 16-26 -2.5 39.5
5 MIA 22-19 -5.5 43
6 @JAC 17-37 +7 37
7 TEN 38-36 OFF OFF
8 @SD 10-35 +11 45
9 @OAK   +3 41.5
10 BYE - - -
11 NO 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @CLE 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @TEN 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 TB 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 DEN 13-Dec THU 8:15 PM
16 @IND 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 JAC 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
HOU at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Sage Rosenfels     180
RB Ron Dayne 80,1 10  
TE Jeb Putzier   10  
WR Andre Davis   40  
WR Jacoby Jones   30  
WR Kevin Walter   80  
PK Kris Brown 1 XP 1 FG  
Pregame Notes: The Texans started the year at 3-2 but the last three weeks have been losses not only on the scoreboard but for injuries as well. The bye next week comes at a great time and there is hope that even Andre Johnson will be back afterwards but for now the Texans are limping into this match-up that they won last year. The Ahman Green acquisition in the offseason seems to be every bit as ill-fated as relying on an injury-prone 30-year old back would seem to be (though that escaped Gary Kubiak for some reason). Strides have been made this year but retooling in the offseason is needed to make this team a contender. That and keeping at least most of the players healthy.

Quarterback: After getting knocked out of the Jacksonville game, Matt Schaub was a warrior for returning the next week and was rewarded with such a crash to his helmet that he was briefly hospitalized after the game and is still having headaches. I am projecting for Sage Rosenfels to start this week though it is not official yet. It just seems very, very prudent. Rosenfels came in last week and threw for 176 yards and one score in San Diego but the game was already well in hand by that point.

Schaub or Rosenfels should have a much better time against the Raiders than Carr did last year. He only threw for a total of 32 passing yards and two interceptions.

Running Backs: Ahman Green missed last week with a bruised knee that continues to swell up and the Texans opted to give one-time practice player Joe Echemandu a crack at playing time. He responded well with ten carries for 62 yards and he ran with authority and power. He also ran into a hamstring strain which could impact his ability to play this week. I am projecting for Ron Dayne to start this week since he is last man standing but will update depending on who is healthy enough to play this week.

Dayne rushed for 95 yards against the Raiders last year.

Wide Receivers: Playing without Schaub this week decreases expectations here and they should be lowered anyway. Andre Davis has only had a total of four catches for 36 yards over the last two road games and yet 8 catches for 177 yards in the last two home games. Jacoby Jones has only been back for two weeks but had a season high last week of only 51 yards on five receptions and he has never scored. Kevin Walter is the player that plays better on the road but he has only scored once this year. The Raiders have a very good secondary and plenty good enough with Rosenfels playing to make this a lower effort from the wideouts this week.

Tight Ends: Adding onto the offensive woes is Owen Daniels who suffered a high ankle sprain last week. Pending good information that I am not expecting, consider Daniels as likely out this week at least and for Jeb Putzier to supply his traditional one catch per game.

Match Against the Defense: The great news here is that the Raiders are horrible at stopping the run and have already given up ten rushing touchdowns this season. The bad news is that the Texans don't appear to have a healthy running back outside of Ron Dayne. Whoever is the running back should have a far better game than usual but with the Texans that still doesn't mean a lot.

Rosenfels faces a top notch secondary that has not allowed more than 177 passing yards in any of their last four games and that has only given up three scores total in the last six games. There should be one score here but that is more likely going to be a rushing touchdown and likely minimal yardage from Rosenfels.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 8 25 8 11 7 12
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 3 31 3 16 20 26


Oakland Raiders (3-5)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 21-36 -1 39
2 @DEN 20-23 +10 37.5
3 CLE 26-24 +3 40.5
4 @MIA 35-17 +3.5 40
5 BYE - - -
6 @SD 14-28 +9.5 44
7 KC 10-12 -3 37.5
8 @TEN 9-13 +7 41
9 HOU   -3 41.5
10 CHI 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 @MIN 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @KC 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 DEN 2-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
14 @GB 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 IND 16-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
16 @JAC 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 SD 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
OAK vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 200,1
QB Josh McCown     220,1
RB Lamont Jordan 50 20  
RB Justin Fargas 60,1 20  
TE Zach Miller   40  
WR Jerry Porter   40  
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins   20  
WR Ronald Curry   60,1  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Raiders are only 2-5 but for the want of a field goal in a few games they could be 5-2. The last two losses both came by that low margin in games that were played well by the defense but Daunte Culpepper evidently used all his magic in the Miami game. The Raiders are starting to transition already by having Jamarcus Russell dress out as the #3 quarterback last week and they just released Mike Williams despite having almost no receiver depth. This week is easily the best chance the Raiders have for a win for the rest of the season. Easily.

Quarterback: Though Josh McCown is improving, the Raiders are sticking with Daunte Culpepper as the starter even though the season is going in a death spiral now. Jamarcus Russell will show up at some point but "not yet" according to HC Lane Kiffen. Culpepper has only thrown for two scores in the last two games and now topped 230 yards in any game. He has also been losing one or two interceptions in most games but this week should be better against a softer Texans team.

Running Backs: Dominic Rhodes' life as a Raiders running back has been brief and should be over no later than the end of the season if not sooner. Rhodes only gained 21 yards on seven carries and has been demoted in favor of Justin Fargas who ran well against the Titans when he gained 61 yards on 12 carries and added three catches for 36 yards.

Lamont Jordan is losing his grip on the starting spot with poor play for the last three weeks. He comes off the Titans game with only 16 yards on 12 carries and only produced 29 yards on 11 runs against the Chiefs. He is still considered the starter but Fargas has been getting the promotions and more productive work. For this week, expect an even share between Jordan and Fargas which could become more Fargas if Jordan continues his unproductive ways.

Wide Receivers: With Culpepper at the helm, the best any wideout has done in the last three weeks was when Ronald Curry gained 73 yards against the Chargers. He also had the only passing score to a wideout from Culpepper these last few weeks though Jerry Porter did score twice against the Dolphins before crawling back under his 50 yard per game rock. Curry remains a marginal fantasy start because he usually has 60 or so yards most weeks but no one here can be relied on to score.

Tight Ends: Zach Miller still has some production even with Culpepper but he only has one score on the year and usually rings in less than 20 yards most weeks.

Match Against the Defense: The Texans rushing defense has been getting worse as the season progresses in part because of the losses promoting their opponents to have more carries per game. Expect a rushing score here but it could go to either Jordan, Fargas or even Culpepper.

The Texans have an average pass defense that has been weaker against tight ends. Given the home venue, I like Culpepper to continue his standard of one touchdown pass that should favor either Curry or Miller. The passing yardage will not be high and neither will the scoring in this game.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 17 11 22 24 27 21
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 14 23 13 26 32 27

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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