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 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.

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 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 PHI 20000033030 ***
Luck kept pace with Peyton to the tune of 370 and 2--plus a rushing score--in the season opener. A home date with a Philly D that let Chad Henne toss for 266 and 2 seems... well, unfair.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND PHI 4004200000 ****
To the surprise of few, Indy had to play catch-up with the Broncos and as such Richardon's rushing attempts were limited, though to his credit he still mustered 51 combo yards on nine touches. He should see an uptick in opportunity this week, though we still haven't seen enough to credit him with being a consistent fantasy starter.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND PHI 3004300000 ***
Bradshaw capitalized on the game situation and his opportunity to produce 85 combo yards on eight touches. Odds are this game breaks a bit more in Indy's--and Trent Richardson's--favor, which puts a limit on Bradshaw's fantasy upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND PHI 0061001000 ****
Hilton has the deep speed to get behind the Eagles secondary a la Allen Hurns last week; if he sees anything close to the 11 targets he saw last week in Denver he's looking at a very big fantasy evening.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND PHI 006701000 ***
If a pair of rookies like Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee can confuse the Philly secondary to the tune of 172 yards and two TDs you have to like the prospects of a wily vet like Wayne carving out a useful fantasy outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND PHI 003400000 ***
Nicks reintroduced himself to the end zone last week, which was nice. However, he remains the third wheel in Indy's passing game and as such will have to queue up behind TY Hilton and Reggie Wayne for opportunities to toast a shaky Eagles secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND PHI 005501000 ***
Allen turned fewer targets into more productivity thanks to a long catch-and-run for a touchdown. The whole sharing with Coby Fleener thing bites into his fantasy productivity, especially with the wideouts expected to take a larger share off the top against a shaky Philly secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND PHI 003200000 ***
Fleener's spot in the Colts' passing game pecking order fluctuates between secondary and tertiary; certainly there's opportunity against the Eagles this week, but with so many mouths to feed he can't be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND PHI 2233 ****
My cousin Vinny just keeps on kicking, and with this tilt sporting the highest O/U total on the board even the Vegas sharps think he'll get ample opportunity to swing the leg.

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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