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 @BUF 0000025012 **
87 attempts in, Teddy Football is still looking for his first NFL touchdown pass. Could come against a Bills D that just let Tom Brady go for an Abe Lincoln against them, but aside from that Bridgewater's fantasy upside is relatively limited--and not just by the Bills.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN @BUF 4006400000 ***
The Bills haven't allowed an RB TD this season, so any fantasy value McKinnon adds this week will have to come via yardage. Fortunately he's usurped Matt Asiata as the Vikings' primary back and could cobble together enough rushing and receiving yardage to blip on the fantasy radar. Hopefully you have better options at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN @BUF 004600000 ***
It's a favorable matchup on paper, but with Teddy Bridgewater still looking for his first NFL passing score and the Vikings' offense struggling on multiple levels you likely have better options at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN @BUF 003500000 ***
The Bills have allowed a WR TD in every game this year, so if ever there was an opportunity for Patterson to snap out of his slump it's here. However, at this juncture he's likely burned most if not all of his fantasy bridges so it would take a leap of faith to plug him into your lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarius Wright, MIN @BUF 003400000 ***
Wright had one big day as Teddy Bridgewater's favorite target; he's done little since and is the third receiver on an offense that can't even get one going fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Chase Ford, MIN @BUF 004300000 ***
The Vikings haven't had a tight end top 40 yards since Kyle Rudolph was healthy, and Teddy Bridgewater has yet to throw an NFL TD. Look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN @BUF 1111 ****
The Vikings have scored 10 points or less in four of their last five games. You can't bank on him for points 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
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 @STL 30100020020 ***
Plenty of reasons to shrug off last week's disappointing showing against the Cowboys and get back in the saddle--to name two, Wilson's multiple TD track record prior to last week (as in, every game) and the Rams' multiple TD track record this season (as in, every game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @STL 8004200000 ***
Lynch has a strong track record against the Rams: 100-plus yards in three of the last five, 88 or more rushing yards in five of the last six, and touchdowns in four of the last six meetings. The Rams have allowed only one RB TD on the year but gave up 100-plus yards to DeMarco Murray and Bobby Rainey. No reason Lynch can't keep to his appointed rounds in St. Louis this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ricardo Lockette, SEA @STL 001301000 **
Lockette has two of the three receiving TDs scored by Seahawk wideouts this year, which makes him a viable reach against a Rams' secondary that's surrendered seven WR TDs in the past three games. But it's always a risk mining the depths of a Seattle receiving corps that hasn't produced a double-digit fantasy game since Week 2, and only then because of Percy Harvin's rushing stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @STL 003301000 **
Kearse has the two biggest yardage games by a Seahawk receiver this year: 62 and 61. No Seattle wideout other than Percy Harvin has had a double-digit fantasy game, so while this is a favorable matchup the table scraps for non-Harvin Seahawks are scarce.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @STL 004600000 ****
While WRs against the Rams is a favorable matchup, the Seahawks don't tend to throw enough to make a secondary target like Baldwin a safe fantasy bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA @STL 002100000 ****
Assuming Miller returns from injury he's an unlikely candidate for fantasy help given that no Seattle TE has scored or topped 50 yards this season.
Update: Miller has been ruled out for this week due to his ankle injury. Not that you were banking on him for much anyway.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @STL 1133 ***
Hauschka's had just one off week in an otherwise solid season; the Rams have allowed double digits to three of the five kickers they've faced. Plenty of reason to like what Hauschka brings to the fantasy table this week.

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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