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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 Golden Tate 3-40
TE Kellen Davis 3-30
TE Brandon Pettigrew 5-60,1
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

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @ATL 0000023010 ***
The last time these teams threw out the Welcome Matt for each other Stafford had 443 yards while Ryan threw four touchdowns. Atlanta's defense may not be quite as soft these days, but they've given up three 300-yard outings already so even sans Calvin Johnson Stafford's a decent play here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @ATL 8022200000 ***
The Falcons have given up a dozen RB TDs already, and with Reggie Bush and Theo Riddick both nicked Bell is housing the majority of the touches. More touches equals a larger share of the workload against this fantasy-friendly Falcons defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @ATL 3006400000 **
We'd like Reggie more this week if he were getting in full practices. Instead, we'll wait until the final injury report of the week to see if he's worth plugging into this extremely favorable fantasy matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @ATL 0081101000 ****
Sans Megatron it's all about the Tate. Atlanta has allowed a TD or 100-yard receiver--often both--in every game this season; Tate's a good bet to hit both ends of that daily double.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Corey Fuller, DET @ATL 002400000 ***
Fuller appears to be the receiver stepping up into the WR2 role with Calvin Johnson out. He's a sneaky fantasy play against a defense that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in every single game this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Ross, DET @ATL 002300000 ***
Ross is only slightly behind Corey Fuller in Detroit's passing game pecking order, but as it stands the Falcons are more prone to giving up a couple fantasy helpers--not a squadron.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brandon Pettigrew, DET @ATL 004300000 ****
Pettigrew has been mostly a caddy for rookie Eric Ebron this season. With Ebron injured it's Pettigrew's opportunity to shine, but the Falcons aren't particularly soft against opposing tight ends; odds are your fantasy lineup can do better.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @ATL 2133 ***
Baby steps: last week was the first time the Lions didn't miss at least one kick all season. Prater should get some opportunities against a Falcons' defense that's allowed multiple treys in four straight games, but... baby steps.

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
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 Teddy Bridgewater, MIN @TB 20000019011 ***
Four straight QBs have thrown for multiple touchdowns and at least 286 yards against the Bucs. Bridgewater may not be ready to step up to that level just yet--he's been sub-200 yards the past two weeks and just threw his first NFL touchdown last week--but the opportunity certainly is there.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN @TB 9014200000 ****
McKinnon has topped the century mark in two of the past four games; a defense that's allowed Justin Forsett to rush for 111 yards and the likes of Khiry Robinson (89 and 1), Antone Smith (50 and 1), Steven Jackson (54 and 1), and Zac Stacy (71 and 1) to have success doesn't exactly project to be a stopper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN @TB 006701000 **
Since the Vikings steadfastly refuse to throw high-volume targets at Cordarrelle Patterson, Jennings remains fantasy relevant. And in a matchup with a defense that's allowed 10 different wideouts to top 50 yards and four different wide receivers to score touchdowns last week alone, relevant means opportunity this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarius Wright, MIN @TB 004600000 ***
Tough to see Teddy Bridgewater feeding three mouths in the passing game, but Wright has managed to carve out some fantasy value on a somewhat regular basis. It's an incredibly favorable matchup, so if you're reaching you could certainly do worse than Wright.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN @TB 002100000 ***
10 receivers have racked up at least 50 yards against the Bucs; four scored against them last week alone. Patterson still isn't getting the targets, but there's no question the Vikings are making an effort to get the ball in his hands. Against this defense, that may be all he needs to have that bustout game we've been waiting for.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rhett Ellison, MIN @TB 001100000 ***
The Vikings didn't complete a single pass to a tight end last week, and nothing in this matchup suggests digging this far down into the Vikings passing game for fantasy help is a smart move.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN @TB 1122 ****
When you're giving up 34 points a game, as the Bucs are doing, opponents are bound to get their kicks against you. And right now Walsh might be the Vikings' best/only offensive weapon.

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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