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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: GB 31, DET 17 (Line: GB by 3)

Players to Watch: Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley

The 6-3 Packers come off their bye week with a four game winning streak and head to Detroit where the 4-5 Lions are 2-1. The Packers swept the Lions last year, winning 45-41 at home and 27-15 in Detroit.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI 23-10 11 @DET -----
3 @SEA 12-14 12 @NYG -----
4 NO 28-27 13 MIN -----
5 @IND 27-30 14 DET -----
6 @HOU 42-24 15 @CHI -----
7 @STL 30-20 16 TEN -----
8 JAC 24-15 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI 31-17 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 280,3
RB James Starks 50 2
WR Randall Cobb 5-60
WR Jordy Nelson 5-80,1
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: A nice four game winning streak has the Packers looking like 2011 all over again and they don't even need all the same players to get the job done. The remaining schedule features two road games against the Giants and Bears but otherwise should wins unless someone pulls an upset. The Packers already beat the Bears in week two so that visit to Chicago in week 15 is probably going to be very big in determining the divisional champ.

Aaron Rodgers started out the season with just three scores total over the first three games and with that freaked out every fantasy owner. Not to worry. He's merely thrown 21 touchdowns over the last six games. His yardage is lower this year with just 265 yards per week. But his scoring is so strong that he more than compensates.

James Starks ran for 61 yards on 17 runs in the last game and is healthy again. Alex Green never did score while he was starting and so far still has not gained more than 65 yards in any game. He'll cede more workload to Starks this week

Randall Cobb's broken out this year with six touchdowns over the last five games and over 80 yards in each of his last three road games. Jordy Nelson has been out with a bad hamstring but is expected back this week. He too was on a roll before the injury saw him with no catches for the last two games. James Jones still leads the team with eight touchdowns and he has become a reliable end zone target even if he rarely has more than around 50 yards per week.

This offense could catch fire big this and any week. Jermichael Finley has gone from tight end stud to not even worth owning but OC Tom Clements confirmed that he expected Finley to play a much bigger role in the second half of the season. He'd need to about triple his production to merit even a casual look but it helps with the offensive coordinator talks him up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 2 31 1 18 26 19
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 12 8 17 19 24 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB CAR 0000031030 ****
Carolina has allowed multiple TD passes in five of six this year; Rodgers has three or more in three straight and four of five. No reason to think he won't get it done at home this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB CAR 6011100000 ****
Sadly, the Packers are following through on their plan to keep Lacy fresh by giving James Starks more carries earlier in games. Nonetheless, it's a favorable matchup given that Carolina has allowed six RB TDs in just the past three games. And you'd like to believe Lacy will at least be given the opportunity to run the ball.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB CAR 400000000 ***
Starks is seeing an uptick in touches as the Packers try to keep Eddie Lacy rested and healthy. Doesn't mean he's a lock to score, but the upside is there.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB CAR 0081002000 ****
Nelson has scored in three straight and four of five; he's a solid be to put up helpful fantasy digits against a secondary that's allowed multiple touchdown passes in three of the last four.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB CAR 005601000 ****
Cobb knows how to get deep and get open; he'll have every opportunity to get his this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB CAR 004500000 ***
If Adams didn't have to fight an uphill battle against Jordy Nelson and Reggie Wayne he'd be a decent fantasy option against a defense that's allowed multiple WR TDs in three of the last four. Unfortunately Adams does have to fight for his right to catch passes, so adjust accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB CAR 003300000 ***
The Panthers have yet to allow a TE TD, which makes fringe guys that much more iffier. Quarless is a fringe guy, and if Carolina takes him away as the waiver wire says they should he becomes an even trickier fantasy play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB CAR 1144 ****
The only thing standing between Crosby and big fantasy numbers is an offense that's too efficient, setting him up for one-pointers instead of treys. Solid, with upside for more.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN 24-34
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 vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 290,2
RB Joique Bell 10 3-20
RB Reggie Bush 50 2-20
WR Ryan Broyles 2-30
WR Calvin Johnson 6-100,1
TE Brandon Pettigrew 6-60,1
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The loss in Minnesota drops the Lions to 4-5 and signals that yes, this is just another inglorious year in Detroit. The hallmark of this year will be inconsistency. Most players have their one or two big games but then return to mediocrity waiting for that fourth or fifth game when they can do it again. Problem too is that the Lions are facing a daunting remaining schedule where they may not be favored in any game,

Matthew Stafford has managed to produce high pass yardage nearly every week but his touchdowns are lower than last season and he was stuck with just one score per game until week eight when he exploded for four against the Seahawks. Then back to no scores the next week in Jacksonville and back up to three touchdowns in Minnesota last week. To his credit, he has remained above 280 passing yards in all but two games.

Mikel Leshoure came off his three touchdown game against the Jaguars and flopped again with only 48 yards and no scores in Minnesota. He's been oddly phased out of the passing game in recent weeks and generally produces just a very average sort of rushing effort that only once has been better than 70 yards. Joique Bell had a career game when he scored in Jacksonville and gained 109 total yards but then was back to only 48 yards the next week.

Brandon Pettigrew scored for only the second time all year in Minnesota last week but he's really declined in use from the start of the season. Four of his last five games remained below 40 yards. To his credit - three of his best efforts all came at home.

Calvin Johnson continues to miss practice time because of his left knee and always seems like he is going to miss time and then he just goes out and has his best game of the year with 12 receptions for 207 yards and one touchdown last week. Johnson is seriously light on scoring this year with just two touchdowns but he has topped 90 yards five times already. He's good for around a dozen targets in most games, the only question is if the defense can stop him. Last season, Johnson was held to only 49 yards and one score when the Packers came to town but he later posted 244 yards and a score in Green Bay.

No doubt this game turns to the air sooner than later. The last time they played was in week 17 last season when Stafford ended the season with a 520 yard, five touchdown game in Green Bay. The Packers were resting players then and even Matt Flynn passed for 480 yards and six touchdowns.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 5 10 4 6 9 28
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 17 12 24 10 16 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET NO 0000023020 ***
You'd like to think Lions vs. Saints, Stafford vs. Brees, shootout in the offing. However, the Lions D threatens to put the kibosh on Brees while Stafford hasn't thrown multiple TDs since Week 4 or topped 300 yards since the season opener. Dial those expectations back accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET NO 701000000 ***
Four of five opponents have scored RB TDs on the Saints, and with Bell the likely leader in Detroit backfield touches he's the best bet of the group to find the end zone--and as such, have fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET NO 4004300000 ***
Assuming Bush returns from injury to his earlier workload--without offloading a handful of touches to Theo Riddick, who performed well in Reggie's absence--he's still the junior partner in the Detroit backfield. It's not a bad matchup, but Bush falls behind Joique Bell in the pecking order and as such is a bit longer of a bet to carve out fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET NO 006701000 ***
Tate bumps up to WR1 in Detroit with Calvin Johnson sidelined. Fortunately the Saints have been a favorable matchup for both primary and secondary wideouts so regardless of role the highly-targeted Tate should have plenty of opportunity to produce fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Ross, DET NO 003400000 ***
With Calvin Johnson sidelined Ross becomes the primary secondary target in Detroit... if that makes sense. Considering that the Saints have five different wideouts to either score or top 100 yards over the past two games, that role should provide enough opportunity for Ross to be a sneaky fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET NO 00000000 ****
Calvin Johnson's absence provides an opportunity for Ebron, especially in the red zone. However, he hasn't really capitalized with just two catches in each of the past two games. And the Saints aren't a particularly favorable matchup for tight ends, so there's little reason to expect he'll suddenly step up this week.
Update: Pretty much everything that could go wrong with regards to Ebron's fantasy potential this week did go wrong, with Calvin Johnson upgraded to questionable and Ebron himself doubtful. Look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET NO 1133 ***
In one corner it's the curse of the Detroit kickers, who are a collective 5-for-15 on field goal attempts this year. In the other it's a Saints defense that has yet to force a missed kick this year and has surrendered at least seven points to every opposing kicker. At minimum you can find safer fantasy options.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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