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 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 NYJ 0000028030 ***
After a rocky start in Seattle Rodgers returns home to Lambeau, where he's topped 260 yards in four straight with at least three TD tosses in three of those four. The Jets aren't a pushover, but they did just allow Derek Carr to toss multiple touchdowns in his NFL debut so no reason to fear a fantasy-unfriendly follow-up to Rodgers' Week 1 washout.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB NYJ 5002100000 *
While the Raiders' backfield won't win any prizes, the Jets holding them to 26 yards on 14 carries is still impressive. Between Lacy's concussion and a stout New York run D he's not a lock for fantasy success this week; once he's cleared, then we can quibble about what he may be able to do behind an offensive line that continues to lose regulars to injury.
Update: Lacy has been cleared to play and is listed as probable. However, his offensive line looks to be down another regular and the Jets' defensive front was stout last week so keep a lid on your expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB NYJ 006902000 ****
Multiple Raiders receivers scored against the Jets last week; surely a Green Bay offense that saw two or more wideouts score and/or top 80 yards in 11 of 16 games last season--and one of one this year--can turn a similar trick. Even if not, Nelson has emerged as the WR1 and is the more reliable of the pair for fantasy productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB NYJ 006701000 ***
Cobb found the end zone against Seattle, and while he may be a tick behind Jordy Nelson in the passing game pecking order there was enough productivity for multiple wideouts to score and/or top 80 yards 11 times last season; no reason to think that trend can't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarrett Boykin, GB NYJ 003500000 ***
Green Bay's passing attack has traditionally fed three fantasy wideouts, though Boykin is most definitely at the bottom end of the pecking order. As such he's the toughest to bank on for fantasy stats, though a home matchup with a Jets' D that's wafer-thin at corner at least provides optimism.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB NYJ 003300000 ***
Quarless has done little to suggest he's next man up in the Packers' rich tradition of fantasy helpers at the tight end position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB NYJ 2233 ****
You could certainly do worse than getting your kicks at the back end of the prolific Packers offense.

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 Marshawn Lynch 100,1 1-10
WR Doug Baldwin 2-20
WR Percy Harvin 20 7-100,1
TE Anthony McCoy 3-30,1
TE Zach Miller 2-20
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 @SD 20000019010 ***
Wilson is efficient, effective, and a bit of a fantasy enigma. Usually his team will run the ball and he'll do just enough for the win--not necessarily enough to load your fantasy stat sheet. Is he capable? Sure, and the Chargers just let Carson Palmer go for 304 & 2 against them. But he's as apt to give you 200 and 1 or 150 and 2 as he is something that's really helpful fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @SD 9011100000 ***
San Diego's run D wasn't particularly tested last week; that will change when Lynch gets his customary 15-20 carries. It's early in the season, he's well rested... no reason not to pencil him in for his usual Beast Mode fantasy outburst.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, SEA @SD 3006700000 ***
The Seahawks will get Harvin his touches, but he'll find himself facing the usual quandaries: he may not get to a receiving or rushing milestone like 100 yards, so your league needs to reward combo yardage (or each yard individually) for maximum effect; and because Seattle's defense is so stout, there's really no need to blow Harvin up for a gaudy stat line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @SD 005600000 ***
Even though he's a solid WR2 he's on a team that doesn't need to throw a bunch. Worse, Russell Wilson is starting to spread the ball around to tertiary targets, making Baldwin that much more difficult to trust fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA @SD 003400000 ***
Miller has the distinct displeasure of being a low-end target on a run-first team, and this matchup isn't favorable enough for him to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @SD 2233 ****
With a defense like they have, the Seahawks can afford to settle for field goals--good news for Hauschka, as it's better to count by threes.

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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