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 James Jones 5-80,1
WR Jordy Nelson 5-70
TE Jared Cook 5-60,1
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 MIN 0000025020 ***
Behind a banged up line and mired in a two-game mini-slump--longer, if you want to go back to his last 300-yard game back in week 10--Rodgers is no longer a fantasy lock, at home or otherwise. Further limiting expectations are a now-healthy Vikings defense and an underachieving receiving corps.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB MIN 10011100000 ***
Lacy has owned the Vikings, with four straight 100-yard rushing games (after a 94-yard debut) and six touchdowns in five career meetings. The Vikings vow to tackle lower and have returned multiple key defenders to the lineup following injuries, but there's still plenty of reasons to like the wildly inconsistent Lacy's chances this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB MIN 2004401000 ***
Starks had some run as the Packers' pass-catching back, then filled in for the enigmatic Eddie Lacy, and now has returned to limited touches. Given Lacy's track record of success against the Vikings, expect Starks to take a back seat--fantasy and otherwise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, GB MIN 005701000 ***
Jones went big with 6-109-1 in Minnesota, but in five games since then he's totaled just 16-196-1. Startable based on the earlier meeting with Minnesota, but inconsistent nonetheless.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB MIN 006700000 **
Cobb has been Aaron Rodgers most reliable target over the past five games, catching two-thirds of his 34 targets for 239 yards but failing to find the end zone since scoring against the Vikings in Week 11. Still, he's the safest of Green Bay's receiver options.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB MIN 003400000 ***
More targets than Cobb since the Vikings game, but he hasn't topped 42 yards since then and has one touchdown--and many more key drops. Unreliable in more ways than one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, GB MIN 003400000 ***
It'd be easier to be fired up about the Niners giving up TE TDs in two of the past three games if Cooks had scored recently. Like, at any point this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Richard Rodgers, GB MIN 002200000 ***
The Vikings haven't given up a TE TD since Week 10 and held Rodgers to 3-7 in the earlier meeting. Rodgers has done little since his Hail Mary back in Week 13 and is too inconsistent to be banked on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB MIN 22233 ***
Season-high sixteen
in last game against Vikings
Settle for three much?

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 Andrew Luck 20 300,2
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 60 5-50
RB Frank Gore 110,2 1-10
WR T.Y. Hilton 3-60,1
TE Dwayne Allen 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 Josh Freeman, IND TEN 0000014002 *
Indy's starting quarterback in a must-win game will most likely be a guy who's been with the team less than a week. That didn't work so well for Freeman the last time he tried it--flaming out famously as a Viking on Monday Night Football--and there's no reason to think it will go any better here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND TEN 10903200000 *
With little in the way of QB options look for the Colts to pin their offensive hopes on Gore. He responded with 15-85-2 in a similar situation last week and had 14-86-2 in Tennessee earlier this season, so he's both a volume and matchup bet this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND TEN 003300000 *
The Titans have allowed a 100-yard receiver in five of the last six games, but with limited options at quarterback--Indy will start either a guy who's never taken a regular season snap or one of two guys they signed off the street earlier this week--the passing game can't be banked on for productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND TEN 002300000 *
It's not so much the matchup as it is the lack of a quarterback in Indy that has us worried about the potential of the passing game. Best look for options that don't have to wear name tags so their quarterback knows who they are.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND TEN 2200 ***
TEN gives up field goals;
can Indy QB du jour
get him close enough?

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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