Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:

Prediction: MIN 13, SEA 20 (Line: SEA by 5)

Players to Watch: Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson

The 5-3 Vikings hit the road where they are only 1-2 to face the 4-4 Seahawks who are 3-0 at home and still smarting from what the Lions did to them. Seattle at home should always be a safe bet against anything short of an elite team.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 ot 10 DET -----
2 @IND 20-23 11 BYE -----
3 SF 24-13 12 @CHI -----
4 @DET 20-13 13 @GB -----
5 TEN 30-7 14 CHI -----
6 @WAS 26-38 15 @STL -----
7 ARI 21-14 16 @HOU -----
8 TB 17-36 17 GB -----
9 @SEA ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel 10 230,1
QB Christian Ponder 20 230,1
RB Adrian Peterson 70 3-20
TE Kyle Rudolph 5-50
PK Blair Walsh 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The loss to Tampa Bay last Thursday was a disaster. It highlighted what was wrong with the team and undid much of the good that a 5-2 start suggested. Worse yet is that the upcoming schedule is nothing short of brutal starting with this road trip to Seattle since the Vikes are 1-2 away from home. The Vikings may only be favored in one more game this year - week ten hosting the Lions. After the week 11 bye, the Vikings will do well enough to win any of the final six games that include four road trips against great defenses each time.

Christian Ponder now requires HC Leslie Frazier to come out and publicly back his quarterback each week - never a good sign. Ponder has all but disappeared in recent weeks when he only completed 8 of 17 passes for 58 yards against the Cardinals and 251 yards versus the Buccaneers whose secondary is no where near that good. Ponder's thrown ten touchdowns on the year but also seven interceptions over the last four weeks. There is no major chore for defensive coordinators when they defend the passing by the Vikings. Just look for Percy Harvin and forget about the rest.

Harvin scored in three of the last four games and constitutes the only part of the passing game with any production or consistency. He has ten or more passes in most weeks and usually ends up over 80 yards though he has only faced the 49ers for a challenging defense and that was a trap game played at home. Harvin is not above having a bad game. He's always going to get a high volume of passes but upcoming matchups against good secondaries will hurt the Vikings with no adequate #2. Starting this week with his game in Seattle.

Jerome Simpson remains the starting split end but only to run deep routes and clear out the middle for Harvin. Michael Jenkins has no more fantasy value.

Kyle Rudolph is a scary fantasy start. After scoring five times over five weeks, he been held to nearly nothing for two weeks. He's not reliable for more than 30 yards per game and needs to score in odder to merit a fantasy start. At best, his inconsistency means he cannot be used but that could improve if Ponder does.

It appears now at mid-season, that opponents are figuring out the Vikings offense and can handle Ponder.

The only good news is that Adrian Peterson scored in each of the last two games and rushed for over 120 yards in each. He looks pretty close to 100% and is running angry again. The worst thing that can happen to the Vikings is to fall behind because then Peterson's role is limited and he's the only consistently productive part.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 22 19 23 13 9 13
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 7 4 10 20 11 13

QB Teddy Bridgewater, MIN CHI 10000028020 ****
Since a disappointing 158 and 1 in Chicago in Week 11 Bridgewater has been steadily building, with four multiple touchdown games and two 300-yard efforts in the five games since. The Bears have allowed 13 passing touchdowns and 1,085 passing yards over their past three road games; while that 361 and 4 average may be aggressive for Bridgewater, it does suggest he'll be on the positive side of a fantasy helper this week.
RB Matt Asiata, MIN CHI 5013200000 ***
Asiata is a similar style back to Joique Bell and Mark Ingram, who have combined for four TDs in three games against the Bears. Asiata's rushing yardage isn't likely to overwhelm, but he's been bringing more to the table in the passing game and the Bears have given up 70 RB receiving yards per game over the past month.
WR Charles Johnson, MIN CHI 0071001000 ****
Johnson left last week's loss to the Dolphins prematurely, and early word this week is that he may not be able to practice. If that's the case, no need to risk him in a meaningless game. We'll check on his availability later this week.
Update: Johnson worked his way up to a full practice session Friday. He's listed as probable, and if he's probably going to play he's probably going to receive plenty of attention from Teddy Bridgewater.
WR Greg Jennings, MIN CHI 005601000 ****
In just shy of one season's worth of meetings with the Bears Jennings has amassed 974 yards and six TDs against them. Sure, much of that came with the Pack but despite shaky quarterbacking he mustered 12-162-1 in last season's series. He had one catch in the earlier meeting this year but has taken on a larger role of late and if Charles Johnson can't go could provide Teddy Bridgewater with the WR1 target he'll be needing.
WR Jarius Wright, MIN CHI 002400000 ***
With Charles Johnson injured and potentially out for this game expect Wright to continue to step up for the Vikings. Over the past three games he's scored twice and topped 100 yards once--and that was with Johnson hogging the looks. The same defense that let Louis Murphy go for 113 yards and Cole Beasley score twice isn't likely to be able to slow Wright's roll, either.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN CHI 2233 ****
The Bears have allowed at least seven kicker points in every game this season and multiple field goals in nine of their last 10. Walsh didn't miss last week, ending a 1-for-6 stretch, and he was two for three on treys the last time he faced the Bears, so seven feels like a baseline this week.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR 16-12 14 ARI -----
6 NE 24-23 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF 6-13 16 SF -----
8 @DET 24-28 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30 220,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 90,1 4-20
RB Robert Turbin 10
TE Tony Moeaki 2-20
PK Steven Hauschka 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks fall two games behind the 49ers with the loss in Detroit that was completely out of character for a defense that was dominating but was shredded by Matt Stafford who did not even use Calvin Johnson. Fortunately the next two games are at home and then a week 11 bye freshens them up for the stretch run. With numerous injuries, the late bye is sort of a competitive advantage.

Russell Wilson couldn't mount the comeback last week but still threw for 236 yards and two scores. Wilson is hard to call since he is sop inconsistent. After posting 293 yards and three scores on the Pats, he followed that up with just 122 yards and no scores in San Francisco. Playing at home is the only place to feel safe about Wilson as he always scores there. But unless the Seahawks fall behind, he's not more than a game manager looking to hand off to Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch is the offense again this year. Though he only scored three times he's totaled 100 rush yards on four occasions. When the Seahawks offense operates to form, Lynch ends up with 20 to 25 carries. He still has no real role as a receiver which hurts his fantasy value slightly.

Zach Miller was the first tight end in Seattle to log a touchdown when he scored in Detroit but it was more of a fluke. He remains well below 30 yards in most games and preceded his score in Detroit with no catches in San Francisco.

Doug Baldwin is likely to miss this week again since he is dealing with a high ankle sprain and had a minor role anyway. Sidney Rice scored in Detroit and that makes two in the last three weeks. He's still a poor bet to turn in more than 50 yards or so. Ben Obamanu has been released and Braylon Edwards is not a lock to play this week either. His knee swelled up in pregame and was held out in Detroit. Rice gets the benefit of the Vikings RCB Chris Cook being place on injured reserve after breaking his right arm last week. He'll start along with Golden Tate.

As with all home games in Seattle, this one comes down to how well Marshawn Lynch runs and the Seattle defense playing up to form as they always do when at home. Particularly after a loss like last week. The Vikings defense was exposed last week by Doug Martin so Lynch should be great here if he gets his 20+ carries.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 30 21 27 24 21 23
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 24 14 5 23 14 17

QB Russell Wilson, SEA STL 60100021010 ***
Eli Manning's 391 and 3 last week against the Rams was the first multiple touchdown game St. Louis had allowed since... well, since Wilson turned the trick with 313 and 2 back in Week 7. Wilson added 106 rushing yards and a rushing score as well, yielding a fantasy line not unlike last week's against Arizona. Can lightning strike again? Given the way Wilson is augmenting his passing numbers with a consistent dose of rushing stats, odds are it's a yes.
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA STL 10011100000 ****
The Rams just let Andre Williams run over them for 110 yards in their house; what chance do they have against Lynch in his, where he's averaging 85 yards and almost 1.5 touchdowns per game? St. Louis slowed him in the front end of the season series (18-53), but so did Arizona and Lynch burned them with 113 and 2 in the rematch. So, advantage Skittles.
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA STL 006800000 ***
While it's tough to identify which nameless face will step up at any given time to represent the Seattle receivers, you can make a compelling case for Baldwin this week. He had 7-123-1 in the earlier meeting with St. Louis and comes off 7-113 last week. Those games represent the only 100-yard games by Seattle receivers this year, so if it's going to happen again he's the most likely candidate.
WR Paul Richardson, SEA STL 006700000 ***
Richardson saw the second-most targets last week against Arizona, but he's far too inconsistent a fantasy contributor to be banked on this week.
TE Luke Willson, SEA STL 002301000 *
The Rams have allowed only two TE TDs all season--but one went to Cooper Helfet in the earlier meeting between these clubs, and Wilson shredded the Cardinals last week with 139 yards and a pair of scores. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA STL 1144 ***
If you can get over Hauschka's oh-fer last week, it's a genuine opportunity. The Rams have given up 34 kicker points the past three games, suggesting Hauschka has a chance to upgrade on the eight points he scored in the earlier meeting in St. Louis.

*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:

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