FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: MIN 20, CHI 23 (Line: CHI by 6)

Players Updated: Percy Harvin, Jay Cutler

Players to Watch: Jason Campbell, any CHI receiver besides Brandon Marshall. Anyone. Anyone at all.

The 6-4 Vikings hit the road where they are only 1-3 to face the 7-3 Bears who are on a two game losing streak. This is one of those schedule quirks where these teams play this week and again in two weeks. The Bears swept the Vikings last year, winning 39-10 at home and later 17-13 in Minnesota.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 10 DET 34-24
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 @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder 10 220,1
RB Adrian Peterson 80,1 4-20
WR Jerome Simpson 3-40
WR Jarius Wright 3-40,1
TE Kyle Rudolph 4-40
PK Blair Walsh 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Vikings come off their bye with a 6-4 record and that is probably as good as it will get. Their final schedule is perhaps more brutal than any other team with four of six games on the road and a chance to play the Packers and Bears twice while adding in the top defenses of the Rams and Texans - at their stadiums no less. This is a tough way to finish a year that seemed promising.

Christian Ponder's been decent when facing a bad secondary. He even threw for 352 yards and two scores in Washington. But each time he faced a good secondary, the results were bad. At Detroit he only threw for 111 yards and no scores. At Seattle it was just 63 yards and no touchdowns. When the Cardinals visited, he threw for 58 yards and one score. Now he is looking down the barrel of a new gun every week. At Chicago will be his worst matchup so far this year.

Adrian Peterson has made a miraculous recovery from his torn ACL last January and is on a four game streak over 120+ rushing yards and at least one touchdown every week. He even had his best game of the year while in Seattle when he ran for 182 yards on 17 carries and scored twice. Breaking off a 74-yard run helped his stats but his production has been consistently great. He has been the entirety of the offense in recent games. No doubt defenses will key on him but for that matter - so did Seattle.

Peterson rushed for 39 yards on 12 carries and scored once in Chicago last year.

Percy Harvin was held out of the week ten game with a sprained ankle but is expected back this week after resting on the bye. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Harvin is almost the entirety of the passing effort with five games over 90 yards and four touchdowns on the season. No other wideout score more than once and almost never gain more than around 40 yards in a game.

Kyle Rudolph is the leading scorer for receivers with six touchdowns but that's just one in the last four games and two of those were when he had no catches. Rudolph can catch a touchdown but has been of little use in the passing scheme.

To the advantage of the Vikings, the Bears are coming off a horrible showing on Monday night.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 28 13 23 19 4 17
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 4 5 9 16 5 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Cassel, MIN NE 0000020011 ***
Don't expect the padawan learner to go toe-to-toe with his former Jedi master; in fact, if the Vikings could get another workmanlike 170 and 2 they'd be ecstatic. Fantasy owners shouldn't bank on as much.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN NE 6011100000 ***
Update: Asiata will be thrust into a starting role with Adrian Peterson deactivated for Week 2. The Dolphins had success pounding the Patriots with the ground game, so you could be reasonably optimistic Asiata could find some similar success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN NE 300000000 **
Update: With Adrian Peterson deactivated Matt Asiata and McKinnon will shoulder the backfield workload for the Vikings. McKinnon would be best used in PPR leagues as Minnesota's change-of-pace and third-down back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Adrian Peterson, MIN NE 00000000 *
There are few moves that are more automatic than starting Adrian Peterson, but you have extra reason to be giddy this time when you click "start"; how about 193 reasons, which is the amount of rushing yards the Patriots allowed to Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller behind a completely rebuilt offensive line. Sky's the limit for All Day this week.
Update: Peterson has been deactivated for Week 2 as legal proceedings evolve from an incident involving the discipline of his son. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon will handle backfield duties for the Vikings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN NE 5006701000 ***
Hope you have some sort of combo-yardage scoring because Patterson is poised to deliver a steady stream of dual by land/by air performances. He'll move around way too much to draw Darrelle Revis only, so he'll be open--and if not, there's always the jet sweep or a kickoff return.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN NE 005700000 ****
Rarely will Jennings be a sexy start, but he's the most reliable receiver in Matt Cassel's arsenal and no question Cassel knows where to find him. More valuable when the bye weeks hit and the position thins, but you could certainly do worse.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN NE 003400000 ***
Rudolph was surprisingly lightly targeted in the season opener, but it was a tough matchup and he still managed to find the end zone. He'll be a factor every week as Norv Turner squeezes fantasy production out of yet another tight end.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN NE 3322 ***
Walsh looked good kicking indoors last week, but don't forget the Vikings are playing outside for two seasons while constructing a new building. It won't snow in Minnesota for at least another week or so, however, so Walsh is a safe start for now.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU 6-13
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF 7-32
3 STL 23-6 12 MIN -----
4 @DAL 34-18 13 SEA -----
5 @JAC 41-3 14 @MIN -----
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET 13-7 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR 23-22 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN 51-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 240,2
RB Matt Forte 70 5-30,1
WR Brandon Marshall 8-110,1
TE Martellus Bennett 3-30
PK Robbie Gould 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Just like 2011, it was going all so well and them BAM. The bottom fell out. Jay Cutler's departure last year led to five straight losses and judging by the performance in San Francisco, it may happen again. HC Lovie Smith has been optimistic that Cutler may return this week in the way that all coaches say about all their players that they do not want to be truthful about. Jay Cutler himself said that he would play "again this year" which is kinda less optimistic. Barring a sudden and unexpected development, it appears like that Jason Campbell will once again set up shop behind the offensive line that the three little pigs made out of straw.

Granted - Campbell played against a great defense in their stadium. But he only threw for 107 yards and one gimmee touchdown late in the game. He was intercepted twice and sacked six times. He connected with Brandon Marshall only twice for 21 yards. His main problem was that offensive line that rarely gave him the time to set up and throw as planned.

Making matters worse, Alshon Jeffrey is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and is out indefinitely. He may show up by the end of the season but by then it could be over. Jeffrey already last six games from a broken hand. The Bears have no other receivers of any note to persuade the secondary to devote less than three people to stopping Brandon Marshall. After Marshall and Jeffrey, all other wideouts combined for only on touchdown and no games over 50 yards. None.

The offense will lean on Matt Forte may with Cutler out and Marshall standing all alone as a receiver. He received 21 carries just last week though they still are not relying on his as a pass-catcher this year. Mike Tice has not used the tight ends at all and even the backs are doing little to help with the passing. That's unfortunate when you literally have only one wide receiver.

A home game against a familiar foe should end better this week but it is starting to look like deja vu all over again.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 24 19 12 32 5 1
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 26 15 19 18 12 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jay Cutler, CHI @SF 0000029021 ***
If your league penalizes for INTs... well, you likely knew that going in so Cutler's picks won't come as a surprise. But he's also a solid bet for multiple touchdowns and decent yardage, and for as vaunted a defense as the Niners sport they've allowed 281, 407 and 348 yards in their last three regular-season tilts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, CHI @SF 8007600000 ****
It wouldn't be off base to characterize Forte as a rich man's DeMarco Murry. And given that Murray carved out 143 yards from scrimmage against the Niners in the season opener, Forte's fantasy prospects are favorable once again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, CHI @SF 006701000 *
Marshall remains the top dog in Chicago's passing game pecking order, especially if Alshon Jeffery's injury limits his availability. The Niners held Dez Bryant in relative check (4-55) in the season opener, but don't let that dissuade you from plugging Brandon into your fantasy lineup.
Update: Marshall did not practice all week and is listed as questionable for this week's game in San Francisco. With Alshon Jeffery also questionable, the Bears will take some pregame monitoring for fantasy purposes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI @SF 004701000 *
Jeffery has some injury issues to deal with, so keep tabs on his status later in the week. Assuming he goes, he's an every week fantasy start with upside against a defense that allowed three different wideouts to top 50 yards last week in Dallas.
Update: Jeffery's only practice this week came on a limited basis Friday, and he is officially listed as questionable for this week due to the hamstring injury that knocked him out of Chicago's Week 1 loss to Buffalo. You'll likely need to wait for a game time confirmation to use Jeffery with confidence this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Santonio Holmes, CHI @SF 002300000 ***
The Niners forced Tony Romo to diversify last week, and he responded by generating three 50-yard receivers and another with 42. Holmes is clearly the third wheel in Chicago, but if San Fran takes a similar approach to defending Marshall and Jeffery he could force himself into the fantasy photo.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI @SF 003300000 ***
With both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in and out of the lineup with various nicks and bruises last week, Bennett stepped up with 10 targets, eight catches, 70 yards and a TD. He could be in line for something similar if Jeffery's injury limits his availability; otherwise temper expectations as Bennett is clearly behind Marshall and Alshon in the passing game pecking order.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, CHI @SF 2222 ***
Old Candlestick wasn't particularly kind to opposing kickers; six of the eight who visited San Fran last season left with one or zero field goals. Whether or not the new digs will be as frustrating remains to be seen; in the interim, Gould remains a decent fantasy play tacking on points for a reasonably prolific offense.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t