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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
HOU @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brandon Weeden 220,1
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-110,1

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 @NYJ 30000023020 ***
The Jets have yielded a lot of room on the ground in 2018 and have been moderately capable against quarterbacks. In the past five weeks, this is the top matchup for big plays. Passers have averaged a modest 250.8 yards and 1.5 TDs a game. Watson has been somewhat disappointing in the last six weeks. He has two games of 30-plus points, but the others were 22 or fewer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @NYJ 7012200000 ***
The matchup actually skews negative, but that isn't to say Miller cannot find room to work. This is a the quality opponent for yardage (5th) on the ground and even offers a decent shot at a TD (12th) based on data from the last five weeks. The Jets have been strong against pass-catching backs, which isn't exactly Miller's cup of tea.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Blue, HOU @NYJ 400000000 ***
Even with a touchdown, like we saw last week, Blue's limited returns make him a bench or waiver body in fantasy. He hasn't topped nine PPR points since Week 5 and now could lose work to D'Onta Foreman.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU @NYJ 200000000 *
He was activated last week but didn't see the Week 14 active lineup on game day and is potentially in the same situation once again. Avoid him in all settings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @NYJ 0071101000 ***
Hopkins should ball out for gamers in Week 15 against a Jets defense that has been hammered by the position this year. Despite upgrades to the secondary in the past two offseasons, New York has allowed the third-most points per game in PPR, fueled by submitting to the third-most yardage on weekly clip. WRs have scored once per outing, on average, and this is a stellar matchup for racking up receptions. Enjoy!
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, HOU @NYJ 004500000 ***
Thomas could get in on the action this week. The Jets have been laughable in their defense of the position, especially in PPR. This is the third-best matchup of the week, and no team has yielded more yards to WRs in the last five weeks (208.8/game). This is a safe projection for Thomas, but note he has definite upside in this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Thomas, HOU @NYJ 002101000 *
The Jets have yielded only 37 catches for 451 yards vs. TEs this year, though five of them have scored, so there's a hint of upside for a cheap TD.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU @NYJ 1133 ***
No writeup available

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
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 @NYG 40000024011 ***
New York has been mostly good all year at slowing quarterbacks in fantasy (20th-best opponent), and while the occasional blip is certainty possible, trusting it to come from Mariota is unwise. Gamers should not have too much trouble finding a safer play with more upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Derrick Henry, TEN @NYG 4012100000 ***
Henry was a beast in Week 14 and few owners likely enjoyed the ride. New York has been beaten up by versatility in 2018, though powerbacks have found considerable success. Alvin Kamara, however, represents a third of the TDs against on the ground, and only three of the scores have come in the last five games (Matt Breida, Peyton Barber, Josh Adams). Henry's ceiling is probably Adams' 84 yards and a TDs from Week 12, unless last week reinvigorated the burly back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dion Lewis, TEN @NYG 3005400000 ***
The matchup is pretty good, and Lewis has a reasonable chance to contribute in a meaningful way. It likely will have to come through the sky, and gamers are going to find plenty of safer plays with more upside. The Titans made a clear shift to Derrick Henry last week, yet Lewis remains the preferred pass-catcher.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Corey Davis, TEN @NYG 004801000 ***
New York has done a fairly good job at limiting wideouts in 2018, and in the last three weeks it has been much stronger, albeit against inferior receiving situations (PHI, CHI, WAS). A strong game would put Davis in the company of Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery (Week 6) and Will Fuller for wideouts that have stood out against the Giants.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taywan Taylor, TEN @NYG 004600000 ***
Taylor has downfield ability that can lead to huge plays any game, although we haven't seen it come to fruition with any consistency. New York has given up four TDs in the last five games and has been mostly solid all year vs. the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Anthony Firkser, TEN @NYG 003300000 ***
The third-string tight end could see some looks but isn't a fantasy option. The Giants have given up only three touchdowns to TDs in 2018.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN @NYG 1122 ***
No writeup available

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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