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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
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 CHI 0000025010 **
Cousins proved to be playable vs. the Bears in the last meeting, but it wasn't anything to write home about. He finished with 262 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of picks for 21.6 points in fantasy. The Bears may be again without safety Eddie Jackson, though this defense still hasn't given up a 300-yarder other than Brock Osweiler's baffling day in Week 6.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN CHI 10013200000 *
The second-year back is looking more like his healthy self in the last few weeks, racking up 209 rushing yards and two scores, adding 62 yards via the pass. He has double-digit PPR totals in five straight outings. Chicago held Cook to a pathetic four PPR points in Week 11, though, and the Bears are the third-toughest defense vs. RBs in 2018. In the last five weeks, though, three of the four rushing scores have come.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, MIN CHI 300000000 ***
With three of the four rushing TDs scored against the Bears this year coming in the last five weeks, Murray could get lucking. He was abysmal in the Week 11 game and is a risky play in any setting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN CHI 006801000 **
The Bears kept Thielen mostly in check in the Week 11 trip to Chicago, allowing seven catches for 66 yards. He has just one 100-yard game since his eight-game streak ended, and it has been three weeks since Thielen has scored. The Bears have surrendered only two touchdowns to WRs in the last five games, but this one could go either way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN CHI 004600000 **
Diggs erupted vs. Chicago for a 13-126-1 line in Week 11, his second-biggest output of the year. He has scored in consecutive games on just six total grabs and is approaching his sixth straight game without a 100-yard performance. Chicago has permitted only two WR touchdowns in the last five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN CHI 003300000 ***
Nine catches, 122 yards, two TDs ... his ridiculous stat line dwarfed just about the rest of his season. With only two scores coming into Week 16, and Detroit having been relatively strong against the position, Rudolph's game can be considered closer to a fluke. He saw five targets, snaring two for 13 yards against Chicago in their last meeting.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, MIN CHI 3322 ***
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 @TEN 0000031020 ***
Tennessee has yielded only 18 TD passes in 15 games. The good news is Luck was responsible for three of them, plus 343 yards, in the Week 11 game. This one is in Tennessee, which negates a little bit of his luster. Keep rolling with Luck in any format you desire. Much of the Titans' success has come against inferior talent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marlon Mack, IND @TEN 5011100000 ***
Mack represents one of the six total scores against Tennessee this year by a running back. He finished with 69 total yards of offense and 13.9 points in PPR. With four TDs in the last three games, consider him a decent flier for points, but don't be surprised if you're let down.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Nyheim Hines, IND @TEN 1005300000 ***
No running back has scored through the air s. the Titans this year, and this is the best defense of the position in fantasy. Just six times RBs have scored on the ground. Hines went for a dismal 4.4 PPR points in the last meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @TEN 007901000 ***
Hilton continues to miss practice time but find the field when it counts. The veteran has 16 targets in the last two games but hasn't scored a touchdown since exploding for nine grabs, 155 yards and two TDs vs. the Titans in Week 11.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, IND @TEN 002301000 **
One of his two TDs this year came against the Titans in Week 11, and he scored last weekend vs. NYG. There really isn't a scenario in which gamers should feel compelled to play Inman, perhaps outside of a wild dice roll in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chester Rogers, IND @TEN 003400000 ***
Rogers showed up last week (7-54-1) after being ice cold for two months. The Titans held him to nine yards on two catches in the Week 11 game, and he has no lineup-worthy value in fantasy this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, IND @TEN 006500000 ***
Ebron was blanked against the Titans in Week 11, and Tennessee has been the toughest unit in football against his position. No other team has held tight ends out of the end zone all year. Ebron is in the concussion protocol. Be prepared to find another option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @TEN 1133 ***
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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