Game Predictions & Player Projections - TEN vs. HOU

Game Predictions & Player Projections - TEN vs. HOU


Game Predictions & Player Projections - TEN vs. HOU

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Prediction: TEN 13, HOU 24 (Line: HOU by 4)

UPDATE: Cecil Shorts is out because of his hamstring. Both Marcus Mariota and Harry Douglas are also both out this week and Zach Mettenberger gets this bad matchup instead.

This will be a messy game to call or even to rely on individual players. The 1-5 Titans only win came on the road and they are on a five game losing streak. But they may have Marcus Mariota back. The 2-5 Texans are just 1-2 at home and are definitely not getting Arian Foster back.This could be high scoring or low scoring and it’s hard to guess which since the home team just lost half of their offense. The Titans have not scored more than 13 points in a game since Week 3. That should mean lower scoring.

The Texans swept the Titans last year, winning 30-16 at Tennessee and later 45-21 in Houston.

Tennessee Titans

1 @TB 42-14 10 CAR ——
2 @CLE 14-28 11 @JAC ——
3 IND 33-35 12 OAK ——
4 BYE —— 13 JAC ——
5 BUF 13-14 14 @NYJ ——
6 MIA 10-38 15 @NE ——
7 ATL 7-10 16 HOU ——
8 @HOU —— 17 @IND ——
9 @NO ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN @ HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel 230,1
QB Zach Mettenberger 210,1
RB Antonio Andrews 50 1-10
RB Dexter McCluster 20 4-40
WR Dorial Green-Beckham 2-30
WR Justin Hunter 4-40
WR Rishard Matthews 6-90,1
WR Kendall Wright 5-70,1
TE Delanie Walker 7-70
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans were certainly no better with Zach Mettenberger but they weren’t that much worse. The offense has almost skidded to a stop since opponents have game film on Mariota and there continues to be no real rushing offense. What is even worse is that the last three games – all low-scoring losses – were at home and three of the next four games will be on the road. The question by now is whether Mariota is joined by the best running back or wide receiver from the draft next year. Simply adding a talented rookie quarterback to this mess does not change the fact that this is still a mess.

QUARTERBACK : Marcus Mariota missed last week with a sprained MCL but there is optimism that he’ll be able to play. I’ll assume he can go and update if they fall back to Zach Mettenberger again. The difference is not that dramatic anyway since Mariota only scored once in the last two games and isn’t taking anyone by surprise anymore. This is only the third road venue of the year and it’s hard to see how that won’t be even worse than a home game.

RUNNING BACK : This is clearly one of the worst rushing units in the NFL and no runner has carried the ball more than 13 times in any game. Bishop Sankey was phased out to the point that he had no carries last week. Antonio Andrews bought some goodwill when he gained 57 yards on ten runs in the loss to the Falcons and HC Ken Whisenhunt said that Andrews deserved more carries so maybe 14? This is a very ineffective unit with poor blocking in front of them. Dexter McCluster shares the rushing load and is the third down back. His receptions give him marginal fantasy value but his best game as a receiver was just last week with Mettenberger when he caught six passes for 48 yards. Mariota has only relied on him two or three times per game.

WIDE RECEIVER : The best receiver remains Kendall Wright with a team high three touchdowns though only one in the last four weeks. Wright started the year with two good games with scores before Mariota went cold. He’s only averaging 36 yards for the last three weeks though he scored once in the loss to the Falcons. No other receiver here carries any fantasy value. Dorial Green-Beckham failed to catch his one target last week. If anything good happens here, it happens to Wright. But lately – nothing happens.

TIGHT END : Delanie Walker is the top receiver for the Titans and though he has just one score back in the season opener, he’s been pretty solid with around 60 yards per game and as high as eight catches for 97 yards in Week 6 versus the Dolphins. He’s a a lower-end fantasy starter in a reception points league.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: It may not matter given the ineffective nature of this offense but the Texans will be without their starting right cornerback Kareem Jackson and he’d normally line up on Kendall Wright. That might allow him a good game but anything higher than moderate yardage and the chance of a touchdown would be a change from the past month. The Texans at home should keep the Titans from rushing for more than moderate yardage and that’s split up between Andrews and McCluster anyway. The only reasonable start from the Titans is Kendall Wright with upside this week but realistically just as much risk. And Delanie Walker as more of a bye week replacement tight end.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 19 13 29 6 31 16
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 30 28 20 17 10 21

Houston Texans

1 KC 20-27 10 @CIN ——
2 @CAR 17-24 11 NYJ ——
3 TB 19-9 12 NO ——
4 @ATL 21-48 13 @BUF ——
5 IND 20-27 14 NE ——
6 @JAC 31-20 15 @IND ——
7 @MIA 26-44 16 @TEN ——
8 TEN —— 17 JAC ——
9 BYE ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Alfred Blue 70 1-10
RB Lamar Miller 60,1 2-10
WR DeAndre Hopkins 8-110,1
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The loss of Arian Foster should put the nail in the coffin of a season that was not going well even with their star running back on the field. Now the offense is little more than DeAndre Hopkins and that won’t be lost on the opposing secondary. In fantasy terms, it isn’t all bad. The Titans will still need to throw and Brian Hoyer is posting points though not enough to win. And without the dual-threat Foster on board, the Texans are going to have to start making more use of the other players.

QUARTERBACK : At least Brian Hoyer is delivering high yardage, multiple touchdown games for the last four weeks. Though he missed Weeks 2 and 3, Hoyer still totals 11 touchdowns on the season and only threw three interceptions. Hoyer had been relying on Foster as a receiver in every game so he’ll have to find a replacement.

Ryan Mallett missed the team flight to the Miami game and he was released on Tuesday.

RUNNING BACK : Arian Foster tore his Achilles’ tendon and is out for the season and perhaps his career. Foster turns 30 next summer and already contemplated retirement two years ago. In his wake the Texans will turn to Alfred Blue who was completely ineffective as a replacement for the first two games of the season but then ran 31 times for 139 yards and a score in the win over the visiting Buccaneers. So long as the Texans get a sizable lead in a home game against a weak opponent, Blue is a viable option. Less so in almost all remaining games.

Chris Polk is likely to pick up some of the third down work but he was rarely used in those first three weeks without Foster anyway.

WIDE RECEIVER : DeAndre Hopkins role in this offense couldn’t be bigger so losing Foster won’t impact him other than giving the opposing defenses even less to worry about beyond Hopkins. Last week was the first time in a month that a defense was able to hold him to a very marginal day – six catches for 50 yards. That mirrored his effort in Carolina in Week 2 when he faced a good defense in a road game. Hopkins has been a beast in all other games and always gets a dozen or more targets.

Nate Washington missed three games because of a hamstring strain but returned in Week 7 to record nine catches for 127 yards and two scores. As impressive as that sounds, it all came after the Texans already trailed 41-0 and was just trash time gifts that went to him instead of Hopkins. Cecil Shorts was inactive last week because of a hamstring strain. I’ll hold him out until he is cleared to play. He has not been worth more than around 50 yards in most games anyway.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Titans have not allowed more than two passing scores to any opponent nor any 300 yard games. Brian Hoyer has been on a hot streak lately and is at home. Expect a couple of scores this week but less yardage than lately. Hopkins is an obvious start every week any way and still has a good chance to bet back to higher fantasy points from his fall last week. Blue is a deeper start this week but has a chance for at least moderate yardage and more if the game situation allowed more carries.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 7 16 2 30 28 28
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 11 6 13 25 1 32

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