Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: NO 24, GB 37 (Line: GB by 8)

Players to Watch: Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers for any signs of yesteryear

Players Updated: Greg Jennings

This should be one of those great games to watch except these teams combine for a 1-5 record. Say what?

The Packers were shafted come off a tough win loss last week but the defense has been very good and in reality, facing the 49ers, Bears and Seahawks was a trip through some of the best defenses in the league. The Saints? More like ranked #32 on defense. The Saints offense has not been bad, but not quite as prolific as their opponents become whenever they play the defense that has truly earned the moniker "The Big Easy". Expect the Packer win and hope for points all around.

The Packers won their season opener over the Saints last year 42-34

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 WAS 32-40 10 ATL -----
2 @CAR 27-35 11 @OAK -----
3 KC 24-27 12 SF -----
4 @GB ----- 13 @ATL -----
5 SD ----- 14 @NYG -----
6 BYE ----- 15 TB -----
7 @TB ----- 16 @DAL -----
8 @DEN ----- 17 CAR -----
9 PHI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 300,3
RB Mark Ingram 30
RB C.J. Spiller
WR Marques Colston 4-50
WR T.J. Graham 3-30

Pregame Notes: It is bad enough to be 0-3, but when that comes against the easy part of your schedule it is time to hit the alarm button. The defense has been horrible this year and just made Jamaal Charles look like he was playing in a different time dimension. Untouched for 91 yards? That is not how you draw up a defense. This is all a very bad portent for the future games and by this point we have to hope that Drew Brees and company maintains motivation so our fantasy teams can remain intact.

Brees has scored multiple touchdowns each week and thrown for healthy yardage in his quest to catch up to his opponents. He has five interceptions and is not scoring as well as last year but the scoreboard deficits continue to make him throw 40 or 50 times per game. There is no end in sight for how badly Brees is going to need to throw this year.

The rushing effort has produced only one touchdown by a running back and Pierre Thomas' 110 yards on nine carries in Carolina is a big aberration. Darren Sproles has eked out marginal fantasy value each week but Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas are a big risk to rely on. At least Thomas has been adding four receptions per game.

Jimmy Graham is still cranking out a touchdown every week but is averaging just six catches for 57 yards per week - hardly the sort of numbers that was expected when he was drafted in the first or second round in most leagues. Marques Colston has caught the funk as well with no scores and less than 50 yards these last two weeks. Lance Moore has two scores but only caught two passes for 30 yards in the last road game.

The players are mostly the same from the last couple of seasons but without Sean Peyton there to call plays, the offense has dropped off and the defense has gone into hiding. With Brees throwing in desperation every week, there is still fantasy value here. It is just not nearly as big or consistent as we have been accustomed. And there is no relief in sight because they never get the chance to play themselves.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 4 4 24 6 23 24
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 8 12 4 4 6 23

QB Drew Brees, NO @HOU 0000028021 ***
Houston has allowed only one TD pass in the last three games... but there's a difference between shutting down Mettenberger, Dalton and Fitzpatrick and slowing the red-hot Brees, who has 13 touchdowns in the past three games. He may not notch his eighth 300-yard game, but he'll do more than enough to be his usual fantasy stalwart.
RB Mark Ingram, NO @HOU 6004300000 ***
Since being gutted by Lamar Miller for 175 yards the Texans have held three straight foes under 80 rushing yards. However, they've also given up an average of 53 RB receiving yards per game in that span. With Ingram still the majority shareholder of touches in New Orleans' backfield he's a safe fantasy play with upside.
WR Brandin Cooks, NO @HOU 006901000 ***
Cooks isn't a true WR1, but he's the most consistently targeted Saint--and the one with the most upside. The Texans aren't prone to giving up big games--only two 100-yard receivers on the year--but they give up a steady supply of solid fantasy helpers. Set your expectations at that level and you won't be disappointed.
WR Willie Snead, NO @HOU 004500000 ***
Snead vanished in Week 10, one week after pacing the Saints with 10 targets and 95 yards. Tough to trust that sort of inconsistency, but a Houston secondary that's allowed multiple wideouts to score or top 80 yards in four of the last six games should provide opportunity for a Snead revival.
WR Marques Colston, NO @HOU 004500000 ***
Colston posted a throwback game in Week 8 with 8-114-1, but he's been lightly targeted and even less productive in the two games since. He's a wild card, and Houston's secondary doesn't provide enough opportunity for upside to warrant a fantasy play here.
TE Benjamin Watson, NO @HOU 004501000 **
The Texans have allowed only three TE TDs on the year, only one since the season opener and none since Week 6. Watson was sniped on the Saints' last two TE TDs, putting a crimp on his fantasy upside here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, NO @HOU 2122 ***
Forbath has one field goal in four games since taking over in New Orleans. The Texans haven't allowed a double-digit kicking game this season, and Kai seems an unlikely candidate to buck that trend.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI 23-10 11 @DET -----
3 @SEA 12-14 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 vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 30,1 300,2
RB John Kuhn 2-10
WR Randall Cobb 2-30
WR James Jones 2-30
WR Jordy Nelson 5-70,1
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers are 1-2* but that comes after facing great defenses. And opponents have only averaged 18 points per week against them. This week should provide a big turnaround with a home game versus a nearly nonexistent defense. With three road games looming on the other side, this one really needs to be a win.

Aaron Rodgers was the early draft pick in every league but so far his performance has owners cringing. He opened with 303 yards and two scores on the 49ers but then was held to 219 yards and one score by the Bears and no touchdowns against the Seahawks when he ended with just 223 yards. Granted - tough defenses. But this was also a prolific offense above the vexations of match-ups. The Packers have already lost more games than they did in all of 2011 and it is only coming up on week four. But reason to expect a turnaround.

The Saints have been decent against the pass but only faced Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Matt Cassel. And Griffin posted 320 yards and two scores on them. Stomping on the Saints won't prove the Packers are back to form but it will make fantasy owners a lot happier.

Cedric Benson gained 81 yards on 20 carries against the Bears and then scored once on the Seahawks with 45 yards on 17 carries. The tough defenses in these first three games have been a factor but that should change this week - and if only for this week - because the Saints have allowed six touchdowns to running backs and over 100 rushing yards to every opponent. This is the best week to start Benson... maybe in his entire career. Last year the Packers rushed for 102 yards and two scores on the Saints.

Jermichael Finley has only scored once this season and averages only 43 yards per game. He's not been nearly the factor expected but then again everyone is off in this offense. Jordy Nelson was a scoring machine in 2011 and still has yet to reach the endzone. Greg Jennings not only has not scored, but his best game has been six catches for 35 yards.

This game is going to answer some important questions. Are the Packers just stumbling through a slate of great defenses or has the offense finally gone stale? There should be no excuse for some monster performances in a home game against a defense that has allowed 34 points per game.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 24 26 11 13 26 10
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 25 32 21 2 32 26

QB Aaron Rodgers, GB CHI 0000030030 ***
Rodgers has multiple touchdowns in five straight games he's finished against the Bears, and last time the Bears came to town he threw six scores. There's also a five-TD game on Rodgers' Lambeau-vs.-Bears recent resume, and after tossing three in the season opener against Chicago there's no reason to shy away from him here.
RB Eddie Lacy, GB CHI 7002100000 *
Lacy has scored in all five career meetings with the Bears, and after last week's 100-yard effort against the Vikings he looks to have his regular gig back as well. Chicago has already surrendered 100-yard games to Thomas Rawls, Adrian Peterson and Ronnie Hillman this year and a rejuvenated Lacy could be knocking on that door as well.
RB James Starks, GB CHI 2005500000 *
Starks returns to his caddy role, with only a modicum of upside against a Bears D that has yet to let two backs from the same team top nine fantasy points in a game.
WR James Jones, GB CHI 005602000 **
After being shut out at home in Week 10 Jones returned with a vengeance last week, restoring confidence that he can be counted on for something at least close to his 4-51-2 from the earlier meeting in Chicago.
WR Randall Cobb, GB CHI 005501000 ***
Cobb has scored in four straight against the Bears, who have let multiple wideouts score in four games this season--including last week. He'll be just fine.
WR Davante Adams, GB CHI 003500000 ***
With the return of James Jones to fantasy relevance Adams fell to third in the passing game pecking order with less than half the targets Jones or Randall Cobb saw last week. He played a bigger role in the season opener against Chicago with eight targets and a team-high 59 yards, but he failed to score. Tough to bank on the Packers going three deep this week, so look for fantasy help elsewhere.
TE Richard Rodgers, GB CHI 002300000 ***
The Bears have allowed only two TE TDs this year, none since their Week 7 bye, and they held Rodgers to 3-27 in the earlier meeting this season. There are better fantasy options out there.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB CHI 1144 ***
Crosby comes off a season-high 16 point outing, his first multiple field goal game in more than a month. He counted by ones in the earlier meeting with Chicago but the Bears' D has improved; that actually might bode well for Mason.

CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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