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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
WR Anquan Boldin 4-50
WR Andre Roberts 5-60
WR Golden Tate 5-70
TE Brandon Pettigrew 5-50
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 CHI 20000031020 ***
After weeks of playing the role of game manager, Stafford came out slinging in Week 13. The Bears have allowed touchdown passes at the sixth most lenient rate, but this is the second stingiest defense for yards granted in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET CHI 5005300000 ***
Riddick faces one of the worst matchups for giving up catches to running backs. Chicago has yielded just 3.8 for 32 yards a game in the last five weeks. The last time they played, he caught four balls for 27 yards.

Update: Not only is it not a good matchup, but Riddick is questionable with a wrist injury. He was limited in Friday's practice and is a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dwayne Washington, DET CHI 3001100000 ***
The matchup is neutral, but Washington doesn't belong in any lineup, especially with the playoffs upon us.

Update: Washington is a game-time decision after showing up as questionable on Friday's report. Theo Riddick is also a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET CHI 007701000 ***
Tate has reemerged as Matthew Stafford's top receivers, and the he has the luxury of playing fantasy's 11th most generous matchup for scoring touchdowns. The Bears have given up the sixth highest points per play to receivers, as well, in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, DET CHI 005601000 ***
Chicago has given up a touchdown catch every 11 receptions but otherwise rates as a negative matchup. That sounds right up Boldin's alley.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET CHI 004500000 ***
Jones was a late scratch last week and is uncertain for Week 14. Return Friday for more clarity. He was limited in Wednesday's practice, which is somewhat encouraging.

Update: Jones is a game-time decision and was limited throughout the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET CHI 004500000 ***
Chicago is the second best defense at limiting TE touchdowns in the last five weeks, but this is a neutral matchup for yards and receptions in PPR scoring.

Update: Ebron was a limited participant and is questionable. He's a game-time decision.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET CHI 2233 ***
This is a neutral matchup, although it leans positive for Prater. The Bears have allowed the 12th most fantasy points per game on the 14th highest number of combined kicks per contest.

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
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-40,1

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 MIN 30100019002 ***
Minnesota has given up a TD every 12.5 completions in the last month, but that is where the fun stops for QBs. This is the sixth strongest opponent of the position, and only two teams have conceded more yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC MIN 3003200000 ***
Yeldon should be be trusted in any format against this stingy opponent. The Vikings have allowed only two rushing touchdowns by RBs in the last five games.

Update: Chris Ivory is a game-time decision, but after not practicing in full at all this week, he's closer to doubtful.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Robinson, JAC MIN 003300000 ***
No Harrison Smith could help, but the Vikings have done a fantastic job of limited receivers. The position has averaged bottom-12 numbers in receptions, yards, points per play, and fantasy points scored over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC MIN 004300000 ***
The Vikings remain one of fantasy's toughest defenses against receivers. Since Week 8, this is the eighth worst matchup for fantasy wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Neal Sterling, JAC MIN 004500000 ***
Neal would see more work if Julius Thomas is once again out, but trusting him in a lineup is ill-advised.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Myers, JAC MIN 1111 ***
The Vikings have done a fine job of limiting defensive touchdowns all year, and that hasn't changed in the past five weeks. The kicker position has kicked 12 field goals to only nine extra points in this time. Jacksonville struggles to score points of any kind.

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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