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 John Kuhn 2-10

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 DET 0000031040 ***
Brees' last two games vs. DET: 340 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT (2014) and 341 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT (2015). The Lions have the best statistical defense of quarterbacks using data from the last five weeks, but we're talking games with Minnesota (twice), Jacksonville and Houston.
RB Tim Hightower, NO DET 3003301000 ***
Since Week 7, running backs have averaged 77.3 rushing yards, 51.8 receiving yards, five receptions and 20.9 PPR points per game against the Lions. Hightower has little upside during this crucial stage of the season.

Update: in the event Mark Ingram sits out (QUE, GTD), Hightower's value increases considerably. Check the inactives to be safe before starting him.
RB Mark Ingram, NO DET 5002200000 ***
Detroit has allowed only two rushing touchdowns all season, and no receiving scores in the last five weeks. This is the sixth worst overall index rating for opportunities. Ingram has mild appeal, because focusing on so many passing weapons can let him get loose from time to time.

Update: Ingram is questionable and was limited Friday after failing to practice both Wednesday and Thursday. He was non-committal about his status and is a true game-time decision.
WR Michael Thomas, NO DET 006801000 ***
Detroit has not exactly faced powerful offenses (MIN, JAX, HOU, MIN) in the last five weeks, but the stats show at least the Lions can handle weak opponents. Thomas has plenty of upside and has proven he belongs in lineups each and every week.
WR Brandin Cooks, NO DET 005701000 ***
Cooks wasn't pleased with his role last week, but that should not be an issue this time around. The Lions have granted the eighth most catches per game over the last five weeks. The rest is up to him given his game-breaking speed.
WR Willie Snead IV, NO DET 005500000 ***
Detroit has given up the eighth most catches but the worst ratio of catches that led to scores since Week 7. Snead has low-end PPR flex appeal.
TE Coby Fleener, NO DET 004501000 ***
The Lions have been one of the most generous teams for tight ends to exploit all season. In the last five weeks, tight ends have scored the fifth most PPR points per game when facing this defense.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Wil Lutz, NO DET 1144 ***
Detroit has allowed more field goal attempts than extra point kicks over its last five weeks, but that won't be the theme of the day vs. Drew Brees and Co. in Week 13.

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
WR Randall Cobb 2-30
WR Jordy Nelson 5-70,1
TE Jared Cook 6-60
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 HOU 30000028031 ***
Rodgers is the hottest thing going among fantasy quarterbacks right now, and Houston's once-strong pass defense has trended the wrong direction for several weeks now. QBs have averaged a TD every 11.3 completions, which ranks 10th best for exploitation.
RB James Starks, GB HOU 4004300000 ***
The Texans have bent quite a bit versus RBs, but on this unit has not broken on the ground. Through the air, though, the Texans have allowed three TDs on the last 29 receptions faced. Starks is used a lot in the screen game, so there is hope for a sneaky TD. Don't bank on it, though.
WR Randall Cobb, GB HOU 006601000 ***
Cobb is extremely tough to play on a weekly basis, but facing a Houston defense that has allowed a touchdown per game since Week 7, he has a puncher's chance at success.
WR Davante Adams, GB HOU 005601000 ***
Adams has seen at least six targets in every game since Week 6, and he has found the end zone five times during that stretch. While he has been a little streaky, gamers must keep him in lineups. The Texans have regressed against receivers of late, so this is another worthy matchup for the blossoming wideout.
WR Jordy Nelson, GB HOU 003401000 ***
Nelson's return tour rolls on with a decent enough matchup to instill a hint of confidence in the extension of his five-game string of double-digit fantasy points. He has scored a TD in four of his last five outings, and the Texans have given up one touchdown, on average, over the last five weeks.
TE Jared Cook, GB HOU 004300000 ***
Houston has given up 23 catches and two of them found the end zone, but given Cook's erratic involvement, it's tough to justify plugging the veteran into a fantasy lineup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB HOU 1133 ***
Houston offers a solidly neutral matchup for Crosby. This group has given up 6.5 fantasy points per contest over the last five weeks to kickers.

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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