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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: DET 27, JAC 20 (Line: DET by 3.5)

Players Updated: Calvin Johnson

Players to Watch: Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Cecil Shorts

The 3-4 Lions come off their best win of the year and head to Jacksonville where the 1-6 Jaguars are on a four game losing streak and dealing with the loss of their franchise star running back.

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 7-13 16 ATL -----
8 SEA 28-24 17 CHI -----
9 @JAC ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 10 300,2
RB Joique Bell 30 4-20
RB Reggie Bush 80 5-40
WR Jon Baldwin 3-40
WR Ryan Broyles 3-40
WR Calvin Johnson 6-90,1
WR Golden Tate 5-70
WR Titus Young 4-60,1
TE Kellen Davis 4-40,1
TE Brandon Pettigrew 5-50
TE Tony Scheffler 1-10
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 3 XP
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Maybe it was just one of those unexplainable games but the Lions took down the Seahawks last week while Matthew Stafford had his best game of the year against one of the toughest defenses he will face. It was the first time this season that the Lions were able to rekindle some the magic of 2011. The rest of the schedule will prove fairly brutal after this week so keeping the fires burning for one more game should happen thanks to going to Jacksonville where Maurice Jones-Drew stands on the sidelines.

Stafford passed for 352 yards and three scores on the Seahawks - he even rushed in a touchdown. But he hadn't thrown more than one score in any game this year. His yardage tends to remain high against below average defenses but even then, he only throws one score. On the season, Stafford stands at eight touchdowns against seven interceptions. Apparently losing Nate Burleson was the key.

it isn't that Mikel Leshoure is a bad runner. He has averaged 4.8 yards per carry over the last three games that included trips to Philly and Chicago and then home against the Seahawks. But Leshoure is never given more than 15 carries other than in Tennessee when he gained 100 yards and scored his only touchdown. Joique Bell takes a handful of meaningless carries each week but Leshoure runs surprisingly hard and well through three very good defenses and yet doesn't get more than 15 carries.

Brandon Pettigrew remains sold with catches and yardage but has just the one score back in week two. He caught a season high seven passes last week for 74 yards. Like much of the team, he is productive in some measure but doesn't produce the points.

Calvin Johnson still only caught one touchdown though he started the season with 90+ yards in four of the first five games. These last two weeks against solid secondaries devoted to stopping him crashed his fantasy value with just 34 yards in Chicago and then 46 yards versus the Seahawks. the only encouraging part of this was that Titan Young replaced Nate Burleson and recorded a career best 100 yards and two scores on nine receptions. Ryan Broyles played in his second game and scored for the second time. This is exactly what the team needs. If defenses are going to devote too much to stopping Megatron, then the others have to make them pay. This week will be interesting to see how bounced back Johnson is.

The Jaguars play better at home but still feature less than average defense in all categories besides tight ends. This should be the place that Leshoure gets to score and Johnson gets to play.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 5 18 8 11 7 25
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 18 29 19 2 27 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @GB 0000024022 ***
The Pack limited Stafford to 246 yards and zero scores in the earlier meeting; in fact, in five matchups with divisional foes Stafford has produced only one legit fantasy helper--390 and 2 at home against the Bears last month. And he's had just one fantasy game of note--330 and 3 last November--in his last five against the Lions. So keep those expectations in check this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @GB 5002100000 ***
Bell took a back seat to Reggie Bush in the earlier meeting with the Packers, but he moved to the fore in Detroit when Reggie went down and he has yet to relinquish the role. Bell could follow in the footsteps of fellow bigger backs Mark Ingram and Marshawn Lynch, both of whom rushed for 100 yards against the Pack, though it's more likely his split workload won't result in enough touches for such a productive day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @GB 2004300000 ***
Bush was the better back for the Lions the last time they faced Green Bay, but he's become junior partner to Joique Bell so he's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @GB 005601000 ***
Tate's as good a wingman as there is, and Green Bay's been more permissive to secondary targets of late--three Atlanta receivers found the end zone, as did two Vikings and two Eagles, all in the last six games--so he's a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @GB 0071000000 ***
The Packers have yet to find an answer for Megatron; he's scored in 9 of 13 career meetings with Green Bay, producing a total of 12 TDs along with 6 100-yard games--four of them in the last five meetings. Johnson is definitely back in the mix after missing time midyear due to injury, so look for yet another big game from him.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @GB 0022 ***
Prater has multiple field goals in eight straight outings. If his defense can keep the Packers under wraps again, counting by threes won't be a bad thing--for either the Lions or Prater and his fantasy owners.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND -----
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU -----
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN -----
4 CIN 10-27 13 @BUF -----
5 CHI 3-41 14 NYJ -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK 23-26 16 NE -----
8 @GB 15-24 17 @TEN -----
9 DET ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Delone Carter 10
RB Toby Gerhart 10
WR Justin Blackmon 3-40
WR Cecil Shorts 5-70
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-40,1
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: What makes the Jaguars season just a little worse is that not only have they only one once, but that they have a fairly easy schedule in front of them and yet no way to take advantage. This is further worsened by the injury to Maurice Jones-Drew because it shows why he held out last summer and why he's likely to be on another team next year. When Jones-Drew returns, exactly how motivated will he be to further risk his health for a team that may be the worst in the NFL? Yeah, bet he tries really hard... to remain healthy.

Blaine Gabbert threw for an unholy 303 yards in Green Bay where the Packers were all but wearing mailman outfits and yet he still just had his traditional one touchdown. Gabbert still commands the #32 spot in rankings. He doesn't have many turnovers with three interceptions and two lost fumbles. He doesn't have much of anything other than losses.

Rashad Jennings paid off his fantasy owners who emptied their wallet at the waiver wire. He rushed for 59 yards and added six catches for 56 yards. That's 115 total yards in Green Bay and 102 total yards and a score in Oakland. Credible to be sure and even better in reception point leagues. The Jags have already ruled out Jones-Drew for this week and since he is not practicing and spent last week on crutches, he may not be back next week either.

The only interesting developments are with the wideouts. Mike Thomas was sent to the Lions in a trade which weakens the #30 set of wide receivers just that much more. Plus Cecil Shorts has emerged these last two weeks to post fantasy relevant stats. After scoring in Oakland on his four catches for 79 yards, he had a career best eight receptions for 116 yards in Green Bay. This week should give an indication if that was just something the defenses allowed not caring or if he is actually developing something with Gabbert who desperately needs someone to help him out. Justin Blackmon had a career best 67 yards on four catches in Green Bay as well but hasn't scored so far in the NFL

Playing at home helps, but this offense has been punchless when the opponents really care. This game would have been far easier to win with Jones-Drew playing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 32 25 30 32 25 31
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 11 6 11 25 26 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blake Bortles, JAC @HOU 30000019001 ***
Bortles threw for 336 yards in the earlier meeting with Tennessee, but he accompanied that total with just one TD--and he hasn't had a game as helpful to fantasy owners since. No reason to reach for him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC @HOU 4002100000 ***
The Texans are far from an easy mark from running backs; since their Week 10 bye the haven't allowed a running back touchdown, and only one back (Jeremy Hill) has rushed for more than 60 yards. Gerhart should see the largest volume of carries, but doubtful it will be enough for him to squeeze out fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC @HOU 004500000 ***
It's been a consistent grouping of Jacksonville receivers; last week it was Lee's 4-65 that paced the pack. With three mouths to feed and not a lot of stats to go around, your best bet is to avoid the Jacksonville WR situation entirely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC @HOU 005400000 ***
Hurns found the end zone the last time these teams met, part of a 5-36-1 afternoon. He's been wildly inconsistent, with an upside of his 7-112-2 game and a downside of being the third wheel in Jacksonville's passing game. The upside doesn't come nearly frequently enough, so plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC @HOU 002300000 ***
Shorts continues to audition for his impending free agency, though last week's 2-15 won't add much to his bank account. You'll want to find your fantasy receivers elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC @HOU 003400000 ***
Lewis' 69 yards in the earlier meeting with Houston was the biggest TE game the Texans had allowed since Week 1. It was also Lewis' best effort since Week 2; while he scored last week, his typical three or four targets doesn't offer enough opportunity for him to be a reliable fantasy performer.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC @HOU 2100 ****
Scobee's recent surge has him over five points per game for the season, and he tallied seven when facing the Texans three weeks back. So if something in the half-dozen neighborhood floats your boat, Scobee is your guy.

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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t