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
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 WAS 0000023010 ***
Washington has allowed multiple passing scores in six straight games. Bridgewater has one in each of the past two, his first two NFL passing scores, and he has yet to dazzle the home crowd with a scoring strike. Maybe it's all coming together right here, right now, for the Vikings' QB of the future? Even so, there's a ceiling of maybe 250 and 2 so set your lineup accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN WAS 9013200000 ***
McKinnon has yet to score an NFL TD, and a first is unlikely here against a Washington D that's given up only a couple of moderately big fantasy games to opposing backs--and with all due respect to McKinnon he ain't Arian Foster or DeMarco Murray.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN WAS 2005601000 *
That whole "getting the ball in Patterson's hands" thing isn't exactly happening just yet. However, a Washington defense that's allowed multiple fantasy helpers in all four road games could be just what the doctor ordered for Patterson to carve out a slice of fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN WAS 006500000 ***
Seven of the 10 WR TDs the Redskins have allowed have come on the road, and they've allowed a score and/or 69-plus yards to multiple receivers in all four games away from DC. That puts Jennings in play as either Teddy Bridgewater's top target or his backup plan if Cordarrelle Patterson can't shake free. Either way, it's a decent fantasy opportunity.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN WAS 2222 ***
Walsh has been as wildly inconsistent as the Vikings offense; factor in the Vikings playing outdoors and you likely have a better fantasy option elsewhere.

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
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 OAK 30000023020 ****
After a little tease of what he's capable off, Wilson has returned to doing just what is necessary for a Seahawks win. So while it's a favorable matchup on paper, Seattle may not need much more than the bare minimum from Wilson--about the only damper on his fantasy potential this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA OAK 10012201000 ****
It's a home game, which usually means 20-plus touches for Lynch and the accompanying fantasy stats that go with. Oakland has allowed RB TDs in four straight, no reason to think Lynch grabs the Skittles before adding to that total here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA OAK 005601000 **
Game Two post-Percy and Baldwin was still the most targeted and most prolific of Seattle's wideouts--only instead of 123 and 1, now it's back to the usual 61 and no TD. Oakland's allowed five WR TDs in the past four games so maybe Baldwin gets one here, but the passing game hasn't been a Seattle priority for quite some time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, SEA OAK 002200000 ***
Four guys caught balls in the battle to be Doug Baldwin's main wingman. Richardson has perhaps the most upside, but in a run-heavy offense with so many mouths to feed he's still more of a fantasy risk than you should need to take.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA OAK 002200000 ****
Gronk and Gates have scored on Oakland, but aside from that they haven't surrendered much to the position--certainly not so much that Willson and his one or two catches a week look like a significant fantasy helper.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA OAK 2233 ****
Hauschka's baseline is in the 6-7 point range, which is the minimum the Raiders have allowed and a mark he's bested in all but one outing this season. And things go up from there.

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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