FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: GB 27, IND 20 (Line: GB by 8.5)

Players to Watch: James Jones, T.Y. Hilton

The Packers rebounded from their loss to the Seahawks by just barely clipping the Saints last week. Now they head to Indianapolis with a 0-1 road record but the Colts just discovered that HC Chuck Pagano has leukemia and will be undergoing treatment. The Colts are 1-2 and coming off their bye week. How the distraction of the coach's condition helps or hinders the Colts cannot be known, but he is a first year coach and many of the Colts players are new to the team anyway. Probably not going to be a "win this one for the gipper" sort of motivation.

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 12-14 12 @NYG -----
4 NO 28-27 13 MIN -----
5 @IND ----- 14 DET -----
6 @HOU ----- 15 @CHI -----
7 @STL ----- 16 TEN -----
8 JAC ----- 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB @ IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 310,2
WR Randall Cobb 6-60,1
WR Jordy Nelson 5-70
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: After starting out with three of four games at home, the Packers hit a tougher stretch of the schedule with three straight road trips. Aaron Rodgers finally had a 2011-ish game when he passed for 319 yards and four scores on the Saints after only throwing three touchdowns over the first three games. Another missing element this season has been Rodgers as a runner. He has only averaged 17 rush yards per game and has not scored on the ground yet.

Much of that has to do with the improved ground game afforded by Cedric Benson who still maxes out around 80 yards per game but moves the chains and more importantly allows the Packers to burn up the clock at the end of games without having to punt once every four plays. Benson has been only a moderate fantasy play in any week but has been a benefit to the Packers offense.

Jermichael Finley started out as the main receiver in the Saints game but they quickly turned away from him. Finley ended with four catches for 54 yards which is roughly where he ends up each week. He has not scored since the season opener and only gets five passes per game.

Greg Jennings reinjured his groin against the Saints and may miss this week. James Jones replaced him and posted five catches for 56 yards and two scores in his best fantasy game ever and will continue to take his place if needed. Randall Cobb spent two weeks with only one catch and then reeled in seven receptions for 66 yards last Sunday. He has yet to score and his inconsistency makes him too big of a risk for a fantasy start. Jordy Nelson finally scored this year along with a season best eight catches for 93 yards but his only road game this year resulted in just two catches for 19 yards. He was far more productive at home than on the road in 2011 as well.

The old Packers would roll up a monster score in this game but the 2012 version has been far less prolific so far. But the Colts are weak against the pass which alone is the problem in this game. Even with Jennings out, no reason why the Packers cannot claim this win as they should have in Seattle against a far better defense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 15 27 3 10 29 17
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 14 22 28 1 26 13

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB @TB 0000028020 ***
Maybe Rodgers relaxed a little too much last week, as he was blanked by the Bills in Buffalo. It's another road date, and we have more than enough evidence at this point to see that Rodgers is far less effective away from Lambeau. Moreover, the Bucs have been solid since their Week 7 bye, especially at home where they've allowed an average game of 212 passing yards and one passing score. If you survived Rodgers' goose-egg last week your team should be stocked enough to absorb a better--but still not elite--outing here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @TB 8012200000 ***
So much for a bum hip and sharing touches; Lacy looked perfectly fine last week and should be good to go against a Bucs D that over the past five games has given up an average of 140 combo yards and a touchdown to opposing backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @TB 0061001000 ***
Nelson's last road TD came in Week 6, giving him a three-game scoring drought on the road heading into Tampa. Tough to bench an elite receiver, but the numbers suggest Jordy's just another guy away from Lambeau... and Tampa's a long ways from America's Dairyland.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB @TB 007901000 ****
Cobb's productivity has held up better on the road than his receiving corps mates; witness his 96 yards last week in the loss to Buffalo. While it's been bigger receivers having the most success against the Bucs they've surrendered stats to some speed guys as well, and Cobb should carve out another fantasy helper in Tampa Bay this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB @TB 002300000 ***
The Packers still haven't received anything resembling a fantasy helper from a third receiver on the road, and there's nothing in the Bucs' pattern of stats surrendered to wideouts to suggest that changes this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @TB 002200000 ***
The Packers continue to split TE snaps, cutting into any chance at fantasy stats either Quarless or Richard Rodgers might have.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @TB 2233 ***
Mason has multiple field goals in three straight and six of seven, with double-digit points in five of those seven outings. He should get his kicks again against a Bucs defense that, after a brief and unexpected three-game bout of competency, is back to giving up double-digit points to opposing kickers.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC -----
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE -----
3 JAC 17-22 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 GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 250,2
QB Andrew Luck 20 300,2
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 60 5-50
RB Trent Richardson 60 5-50
WR Josh Cribbs
WR T.Y. Hilton 3-60,1
WR Hakeem Nicks
WR Reggie Wayne 8-110,1
TE Dwayne Allen 2-20
TE Coby Fleener 2-20
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Colts come off their bye week with a 1-2 record but already have some positives to build upon. They also have new challenges with Austin Collie placed on injured reserve thanks to a ruptured right patella tendon. This is a rebuilding year and progress has already been made.

Andrew Luck has thrown a touchdown or two in every game and two of his three games posted over 300 yards. After three games, Luck has a total of 846 passing yards and five touchdowns against four interceptions. Peyton Manning only had 683 yards, two touchdowns and eight interceptions after his first three games as a Colts rookie. There is no denying that Luck has been impressive while working with an aging Reggie Wayne and little else. He even ran for 50 yards in the last game. Granted - not winning a lot but he is posting the statistics and shows fantasy relevance already.

The rushing effort is every bit as bad as expected with Donald Brown leading the way though he has yet to run for over 62 yards per game and has just one score. Brown is averaging 3.6 yards per carry which seems high if you have watched him play. Vick Ballard is even worse so Brown remains in place.

Though Coby Fleener started out with six catches for 82 yards in the season opener, he has only managed two receptions for 16 yards over the last two weeks and is not even getting the looks. As Luck becomes more comfortable, he is throwing farther down the field and has little use for tight ends. Reggie Wayne is the lone consistent play here but both Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton have one game over 100 yards sandwiched by far lesser efforts.This is an offense in progress and Luck is still sorting out who does what. With 40 targets in three games, Wayne has seen a nice increase in production after a horrible 2011 had many questioning if his career was in sharp decline.

The Packers show up with a very good rushing defense and there is hardly anyone from the Colts to worry about when they run. This will, as will most games, end up as a passing shootout with Luck trying valiantly to keep up and offering some decent fantasy value. The Packers pass defense was exposed last week when they finally faced a better passer than Alex Smith, Jay Cutler and Russell Wilson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 12 28 5 22 26 23
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 17 16 19 9 9 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND @DAL 20000030031 ***
Even when Luck is bad, he's good. Luck posted his worst fantasy outing of the season last week, but it still involved two TDs. So that's the floor, with the ceiling one of the eight games he's posted of 30-plus fantasy points. Not a bad neighborhood to be in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dan Herron, IND @DAL 3004400000 ***
The Cowboys have given up 10 RB TDs in the past five games, and with Herron the vastly more productive back he's the more likely to claim a piece of that pie. That said, he's still inexplicably sharing touches with Trent Richardson, so there's a bit of risk involved.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND @DAL 300000000 ***
Richardson still gets some touches, and the Cowboys have been forthcoming with running back scores--not just to feature backs, either; the likes of Chris Polk, Andre Williams and Marion Grice have gotten in on the action--so if you're desperate you at least know he's getting some carries.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @DAL 004601000 *
Primary receivers with speed have been the Cowboys' bugaboo of late, from Cecil Shorts (5-119) to Odell Beckham Jr. (10-146-2) to Jeremy Maclin twice (8-108, 4-98). Indy's entry in this sweepstakes would be Hilton, who's targeted more than enough to put up similar statlines.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @DAL 004500000 ***
Moncrief should be the Colts' WR2, but Reggie Wayne is hanging around and Hakeem Nicks swipes some looks from time to time so he's far from a sure thing.It's also worth noting that only once all year--the Rams, back in Week 3--have multiple wideouts scored in the same game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND @DAL 003200000 ***
At this juncture Wayne is a mere shadow of his former fantasy self. You can do better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND @DAL 002200000 ***
Nicks emerges from time to time to swipe a touchdown from Donte Moncrief, but he's far too unreliable to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND @DAL 005601000 ***
Fleecer sees fewer snaps but more targets than Dwayne Allen; unfortunately when both are in the lineup Allen has been the more productive while Fleener takes a back seat. It's a very good matchup for both tight ends, though again Fleener flies wingman when both Indy TEs are healthy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @DAL 003201000 ***
The better blocker of Indy's tight ends, Allen is seeing more snaps because of it. And more snaps against a team that struggles to defend the tight end means more fantasy opportunities for Allen.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @DAL 3333 ***
The bad news: three of Vinatieri's four lowest-scoring games have come in the last three weeks. The good news: Vegas likes this one for points, and points mean Vinny gets his--by ones or by threes.

WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

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