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 CAR 0000031030 ****
Carolina has allowed multiple TD passes in five of six this year; Rodgers has three or more in three straight and four of five. No reason to think he won't get it done at home this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB CAR 6011100000 ****
Sadly, the Packers are following through on their plan to keep Lacy fresh by giving James Starks more carries earlier in games. Nonetheless, it's a favorable matchup given that Carolina has allowed six RB TDs in just the past three games. And you'd like to believe Lacy will at least be given the opportunity to run the ball.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB CAR 400000000 ***
Starks is seeing an uptick in touches as the Packers try to keep Eddie Lacy rested and healthy. Doesn't mean he's a lock to score, but the upside is there.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB CAR 0081002000 ****
Nelson has scored in three straight and four of five; he's a solid be to put up helpful fantasy digits against a secondary that's allowed multiple touchdown passes in three of the last four.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB CAR 005601000 ****
Cobb knows how to get deep and get open; he'll have every opportunity to get his this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB CAR 004500000 ***
If Adams didn't have to fight an uphill battle against Jordy Nelson and Reggie Wayne he'd be a decent fantasy option against a defense that's allowed multiple WR TDs in three of the last four. Unfortunately Adams does have to fight for his right to catch passes, so adjust accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB CAR 003300000 ***
The Panthers have yet to allow a TE TD, which makes fringe guys that much more iffier. Quarless is a fringe guy, and if Carolina takes him away as the waiver wire says they should he becomes an even trickier fantasy play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB CAR 1144 ****
The only thing standing between Crosby and big fantasy numbers is an offense that's too efficient, setting him up for one-pointers instead of treys. Solid, with upside for more.

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 CIN 0000032030 ***
Cincy's far from a soft matchup but at this juncture one does not bet against Luck; he's topped 300 yards in five of six and scored multiple touchdowns in every game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND CIN 4003201000 ****
Bradshaw has been the more effective of Indy's backs, plus he's a factor in the passing game. Cincy hasn't given up much on the ground, but Bradshaw's contributions as a receiver make him at least a fringe fantasy contributor this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND CIN 4004300000 ***
Richardson is the hammer in Pep Hamilton's toolbox, and against Cincy that's not a bad tool to be as the last three RB TDs they've surrendered have gone to hammer backs like Shonn Greene, Stevan Ridley, and Fozzy Whittaker.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND CIN 007801000 ***
No secondary receiver has topped 50 yards against the Bengals, and that's what Wayne has become in Indy. Keep your expectations low, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to look for fantasy help elsewhere this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND CIN 006800000 ****
The Bengals haven't given up a ton to opposing wideouts, but the three TDs they have surrendered have all gone to WR1s--a role Hilton has inhabited in Indy. Plus, with Andrew Luck as red-hot as he is, you can't bet against TY.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND CIN 004601000 ***
There's certainly opportunity here against a Cincy D that's surrendered three TE TDs in the past two games. Allen's fantasy value is dinged only by the prospect of Coby Fleener, and to a lesser extent Jack Doyle, swiping looks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND CIN 002300000 ***
Andrew Luck's former college go-to guy has become his second-favorite tight end at the pro level. It's a favorable matchup, but odds are Dwayne Allen swipes Fleener's fantasy opportunities this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND CIN 3333 ****
No surprise that the rock-solid Vinatieri has been rock-solid consistent, with at least eight points in each of the past five games while averaging a shade over 10 points per outing. Doesn't hurt that the Bengals have allowed eight field goals in just the past two games, either.

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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