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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
Update *

Prediction: JAC 23, HOU 24

Update: Sage Rosenfels is the likely starter this week but Matt Schaub has taken some of the first team reps and HC Gary Kubiak has not ruled him out for this Monday night game. Unless you own both Rosenfels and Schaub and can afford to wait until the last minute on Monday, this is probably a situation to avoid.

Here's the battle for the AFC South cellar with both teams 4-7. The Jaguars are 3-2 on the road this year and the Texans are 3-2 at home. The Jaguars won 30-27 in week four when the Texans came to town. Just to make this a bit more surreal, this is the Monday night game.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TEN 10-17 -3 37
2 BUF 16-20 -6 38
3 @IND 23-21 +5.5 42
4 HOU 30-27 -7.5 42
5 PIT 21-26 -4 36
6 @DEN 24-17 +3.5 48
7 BYE - - -
8 CLE 17-23 -6.5 41
9 @CIN 19-21 -7.5 40
10 @DET 38-14 -6.5 44.5
11 TEN 14-24 +3 39.5
12 MIN 12-30 -2.5 40
13 @HOU - +3 48
14 @CHI - - -
15 GB - - -
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX @ HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     220,1
RB Fred Taylor 30 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 60,1 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis   40,1  
WR Dennis Northcutt   30  
WR Jerry Porter   20  
WR Matt Jones   50  
WR Reggie Williams   20  
PK Josh Scobee 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars muddle through their bad season with a two game losing streak that would be four games were it not for Detroit. This season is really not accomplishing much other than putting HC Jack Del Rio on a potential hot seat. The rushing game has stumbled forward in fits and the passing game has never taken off outside of a bit of action with Matt Jones who may be suspended in week 14. This has been a tough year and not much good is coming from it.

Quarterback: A year that started with promise has just been another ho-hum affair with the jaguars quarterback situation. The only difference between now with David Garrard and before with Byron Leftwich is that Garrard doesn't get hurt. But he has rarely been much more than a game manager and has only nine passing touchdowns on the year. His only two decent games of the year came against the Browns and Lions and otherwise, he's been good for only a score every other week and usually around 200 passing yards.

Garrard passed for 236 yards and one score against the Texans this year.

Running Backs: The Jags rushed for 98 yards on 18 carries against the visiting Texans in week four but 41 yards and a touchdown went on one play to Montell Owens. Maurice Jones-Drew only gained 32 yards on seven carries and Taylor only managed 25 yards on ten runs.

Since that game Jones-Drew has been solid with touchdowns and has 11 on the season but his yardage rarely amounts to much. Last week he had nine catches for 113 yards but in all other weeks he has been staying under 30 yards. He has offered up decent fantasy numbers with his scores and catches included and has been the primary weapon for the Jaguars.

Fred Taylor is mostly just taking up space now with no touchdowns on the season and less than 30 rushing yards in most games.

Wide Receivers: Matt Jones was the best receiver in the first meeting with the Texans when he had five receptions for 71 yards and one score. He could be suspended as early as week 14 but that has no bearing on this game. The anemic numbers in most weeks preclude any of these wideouts from having fantasy value but Reggie Williams has scored in two of the last four games even if that has come with never more than 44 yards in a game.

There is no reliable fantasy stock in this unit and few decent games by any player.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis has been much more consistent this year and really is behind only Jones as a player who has at least something every week. He hasn't scored since week five but put up around four catches for 40 yards in most games.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars have not improved as the season progressed so this is essentially the exact same team that squeaked out a home win over the Texans in week four. The Texans rush defense at home has been far better than on the road but it still has allowed six touchdowns. Figure on Jones-Drew good for at least one rushing score here and the potential for a very good game if they will continue to use him as a receiver. That saves his fantasy value and could make him into a RB2 or even a low end RB1 if they will just throw more to him. But - hard to count on with only one incident albeit successful.

Garrard had an average game last time and should bring his 200 yard, 1 TD brand of ball to Houston where Lewis stands the best shot at getting a touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 19 11 26 21 23 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    HOU 22 26 11 24 17 27


Houston Texans (4-7)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PIT 17-38 +6.5 43
2 BYE - - -
3 @TEN 12-31 +5 38.5
4 @JAX 27-30 +7.5 42
5 IND 27-31 +3 47.5
6 MIA 29-28 -3 45
7 DET 28-21 -9 48
8 CIN 35-6 -10 44-
9 @MIN 21-28 +4.5 47
10 BAL 13-41 -1.5 41.5
11 @IND 27-33 +9 50
12 @CLE 16-6 +3 50
13 JAX - -3 48
14 @GB - - -
15 TEN - - -
16 @OAK - - -
17 CHI - - -
HOU vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Sage Rosenfels     240,2
RB Steve Slaton 80,1 30  
TE Owen Daniels   50,1  
WR Andre Johnson   70,1  
WR David Anderson   20  
WR Kevin Walter   60  
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Texans win in Cleveland brought some much needed relief for the franchise that has been on a three game losing streak including losing in Minnesota and Indianapolis in games that they could have won. HC Gary Kubiak could be another candidate for the hot seat as well since the franchise has yet to get over the hump and become more than average at best. There's nothing in the remaining schedule that will be easy and this will likely be the final game where the Texans are favored this year.

Quarterback: Sage Rosenfels is the back-up but he's always been about as good as Matt Schaub when you factor in the quality of opponents. He has thrown a score in all but one of his starts and been passing in the mid-200's in most games. Matt Schaub got the benefit of playing through the only easy stretch of the season but Rosenfels is still earning his keep.

Schaub passed for 307 yards and three scores in Jacksonville this year.

Running Backs: The Texans just put Ahman Green to sleep on Injured Reserve which likely puts an end to his career that should have been over back when the Texans surprised everyone by signing the aging and fragile player to a pricey contract. At least Steven Slaton has emerged and while he has hardly been a top runner in the league, he has done well enough for fantasy owners with seven touchdowns on the season and decent yardage in most games either by running or by receiving.

The Texans totaled only 55 yards on 18 carries in Jacksonville this year and Slaton only gained 33 yards on ten carries in that game but added 83 yards on a season high eight catches.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson suffered through three straight games with 66 yards or less thanks to play MIN, IND and BAL but last week in Cleveland had him with ten receptions for 116 yards to resume his four game streak from earlier in the season. Johnson leads all wide receivers with 81 catches and his 1071 yards is also best in the NFL. But - he was held to only 38 yards on three catches while Kevin Walter turned in 76 yards on eight catches with two touchdowns in Jacksonville this season.

Walter has a way of doing well when the defense focuses too much on Johnson. He has remained at 80 yards or better for the last three weeks and scored twice. The Texans will complete the pass, the only question is if the defense forces Rosenfels to bypass Johnson for Walter. They did in Jacksonville in week four and gave Walter one of his career best games.

Tight Ends: One of the few differences between Schaub and Rosenfels is that Schaub loves to use Owen Daniels as an outlet while Rosenfels usually does not use him as much. For the last three weeks when an open target was needed, Daniels was never used for more than 28 yards in a game.

Daniels reeled in seven catches for 87 yards in Jacksonville this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars defense has not been anything special this year and even less so on the road where they have allowed opposing runners to gain 90 or more yards in most games and score a touchdown every week. Look for a good game here by Slaton but not a big one.

Rosenfels should have success against the Jags as did Schaub back in week four but a better ground game should calm down the need to pass as much. Expect two scores and moderate yardage. This is a replay game but one that Johnson should get more involved in than he was in Jacksonville.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 5 21 2 13 20 22
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 18 18 17 23 12 13

The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
 
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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