Thursday Preview: Week 14

jaguars-texans-football-maurice-jones-drew_pg_600The fantasy playoffs are here, and you’re either in or you’re out. One thing I love about the fantasy playoffs on ESPN.com is that they give you consolation ladders and winner’s consolation ladders so you can keep the fun going even if you didn’t make the playoffs in your league. Of course some people just give up after not making the playoffs and you can really get a consolation prize if you just play like normal. It might be a moral victory to win a consolation ladder. Then it’s time for the actual NFL playoffs and some other games you can play. Yeah, I get a bit excited about that too, but I’ll talk about that in a few weeks. Now it’s time for the Thursday Preview…

HOUSTON @ JACKSONVILLE

Team Comparison:

Amazingly enough, Chad Henne hasn’t been doing a horrible job as Jacksonville has won three of its last four games. They won’t ever be mistaken for a good team, but playing a team like Houston that has been doing horrible of late might just keep the momentum going for those Jaguars. Both defenses haven’t been great, and the quarterback play has been up and down from Case Keenum. Is he really the answer in Houston or is this the last hurrah for him before Schaub returns? Regardless, neither of these teams is playing for a playoff berth. They’re just playing for possible bragging rights, and I think Jacksonville wins this one. After all, they’re not supposed to win any games and with Houston’s expectations coming into the season they’ve mentally checked out. My money’s on Jacksonville to win a game that won’t even be very close. Prediction: Jacksonville 31, Houston 14.

QB Breakdown:

 Fantasy Ace Says…  FA Projections
 Chad Henne (JAC)  Henne doesn’t have good history against the Texans, and I don’t see this one going well either.  175 YDs, 2 TDs, 2 INTs,16 fantasy points
 Case Keenum (HOU)  Keenum is looking clueless lately, and Jacksonville has played better on defense than expected.  270 YDs, 1 TD, 1 INT,16 fantasy points

RB Focus:

 Fantasy Ace Says…  FA Projections
 Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC)  MJD seems more like himself lately, and the Houston run defense isn’t that good. He has a great game.  120 total YDs, 2 TDs,23 fantasy points
 Ben Tate (HOU)  Tate finally came alive in week 12, but can you trust him against that Jacksonville defense? I say no.  60 total YDs, 1 TD12 fantasy points

WR Catchup:

 Fantasy Ace Says…  FA Projections
 Cecil Shorts (JAC)  Shorts is playing against that tough Houston pass defense, and he cannot be counted on this week to do well.  40 YDs, 1 TD,10 fantasy points
 Andre Johnson (HOU)  Johnson is getting yards lately, but not scoring. The trend will continue here. Throwing in his direction will lead to at least one turnover.  100 YDs, NO TDs,10 fantasy points

TE Trouble:

 Fantasy Ace Says…  FA Projections
 Marcedes Lewis / Clay Harbor (JAC)  The two names say it all. Neither one has much value because both have some value. Leave either one on your bench.  Lewis – 30 YDs,Harbor – 30 YDs, 1 TD
 Garrett Graham (HOU)  Graham is getting looks, but not going places with them. I don’t see that changing here.  40 YDS, NO TDs

As a general rule, I never use any players from the singular Thursday game (last week was an exception with three games) except for running backs as they have the best resiliency on the short week. Plus, with these two inadequate run defenses it makes sense to lean on the running backs. Unless you have horrible choices at every other position I would leave them alone for Thursday.

FA

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