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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: 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
MIN @ IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 220,1
TE Kyle Rudolph 5-50

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 Case Keenum, MIN TB 20000020011 ***
Update: Sam Bradford has been ruled out, making Keenum the starter for another week. The matchup is so-so ... Chicago wasn't a good gauge last week of how well the Bucs will defend the position. Last year, Tampa Bay was respectable, allowing 30 or more fantasy points twice and more than two TD passes three times.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN TB 8013200000 ***
Tampa gave up a bunch of receiving work to Tarik Cohen but little else. Cook has come awfully close to scoring twice now, and getting Sam Bradford back in the starting lineup should do wonders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN TB 004501000 **
The Buccaneers did a number on what Chicago is calling a receiving corps, and Thielen sorely missed Sam Bradford last week. He's barely playable without his marshmallow of a quarterback.

Update: Bradford has been ruled out for Week 3. Lower your expectations in all setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN TB 003400000 **
Assuming Sam Bradford starts, Diggs is a much safer play. The Bucs didn't give up much to WRs last week, which may be misleading given all of the Bears' injuries at the position. Cautiously treat Diggs as a PPR No. 2 or a third otherwise.

Update: Bradford has been ruled out for Week 3. Lower your expectations in all setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Laquon Treadwell, MIN TB 002300000 ***
Minnesota's third target is too erratic to matter in fantasy leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN TB 003300000 ***
Rudolph will be a safer fantasy start if Sam Bradford returns to the lineup. If not, consider the veteran tight end as a fringe play. Tampa gave up a 6-42-0 line to Chicago tight ends in its one game this year.

Update: Bradford has been ruled out for Week 3. Lower your expectations in all setups.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, MIN TB 2222 ***
Gauging Tampa's defense of fantasy kickers is skewed from having a Week 1 bye and returning to face the Bears. Sam Bradford's status will also play a role in the final projections for Forbath.

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
RB Frank Gore 110,1
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 Jacoby Brissett, IND CLE 0000021011 ***
Even against Cleveland, a defense that has given up four QB TD passes in two games, Brissett has no conventional fantasy worth.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND CLE 701000000 ***
Cleveland has given up 23.3 PPR points, on average, this fresh season. RBs have managed to score one TD apiece on the ground and via the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND CLE 005600000 ***
After facing the Steelers and Ravens, Cleveland has blanked all but Jeremy Maclin from the end zone. Hilton's disastrous 2017 should continue.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND CLE 002300000 ***
Moncrief is a gamble in all formats and is best left in reserve as Jacoby Brissett may struggle again. Cleveland has been strong vs. the pass so far.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND CLE 007801000 ***
The Browns are sitting as the second easiest defense to exploit in 2017. Tight ends have gone for 162 yards and two scores on 19 catches. Doyle should be fine this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND CLE 2222 ***
Cleveland has given up only one field goal on two kicks, and most of the damage has come via extra points -- something this version of the Colts may struggle to generate.

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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