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
vs Rush Catch Pass
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.

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 Sam Bradford, MIN @CAR 0000020012 ***
Did anyone see that coming? Week 2 was extra kind to the new Vikings quarterback, and now he has to go on the road to face a Panthers defense that has more interceptions than touchdowns allowed. Consider last week's effort more of an aberration than the standard from Bradford, whose offense is now without Adrian Peterson.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN @CAR 5001100000 ***
Carolina has given up two rushing and one receiving touchdown to running backs in two games, helping lead to the eighth friendliest matchup for the position. Asiata should see a healthy workload in Adrian Peterson's stead, but he may come off the field in clear passing situations in favor of Jerick McKinnon. RB2 at best ... safely more of a flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN @CAR 3001100000 ***
Look for McKinnon to see a larger role with All Day saying goodnight, and Carolina has not done a great job of stopping pass-catching backs (9-81-1). PPR owners can look to McKinnon as a last-ditch flex option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN @CAR 004600000 **
Las week was a wonderful coming-out party for Diggs, but the fun stops there. Carolina has been suffocating against receivers in two games. Don't sit Diggs in non-DFS action.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN @CAR 004500000 ***
Not enough meat on the bone here ... while he has four catches in each game this year, Thielen doesn't offer enough bang for your lineup spot buck against this dominant pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN @CAR 004401000 ***
The Panthers rank in the middle of the pack at stopping tight ends. Most of the damage was done on a single play (75-yard Vance McDonald TD), so unless Rudolph can find his way into the end zone, the Vikings have an upper hand in this matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN @CAR 2211 ***
Wait to see what the offense looks like first ... it's on the road, without Adrian Peterson.

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
TE Jimmy Graham 6-80,1
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 SF 10000026020 ***
San Fran doesn't have the pass rush of LA, so Wilson should be able to fare a little better this week. Look for a nice rebound game to help jump-start his fantasy season. RW3 is a midrange QB1 in most formats this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Christine Michael, SEA SF 10014300000 **
Unless he finds the end zone, Michael is a fringe fantasy pick this week. The Niners have done a solid job against the position, albeit with so-so matchups, and rank as the fourth most difficult to face.

Update: Thomas Rawls is doubtful, which thrusts Michael into the primary role. He's a worthwhile RB2 and sound DFS value buy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA SF 006801000 **
Baldwin twisted his knee but appears closer to playing than not. He is a must-play when on the field, so check back Friday. San Fran ranks 18th against PPR wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA SF 004600000 ***
Lockett was temporarily removed from Week 2 play but came back late in the game. He's expected to play, but check the Friday injury report for reassurance. He'll see more balls if Doug Baldwin (knee) is limited. Regardless, Lockett has a minor sleeper appeal this week against the 18th-ranked WR defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA SF 004501000 **
The Niners have allowed TEs to catch a line of 8-139-1 in two games, primarily at the hands of Greg Olsen. Graham isn't ready, despite being on the field. Avoid him in standard formats if you can. Doug Baldwin's injury could force Seattle to target Graham more, however, so bravely take that chance in DFS contests.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA SF 1133 ***
This one should come down to far more extra point tries than field goal kicks. At least he's safe to make what he attempts.

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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