Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @Dorey_TheHuddle

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: CHI 20, GB 31 (Line: GB by 6)

Players to watch: Michael Bush, Randall Cobb, Cedric Benson

Updated Players: Greg Jennings, James Jones

The Bears come off a major thumping of the Colts but that was to be expected. The Packers remain at home after allowing the 49ers to visit with a defense that was actually bigger than the Packers offense. The Packers swept the Bears last season, winning 27-17 in Chicago and later 35-21 in Green Bay. The Packers need this win to get back on track but the Bears won't make it easy with an offense that looks improved.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU -----
2 @GB ----- 11 @SF -----
3 STL ----- 12 MIN -----
4 @DAL ----- 13 SEA -----
5 @JAC ----- 14 @MIN -----
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET ----- 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR ----- 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 260,2
RB Matt Forte 60 6-60
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 3-20
WR Alshon Jeffery 5-80,1
WR Eddie Royal 2-20
TE Martellus Bennett 4-40
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Opening up the season against the worst team from the previous year can give an unrealistic view of how good you are. But the Bears were hitting on all cylinders and losing the Mike Martz scheme seemed to really do the trick. Where once Jay Cutler was running around throwing to a never-ending cast of receivers, the offense was much more traditional. In fantasy terms, instead of having five or six guys with very mediocre to no fantasy value now there are only a couple but they are really producing.

Cutler ended with 333 yards and two scores against the Colts that was split between Brandon Marshall and everyone else. Marshall had 15 targets and nine receptions for 119 yards and one score. It was a throwback to the pitch and catch days back in Denver. No other receiver or tight end mattered other than the rookie Alshon Jeffrey who took five passes and caught three with 80 yards and a score. Only having to worry about two receivers for fantasy purposes? Nirvana.

The rest of the receivers were even worse than when Martz was still calling plays. Granted - one week at home against the worst team from the previous year hardly proves a major turnaround but then again - it looked every bit as good as you could hope.

Cutler passed for 302 yards and two scores at home against the Packers and later settled for 242 yards and one touchdown in Green Bay.

Matt Forte looked like he was in mid-season form with 16 runs for 80 yards (5.0 YPC) and one touchdown with three receptions gaining 40 more yards. What is troubling - especially for future games where the Bears may not have 28 carries to split up - is that Michael Bush has a significant role. He was given 12 runs and he gained 42 yards with two touchdowns. Both scores were in the first half from the one-yard line. Forte's score game from six yards out. Bush had no role as a receiver which may be a saving grace for Forte. But he was there for the short yardage gimmee touchdowns.

Forte only gained two yards on nine runs in the last game at Green Bay though he added 80 yards on seven receptions. The Packers were softer against the run last week but that was a product of the 49ers defense giving them field position and plenty of reasons to run the ball and chew up the clock - probably not a luxury for the Bears. Bush holds much less attraction here with the Packers likely to not give up many one-yard opportunities. But the passing game should shine once again against a secondary that just allowed two scores and 211 yards to Alex Smith.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 8 2 2 32 10 4
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 21 20 20 17 26 13

QB Jay Cutler, CHI @KC 0000028031 ***
Cutler returned from injury last week and wasn't too bad. Now he'll face a KC defense that struggled early on but benefitted mightily from the return of cornerback Sean Smith last week. Smith's presence, coupled with a banged-up Bears' receiving corps and the potential carnage when the Chiefs' pass rush meets Chicago's iffy-at-best offensive line, suggest you keep your expectations for Smokin' Jay in check.
RB Matt Forte, CHI @KC 7004300000 ***
Forte's been productive despite his team's struggles, with a 74-yard trip to Seattle the only blemish on his report card thus far. KC hasn't seen a back get Forte's volume of touches yet this season, but the past two weeks Green Bay (33 RB touches, 155 yards) and Cincinnati (23 touches, 129 yards, 4 TDs) have carved out productive games against the Chiefs so they can be had. Forte will get every opportunity to take his bite.
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI @KC 008901000 *
A matchup with Sean Smith isn't the ideal way for Jeffery to return from injury, but you know he'll get the targets so if he's on the field he belongs in fantasy lineups.
WR Eddie Royal, CHI @KC 006701000 ***
Royal will benefit from the return of Alshon Jeffery by not drawing Sean Smith... or he'll benefit from the absence of Alshon Jeffery by being the Bears' high volume target. Either way he should manage to carve out a decent yardage outing in Kansas City.
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI @KC 005401000 ***
It's not nearly as cushy a matchup for Bennett as last week, but he's still a high-volume target--especially if Alshon Jeffery and/or Eddie Royal are still hobbled--and an every-week fantasy contributor.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, CHI @KC 1133 ***
The Chiefs have been more inclined to give up touchdowns instead of field goals, but they've faced some pretty good offenses of late. The Bears are more inclined to settle fir field goals, with Gould booting three treys in all three games in which he's been given attempts. Expect him to settle again here, but for fantasy purposes settling isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI ----- 11 @DET -----
3 @SEA ----- 12 @NYG -----
4 NO ----- 13 MIN -----
5 @IND ----- 14 DET -----
6 @HOU ----- 15 @CHI -----
7 @STL ----- 16 TEN -----
8 JAC ----- 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20,1 320,3
WR Randall Cobb 5-70
WR James Jones 5-70,1
WR Jordy Nelson 6-100,1
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers seemed unbeatable in 2011 other than one trap game in Kansas City. Opening at home would surely mean a win regardless of opponent but that's not going to be true. The 49ers came in with a predictably bad-ass defense but their offense fared far better than expected. It wasn't even a lock that they had an offense coming in. But they outscored the Pack in Green Bay and then thwarted the comeback attempt.

Several interesting aspects to that game were seen. Cedric Benson's race up the rankings may have been premature since he only gained 18 yards on nine carries and had no receptions which was expected. Aaron Rodgers was still the leading rusher (5-27). The Packers do not want a ground game beyond the ability to punch in a short score (provided Rodgers does not take it like normal) and to get a few first downs along the way. The opportunity should be akin to Stevan Ridley who gets to play defenses on their heels from the Patriots passing attack. At least last week, no such benefit existed against the 49ers still very potent defense.

The Packers had some success running the ball on the Bears last year but it is too early to rely on Benson for anything beyond some marginal rushing yardage. The Bears defense should be good enough to keep him at bay this week as well unless the Packers get a really big lead. On passing downs, the Packers took to using Randall Cobb in the backfield and that resulted in him leading the team with nine receptions for 77 yards. That's bad for Benson but great for Cobb. It seems a genius move really - the speedy and elusive Cobb barely has room on either side. Why not put him in the backfield? If it works it could start something new in the NFL. This is really something to watch.

The 49ers were able to largely take Greg Jennings (5-34) and Jordy Nelson (5-64) out of the game plan but Cobb and James Jones (4-81, TD) both stepped up along with Jermichael Finley (7-47, TD).

Jennings is listed as doubtful to play because of a groin strain and will be a game time decision. That makes James Jones more interesting and Jennings a huge risk to rely on.

This still remains a potent offense with a lot of weapons. The Packers had a rough opening that they lost at the end. This week is a restart at home against a familiar opponent. That should get them back on track.


Gaining Fantasy Points GB 7 32 3 6 32 10
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 12 6 24 23 2 22

QB Aaron Rodgers, GB STL 0000027020 ***
The last time Rodgers failed to throw multiple touchdowns at Lambeau was the painful playoff loss to San Francisco following the 2013 season. In 11 home dates since then he's averaged better than three TD tosses per game and topped 300 yards seven times. This is a good St. Louis defense, one that held Carson Palmer to one passing score last week--but also surrendered 352 yards. Rodgers just took a solid Seattle secondary for 249 and 2, so consider that the baseline for his usual Lambeau shenanigans.
RB Eddie Lacy, GB STL 10013200000 ***
Lacy was back to his usual workload last week, though he lost a TD to John Kuhn at the stripe. The Rams are tough up front but have allowed each feature back they've faced to top 70 yards or score, or both. That's Lacy's floor, with something better more likely.
WR Randall Cobb, GB STL 1006801000 ***
Cobb still doesn't look to be fully recovered from his preseason shoulder injury, but he's getting the volume targets--and in Green Bay that always means fantasy rewards.
WR James Jones, GB STL 007901000 ***
Jones saw his scoring streak snapped, leaving fantasy owners to settle for his 98 yard effort against the 49ers. St. Louis allowed multiple impact fantasy receivers for the first time last week; expect that to happen again with Aaron Rodgers slinging the ball around Lambeau Field.
TE Richard Rodgers, GB STL 003200000 ***
Rodgers has scored against each of the previous NFC West foes the Packers have faced, including last week in San Francisco when he saw a season-high six targets. That sort of volume puts him in play this week against a Rams defense that has let Jimmy Graham (51-1) and Jordan Reed (6-82) have success against them this season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB STL 2233 ***
Crosby averaged 10 points per home game last year and is ahead of that pace thus far this season. Have to like his chances against a Rams team that's giving up almost 10 points per game to opposing kickers and just let Chandler Catanzaro boot five treys last week.

* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t