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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* 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
Grass
  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
vs Rush Catch Pass

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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 8 2 2 32 10 4
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 21 20 20 17 26 13

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mitchell Trubisky, CHI GB 20000021021 ***
Trubisky was unimpressive in the Week 1 trip to Lambeau. He didn't even throw a TD pass or top 200 yards. Green Bay has allowed at least 21 fantasy points in three of the last four games, with Josh Rosen being the odd man out. The matchup is midrange with a slant to the positive. Start him without any clearer options at the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI GB 801000000 ***
Green Bay has granted 10 rushing touchdowns to the position in 2018. In the past five weeks, this is the ninth-best opponent for rushing yards per contest but the ninth-hardest opponent for scoring against on the ground. Howard is a coin flip and is fully dependent on field position/situational football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI GB 3004401000 ***
Traveling back to Week 1, Cohen touched the ball only one time and wasn't particularly productive (7.1 PPR). The season has played out in his favor from about Week 4 on, and he has two games since that Tampa Bay contest with fewer than 10 PPR points. Green Bay has yielded only two TD catches over 54 grabs by the position, which portends to the possibility for a weaker day for the dynamo. Play him and hope for the best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson II, CHI GB 005701000 ***
Way back in the season opener, Robinson was good for a team-high 10.1 PPR points vs. the Packers. Much has changed for both squads since, and the former Jaguar is the safest bet in this receiving corps to exploit a Packers defense that has given up 19 TDs in 13 games to the position. In the last five weeks, this is the third-best opponent for receptions and No. 10 for yardage produced.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, CHI GB 004400000 ***
It has been since Week 4 the last time Gabriel has scored, and he hasn't done much in volume the last two weeks (six total grabs). The looks have been there but were higher with Chase Daniel starting. There is little reason to chance it with Gabriel, and about the only incentive is how poorly GB has played the position in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anthony Miller, CHI GB 003400000 ***
The Packers have allowed the second-most receptions per game since Week 9, and this is the 10th-best matchup for yardage. Miller is more of a short-range TD threat right now than a volume guy, so consider him of mild value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Trey Burton, CHI GB 002200000 ***
Barring a drastic change in trends, Burton is poised for another poor game. Green Bay has yielded just one TD to tight ends in 2018, and his role is leaving something to be desired.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, CHI GB 2233 ***
No writeup available

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  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
TE Jimmy Graham 7-80,1
TE Lance Kendricks 3-30
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-50,1
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.

 

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 7 32 3 6 32 10
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 12 6 24 23 2 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB @CHI 0000025020 ***
Seven games have passed since the last time Rodgers topped 25 fantasy points, and he has only one 300-yard day in that span. He hasn't thrown for three or more touchdowns since Week 5. The Bears held him in check in the first half of the Week 1 game, but he injured his knee and came back with a vengeance over the final two quarters. Chicago has not allowed a 300-yard day since Week 6, which was the only on in 2018, and quarterbacks from LAR, NYG, DET, MIN have only three TD passes in the last four games combined.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Aaron Jones, GB @CHI 4004300000 ***
Jones was suspended for the Week 1 meeting and has played his way into all formats over the last six weeks or so. The Bears are a daunting opponent to face, so temper your expectations, but they have given up 73 receptions and four aerial scores, which offers hope.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB @CHI 005701000 **
Adams has scored in three straight and has six TDs in his last six outings. The Bears allowed him to score in Week 1 on his five catches for 88 yards. WRs have scored 12 times in 13 games vs. the Bears this season, and this is among the better matchups for PPR scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB @CHI 002201000 **
The rookie has posted forgettable lines since Week 9 and probably should be ignored in all formats. The projected TD is optimistic, but it is attainable given that Chicago has permitted 12 in 13 games this year to receivers. MVS has consecutive games with 2-19-0 lines, and he combined for 11 yards on two grabs in his previous two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB @CHI 003400000 ***
Cobb was lethal in the Week 1 game vs. the Bears, going for a nine-catch, 142-yard, one-TD day. He scored his first touchdown last week since that contest and looks to be over his hamstring woes. The veteran has flex appeal in PPR and could be a sly DFS buy if the price is right.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, GB @CHI 003300000 ***
Way back in Week 1, Graham saw four targets, landing two for a game-changing eight whole yards. Chicago has conceded five touchdowns to Graham's positional mates in 2018, but none of them have come in the last eight games. Graham has only one score in his last night outings. Consider alternatives.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1122 ***
No writeup available

WEEK 2
2012
* 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)

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