FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

Prediction: ARI 13, GB 24 (Line: GB by 10)

Players Updated: Jordy Nelson

Players to Watch: John Skelton, Randall Cobb

The 5-3 Packers are on a three game winning streak and are 3-1 at home. The 4-4 Cardinals are in a free-fall with a three game losing streak with each loss by 10+ points. This could be a trap game but the Cards are 1-2 on the road and looking worse every week. These are truly two ships heading in different directions.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL -----
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL 3-17 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF 16-19 15 DET -----
7 @MIN 14-21 16 CHI -----
8 SF 3-24 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 290,1
WR Larry Fitzgerald 90,1
WR Michael Floyd 2-30
TE Rob Housler 2-20

Pregame Notes: Talk about your water-colored memories. The Cardinals went from 4-0 looking like they figured out how to play defense and still generate enough offense to win games. Then the offense promptly fell apart in week five. The Cardinals have not only lost four in a row, but they're getting worse each week and now have to travel to Green Bay who has reversed the trend of the Cardinals by starting out inexplicably bad and now are just as good as ever.

Kevin Kolb remains out with rib and shoulder injuries while John Skelton struggles to keep the team in the game. His two starts produced over 260 yards each but only scored one touchdown and plenty of those yards came in garbage time. All the same old woes are back here - no rushing game and a passing scheme that goes by the codename LARRY FITZGERALD.

LaRod Stephens-Howling is the return man on special teams but was allowed a chance to play in Minnesota after William Powell lost a fumble. He then ran 20 times for a 104 yards and a score - even better than his previous career best of 22 yards after four years of playing. Against the 49ers, Stephens-Howling returned to earth with a more typical eight runs for six yards. William Powell covered 13 yards on four runs. The duo will continue to work together to secure the #32 ranking as the worst rushing unit in the entirety of the NFL.

Rob Housler continues to quietly gain fantasy relevance with four or even five receptions per week and up to 50 yards. He still has not score nor has any other Arizona tight end.

Larry Fitzgerald was cranking out the touchdowns and the 90+ yardage games until Kolb went down and now two weeks later he's averaged only 40 yards per game with Skelton at the helm. Andre Roberts's been the more productive one for Skelton with seven catches per week and a score in Minnesota.

This is not a good road team anyway and with Skelton as pitcher, the offense takes a noticeable step down that it cannot afford to take. Fitzgerald remains the lone fantasy play on this team now and even he is starting to fade without Kolb back.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 20 32 15 25 30 10
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 17 16 22 11 17 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Logan Thomas, ARI @SF 0000020011 *
If rookie Derek Carr can throw for 254 and 3 against the Niners, why not Thomas? Well, Carr was 13 games into his rookie season; Thomas has thrown nine NFL passes--and completed exactly one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI @SF 800000000 ***
Despite Williams being the more effective back the Cardinals have turned to Stepfan Taylor with Andre Ellington out of the mix. Maybe they'll need to lean on both with Logan Thomas under center, but against the 49ers there's not much fantasy value--certainly not enough to be split two ways.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stepfan Taylor, ARI @SF 3002200000 ***
Andre Ellington did minimal damage (18-62 rushing, 3-13 receiving) in the earlier matchup with San Francisco; Taylor had two yards on one carry. The ground game will need to step up in support of rookie QB Logan Thomas, but it certainly isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @SF 005601000 *
Brown scored twice in the earlier matchup with the Niners, and it's not uncommon for depth receivers to have success against San Fran: among the tertiary targets who have scored against them are Paul Richardson and Wes Welker. Plus, with Logan Thomas at the helm you can expect Bruce Arians to take some deep shots. Just know that there's a tremendous amount of risk with anything associated with the Arizona passing game with a first-time starter at quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @SF 004600000 **
Floyd's speed gave the Niners problems in the earlier matchup, and QB Logan Thomas' one NFL completion did go for 81 yards so if you're grasping at straws you could hope for a home run completion. But considering Thomas is also 1-for-9 career, there's plenty of risk of strikeout.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jaron Brown, ARI @SF 002200000 ***
Brown is better known as "The Other One" when he swipes a touchdown from erstwhile third receiver John Brown. Such a tertiary target isn't a fantasy option with a first-time driver at the wheel for the Cards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @SF 002200000 **
Fitz was an afterthought in the earlier meeting, catching just three balls for 34 yards while Arizona bombed away to John Brown and Michael Floyd. Logan Thomas might be more inclined to look at Larry as a security blanket, but considering the matchup, the quarterback, and Fitz's struggles this year you can find better fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @SF 2211 ***
The good news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have mean nine field goals for Catanzaro over the past three games. The bad news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have yielded one PAT for Catanzaro in the past five games. If you believe in Logan Thomas, making his first NFL start in San Francisco, go ahead and chase Catanzaro's threes. Maybe.

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 27-30 14 DET -----
6 @HOU 42-24 15 @CHI -----
7 @STL 30-20 16 TEN -----
8 JAC 24-15 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 10 280,3
WR Randall Cobb 5-60,1
WR Donald Driver 2-30
WR Jordy Nelson 3-30
TE Jermichael Finley 2-20
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers are on a nice three game winning streak that is erasing all the bad from starting 2-3 and losing to the Colts. Even with many injuries, the Packers continue to win and need the week 10 bye to further rest up and heal up wounded players. With five of the six divisional matchups yet to be played, the Packers have time to catch the Bears and already have beaten them once. This is a very fortunate year to have such a late bye week.

Aaron Rodgers only passed for 186 yards when the Jaguars showed up last week but scored twice and extended his multiple-TD streak to five weeks. After a slow start for three weeks, Rodgers threw 18 touchdowns over just the last five games. He's lost Greg Jennings since week four and even missed Jordy Nelson last week. But with just the Jags showing up, the Packers mailed it in and still won by nine points.

Alex Green remains the starter while Cedric Benson is out but done little. In his three starts, Green ran 64 times for 154 yards and yet only gained 2.4 yards per carry and never scores. That was three straight games with 20+ carries and yet so little to show for it.

Jermichael Finley chugs along at two catches per week and currently ranks 17th in yardage among NFL tight ends which is made more remarkable knowing that half of the teams don't have any intention on using their tight ends as receivers.

Jordy Nelson was held out last week because of his hamstring and the lack of need for him to play. But he was almost able to play and should be back this week barring a setback or slower than expected healing. He gets a bye in week 11 anyway. Greg Jennings remains out and will be undergoing sports hernia surgery. Even with the reduced passing of last week, Randall Cobb still caught his fourth touchdown in the last four games.

The Cardinals are no pushovers, but their lack of recent success could end up depressing the Packers stats again this week since they only need a win by any margin and then get a much needed bye. The important games lie in week 11 and beyond.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 31 1 16 29 19
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 3 11 17 3 10 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB DET 10000030020 ***
Rodgers was abysmal in the earlier matchup--162 yards, one TD--and he's actually been awful in three straight against the Lions. That run includes two home dates, so it's not just a home/road split. Rodgers hasn't been much of a fantasy helper the past fortnight, and expectations should be kept in check this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB DET 8013300000 ***
Lacy has averaged 60 yards from scrimmage per game against the Lions, with no TDs to boot. Doesn't help when Aaron Rodgers attempts to pad his stats by throwing at the stripe rather than giving Lacy a shot, though Lacy has scored in three straight and five of the last six. It's taken burly backs to crack the Lions' code at the stripe--Matt Asiata, LeGarrette Blount, Steven Jackson--and Lacy certainly has the bulk, if given the opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB DET 006902000 ***
Subdued passing numbers for Aaron Rodgers mean subdued numbers for Nelson, who has been fantastic at home but hasn't scored or topped 100 yards against the Lions since New Year's Day of 2012. Check your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB DET 0071000000 ****
Cobb has been held in check by the Lions as well, with just one career TD and one career 100-yard game against them. He's been a little less volatile than Jordy Nelson, especially on the road, but he hasn't been quite as productive as his running mate in Lambeau either. It's not a great matchup, but at this juncture Cobb is an every-week fantasy play regardless of foe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB DET 003500000 ***
While Green Bay's receiver depth has been especially productive at home, the Lions aren't giving up enough to feed all three mouths so keep Adams in reserve this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB DET 2233 ****
Crosby has multiple field goals in four straight and seven of his last eight, and double digit points in five of his last eight. He posted a season-low single point in the earlier meeting with Detroit but this one's at home, where he's averaging four more points per game than on the road. So he's good for at least five here, right?

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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