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Fantasy Football: Week 14 Thursday Night Preview

Fantasy Football: Week 14 Thursday Night Preview

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Fantasy Football: Week 14 Thursday Night Preview

Houston Texans (2-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9) 8:25 PM 

After a trio of games last Thursday, the league schedule is now back to normal with a very unappealing matchup between two bottom dwellers in the AFC South. The Texans have now lost 10 games in a row, and are in line to have the first overall pick in next year's draft. On the other side, after losing their first eight games, the Jaguars have now won three of their last four games and are looking to finish out the season on a high note. Considering the two teams have five wins combined, they are clearly out of contention for a playoff spot, but that doesn't mean this game will have little impact in the fantasy world. 

The last time these two teams squared off, only 19 points were scored, but that does not appear to be the case after great showing from both offenses a week ago. With that said, there are a handful of players that could have serious implications on fantasy playoff matchups this week, so decide wisely. Those of you who were fortunate enough to make it to the fantasy playoffs, best of luck and hope you will be reading this next week after advancing on one more round!

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Case Keenum (HOU)--Despite a horrible performance against the Jaguars two weeks ago, Keenum looked much better last week against the Patriots, throwing for 272 yards with one interception. After bursting onto the scene in Week 9 versus the Colts (350 passing yards and three touchdowns), he has only recorded double-digit fantasy points twice since then and has now gone two straight games without scoring a touchdown. On paper, this matchup is great for Keenum, with the Jaguars allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, including 20 or more fantasy points allowed in four of there last five games. 

Chad Henne (JAC)--After scoring only nine fantasy points against the Texans two weeks ago, it is hard to be optimistic Henne in tonight's contest. Now that most leagues are now into the fantasy playoffs, it is hard to imagine Henne is even a consideration as a starting quarterback, especially if you factor in the fact that he has yet to record over 13 fantasy points in a game this season. Despite all the Texans shortcomings, they have done very well overall against opposing quarterbacks this season, allowing only one game of over 300 passing yards, which came last week against the Patriots. 

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Running Backs 

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC)--After a very slow start to the season, the Jaguars main offensive weapon has returned to a respectful level of play having reached nine fantasy points in each of his last five games in standard leagues. He failed to rush for a touchdown a week ago, but was used to throw the ball near the goal line, which resulted in a passing touchdown, giving him a score in four straight games. In the Jaguars win over the Texans two weeks ago, Jones-Drew finished with 144 total yards of offense, which was  his best performance of the 2013 season.  Expect to see Jones-Drew heavily active once again this week, and considering how well he has been playing of late, he is a must-start tonight for those relying on him in their playoff matchups. 

Ben Tate (HOU)--Despite being benched in favor of Dennis Johnson in Week 12, the Texans went back to Tate in their battle against the Patriots and those who started him in fantasy were heavily rewarded. Tate finished the game with 22 carries for 102 yards and three touchdowns in what was his best showing of his career. Considering the Jaguars have allowed 10 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs in standard leagues in all but three games this season, Tate is a must-start tonight.

Dennis Johnson (HOU)--It was thought that Johnson would receive an increased workload in Week 13 after a solid performance the week prior, but that was not the case, after recording only three carries. At this point in the season, Johnson is only a handcuff to Ben Tate and should not be started in any format, especially in the playoffs. 

Jordan Todman (JAC)--The Jaguars continue to work Todman into the action, but he is not involved enough to make an impact in the world of fantasy football. If anything, he should only be owned as a handcuff to Maurice Jones-Drew, and has no business being a consideration as a starter in Week 14. 

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Wide Receivers 

Andre Johnson (HOU)--There really wasn't much to take away from the last meeting between these two teams, especially in the receiving game. Johnson recorded only two catches in what was thought to be his best matchup of the year, but that little of production should not be expected tonight. Over his last five games, Johnson has recorded at least 116 yards three times, including five touchdowns. If you look at what the Jaguars gave up to Josh Gordon in Week 13 (10 catches for 261 yards and two touchdowns), you would have to think that Johnson is in line for a big game. At this point in the season you have to start your studs, so don't look into his performance from two weeks ago and start him with confidence. 

Cecil Shorts (JAC)--Despite being limited with a groin injury for most of the season, Shorts has found a way to get it done, even playing at less than 100 percent. He has now hauled in 14 receptions over his last two games, but has yet to reach the 100-yard receiving mark since Week 3, making him more valuable in PPR formats. If you look at what Shorts was able to do against a shutdown corner in Joe Haden a week ago, you have to be optimistic that he will be able to produce quality fantasy numbers tonight against a secondary that has allowed 11 or more catches to opposing wideouts in five of there last six games. 

DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)--Following a great start to the season through the first three weeks, Hopkins has now recorded only one game of six or more catches since Week 3, resulting in little to no fantasy production. He had only one catch in the Texans Week 12 loss to the Jaguars, but that was the same game in which Andre Johnson finished with only two. However, at this point in the season it is hard to trust a player like Hopkins, so unless you are in an extremely deep format, there are likely a lot of better options to have in your lineup this week. 

Ace Sanders (JAC)--The Jaguars may have finally found a complimentary to take some pressure off of Cecil Shorts, after Sanders recorded 20 catches over his last three games. Similar to Shorts, Sanders' fantasy value is in PPR formats, considering he has yet to find the end zone and go over 67 yards in a game this season. If you are in a desperate situation, this matchup is favorable for Sanders and the Jaguars passing game, so give him a shot as a WR3 at best. 

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Tight Ends

Garrett Graham (HOU)--There are only two teams in the league that allow more points per game to opposing tight ends than the Jaguars, who are averaging just under 10 fantasy points per game allowed. Since scoring three touchdowns through the first four games of the season, Graham has been relatively quiet, recording double-digit fantasy points only once since Week 4. Despite the lack of production of late, Graham continues to be heavily targeted in the Texans passing game, with his most recent total being 11 targets in last week's loss to the Patriots. 

Marcedes Lewis (JAC)--The Jaguars had little to no production from their tight ends this season, that is until last week. Both Lewis and Clay Harbor scored touchdowns in the win over the Browns, and could see similar production this week against a Texans defense that has allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends over their last four games. The tight end position has been very productive as a while this season, so there are likely better options out there for this week, but if you are desperate Lew is worth a shot. 

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