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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
RB Jonathan Dwyer 40 2-10
WR Larry Fitzgerald 90,1
WR Michael Floyd 2-30
TE Rob Housler 2-20
PK Jay Feely 2 FG 1 XP

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 Carson Palmer, ARI SF 0000026021 ****
Palmer's 298 & 2 in the earlier meeting was the fourth-biggest game the Niners have allowed to a quarterback. However, he's had just one TD toss in each of the past three games, with declining yardage totals so he's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI SF 4014300000 ****
Ellington scored in Arizona's earlier meeting with the Niners, but he's still playing second fiddle to Rashard Mendenhall in the touches category which makes him a risky play at best in this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashard Mendenhall, ARI SF 500000000 ***
The Niners haven't allowed much in the way of RB TDs, but the last few (Steven Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Jed Collins) have been the goal-line types Mendenhall has made a habit of this season. Not saying it will happen necessarily, but at least acknowledging there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI SF 0051001000 ****
Glimmers of hope after Larry's tough game against Richard Sherman last week. For starters, Fitz scored as part of a 6-117-1 outing the last time he faced San Francisco. Factor in the Niners giving up touchdowns to WR1s in back-to-back games and Fitz is at least back on the fantasy radar here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI SF 005601000 ***
The Niners have allowed just three WR TDs in the past seven games, so while Floyd scored last week and scored in the earlier meeting with San Francisco he's still a risky fantasy play given that Larry Fitzgerald still sees most of the Cardinals' WR targets.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, ARI SF 003500000 ***
Ginn is more of a deep threat and less likely to take over Steve Smith's role as the Panthers' go-to wideout should Smith sit this one out. That puts a limit on his upside this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Housler, ARI SF 003300000 ***
If Housler weren't battling Jake Ballard and Jim Dray for looks on his own team, we'd be more optimistic about him taking advantage of a San Francisco defense that's allowed TE TDs in three straight games and a total of 228 yards to the position in that span.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jay Feely, ARI SF 1133 ***
No team has given up fewer points to kickers than the Niners, and they held Feely to just a couple PATs in the earlier meeting. Both teams are still playing for something, but with points at a premium you'll want to get your kicks elsewhere.

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 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 @CHI 10000027031 ***
The last time we saw Rodgers he was being thrown to the Lambeau turf by the Bears; that was two months ago. Maybe he returns in time for this do-or-die NFC North battle, but there would be a lot of rust to shake off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @CHI 12012100000 **
Two months ago Lacy rushed for 150 yards and a score against the Bears, kicking off a stretch in which the Bears have allowed eight 100-yard rushers in eight games--along with 10 RB rushing scores in that span. Assuming he's healthy enough to play, he's money this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB @CHI 300000000 ****
If Eddie Lacy can't go this week Starks is a great fallback plan. He had 40 yards and a touchdown on limited carries in the earlier meeting with Chicago, averaged 4.7 yards per carry in relief of Lacy last week, and is poised to push the Packers into the postseason if Lacy is out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @CHI 0071001000 ****
Giving up so much on the ground cuts into receiver production against Chicago; they haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 3. They have, however, served up five WR TDs in the past four games. Nelson would be a fantasy stud once again if Aaron Rodgers plays; if it's Matt Flynn, he's a nice play with upside but nowhere near a must-start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarrett Boykin, GB @CHI 003501000 **
With the return of Aaron Rodgers the entire Green Bay passing game gets a lift--especially secondary targets like Boykin. Of course, that lift will take a hit if Randall Cobb gets healthy and takes snaps away from Boykin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @CHI 003200000 ***
Quarless has had a couple decent games in the past month, and while the Bears have only allowed five TE TDs on the year no team has given up more yardage to the position. Still, much of Quarless' fantasy value depends on whether or not it's Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1144 ****
Crosby has been the tortoise, a steady contributor with just two games of less than seven points all season long. He can handle the elements and will be banked on for points in a must-win game for the Packers, so he definitely has fantasy upside this week.

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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