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
MIN @ WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder 10 300,2
RB Adrian Peterson 80 3-20
WR Greg Jennings
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 GB 20000023011 ***
Bridgewater has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in an NFL game; let's let him do that before we start considering him for a fantasy start.
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN GB 5003200000 ***
McKinnon has carved out some decent yardage and should augment his numbers with receptions and receiving yards, but he's at best a fringe fantasy helper this week.
Update: McKinnon may see an uptick in work with Matt Asiata out due to a concussion, but there weren't likely to be many goal line shots anyway so that news doesn't move the needle a ton.
RB Matt Asiata, MIN GB 00000000 *
The Pack has shut out a couple of pretty good backs--LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte--since returning from their bye, so odds are Minnesota's goal line guy isn't looking at a plethora of opportunities here.
Update: Asiata has been ruled out of this week's game due to a concussion.
WR Charles Johnson, MIN GB 002301000 *
Five different Vikings WRs have paced the team in fantasy scoring this year, a group Johnson joined last week. Somebody could step up and feast on garbage time numbers this week, but the upside isn't tempting enough to offset the risk of identifying which Viking it might be.
WR Greg Jennings, MIN GB 005500000 ***
Jennings has 69 yards and zero TDs in three games against his former team; no reason to think those numbers get a dramatic boost this week.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN GB 002300000 ***
At this point we can stop saying the Vikings haven't figured out how to use Patterson yet--not that it's not true, just that it's so obvious there's no need to keep repeating it.
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN GB 003300000 *
The Vikings have rediscovered the tight end position with TE TDs the past two weeks, but Rudy has yet to resume his regularly scheduled duties; until he does, tough to trust him with a fantasy start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN GB 3311 ***
You don't keep up with the Packers' red-hot offense by kicking field goals, so there's likely a better fantasy option than Walsh this week.

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 Leonard Hankerson 5-60
WR DeSean Jackson 4-60,1
WR Santana Moss 4-40
WR Andre Roberts 6-80,1
PK Kai Forbath 3 FG 2 XP

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 Robert Griffin III, WAS @SF 0000020012 ***
Still waiting for RG3 to take to this offense; a date with a San Francisco defense that's getting players back and held all quarterbacks not named Brees or Manning to one TD toss over the past two months... well, that's not going to help matters much.
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @SF 6002200000 ***
Mark Ingram proved you can grind it out against the Niners, and Morris will get ample opportunity to do the same--though don't look for a TD against a defense that's allowed only five RB TDs all year, just one of them in San Francisco.
RB Roy Helu, WAS @SF 2003200000 ***
Helu continues to be a PPR helper with three of five north of 40 receiving yards, including each of the past two. That's enough to make him a fringe fantasy contributor in performance based scoring systems.
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @SF 005700000 ****
The theory remains sound: Jackson's speed is the perfect fit for RG3's deep shots. It worked a couple weeks back in Minnesota, and it could work again--assuming RG3 keeps the starting gig long enough. Right now all the inconsistency does is makes DJax a fringe fantasy contributor.
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @SF 003300000 ***
Garcon appears to have become an afterthought with RG3 at the helm; tough to trust an afterthought with a fantasy start at this juncture of the season.
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @SF 002200000 ***
Right now the Redskins' receiver rotation isn't seeing enough productivity for three fantasy options to emerge, and Roberts is most definitely queued up behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.
TE Niles Paul, WAS @SF 004300000 ***
Update: With Jordan Reed out, look for Paul to step up his looks. It's a somewhat favorable matchup against a 49ers defense that's struggled of late against tight ends, so there's some upside to Paul as a plug-in fantasy option this week.
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @SF 00000000 *
A healthy Reed definitely comes into play against a 49ers defenses that's allowed three TE TDs in the past two games. Whether or not Reed is healthy, however, remains to be seen.
Update: We can answer the "Is Reed healthy?" questions with an emphatic "no", as he has been ruled out for this week. Expect Niles Paul to see an uptick of looks in Reed's stead.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @SF 1111 ***
Wanna blame RG3 for something else? Forbath has a total of nine points in three RG3 starts, less than half his average in non-RG3 starts. So if RG3 is at the helm again this week, get your kicks elsewhere.

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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