FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

Prediction: DET 13, CHI 27 (Line: CHI by 5)

Players to Watch: Matt Forte

The 2-3 Lions come off a nice win in Philadelphia but now face the 4-1 Bears who are coming off their bye and 2-0 at home. These teams traded home wins in 2011. The Lions prevailed 24-13 in Detroit while the Bears won 37-13 in Chicago. The Lions are struggling much more this year while the Bears defense hardly needed a week off to rest.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN -----
2 @SF 19-27 11 GB -----
3 @TEN 41-44 12 HOU -----
4 MIN 13-20 13 IND -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @GB -----
6 @PHI 26-23 15 @ARI -----
7 @CHI ----- 16 ATL -----
8 SEA ----- 17 CHI -----
9 @JAC ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 260,1
RB LeGarrette Blount 30
WR Golden Tate 3-40

Pregame Notes: The comeback win over the Eagles may have saved their season though more likely it merely delays the inevitable. Matthew Stafford generated offense almost exclusively in the fourth quarter. He still has not thrown more than one touchdown in any game though the yardage has been high when they are not on the road facing a great defense. Like this week. Stafford passed for 329 yards and one score in Chicago last year. That would be success enough this year.

Jahvid Best has been announced as out for the year and the oft-concussed player may never suit up again. Mikel Leshoure has taken over as the primary back but only produced one game of note against the Titans. The Lions are unlikely to give him more than 15 runs per game unless the Lions are well ahead which so far has never been much of an issue.

Joique Bell still figures in as well and ran seven times for 38 yards against the Eagles compared to 15 runs by Leshoure. In fantasy terms, Leshoure is the only play here but really only when facing the weakest of defenses which may happen only once more this year when they host the Colts in week 13.

Brandon Pettigrew started the year on a promising not and while he only has one score, he has been turning in 60 or so yards in most games. Last week only produced three catches for 38 yards while Tony Scheffler had a freak big game with 81 yards on three catches but he's normally a nonfactor.

The receivers outside of Calvin Johnson have not bee much help. Nate Burleson scored twice so far but rarely gains more than 50 yards in a game and has minimal fantasy value. Titus Young has gone from red hot sleeper type to just a little guy who rarely catches more than one or two passes. The only way this team stays in games is when the defense cannot shut down Calvin Johnson. Even that is not often enough to win the game.

This season the Bears defense is even better and the Lions offense is worse. There have only been five touchdowns allowed by Chicago and the Lions hardly present an offensive juggernaut. This is a divisional matchup and the Bears are coming off their bye so any hopes for a trap game are overly optimistic.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 7 12 10 3 1 27
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 1 2 14 29 4 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET NE 0000032031 ***
Blake Bortles shredded the Pats last week, inflating the numbers against to 276.5 yards (13th), 27.6 fantasy points (6th) and a touchdown per 9.2 completions. Detroit has plenty of weapons and host this one, so Stafford could have a sound fantasy outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerryon Johnson, DET NE 3004300000 ***
The rookie has flashed a few times so far, though his limited role keeps his upside muffled. The Patriots have given up the seventh-most offensive yards per game (150.5) to RBs, allowing only one TD on 52 handles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET NE 1005500000 ***
New England has yielded only five receptions and 46 yards worth to RBs without a touchdown through the sky. He could see extra work if Detroit's defense cannot keep the Pats in check, forcing Detroit into a catch-up scenario.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, DET NE 400000000 ***
Blount is a flier for gamers looking to take a chance on a random touchdown run. Otherwise, stay far away.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Golladay, DET NE 0061001000 ***
The Patriots have been pushed around by receivers to the tune of 14 catches (13th) for 180.5 yards (14th) and a touchdown every seven grabs (11th) to create the 12th-best matchup in PPR (9th in standard).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET NE 006801000 ***
Tate is an obvious must-start every week, and this one is no different. The matchup favors PPR types as the Patriots have given up 14 receptions for 180.5 yards per game to receivers -- 13th and 14th most, respectively. One in seven completions have found the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET NE 004601000 ***
The Patriots have allowed four touchdowns by wideouts in the first two games of 2018, and this one could devolve into a shootout. The Lions have the necessary weapons to sling it all over the field, and Jones is an integral part of the puzzle. He faces a defense that has allowed top-14 figures for receptions, yards, TD efficiency, PPR and non-PPR fantasy points in this short season's worth of data.

Update: Jones is questionable after appearing on Friday's injury report as a limited participant. Given this is a late game Sunday, it would be wise to find a better option to remove doubt.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET NE 1133 ***
New England has given up the 12th-most fantasy points on the 18th-highest possible point total. This illustrates a low volume of three-point kicks against (19th) and a higher number of PATs (6th).

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU -----
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF -----
3 STL 23-6 12 MIN -----
4 @DAL 34-18 13 SEA -----
5 @JAC 41-3 14 @MIN -----
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET ----- 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR ----- 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The 4-1 Bears are hitting a three game stretch that is likely as easy as it will get all year and they are fresh off their bye. The loss of Alshon Jeffrey should not be more than a minor hindrance to the offense since he never gained more than 45 yards in a game since the season opener. Jeffrey fractured his right hand and is expected to miss at least a month and likely six weeks. Being a rookie, he'll probably take a little more time to get up to speed anyway and that wasn't fantasy relevant anyway.

Earl Bennett is returning and Devin Hester will play but the bottom line to this passing offense is that no one matters other than Brandon Marshall.

Marshall has three 100+ yard games and a touchdown in each. He's a lock to get about ten targets each week and that can go as high as 17. It has really evolved into wondering why the other receivers are covered when Marshall does all the damage.

Kellen Davis rarely has more than 30 yards in any game and is a nonfactor as a fantasy tight end.

The best part of the Bears is that there are only four fantasy plays here. The defense remains one of the very best. Marshall is on a red hot streak and Jay Cutler tends to throw for high yardage and two scores which depends 100% on if he can connect with Marshall.

And then Matt Forte who has only one touchdown on the year thanks to Michael Bush (3). But Forte posted moderate to good yardage in most games even though his role as a receiver has been impacted by Marshall. Forte is averaging fewer than three catches per week which shortcuts one of his best strengths. Forte missed week three and Michael Bush has carried a surprisingly heavy load in most games but most recent was in Jacksonville where Forte was healthy and productive with 22 carries for 107 yards. Bush was held to just four runs in that game. Forte will command a big chunk of all running back work ongoing but will still be plagued by touchdown hawking by Bush and even Armando Allen. Kahlil Bell was just released.

You can often throw out records when two divisional teams meet but the Lions have been consistently weak against the pass with their three road opponents all scoring twice via the pass and throwing for high yardage for the better quarterbacks. The run game may not be huge this week but should be effective and control the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 23 13 12 31 6 1
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 15 6 12 27 30 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mitchell Trubisky, CHI @ARI 30000024011 ***
Arizona has yet to give up a rushing touchdown to quarterbacks. "Trubearsky" can do some things with his legs, so this one is mildly intriguing. The Cards have provided just average fantasy figures to the position, despite allowing the sixth-most yards per game (304.5).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI @ARI 8014300000 ***
Arizona has granted the most fantasy points in both main scoring formats, allowing the third-most rushing yards, fourth-highest receiving yardage, and a touchdown every 15.2 touches. Howard could be in for a big day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI @ARI 2003200000 ***
Cohen has been slow to get it going in the first few games. He has a great matchup -- the best, in fact -- this week, but his limited role thus far suggests he's nothing more than a wild gamble.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson II, CHI @ARI 0081000000 ***
None of the 27 receptions faced by the Cardinals as found the end zone. This is a mostly negative matchup for fantasy purposes, but having only two games of data makes it tougher to gauge and place much weight in being accurate info. Washington's aerial game in Week 1 was pathetic, which continued into Week 2. The Rams found success yardage-wise but failed to score. Robinson should be a sound play, though he comes with mild risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, CHI @ARI 2004400000 ***
The smurphy slot receiver has 12 targets and nine catches in two games, but he has mustered only 85 yards. Arizona has given up 27 receptions (16th) for 368 yards (12th) but no touchdowns to receivers through two contests. Only three other teams haven't given up a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Trey Burton, CHI @ARI 004301000 ***
The curious case of the Cardinals defense of tight ends ... Despite giving up only seven catches for 77 yards, this defense has permitted a touchdown every 3.5 catches (second-highest ratio for teams that have allowed TEs).
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, CHI @ARI 1133 ***
Kickers have attempted only one field goal and three extra points against the Cardinals in the last two games, but that PAT figure should be higher since the Rams kept going for 2-point conversions after Johnny Hekker filled for Greg Zuerlein and kicked once.

WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

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