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: 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
FieldTurf
  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
RB Ben Tate
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 22 19 23 13 9 13
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 7 4 10 20 11 13

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Teddy Bridgewater, MIN GB 20000023011 ***
Bridgewater has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in an NFL game; let's let him do that before we start considering him for a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN GB 5003200000 ***
McKinnon has carved out some decent yardage and should augment his numbers with receptions and receiving yards, but he's at best a fringe fantasy helper this week.
Update: McKinnon may see an uptick in work with Matt Asiata out due to a concussion, but there weren't likely to be many goal line shots anyway so that news doesn't move the needle a ton.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN GB 00000000 *
The Pack has shut out a couple of pretty good backs--LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte--since returning from their bye, so odds are Minnesota's goal line guy isn't looking at a plethora of opportunities here.
Update: Asiata has been ruled out of this week's game due to a concussion.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Charles Johnson, MIN GB 002301000 *
Five different Vikings WRs have paced the team in fantasy scoring this year, a group Johnson joined last week. Somebody could step up and feast on garbage time numbers this week, but the upside isn't tempting enough to offset the risk of identifying which Viking it might be.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN GB 005500000 ***
Jennings has 69 yards and zero TDs in three games against his former team; no reason to think those numbers get a dramatic boost this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN GB 002300000 ***
At this point we can stop saying the Vikings haven't figured out how to use Patterson yet--not that it's not true, just that it's so obvious there's no need to keep repeating it.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN GB 003300000 *
The Vikings have rediscovered the tight end position with TE TDs the past two weeks, but Rudy has yet to resume his regularly scheduled duties; until he does, tough to trust him with a fantasy start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN GB 3311 ***
You don't keep up with the Packers' red-hot offense by kicking field goals, so there's likely a better fantasy option than Walsh this week.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  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 Zach Miller 4-40
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 30 21 27 24 21 23
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 24 14 5 23 14 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA ARI 40000018010 ***
Wilson hasn't topped 200 yards in a month and has as many games without a passing touchdown as with. Fortunately for his fantasy value he also has 244 rushing yards and a rushing TD in that span. The Cards won't be an easy nut to crack on either count--they've allowed only 85 QB rushing yards all year--so consider Wilson a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA ARI 8022200000 ****
Back to back 100-yard efforts, six touchdowns in the past three games... so what if the Cards are a tough run-game matchup on paper, it's Beast Mode. Never go against Beast Mode.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA ARI 004500000 ****
The good news is, Baldwin has the last two Seattle WR TDs. The bad news is, it's taken five weeks to score those two TDs. That's too inconsistent a contribution to be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA ARI 003400000 ***
Kearse has pieced together a couple under-the-radar fantasy helpers the past two weeks, totaling 124 yards. But if that's the upside, you'll want to look for a higher fantasy ceiling elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA ARI 002200000 ***
The Cards have allowed just one TE TD in their past six games, so it's not a favorable opportunity for the rarely used Willson.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA ARI 1133 ***
Hauschka's been money for at least eight points in every home game this year; no reason to expect different in a big divisional battle.

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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