FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
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
FieldTurf
  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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 22 20 18 17 4 10
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 30 9 32 31 21 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Teddy Bridgewater, MIN ATL 20000020011 ***
Atlanta's improved secondary has limited the likes of Drew Brees and Andy Dalton to one TD toss apiece; maybe they surrender Bridgewater's first NFL scoring strike, but don't expect much more than that.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN ATL 5014300000 ***
Unlikely this undermanned version of the Vikings offense gets Asiata close enough for a goal line plunge, but if he remains the pass-catching back--no lock, as Jerick McKinnon is creeping up on him targets-wise--he could salvage fantasy value against a Falcons defense that's allowed the second-most RB receptions and third-most RB receiving yards thus far this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN ATL 3005701000 *
Two reasons to like Patterson this week. First, big-bodied receivers have found success against the Falcons, from Marques Colston's 110 yards to Vincent Jackson's touchdown. Second, the Vikings are fresh out of playmakers and desperately need to find ways to get the ball into Patterson's hands.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN ATL 006600000 ***
Jennings saw an uptick in productivity with the Vikings changing quarterbacks and forced to the air, but there's still no reason to expect much more than adequate numbers here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rhett Ellison, MIN ATL 002100000 ***
Ellison's a nice special teams player, but he's no replacement for Kyle Rudolph--especially in a matchup with a Falcons D that has yet to allow a TE TD this year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN ATL 1122 ***
Pros: Kicking inside, an offense that has a demonstrated ability to settle for field goals. Cons: an offense that may not provide many opportunities on the business side of midfield.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 3 17 15 20 16 2
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 14 3 15 29 11 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kirk Cousins, WAS NYG 0000027021 ***
Cousins continues to thrive in Jay Gruden's offense. Don't be frightened away by a defense that has padded its resume by limiting Drew Stanton and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS NYG 901000000 ***
Morris has been solid thus far this year and that should continue against a Giants defense that has yet to have a back carry more than 15 times against them yet has still allowed games of 91, 78, and 51 yards to opposing feature backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS NYG 006901000 ***
After a one-week adjustment period Cousins figured out where to find Garcon and went to him again and again and again. He's the volume guy in this passing game, and seeing more than enough volume to be a solid fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS NYG 005701000 ***
Jackson probably shouldn't have played against his former team last week, and while he scored a long TD he may have aggravated his injury enough to prevent him from playing Thursday night against the Giants. Even if he's active it's a short turnaround and a bit of a risk for reinjury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS NYG 004400000 ***
Roberts has real fantasy value only if DeSean Jackson is out; much like Harry Douglas last week when Roddy White was scratched, if Jackson is inactive you could plug in Roberts and get some sneaky fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS NYG 006700000 ***
The Giants haven't seen much in the way of tight ends to defend; in fact, Washington's TEs have seen almost twice the targets Giants opponents have. Paul is the beneficiary of the bulk of those targets and remains a reliable fantasy option--with benefits if DeSean Jackson can't go.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS NYG 2233 ****
Forbath's opportunities to swing the leg are on the uptick with Kirk Cousins at the helm--maybe even enough to make him a viable fantasy option.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
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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