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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*Updated

Prediction: HOU 17, MIA 23

Both these teams have playoff aspirations and one will not by Monday. At 7-7, they both trail the Ravens and Broncos at 8-6 and there are four other 7-7 teams. A win here doesn't necessarily mean anything but a loss definitely does. The Texans are 4-3 in road games this year and the Dolphins are 4-2 at home. The Texans are on a two game winning streak.

The Texans beat the visiting Dolphins 29-28 in Houston last year.

Houston Texans (7-7)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 7-24 -4.5 44
2 @TEN 34-31 +7 40.5
3 JAC 24-31 -4 46.5
4 OAK 29-6 -9.5 41
5 @ARI 21-28 +5.5 48
6 @CIN 28-17 +5.5 46
7 SF 24-21 -3 44.5
8 @BUF 31-10 -3.5 42
9 @IND 17-20 +9 48
10 BYE - - -
11 TEN 17-20 -4 48.5-
12 IND 27-35 +3 48
13 @JAC 18-23 +1 47.5
14 SEA 34-7 -7 44.5
15 @STL 16-13 -14 43.5
16 @MIA - +3 45
17 NE - - -
HOU at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     250,2
RB Ryan Moats 40 20  
WR Andre' Johnson   100,1  
WR Kevin Walter   50  
WR Jacoby Jones   30,1  
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Winning out won't guarantee anything besides the first winning season in the history of the Texans franchise - that's gotta be a worthy goal by itself. This week will be a very tough win and so would week 17 but the Texans may get a little help because if the Pats win this week over the visiting Jaguars, then they'll have nothing to play for in week 17 and could be resting players that really need some time off. This is quietly a very important game to both teams.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub produced his eighth 300 yard game in St. Louis and he has scored in all but one of the last 13 games. Schaub already has passed for 4181 yards and 25 touchdowns to set franchise and career marks with two games left to play. What comes into play this week is that he has not thrown for more than one touchdown in the last four road games.

The Dolphins have always allowed at least one passing score to a visiting quarterback and three quarterbacks - Manning, Brees and Brady - all had around 300 yards there. The Dolphins have also allowed five touchdowns via a quarterback run but Schaub does not rush the ball willingly or well.

Schaub is worthy of a fantasy start here and should have good yardage and at least one score. He could have much more than that but it depends on the Dolphins who play up and down to competition at times.

Running Backs: Last week had HC Gary Kubiak lauding Arian Foster and declaring that he would be the starting tailback for the final three games. Foster had two runs for seven yards and a catch for 13 yards but fumbled on the Rams 8-yard line. Kubiak showed his confidence-instilling tactics by benching the rookie runner for the remaining 51 minutes of the game. It's a painful reminder of how unreliable the Houston backfield has become and how Kubiak is willing to suffer mediocrity rather than develop a player.

Ryan Moats took over for the rest of the game and gained only 46 yards on 13 carries. In fantasy terms, it was a golden opportunity wasted by a coaching whim. This week all bets are off as to which runner will take the primary load and the Dolphins at home have been outstanding against the run. No runner has gained more than 80 yards there.

No runner is a decent risk on this team now and the final week won't be much better either. I will project for Moats but the work split makes them all not worthy of a start.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson comes off a season high 196 yards on nine catches and he had 11 receptions for 193 yards and two scores the previous week. At this rate teams will start to prepare for him. Johnson never fails to get at least 60+ yards every week, it is just a question of how much more and if he scores. He has eight touchdowns on the season.

Kevin Walter scored in St. Louis for his first touchdown since week three. Jacoby Jones remains a constant part of the passing equation as well but Johnson's production dwarfs everyone else combined. Johnson already had 90 catches for a league leading 1433 yards.

The passing game is where the Texans must compete and they have allowed seven touchdowns to wideouts in Miami already this year. Wes Welker just posted 167 yards there three weeks ago. Expect a decent game from Johnson with a score. He could end up with two but I am crediting the second score to Jones.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 6 10 6 15 15 22
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 28 8 14 17 28 16


Miami Dolphins (7-7)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ATL 7-19 +4 43.5
2 IND 23-27 +3 42
3 @SD 13-23 +6 42
4 BUF 38-10 +2.5 37
5 NYJ 31-27 +1.5 36.5
6 BYE - - -
7 NO 34-46 +6 48
8 @NYJ 30-25 +3.5 40
9 @NE 17-27 +10.5 47
10 TB 25-23 -10 43
11 @CAR 24-17 +3 43.5
12 @BUF 14-31 -3.5 38
13 NE 22-21 +4.5 46
14 @JAC 14-10 +3 43
15 @TEN 24-27 +4.5 42.5
16 HOU - -3 45
17 PIT - - -
MIA vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne     240,1
RB Ricky Williams 80,1 10  
TE Anthony Fasano   10,1  
WR Brian Hartline   40  
WR Greg Camarillo   70  
WR Davone Bess   70  
PK Dan Carpenter 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Fins have battled back this year into contention and have two home games remaining to play. They still need help from other teams losing but this is a team which began 0-3 and lost their starting quarter and later the star running back. What they have accomplished has come much more from good coaching and hard work than talent.

Quarterback: Chad Henne has scored in nine of the twelve games played but has only twice had more than one passing touchdown. He has gone from an average passer with games all hovering around 200 yards to turning in 330+ yards efforts in two of the last three weeks. The scoring remains mostly for the rushing game but Henne has been more impressive passing lately.

The Texans secondary has been much like Henne - mostly games with one score and moderate yardage and the occasional big effort allowed. Banking on Henne for more than that average game is still too unreliable. The Texans have been better than most against the pass and should hold Henne to average numbers.

Running Backs: The old man continues to rumble. Ricky Williams has scored 11 rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores this year. He has six touchdowns over the last five games and produced four 100+ yard efforts since Ronnie Brown left.

The Texans have been very good against the run outside of Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew. Look for Williams to continue his hot hand as a scorer but he should fall below the century mark for this week. Williams does not serve as a receiver for more than a a few catches per game.

Wide Receivers: The bigger passing numbers in recent weeks have translated into big weeks for the wideouts here and in the span of three straight games, each starter had a big game. Davone Bess (10-117, TD) , Greg Camarillo (7-110) and even Brian Hartline (2-96) all had their big game and yet in each the other two receivers would produce minimal numbers. There have only been five touchdowns thrown to the wideouts this season. Now they are taking turns having a nice yardage game.

The Texans secondary has been solid enough, allowing six passing scores to the position in road games but never more than the single 100 yard effort by Chad Ochocinco. Most receivers remain at 60 yards or less against the Texans. Expect just average numbers this week.

Tight Ends: The Dolphins have thrown five scores to the tight ends - same number as the wide receivers. But they are spread out over three tight ends and none ever produce yardage that warrants fantasy attention. I do like a tight end scoring here and will credit it to Anthony Fasano (who scored last week), the confidence on that is too low to merit nay fantasy consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 26 3 20 25 12 13
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 10 14 12 25 6 12

The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
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