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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: HOU 27, TEN 17 (Line: HOU by 5.5)

Players to Watch: Jake Locker, Chris Johnson

The 10-1 Texans won 38-14 when the 4-7 Titans visited in week four. Just to throw some lack of clarity into this game, the Titans just fired their offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and replaced him with QB coach Dowell Loggains. Hard to imagine that will immediately improve the offense.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI 13-6
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC 43-37
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET 34-31
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN -----
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE -----
6 GB 24-42 15 IND -----
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF 21-9 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: What a difference a cornerback must make. It may seem extreme, but the last two full games played by CB Johnathan Joseph resulted in allowing a combined 15 points total. In two games without him, the Texans gave up 68 points. And the Jaguars and Lions were hardly the highest scoring teams prior to playing the Texans. Joseph's hamstring wasn't able to heal up in the short week before Thanksgiving but will have ten days to rest before this week.

After Schaub threw for a career best 527 yards and five touchdowns on the Jaguars, he still passed for 315 yards in Detroit though with only one touchdown. Oddly enough, letting the Texans get into shoot-outs these last two weeks have done wonders for the fantasy value of the passing game. Schaub only threw for 202 yards and two scores against the visiting Titans in week four.

Arian Foster was finally held to no touchdowns in week 11 but he was right back at it on Thanksgiving with 102 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He added five catches for 15 yards as well. Ben Tate remains out and in his place Justin Forsett had the cheapest touchdown in the history of the NFL when he was clearly down, then got back up and ran for an 81-yard touchdown. HC Jim Schwartz threw a challenge flag which was not to be done since it was to be reviewed anyway. Instead he made the play stand and got a penalty to boot. This team remains pure Foster when it comes to rushing the ball. Foster gained 86 yards and one score in the last meeting with the Titans.

Andre Johnson just set the all-time record for most yardage over two consecutive games with 461 yards. He only scored once on those 23 receptions and it was his only score since week three. Johnson only caught three passes for 56 yards versus the Titans last time. Owen Daniels turned in one of his best games of the season in week three when he reeled in six passes for 72 yards and one touchdown versus the TItans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 17 1 27 2 4 8
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 26 29 19 29 29 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Deshaun Watson, HOU @NE 40000015011 ***
No rookie quarterback has won in New England since head coach Bill Belichick was hired in 2000. They are 0-8 with five touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 50.7 passer rating. Watson should struggle to get into a rhythm, even against a softer defense than we're used to seeing from the Patriots.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @NE 5004200000 ***
The matchup is awesome, at least on paper. Miller should get the majority of touches, although D'Onta Foreman and Tyler Ervin are in the fold. Miller was good for 14.7 PPR points in Week 3's trip to New England last year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU @NE 300000000 ***
Foreman saw his workload increase from one carry to 12 last week and could carve out a regular role in the rotation. He is too dicey right now, so keep him in reserve, unless you're looking for a deep dive in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @NE 007801000 **
A target monster, Hopkins has 29 looks to the rest of the team's 25 in two weeks. The Patriots present a wonderful matchup to exploit in what could be a pass-happy game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Braxton Miller, HOU @NE 002200000 ***
Miller, still learning the position, doesn't see enough targets to have much of a chance at producing outside of a singular big play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU @NE 1111 ***
Eight extra points against two field goals later, this is a statistically favorable matchup. Don't expect friendly results for the Houston offense in this one.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA 37-3
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC 19-24
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU -----
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND -----
6 PIT 26-23 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF 35-34 16 @GB -----
8 IND 13-19 17 JAC -----
9 CHI 20-51 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB DeMarco Murray 60 1-10
WR Eric Decker 7-90,1
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans let OC Chris Palmer go after struggling to score against the Jaguars last week and that should make the DC Jerry Gray squirm since his defense has allowed 34+ points six times already this year.

The remaining games are not likely to get much better until the season ender against the Jaguars. The season is already over and what now strikes some fear is if they will start to try out other players or mess around with the offense and impact Chris Johnson since he's been the only real fantasy starter in this offense up until now.

Jake Locker was knocked out of the week four meeting with the Texans that led to him missing six weeks. Matt Hasselbeck ended up with 193 pass yards and two touchdowns in that game that ended up with Kendall Wright (4-46) and Craig Stevens (2-24). Kenny Britt was still out that week and Nate Washington ended with only 43 yards on three receptions in that game.

Chris Johnson actually kicked off his return to prominence in that game when he rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries. He's since posted five more games with at least 90 rushing yards and scored four times. At home there's no worry that the interim OC will change up the one thing that actually works on the offense.

The Texans have been giving up major passing yardage in the last two games which at least in part happened with CB Johnathan Joseph out but he's due to return this week anyway. A switch in coaches is unlikely to spark the offense much, especially against the Texans who are already familiar with the Titans personnel.

What happens this week will be interesting since the Texans defense has not allowed anyone else to gain more than 80 rushing yards on them and only two rushers have scored on them all year. The Titans are in some turmoil this week and the Texans just see a divisional opponent they can beat. Jake Locker is less likely to have the same success that Chad Henne and Matt Stafford recently did when facing the Texans. This week should answer more about the Texans defense than the Titans offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 22 26 19 9 16 18
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 15 1 20 24 7 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN SEA 30000022011 ***
The fourth-toughest matchup comes to town, and Mariota's starting running back may not dress. While Derrick Henry is a capable backup, he isn't the receiving or pass-blocking asset of DeMarco Murray's level. Corey Davis has been ruled out, and trusting Mariota in this one isn't advised.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Derrick Henry, TEN SEA 10011100000 ***
Henry is the smarter choice in this backfield against Seattle, but it will take the projected score in order for Henry to live up to a start. Seattle has granted a lone TD to RBs in two games.

Update: Look for a larger load for Henry. Murray is a game-time call and may be very limited if he goes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, TEN SEA 2001100000 *
Murray is day-to-day with a hamstring strain, an injury he has a history of suffering. Should he dress, expect more Derrick Henry than usual. Seattle has allowed only one touchdown to RBs in this young year.

Update: Following a limited session Friday, Murray is a true game-time decision. At a minimum, he'll be kept on a reasonable pitch count, if he plays.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taywan Taylor, TEN SEA 002400000 ***
Taylor extended for a beautiful grab last week and has some chops. He could see a little more work this week with Corey Davis out of action. Gamers shouldn't be excited to play him as he faces a stout pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, TEN SEA 003300000 ***
Seattle has allowed 27 catches but only one TD so far to the position. There is a bit more intrigue since Corey Davis cannot go, but Decker is a dangerous play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rishard Matthews, TEN SEA 003300000 ***
Matthews is probably the only Titans receiver worth taking a chance on in fantasy this week, and that's a big gamble. Seattle has allowed only one TD in two games to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN SEA 006601000 ***
Through two weeks, Seattle has given up 80 yards on eight grabs, rating as the seventh-worst matchup for tight ends. This is an optimistic projection but within reach.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN SEA 2222 ***
Seattle's defense has granted two post-TD kicks and four field goals in two weeks, averaging out to a modest seven fantasy points against.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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