Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: MIN 20, WAS 23 (Line: WAS by 2.5)

Players Updated: Percy Harvin, Jerome Simpson, Adrian Peterson

Players to Watch: Fred Davis

The 4-1 Vikings are on a three game winning streak that started with their surprise trap win over the 49ers but are only 1-1 on the road and lost in Indianapolis. The 2-3 Redskins are 0-2 at home and looking to crawl out of the NFC cellar. The Vikings have been on a nice run of wins but the home town Redskins have to pull together here or start to write off the season.

The Vikes won 33-26 at Washington last year.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 ot 10 DET -----
2 @IND 20-23 11 BYE -----
3 SF 24-13 12 @CHI -----
4 @DET 20-13 13 @GB -----
5 TEN 30-7 14 CHI -----
6 @WAS ----- 15 @STL -----
7 ARI ----- 16 @HOU -----
8 TB ----- 17 GB -----
9 @SEA ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Adrian Peterson 80 3-20
WR Mike Wallace 5-80,1
TE Kyle Rudolph 6-60,1
PK Blair Walsh 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Vikings have their own brand of "Triplets" between Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Christian Ponder but it may be a bit early to consider the quarterback as a major difference maker quite yet. He has scored twice in three of his games but was blanked in the other two. His string of no interceptions ended against the Titans of all teams and he threw two once he saw how easy it was. Ponder gets a crack at a big game this week thanks to facing the Skins secondary but will likely be back to just one wideout in Harvin because Jerome Simpson may not play.

Percy Harvin has helped carry this team with productive games in every week other than the last road game and he finally scored when the Titans visited last week. He's adding a couple of runs per week and usually coming up with eight or nine catches in most games. Going against the worst secondary in the league should only make that even better.

Jerome Simpson is having problems with his back and never made a catch against the Titans. He is being checked out this week and may not suit up. Until they figure out what is causing the weakness and numbness in his lower leg, he's not going to be productive even if he plays. Problem here is that there are no other wideouts of any note. Devin Aromashodu will step up but that meant nothing before Simpson could play. Michael Jenkins also figures in but only for a couple of catches if that. Harvin has been a trooper to be sure with 38 catches on the year already but he cannot do it all.

Kyle Rudolph adds the occasional touchdown catch here but still has not produced more than 36 yards in a game since the season opener.

Adrian Peterson is a medical marvel to be sure. And he is gaining 4.4 yards per carry but has only one 100 yard rushing game and has not scored since week one. Peterson has been solid with around 80 rush yards per week and does supplement his production with a couple of catches as well. If he would find the end zone any time soon would make a big difference. He is certainly good with yardage but so far never great and scoreless for the last four games.

The Skins have never allowed fewer than 300 passing yards per opponent and that benefits the wideouts and tight ends with equal blessings. The run has been mostly stuffed by the Skins who have allowed just three rushing scores and yet never more than 83 rushing yards to any runner. As always with the Skins, this will be all about throwing the ball and taking advantage of the weak secondary.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 22 20 18 17 4 10
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 30 9 32 31 21 2

QB Teddy Bridgewater, MIN @ATL 20000017010 ***
If things are working as the Vikings want, Teddy won't throw many passes--certainly not enough to be a big fantasy helper. And if things are working the way the Falcons want, however many passes Teddy is throwing aren't doing much damage. Either way, Bridgewater's not a shrewd fantasy play this week.
RB Adrian Peterson, MIN @ATL 11012200000 ***
On the surface this looks like a tough matchup for Peterson against a defense that has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher and hasn't even allowed a team to rush for 100 yards in Atlanta. But none of the Falcons' opponents have really tried, averaging just 21 rushing attempts per game. AP eats that for breakfast, and the last time he didn't get his 20 touches (like last week against Green Bay) he roared back with 192 yards from scrimmage. Moreover, the Falcons have let guys like Matt Jones and Chris Polk find the end zone against them; surely AP can do the same.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN @ATL 004500000 ***
Since DeAndre Hopkins went for 157 back in Week 4 the Falcons haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver; heck, since Jamison Crowder's 87 in Week 5 they haven't even allowed a 60-yard receiver, with only one WR TD in that span. Tough matchup for the Minnesota passing game, so keep a lid on expectations for the rookie.
WR Jarius Wright, MIN @ATL 002200000 ***
Wright got some run out of the slot last week, but given the way Atlanta is shutting down opposing wideouts it seems silly to look for another such effort here.
WR Mike Wallace, MIN @ATL 001200000 ***
Since Stefon Diggs took over as Minnesota's WR1 Wallace has hit the skids, failing to top 40 yards in six straight games. Nothing to see here.
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN @ATL 004501000 ***
The Falcons have given up seven TE TDs and six games of 50-plus yards to the position, and last week Rudy returned to favor in Minnesota with his biggest game of the season. Maybe another 6-106-1 isn't in the offing, but half the yardage and another score wouldn't surprise.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN @ATL 2222 ***
Walsh was on a roll until last week, and he might not get back on another one until next week as the Falcons have held four of five foes to one or fewer field goals.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG -----
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL -----
6 MIN ----- 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 40 250,1
RB Alfred Morris 80,1 2-10
WR Pierre Garcon 4-60
WR DeSean Jackson 4-60,1
WR Andre Roberts 6-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Skins have tumbled to a 2-0 mark thanks to playing in New Orleans and Tampa Bay still have not won at home. This week is easily their best chance of a win and along with the Panthers in week nine may be the only time they will be favored this year.

Robert Griffin III took a break as the best fantasy quarterback last week when he was knocked out of the Falcons game with a "mild" concussion. All signs point to him playing this week though he still needs to get through a week of practice free and clear before he can play. Griffin had been throwing for scores and also rushing in a touchdown for the previous three matchups. Kirk Cousins came in and gave it a valiant effort last week but it should be back to Bob this time.

Alfred Morris is still a fantasy gold mine considering that he has four touchdowns on the season and has never rushed for fewer than 78 yards in any game, He is on a two game streak with over 100 yards. His only failing is that they almost never throw to him. Then again, he is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and just under 100 yards per game.

Fred Davis has assumed a consistent role by now with his last three games producing never less than four catches and averaging just over 70 yards per game. With the wide receivers less than stellar, Davis has a place in this passing game that should only grow bigger. The wideouts have yet to distinguish themselves from each other and that even includes Pierre Garcon. The Redskins have five different wide receivers who all have between 114 and 184 yards after five games. That's a whole lot of mediocrity.

The Vikings defense has been very good - far exceeding expectations. But this is their third road game and they lost to the Colts and then clipped divisional rivals of the Lions. This is a big test so long as Griffin is able to play healthy and in his full capacity. The Vikings rushing defense has been top notch so far but they have never had to chase a quarterback.

The Redskins have to rise up this week because this is almost a must-win game.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 3 17 15 20 16 2
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 14 3 15 29 11 4

QB Kirk Cousins, WAS NYG 0000027021 ***
Cousins threw for 316 yards but only one score in the earlier meeting with the Giants, but he's had seven TDs and 641 yards in his last two at home and faces a New York D that's given up 10 QB TDs in the past three games--more than enough for him to retain his fantasy sleeper status.
RB Chris Thompson, WAS NYG 1004201000 **
Thompson was the Redskins back of note in the earlier meeting, catching eight balls for 57 yards and a touchdown. He's retained the pass-catching role and saw a little run as the feature back after a fumble relegated Matt Jones to the bench. If there's upside to any of Washington's RBs, Thompson has it.
RB Matt Jones, WAS NYG 2001100000 ***
Just as Jones was flashing some productivity his butterfingers cost him his gig, and who knows when he'll get another chance at meaningful touches.
RB Alfred Morris, WAS NYG 300000000 *
Morris seems to be buried behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson, and this doesn't project to be a matchup where he'd dig his way out.
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS NYG 005500000 ***
Garcon should hold his own here, as big-bodied receivers fare well against the Giants. He tallied 5-64 in the earlier meeting sans DeSean Jackson; something similar wouldn't surprise.
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS NYG 003500000 ***
Jackson has just four catches for 24 yards against the Giants since switching over from Philly, but his 5-87-1 last week demonstrated he's at least close to 100 percent so the opportunity is there for him to turn back the clock to when he used to gouge Big Blue as an Eagle.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS NYG 004400000 ***
With DeSean Jackson fully integrated into the offense last week Crowder was an afterthought; too risky to run him out against the Giants when most of Kirk Cousins' attention will be directed elsewhere.
TE Jordan Reed, WAS NYG 007901000 ***
Reed ripped Big Blue for 6-96 in the earlier meeting; a rematch with a Giants defense that's allowed seven TE TDs on the year--three in the last three games--and more TE yardage than any other team could yield even better fantasy results.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS NYG 2222 ***
Teams continue to get their kicks against the Giants; in fact, Hopkins' 7 point performance back in Week 3 is the second-lowest total posted against Big Blue in the last two-plus months. Consider him a solid option to help your fantasy club.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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