FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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: MIN 20, IND 23 (Line: MIN by 1)

Players to watch: Coby Fleener, Kyle Rudolph

The Vikings come off a overtime win over the Jaguars and in the process did what no one thought possible - they made Blaine Gabbert look like a real quarterback. Oh, and Adrian Peterson played. The Colts come off a a solid loss in Chicago but Andrew Luck's debut was not all bad and the Colts at home have a real chance to win this coin flipper. This will be one of the easier games this year for the Colts but that is hardly a lock. But both teams are trying to find themselves and the Colts at home should squeak this out against the 2-6 road team from last year.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 ot 10 DET -----
2 @IND ----- 11 BYE -----
3 SF ----- 12 @CHI -----
4 @DET ----- 13 @GB -----
5 TEN ----- 14 CHI -----
6 @WAS ----- 15 @STL -----
7 ARI ----- 16 @HOU -----
8 TB ----- 17 GB -----
9 @SEA ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Aldrick Robinson 5-70,1
TE Kyle Rudolph 5-50
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Credit special teams with keeping the Vikes in the game and eventually winning in overtime. The biggest news was Adrian Peterson returning after only nine months removed from his knee injury. Peterson ran for 84 yards on 17 carries and scorer twice. Peterson has always been a north-south sort of runner and his straight line power and speed seemed back to form. He'll get better incrementally as the season progresses but his start exceeds all expectations and prognosis. Tony Gerhart still had six runs but only gained 18 yards. Peterson has already reclaimed his spot and made Gerhart remain just a footnote.

Christian Ponder passed for 270 yards last week but had no scores. So far in his brief career he's been less effective away from home where he had four touchdowns over six away games. This will be a good test for Ponder against a secondary that just gave up 333 yards to Jay Cutler.

Percy Harvin remains the stud here but no other wideout has stepped up last year or in the first game of the year. Michael Jenkins (3-45) and Devin Aromashodu (3-61) factor in but neither do much to lessen the focus of the defense on Harvin. The one other receiver that does matter may end up to be tight end Kyle Rudolph who enters his second season as the best college tight end from 2011. Rudolph was second to only Harvin with five catches for 67 yards versus the Jaguars. This offense needs him to break out this year and so far the signs are starting to grow.

The Colts biggest advantage is just that they are home and the Vikings are on the road. This game is going to come down to a battle of quarterbacks and either Ponder steps up and plays better or Luck just does as well as last week with fewer turnovers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 27 9 21 20 4 23
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 25 31 31 1 23 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kirk Cousins, MIN ARI 0000030020 ***
Cousins' worst game of the year is 19 points in Week 3. He posted 19.2 last weekend. Arizona has allowed one touchdown pass per contest, rating as the second-strongest at limiting their frequency. This is the fourth-hardest matchup when rushing touchdowns are removed, but Cousins faces a team C.J. Beathard posted 32.2 fantasy points against in Week 5. Arizona's stats against are skewed from matchups with Seattle, Chicago, Washington and a Rams offense that run instead of passed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, MIN ARI 6012200000 **
Dalvin Cook took a step closer to play thing this week with a limited practice session. He return would make Murray barely playable, not that he was killing it otherwise. The matchup is the best in football, so there's hope even if Cook is active that Murray could sneak into the end zone.

Update: Cook was limited Wednesday and Friday after being full Thursday, so check the game-time inactives before deploying him. He probably sees limited work if he is indeed active. Murray is a fringe flex option, better in standard scoring, if Cook doesn't go.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN ARI 0071001000 ***
A hundred yards seems like a given at this point ... He could struggle, but it comes down to how the game flow goes. Arizona hasn't given up much in the way of yardage (157/game) to receivers on the 10th-most catches -- this is a product of sound tackling and a successful zone defense, keeping all of the traffic in front of them. A lone pass of those 72 receptions has made it into the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN ARI 003500000 ***
This appears to have a chance at being another volume game for Diggs, but be aware that he could struggle. The Cardinals have allowed the 10th-most receptions a game but only the eighth-fewest yards and the lowest touchdown efficiency rating. Just one of the 72 catches has scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN ARI 005601000 ***
Rudolph has landed five balls in three straight and has generated at least 9.1 fantasy points in each of the past four outings. Facing Arizona, the data suggests he has a pretty good shot at finding the end zone but may struggle to rack up catches or yardage.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, MIN ARI 1133 ***
No writeup available

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC -----
2 MIN ----- 11 @NE -----
3 JAC ----- 12 BUF -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET -----
5 GB ----- 14 TEN -----
6 @NYJ ----- 15 @HOU -----
7 CLE ----- 16 @KC -----
8 @TEN ----- 17 HOU -----
9 MIA ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 10 300,2
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The opener was predictably painful but the loss in Chicago was not unexpected and did have some positives from it. Andrew Luck looked very credible throwing for 309 yards and one score in his first NFL start and his three interceptions will get better. Luck faced an aggressive Bears defense primed to play the rookie but this week the Vikings bring in a secondary that was exploited by Blaine Gabbert. That is not a resume builder for the secondary and no doubt where the Colts focus will be.

Luck threw 18 passes to Reggie Wayne who caught nine of them for 135 yards. For some perspective, understand that Wayne never had nine catches or 135 yards in any game last year. That is a positive. Luck also used Donnie Avery (3-37, TD) for eight pass attempts. But the second best receiver on the team proved to be his old college buddy Coby Fleener who caught six passes for 82 yards. For some perspective, understand that Fleener only once had more than four catches in any game during his four years at Stanford. That is a positive.

The receivers will likely evolve as the season progresses but at least Luck hit the ground passing. Now he just needs to limit the catches to his own team mates.

Donald Brown scored once and gained 48 yards on nine carries as the primary back. Vick Ballard turned four runs into only six yards at the end of the game. Brown was mostly met at the line but did manage an 18 yard run when he scored in the second quarter.

The Vikings weak secondary carries over from last year and now faces Luck on the road instead of Gabbert at Minny. The game will revolve around what Luck can accomplish.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 21 27 9 10 31 9
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 22 19 16 22 17 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND @NYJ 0000028021 ***
Quarterbacks have thrown seven touchdowns against as many interceptions vs. the Jets in 2018. The 290.6 yards allowed a game ranks ninth most, and a score every 18.7 completions, or the fifth-lowest frequency. Luck has been magical without much at his disposal. Given his success, consider him a low-tier road starter despite the poor matchup rating. He is once again without T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Nyheim Hines, IND @NYJ 2007500000 ***
Hines has an interesting matchup. New York has given up 6.8 catches for 52 yards a game through the air, yet only one of the 34 grabs has scored. Running backs have averaged 80.8 rushing yards, scoring four times in the last five contests. He isn't much of a true running back, despite his game-breaking speed, but the rookie is capable of contributing in PPR with all of Indy's injured pass-catchers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marlon Mack, IND @NYJ 500000000 *
Mack is close to returning after a full practice Wednesday. Yet, he is hardly worth thinking about in fantasy. Return later for a final estimation of his availability, but practicing on a Wednesday is a great sign. The matchup is just mediocre, and his chance of reinjure has to be considered elevated.

Update: Mack practiced in full all week and is not on the injury report.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chester Rogers, IND @NYJ 008901000 ***
Rogers has 11 targets and eight receptions in each of the last two games. He has not found the end zone in 2018, but as long as T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle are out, Rogers is a worthwhile PPR flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ryan Grant, IND @NYJ 005700000 ***
Grant has at least seven targets in three of five games and each of the last two. The former Redskin has managed to find the end zone once and has produced double digits in PPR in all but one week. This is the third-best matchup for receptions and No. 4 in yardage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, IND @NYJ 006501000 ***
Ebron looks like a brand-new man after leaving Detroit. He has migrated into the must-start column as long as Jack Doyle remains out, and the former Lion is a sound flex play even if Doyle is back. The Jets have yielded only one touchdown on the 15 catches faced. This is the worst matchup for receptions, yardage and PPR points per contest so far. He did not practice (shin) Wednesday, so check back for an update.

Update: He is listed as questionable with shin, quad, ankle and knee ailments. The veteran is a game-time call in Week 6.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @NYJ 2222 ***
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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