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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
RB Joique Bell 20 2-10
RB Reggie Bush 60,1 2-20
RB Mikel Leshoure 80,1 4-20
WR Ryan Broyles 4-50
WR Calvin Johnson 6-80,1
WR Kevin Ogletree 4-50,1
WR Golden Tate 3-40
TE Brandon Pettigrew 5-60,1

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

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @MIN 0000024012 ***
Stafford kicked off the season with 357 and 2 against the Vikings; since then Minnesota has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks of any team in the league while Stafford has 4,430 yards and 28 touchdowns. Nothing to play for doesn't mean Stafford won't get a chance to up those numbers in a very favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @MIN 4012200000 **
Bell scored twice as the change of pace guy in the earlier meeting with the Vikings; he also chipped in 67 receiving yards. And last week, with Reggie Bush struggling, Bell added 154 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. So he's a threat, especially when the matchup is favorable like this one is.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @MIN 5004200000 *
Bush gouged the Vikings for 90 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards, and a touchdown way back in Week 1. It's a road game but it's still a fast track and a dome, and the Vikings are still giving up big yardage to pass-catching backs. Maybe the fireworks won't be quite as big as in Detroit, but there should still be fireworks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kris Durham, DET @MIN 003401000 **
Durham has parlayed his familiarity with Matthew Stafford into an occasional fantasy helper, and secondary receivers often have success against the Vikings. Hopefully you don't have to dig this deep into the depth chart for fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @MIN 005600000 ***
Tate scored twice in the earlier meeting with St. Louis, but he hasn't topped two catches in either of the Seahawks' last two games so he's a difficult fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @MIN 00000000 *
We'll write a proof for Einstein's theory of relativity before we figure out how the Vikings held Megatron to 4-37 back in Week 1. Over the past month Minnesota has served up 249 & 2 to Alshon Jeffery, 92 & 1 to Marlon Brown, 195 & 1 to DeSean Jackson, and 97 & 2 to A.J. Green; aside from bailing due to injury there's no logical way Megatron dogs fantasy owners again this week. UPDATE: What was that we were saying about injury? Megatron did not practice all week, and while he's listed as questionable there is talk he's played his last snap of 2013. That makes him a risky fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Joseph Fauria, DET @MIN 003201000 ***
With Brandon Pettigrew hurt, Fauria saw a season-high seven targets last week. Good timing, as he'll now face a Vikings defense that's allowed the second-most touchdowns to the position and let Fauria find the end zone in the earlier matchup, as well as four TE TDs in the previous three games.

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 Christian Ponder 20 200,1
RB Adrian Peterson 120,1 4-20
WR Jerome Simpson 3-40
TE Kyle Rudolph 3-30,1
PK Blair Walsh 1 FG 2 XP

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 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.

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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