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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
WR Jerome Simpson 2-40
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 Matt Cassel, MIN DET 0000022011 ***
Christian Ponder launched the Vikings' forgettable 2013 season with 236 and 1 against the Lions; now Cassel gets to stake his claim to a roster spot (starting job?) in 2014 with a by-comparison outing in the Metrodome finale. The Lions have allowed only two passing scores in the past four games, so it'll be a stiffer test than you might think for Cassel.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN DET 400000000 *
Right now Adrian Peterson appears to be the healthiest running back on the Vikings roster, but Asiata may work his way back into the mix as well. Still, if Peterson is active he'll get the carries and Asiata will have only memories of his one shining three-touchdown moment a couple weeks back. UPDATE: With Peterson listed as doubtful and Toby Gerhart out, Asiata is expected to get the start this week. He scored thrice a couple weeks back under similar circumstances, but against a stout Detroit defensive line he'll need the offense to set him up with short opportunities to be an effective fantasy back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN DET 0081001000 ***
Jerome Simpson had the big day the last time these teams got together, but much has changed since: Matt Cassel is the quarterback, Jennings his favorite receiver, and explosive rookie Cordarrelle Patterson is seeing more looks as well. Toss in Jarius Wright and it's a crowded house--though target-wise Jennings still tends to be the patriarch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN DET 3013600000 **
The Vikings continue to find ways to get the ball into the hands of the explosive Patterson. He's approaching the franchise kickoff return record, has a couple touchdown runs of late, and last week led the team in targets as well. He's a threat any time he touches the ball, to the point that he at least warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarius Wright, MIN DET 003500000 ***
Wright has been a surprise contributor in the Vikings' passing game, but it's impossible to bank on him being productive when he's at best the team's third option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN DET 1122 ***
Walsh averages two points more per game at home, and he's facing a Lions' defense that has allowed more points to kickers than any other team in the Metrodome's swan song. Expect him to get ample opportunity to kick the Lions while they're down, as well as try some lengthy field goals in a game with no playoff ramifications whatsoever.

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
WR Percy Harvin 20 7-80,1
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 Terrelle Pryor, SEA STL 40000024012 *
Pryor last started in Week 10, when he threw for 122 yards and no scores. However, with Matt McGloin struggling the Raiders will go back to Pryor for the season finale. He tossed for 281 yards and a score in the earlier meeting with Denver, and he's always a threat with his feet so there's some fantasy upside to his game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA STL 20000016010 ***
It's been a month since Wilson's last multiple touchdown outing, and he's topped out at just 206 passing yards over that span. He threw for 139 and 2 in the win in St. Louis, but with just one rushing score in his last dozen games Wilson has had to rely on his passing for fantasy numbers--and they simply haven't been there.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA STL 7012100000 ***
The Rams haven't allowed a 50-yard rusher since Week 12, a 100-yard rusher since Week 9, and held Lynch to a pedestrian 23 yard outing back in Week 8. Lynch hasn't had a 100-yard game since Week 9, but he has nine touchdowns in seven home games and will at minimum get you a score--with the upside of something better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA STL 005600000 ***
Baldwin has the Seahawks' last three WR TDs, so he's the most likely candidate to take advantage of a Rams' secondary that's allowed at least one receiver to score or top 98 yards in each of the past six games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA STL 000004301 ****
Miller scored last week, but that was against Arizona--everybody's tight end scores against Arizona. This is the Rams, a team that held Miller to 14 yards in the previous meeting and has given up just four TE TDs on the season.

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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t