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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
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 GB 0000031020 ***
After facing a combined 60 passes from Geno Smith and Russell Wilson, the Packers' secondary will finally be tested: Stafford has averaged 43 pass attempts per game over the last six meetings. And while he's only tossed multiple touchdowns twice in that span he's had at least 262 passing yards, including 520 and 5 late in 2011 and 330 and 3 the last time Green Bay came to town.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET GB 5012200000 ***
Big backs have fared well against the Raji-less Packers front, with Marshawn Lynch and Chris Ivory combining for three TDs and 4.6 yards per carry. Pass-catching backs haven't exactly struggled, either; the Packers gave up an RB receiving score in Week 1 and 65 receiving yards to Jets backs last week. Bell was limited in practice earlier in the week with a knee issue; if he's good to go by the weekend he should capitalize in both of those arenas--much like the 19-94-1/3-34 line he posted on the Pack the last time they came to town.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET GB 4006600000 ***
Bush's role in this offense has been de-emphasized, so a repeat of last season's 182 yards from scrimmage in the back end of the season series seems unlikely--unless Joique Bell's knee issues force the Lions to load Reggie up with more touches than he's been seeing thus far this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET GB 0071102000 ***
Megatron has reached triple-digit yardage in half of his meetings with Green Bay, including his last four straight; he's also scored in three-fourths of those contests, including four of the last five. After letting Eric Decker and Ricardo Lockette find the end zone against them, it's hard to imagine the Packers secondary keeping Johnson from hitting both of those marks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET GB 006700000 ***
Tate scored twice* the last time he faced the Packers, and that was in Seattle where they throw the ball about half as much as they do in Detroit. Tate's 14 targets through two games as Megatron's wingman speak to his role, and while expectations shouldn't be gaudy a solid outing should be in store.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET GB 002300000 ***
The Lions' tight end production still seems fractured, though Ebron stepped to the fore last week. Green Bay hasn't faced much in the way of pass-catching tight ends, but until Ebron's role in this offense is more stable he can't be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nate Freese, DET GB 3233 ***
The Lions were auditioning kickers this week; by the time you read this Freese may be an ex-Lion. You'll want something a little more stable for your fantasy lineup.

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 @NO 0000020012 ***
If the Vikings really want the passing game to pick up the slack left by Adrian Peterson's absence, they'll turn to Teddy Bridgewater. Cassel will continue as a placeholder who can't be banked on for fantasy contributions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN @NO 6012100000 ***
Asiata isn't going to dazzle anyone with his three yards per carry, though his work in the passing game last week was a welcome surprise. Keep expectations in check and hope for a goal line look to salvage Asiata's fantasy day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN @NO 4005600000 ***
The Vikings need to get the ball into Patterson's hands as often as possible. Emphasis on "need". And "often". Given those parameters, he's bound to carve out some fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN @NO 004500000 ***
The secondary--maybe thirdary, if you include Kyle Rudolph--target in a non-productive passing game doesn't exactly whet the fantasy whistle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN @NO 005601000 ****
Rudolph scored in Week 1, topped 50 yards last week, and after Cordarrelle Patterson is about all the Vikings' passing game has going for it. Given that the undermanned Vikings are likely to be playing catch-up here, he should see plenty of opportunities--enough to boost his fantasy stock.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN @NO 1122 ***
Opportunities are bound to be hard to come by for Walsh, though any time the Vikings cross midfield he's in range--especially indoors.

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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