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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: DET 24, MIN 17 (Line: DET by 1)

Players Updated: Percy Harvin, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson

Players to Watch: Christian Ponder, Percy Harvin

The 4-4 Lions are on a two game winning streak but are 2-3 in road games. The 5-4 Vikings are on a two game losing streak and are 4-1 at home. This is a replay of week four when the Vikings won because of a punt and a kick return for a touchdown.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN -----
2 @SF 19-27 11 GB -----
3 @TEN 41-44 12 HOU -----
4 MIN 13-20 13 IND -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @GB -----
6 @PHI 26-23 15 @ARI -----
7 @CHI 7-13 16 ATL -----
8 SEA 28-24 17 CHI -----
9 @JAC 31-14 ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 280,2
WR Golden Tate 3-40
PK Matt Prater 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Lions are 4-4 and by no means out of the playoff race but it will be a tough row to hoe with their schedule. If they can get past the Vikes, they may not be favored again this year. Five home games left is good but each one goes against a winning record. This week may be as good as it gets for the Lions short of possibly week 15 in Arizona.

Matt Stafford passed for 352 yards and three scores against the Seahawks in week eight but then went back to no scores in Jacksonville mostly because Mikel Leshoure had a career best three touchdowns. Stafford threw for more than one touchdown only in the one game. He's totaled just eight touchdowns on the year though he added three more scores via runs. Last week was the first time he did not score in any manner. Stafford passed for 319 yards and no touchdowns in week four versus the Vikings but added a rushing touchdown in that game.

The Jaguars were crushed by the Lions rushing. Mikel Leshoure scored only once all year and then three times in Jacksonville where he gained 70 yards on 13 runs. Even Joique Bell ran for 73 yards on 13 runs and scored once last week. Against the Vikes last time, Leshoure only rushed for 26 yards on 13 carries and added four receptions for 37 yards. Bell turned in six catches for 72 yards in that game as well. Last week was a major aberration - the Lions rushing attack is not nearly that good.

Brandon Pettigrew comes off his worst game of the year with just one catch for 11 yards but one of his top efforts was when he reeled in seven passes for 67 yards against the Vikings. Pettigrew scored just once all year and that was back in week two. He's been more consistent around 40 yards or so in recent games.

Calvin Johnson continues to be suffering from his left leg injury to the point that the Lions set up his routes to let him make cuts on his "good leg". Johnson ended with seven receptions for 129 yards in Jacksonville and was no worse after the game. Johnson said his knee will be an issue "indefinitely" but he is playing at a high level regardless. Johnson was held to only 54 yards on five catches in the last meeting with the Vikings. This is a different set of wideouts from what was used in week four. Nate Burleson is gone and Titus Young assumes his spot with Ryan Broyles becoming the #3. That worked great against the Seahawks with Young scoring twice in that game.

The Vikings are going to be without a healthy Percy Harvin and that will have a dramatic effect on the passing game of the Vikes that already has been shaky. This is a good time to travel to Minny and so long as special teams holds up this time, the Lions can win this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 7 10 8 5 6 26
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 26 15 12 17 15 19

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 20-30 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 220
TE Kyle Rudolph 3-30,1

Pregame Notes: The Vikings are on a two game losing streak and have the look of a 5-4 team that is about to fall apart. This week could be a win though Percy Harvin will be an issue and that takes away the only dangerous part of the passing game. After the week 11 bye, the schedule is about as murderous as can be. Road games in CHI, GB, STL and HOU face some great defenses. Home games versus CHI and GB are no fun either. It is entirely possible that the Vikings could even win this week and still end 6-9 on the season.

Christian Ponder's production is all over the map. He comes off a 63 yard game in Seattle and that wasn't even his worst (week 7 - 58 yards vs ARI). But he threw for 352 yards and two scores against the Redskins. Most notable this week was that Ponder passed for just 111 yards and no scores in Detroit earlier this year. Potentially losing Percy Harvin has to be disastrous to this offense that really does not rely on anyone else in the passing game.

Harvin suffered hamstring issues that were bothering him last week and then he suffered a severe ankle sprain. He has not ruled himself out this week and may gut it out but his level of play is almost certain to be reduced given he was still on crutches earlier in the week. None of the other wideouts matter here and this unit has only produced a collective five scoring catches all year anyway. Harvin has three of those touchdowns and and six games with over 80 yards. No other receiver has any games with as many as 80 yards. That rather dampens the outlook.

Harvin will be followed closely this week but at worst he is a game time decision and if he plays - how effective will he be? He is all they really have. Kyle Rudolph has marginal yardage but did score five times this year. His previous meeting with the Lions only produced two catches for eight yards though. Scary too is that Rudolph had no catches in two of the last three games.

Peterson is a lock to run well this week and he already gained 102 yards on 21 carries in Detroit. The only question here is how heavy of a load can they get to Peterson and if the already shaky passing scheme can weather a lower level of play from Harvin - if he even plays.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 28 17 23 20 8 16
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 12 5 19 16 21 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Case Keenum, MIN BAL 20000023010 ***
Keenum figures to be the starter once again and has an interesting matchup. Baltimore has given up the third-most yards per play and a TD at the fifth-highest frequency. Otherwise, the Ravens have done a number on the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN BAL 5015400000 ***
McKinnon has brought back an electric element to the offense after the loss of Dalvin Cook. In PPR, running backs have averaged the 11th-most points per game vs. the Ravens. Much of this comes via yardage figures, with backs accounting for 177.2 yards per contest (3rd most). This is also the third-best opponent for finding running room at 134.4 yards per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, MIN BAL 3001100000 ***
Murray doesn't offer much in the way of fantasy upside. RBs have scored four rushing TDs in the last five games against this defense, and the position has averaged 134.4 yards on the ground, which rates as the third most.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN BAL 005500000 ***
Only three receptions have gone into the end zone against the Ravens in the past five games, and this is the league's best defense at limiting receivers from catching the ball (8.2 per game as a team).

Update: Stefon Diggs is once again out, so there will be more targets to go around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Laquon Treadwell, MIN BAL 003300000 ***
Treadwell displayed his sheer athleticism and catching radius last week but remains no better than a fringe option. The Ravens have been masterful against wideouts, preventing receptions better than any team, and thus limiting yardage to a third-best 105 yards per game.

Update: Stefon Diggs is once again out, so there will be more targets to go around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, MIN BAL 002200000 *
The Ravens rank as the third-worst matchup and have given up the fewest receptions per game at just 8.2. Floyd isn't a warranted fantasy consideration in any format.

Update: Stefon Diggs is once again out, so there will be more targets to go around. However, Floyd is also battling an injury of his own. He's questionable with a hammy and was limited Friday after not appearing earlier in the week on the report.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN BAL 006701000 ***
The Ravens have been bullied for six touchdowns in the last five games by tight ends, but this is a low-end matchup for receptions. Only 4.2 catches per game have been granted to TEs, with one in every 3.5 scoring. Tight ends have averaged 62.8 yards in this time.

Update: Stefon Diggs is once again out, so there will be more targets to go around.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, MIN BAL 2222 ***
Of the 23 kicks faced, 22 have split the uprights. The lone miss was one of the 10 field goal attempts. This is a top-10 opponent for Forbath.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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