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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 @CHI 10000027031 ***
The last time we saw Rodgers he was being thrown to the Lambeau turf by the Bears; that was two months ago. Maybe he returns in time for this do-or-die NFC North battle, but there would be a lot of rust to shake off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @CHI 12012100000 **
Two months ago Lacy rushed for 150 yards and a score against the Bears, kicking off a stretch in which the Bears have allowed eight 100-yard rushers in eight games--along with 10 RB rushing scores in that span. Assuming he's healthy enough to play, he's money this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB @CHI 300000000 ****
If Eddie Lacy can't go this week Starks is a great fallback plan. He had 40 yards and a touchdown on limited carries in the earlier meeting with Chicago, averaged 4.7 yards per carry in relief of Lacy last week, and is poised to push the Packers into the postseason if Lacy is out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @CHI 0071001000 ****
Giving up so much on the ground cuts into receiver production against Chicago; they haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 3. They have, however, served up five WR TDs in the past four games. Nelson would be a fantasy stud once again if Aaron Rodgers plays; if it's Matt Flynn, he's a nice play with upside but nowhere near a must-start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarrett Boykin, GB @CHI 003501000 **
With the return of Aaron Rodgers the entire Green Bay passing game gets a lift--especially secondary targets like Boykin. Of course, that lift will take a hit if Randall Cobb gets healthy and takes snaps away from Boykin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @CHI 003200000 ***
Quarless has had a couple decent games in the past month, and while the Bears have only allowed five TE TDs on the year no team has given up more yardage to the position. Still, much of Quarless' fantasy value depends on whether or not it's Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1144 ****
Crosby has been the tortoise, a steady contributor with just two games of less than seven points all season long. He can handle the elements and will be banked on for points in a must-win game for the Packers, so he definitely has fantasy upside this week.

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 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 JAC 0000025020 ***
Luck threw for 260 & 2 in Jacksonville earlier this season, and with Indy still able to move up to the third seed in the AFC he'll have every opportunity to match or better those numbers against a Jaguars defense that's allowed multiple touchdown tosses in five of their last six on the road.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND JAC 6003200000 ***
Richardson is seeing the volume to be effective, but Donald Brown is doing more with fewer touches. As such, Richardson's productivity is stunted, both by Brown taking looks off his plate and by Richardson simply not doing enough with the carries he is receiving. It'll be a disinterested Houston defense, so if you're hurting for backfield help Richardson has at least a modicum of upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Griff Whalen, IND JAC 005601000 ***
Whalen's work in the slot is taking equally from the Indy wideouts and Coby Fleener, to the point that he's been the Colts' most productive fantasy pass-catcher the past two games. If you're scraping for PPR help, he's definitely an option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND JAC 004600000 ***
Reggie Wayne blew up the Texans for 100 yards in the earlier meeting, but he's on the shelf so those looks will now likely head to Hilton. Good news, too, as it's been almost two months since TY posted a legitimate fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Da'Rick Rogers, IND JAC 003300000 ***
Rogers is staking his claim to the wingman gig in Indy, and it's a friendly enough matchup that he at least warrants fantasy consideration this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND JAC 004501000 ***
Fleener scored in the earlier matchup with Jacksonville, but he's done so little over the past month that he can't be trusted for fantasy help here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND JAC 3333 ****
Vinny posted his second-best game of the season in the earlier meeting with Jacksonville; he's also scored double digits in two straight, three of four, and four of six. As per usual, he's a solid fantasy bet again this week.

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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