FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: GB 20, SEA 17 (Line: GB by 3.5)

Players to Watch: Aaron Rodgers, Anthony McCoy

Player Updates: Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb

This is going to be a very interesting game. The Seattle defense has been very effective and better as the game goes on. But their offense has never been much more than Marshawn Lynch. The Packers still have not rekindled the magic of 2011 when they could score on accident. If this game follows the first two weeks, it will be close and not have that many points. This is the Packers first trip away from Green Bay.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI 23-10 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 @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20,1 290,1
WR Randall Cobb 20 3-40
WR James Jones 3-40
WR Jordy Nelson 5-70
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers won their matchup with the Bears but so far Aaron Rodgers ranks as the 18th best fantasy quarterback despite being a first round pick in almost every league. Granted he did play the 49ers and Bears but both games came at home and he only managed one touchdown against the Bears. Last year over two games he scored eight times on them. Almost all those top quarterbacks from last year are struggling more. But Rodgers seemed above that happening.

Cedric Benson bounced back against his original team and posted 81 yards on 20 carries and added four catches for 35 yards. That was in direct contrast to facing the 49ers when he only produced 18 yards in the entire game. At least Benson does get all the running back work there is.

Greg Jennings was held out of the Thursday game to rest his groin and make sure he would be 100% the rest of the season. He'll return this week even though he only managed 34 yards on five receptions versus the 49ers. Jordy Nelson has yet to score a touchdown but has been the most solid receiver so far with 11 catches for 148 yards on the year. Then again, he was always a force in all home games last year and never failed to score in Green Bay. This year - two games and not a point. Randall Cobb and James Jones still contribute but fell flat against the Bears when Jennings was out and the team needed them to step up.

Even Jermichael Finley has been off his game with only 11 catches for 73 yards on the season though he scored against the 49ers. The passing game feels like it has been about halved from the prolific games we recall from last year. That's not likely to change much this week on the road for the first time and facing a Seattle defense that has only allowed one passing touchdown per game and just shut down Tony Romo. If the Packers are to resume their role as NFC North bad ass, it better start this week. The Packers defense also needs to rise up in this game against an average offense.

Starting in week four - their fortunes really change with a schedule that should be easy aside from the one trip to Houston. Even a loss here would not doom them but it makes it much harder than it needs to be.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 21 29 6 8 23 3
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 6 9 14 9 3 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB MIN 0000025020 ***
Behind a banged up line and mired in a two-game mini-slump--longer, if you want to go back to his last 300-yard game back in week 10--Rodgers is no longer a fantasy lock, at home or otherwise. Further limiting expectations are a now-healthy Vikings defense and an underachieving receiving corps.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB MIN 10011100000 ***
Lacy has owned the Vikings, with four straight 100-yard rushing games (after a 94-yard debut) and six touchdowns in five career meetings. The Vikings vow to tackle lower and have returned multiple key defenders to the lineup following injuries, but there's still plenty of reasons to like the wildly inconsistent Lacy's chances this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB MIN 2004401000 ***
Starks had some run as the Packers' pass-catching back, then filled in for the enigmatic Eddie Lacy, and now has returned to limited touches. Given Lacy's track record of success against the Vikings, expect Starks to take a back seat--fantasy and otherwise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, GB MIN 005701000 ***
Jones went big with 6-109-1 in Minnesota, but in five games since then he's totaled just 16-196-1. Startable based on the earlier meeting with Minnesota, but inconsistent nonetheless.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB MIN 006700000 **
Cobb has been Aaron Rodgers most reliable target over the past five games, catching two-thirds of his 34 targets for 239 yards but failing to find the end zone since scoring against the Vikings in Week 11. Still, he's the safest of Green Bay's receiver options.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB MIN 003400000 ***
More targets than Cobb since the Vikings game, but he hasn't topped 42 yards since then and has one touchdown--and many more key drops. Unreliable in more ways than one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Richard Rodgers, GB MIN 002200000 ***
The Vikings haven't given up a TE TD since Week 10 and held Rodgers to 3-7 in the earlier meeting. Rodgers has done little since his Hail Mary back in Week 13 and is too inconsistent to be banked on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB MIN 22233 ***
Season-high sixteen
in last game against Vikings
Settle for three much?

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB ----- 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL ----- 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR ----- 14 ARI -----
6 NE ----- 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF ----- 16 SF -----
8 @DET ----- 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30 160,1
RB Bryce Brown 10
RB Marshawn Lynch 100,1 1-10
WR Doug Baldwin 2-20
TE Jimmy Graham 6-80,1
TE Anthony McCoy 3-30,1
PK Steven Hauschka 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks beat Dallas thanks to a dominating defense and a solid rushing effort out of Marshawn Lynch. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has been effective enough but mostly as a game manager trying to not make any mistakes. His two efforts thus far are virtual bookends of 150 pass yards and one touchdown each. His role as a runner has only provided about 20 or 30 yards per game as well.

Lynch has been the chain mover in this offense with no fewer than 21 carries per game and at least four yards per tote. He rushed for 122 yards and a score on the Cowboys but has been unused as a receiver. With the Seahawks wanting to keep the Packers from the field as much as possible, it is a lock that Lynch gets 20 more carries this week as well.

The lackluster passing stats has left all receivers with no real fantasy value. Last week it was unknown Anthony McCoy scoring once and turning in five catches for 41 yards but he only had 13 catches over his first two seasons in Seattle who has apparently given up on Zach Miller. No wideout or tight end has accounted for more than 43 yards in a game and that does not look to change going against a top five secondary this week.

Whether the Seahawks win or lose, the outcome is not going to be caused by the offense. Seattle's defense will either keep them in the game as they did against the Cowboys or not. In fantasy terms, only Lynch has any real value as a starter besides the team defense aspect.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 31 19 32 17 14 20
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 5 17 8 7 15 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA @ARI 0000023011 ***
Since being held to 240 and 1 by the Cardinals in Week 10 Wilson has ripped off six straight with multiple touchdowns, averaging better than 32 fantasy points per game during that span. The difference is that the six defenses Wilson faced during that span have an average rank of 19 against QBs; the Cardinals rank ninth. Don't discount Wilson entirely, but don't expect nearly the robust performance you've been enjoying the past six weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Christine Michael, SEA @ARI 4002200000 ***
We've seen nothing from Michael--against a legit run defense, anyway--to suggest he's capable of filling Marshawn Lynch's (or even Thomas Rawls') shoes. The Cards haven't allowed a back to top 70 yards against them since Week 6; Michael's no threat to that streak.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, SEA @ARI 200000000 ***
Brown was more productive than Christine Michael last week--if you can call seven carries for nine yards more productive than six for six. Half a share of a shaky backfield against a top-10 run defense does not a fantasy starter make.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @ARI 004601000 **
Prior to facing the Cardinals back in Week 10 Baldwin was just another guy with two TDs averaging 43 yards per game. His 7-134-1 kicked off an epic second half of the season that's seen Baldwin score a dozen times and top 100 thrice. Perhaps Arizona will pay more attention to him this time around, but it's not as if the previous teams in his five game scoring streak didn't see him coming so business as usual for the new and improved Baldwin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA @ARI 003500000 ***
Lockett has been more than just an observer to Doug Baldwin's second-half blow-up, contributing five TDs and 60-plus yards per game over the past six weeks. But he'll run headlong into an Arizona defense that held him to one catch in the previous meeting and has allowed just two WR TDs and only one secondary target to top 52 yards since that earlier matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @ARI 003300000 ***
As the third man in to Seattle's sudden passing game surge Kearse has had fantasy value when facing softer matchups. This isn't such a matchup, so don't reach for him here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @ARI 3311 ***
Tough to score on Cards
Hauschka's eight points in first game
feels like a ceiling

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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