Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars Matchup Preview 11/3/19: Analysis, Depth Charts, Daily Fantasy
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The Houston Texans (5-3) and Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4) head to Wembley Stadium in an AFC South showdown. As the 2019 season has progressed, the AFC South has become one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. With all AFC South teams currently .500 or better, Deshaun Watson and Garner Minshew will battle for a leg up in the AFC South standings. Each side is coming off impressive week eight wins, in which notable players fell due to injuries. If the Texans are going to win this game, they are going to need their defense to step up in relief of J.J. Watt, who tore his pectoral muscle. On the other hand, the Jaguars will need to rework their receiving corps since wide receivers, Marquise Lee and Dede Westbrook suffered shoulder injuries against the New York Jets. With both teams enjoying success from their young quarterbacks, the X-factor in this game will be oriented around which team’s secondary can slow down the opposing passing game. For Odds movement and full matchup details visit the Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Matchup page.
Date: Sunday, November 3rd, 2019
Time: 8:30 AM ET
Location: Wembley Stadium– Wembley, London, England
Houston Texans: J. Watt – pectoral (O), L. Tunsil – shoulder (Q), J. Joseph – hamstring (O), T. Howard – MCL (O)*, T. Adams – coach’s decision (O)*, L. Johnson – concussion (Q), T. Gibson – back (O)*, W, Fuller – hamstring (O)*, B. Roby – hamstring (O)*, G. Mancz – concussion (O), P. Gaines – ankle (I.R.), S. Kelemete – wrist (I.R.), J. Thomas – ribs (I.R.), K. Warring – concussion (I.R.), J. Webb – foot (I.R.), D. Steinmetz – ankle (I.R.), L. Miller – ACL (I.R.), C. Landrum – undisclosed (I.R.), I. Savage-Lewis – undisclosed (Q), I. Whitney – wrist (I.R.), D. Ejiofor – Achilles (I.R.)
Jacksonville Jaguars: L. Jacobs – hamstring (Q), Q. Williams – hamstring (Q), N. Goode – toe (Q), D. Westbrook – neck, shoulder, R. Harrison – neck (Q), D. Hayden – shoulder (Q), M. Dareus – abdomen (I.R.), D. Alexander – foot (I.R.), G. Swaim – concussion (I.R.), J. O’Shaughnessy – ACL (I.R.), A. Blue – ankle (I.R.), C. Brown – undisclosed (Q), N. Foles – collarbone (I.R.), L. Wester – undisclosed (Q), K. McDermott – ankle (I.R.), D. Mays – ankle (I.R.), D. Greene – undisclosed (I.R.), B Ijalana – elbow (I.R.), M. Simms – concussion (I.R.), J. Onwualu – knee (I.R.), T. McGowan – knee (I.R.), D. Snelson – undisclosed (Q), M. Hungalu – undisclosed (Q), B. Walters – foot (Q)
* – status as of week eight
Houston Texans Analysis:
Deshaun Watson’s MVP caliber season has propelled the Houston Texans to new heights. Watson currently has a career-best, 69.3% completion percentage, and already thrown 300+ passing yards in three of his eight contests so far. Furthermore, Watson has been one of the NFL’s most explosive passers, with Watson currently ranking 5th in terms of Average Depth of Target. However, Jacksonville can rattle Watson by blitzing him and forcing him to hold onto the ball. Watson’s 8.2% sack rate is currently the 6th highest in the NFL, and with Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard injured, Deshaun is going to need to get the ball out of his hands quickly.
Right now, Carlos Hyde has rushed for 544 yards on 130 carries and is on pace to rush for more yards in 2019 than he did last year. While the basic stats indicate that Hyde is improving, advanced analytics tell a different story. For instance, while Hyde’s 4.2 yards/carry is the 2nd highest of his career, he is only averaging measly 1.8 yards after contact/carry, which is a significant decrease from 2018. Hyde has also been a complete non-factor in the receiving game, with only six catches for 22 yards. The good news for Hyde is that according to football outsiders, Jacksonville has been a bottom-five team at stopping the run, so he probably won’t have to do much work to be productive.
The unfortunate news for the Texans is that their star pass rusher, J.J. Watt, is probably going to be out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle. This season, Houston has heavily relied upon Watt as a pass rusher, leading the team in Q.B. hurries with 7. Watt was also a force against opposing rushing attacks with the former Wisconsin badger tied for second on the team in tackles for loss. The Texans still have a formidable front seven with Whitney Mercilus leading the charge, but they’re going to need a player, like D.J. Reader, to step up in the absence of J.J. Watt.
This Houston Texans defense is going to need to see improvement in their secondary if they’re going to squash Minshew Mania. According to football outsiders, the Texans are a subpar team when it comes to defensive passing efficiency. In the previous four weeks, the Texans secondary has allowed Derek Carr, Jacoby Brissett, Patrick Mahomes, and Matt Ryan to all throw for 270+ yards, along with 13 T.D.s. They have been successful at forcing interceptions in recent weeks, but against a quality Q.B., like Minshew, they’re going to need to shut down the passing lanes to avoid a shootout.
Houston Texans Depth Chart
Jacksonville Jaguars Analysis
Prior to the 2019 campaign, the Jaguars offense didn’t seem like it would be anything special due to their lack of a quality wide receiver. However, with QB Gardner Minshew, and W.R. D.J. Chark at the helm, this offense has been productive enough to keep the Jags in playoff contention. Minshew currently has a 13:2 T.D. to INT ratio and Chark totaling 39 catches for 660 receiving yards, six scores, and only one drop. Minshew & Chark aren’t an elite QB/WR combination, but they’re certainly good enough to have an explosive outing in Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
After having a disappointing season in 2018, Leonard Fournette has bounced back to a phenomenal outing in 2019, with the 3rd year veteran rushing for the 2nd most yards in the NFL. Fournette has the most yards after contact per attempt in the league and is in the top ten in terms of broken tackles. Fournette has also been an integral component of the receiving game, with 35 catches for 263 receiving yards. Houston is a top-five team at stopping the run, but with Fournette’s productivity, this season could and help open up the play-action game for Minshew.
Jacksonville’s defense hasn’t lived up to expectations this year. After ranking in the top-ten in 2018, the Jags are now 17th in terms of DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). While their secondary has still been top ten at defending against the pass, the front seven has seen a significant drop off at stopping the rushing game. The Jags have the capability of containing Deshaun Watson, but if they have any chance of defeating the Texans, they need to have a balanced attack that stuffs Carlos Hyde at the line of scrimmage.
Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart
As long as Deshaun Watson is healthy, he’s always a must-start in fantasy. Watson has thrown for 275+ yards in four straight weeks, with two 300+ performances, and ten passing touchdowns. Expect a dip in his production this week, due to Jacksonville’s success against opposing Q.B.s (9th most efficient defense at stopping the pass), and Deshaun’s uptick in interceptions over the past three weeks. However, with a fully loaded receiving corps, and a decimated Texans front seven, Watson projects to be a quality option in week nine.
Gardner Minshew is coming off back to back weeks with 20+ points, according to Yahoo Fantasy football. Houston’s defense has allowed 275+ yards and an average of 3.25 TDs over the past four weeks to opposing Q.B.s. The Texans are currently allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing Q.B.s, which is promising for Minshew fantasy owners. Minshew has thrown for 250+ yards in three of his last four games and is a good QB2 option in week nine.
Leonard Fournette is a low-end RB2/flex option against the Texans. While Fournette has been successful at gaining both rushing and receiving yards, he has struggled to find the pay-dirt this season. He currently only has one touchdown on the year, which is bad news for fantasy owners. To make matters worse, the Texans are a top-five defense at stopping the run, so fantasy owners should temper their expectations with Fournette this week.
De’Andre Hopkins is between a low-end WR1/decent WR2 in fantasy football against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hopkins is currently fourth in the NFL when it comes to targets and is coming off consecutive weeks where he enjoyed 9+ targets, 12+ targets and 100+ yards, which is promising for week nine. However, Hopkins has struggled to find the end-zone since week one, with only one T.D. reception since the first week of the 2019 season. Jacksonville is ranked 17th when it comes to allowing the most fantasy points to opponent W.R.s, but their ability to hold no.1 receivers under 100 yards could be problematic for Hopkins.
D.J. Chark is an excellent WR1 option in week nine against the Houston Texans. Houston is currently a bottom-ten defense when it comes to defending the pass and is presently allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing W.R.s. Chark now ranks first and seventh in the NFL in terms of total receiving touchdowns and yards, with six T.D.s and 660 yards, respectively. He also makes the most of his targets because he only has one drop on the year, with 61 targets.