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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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 Sam Bradford 200,1
WR Michael Floyd
WR Jarius Wright 3-40,1
TE Kyle Rudolph 4-40
PK Kai Forbath 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 Case Keenum, MIN @PIT 0000023021 **
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Sam Bradford, MIN @PIT 00000000 *
This is a safe projection. Either way, Bradford owners should defer to his typical form rather than what we saw against the Saints. And the Steelers aren't the Saints. Expect a more humble effort in this one.

Update: A knee injury has Bradford a game-time decision. Avoid him where you can.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN @PIT 7004200000 ***
Pittsburgh bullied the Browns' rushing attack (20-40-0) in the opener. Cleveland mustered 62 yards on six catches from the position. The versatile Cook has more potential and is a decent flex target for this very reason.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN @PIT 006601000 ***
Thielen's route-running skills set him apart and create a lot of otherwise unnoticed mismatches. Beware that only Denver allowed fewer WR scores in 2016 than the Steelers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN @PIT 003500000 ***
Diggs is a guaranteed start in all formats, but there is a small warning that he exploded under the lights last year and trailed off. Pittsburgh was a bottom-five matchup in 2016.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Laquon Treadwell, MIN @PIT 002200000 ***
Treadwell is a too far away from being a lineup consideration ... he's barely a roster thought at this point.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN @PIT 005401000 ***
Pittsburgh was not strong against tight ends in '16, and having to focus on a pair of dangerous wideouts this week should leave Rudolph some room to roam. Start him in all conventional situations.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, MIN @PIT 1122 ***
Game flow is extremely important in contests like this, where a potent offense meets a stifling defense. Forbath has tremendous upside and nearly as much risk for a letdown.

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 Mark Sanchez 240,1
WR Kendall Wright 2-30
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 3 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 Mike Glennon, CHI @TB 0000019012 *
The plus: There is an emotional lift for Glennon against his former employer. The minus: The former employer know his deficiencies better than anyone. Don't take the chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI @TB 4004300000 ***
Cohen exploded in his debut against Atlanta. The rookie is electric and will be a focal point in Chicago's passing game, particularly so since the Bears have lost their top two receivers. Tampa is a stiffer test, and this group gave up a modest 73 RB catches last year to Atlanta's 109.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI @TB 6002100000 **
The Bucs should stack the box and force Howard to beat them. Chicago is in dire straits at wideout, so Tampa can sell out against the run. Howard is a shaky start.

Update: To complicate matters, Howard is a game-time decision for Week 2 after being limited in practice all week with a shoulder injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, CHI @TB 002201000 **
Thompson could be among the deepest of sheer gambles in DFS this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, CHI @TB 003300000 ***
Likely the most recognizable name among what is left of Chicago's receiving corps, Wright is wrong for fantasy gamers. The Bucs had extra time to prep and shouldn't have any trouble containing Mike Glennon band of merry misfits.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Bellamy, CHI @TB 002300000 **
Bellamy does not belong on a roster at this time.

Update: Bellamy is listed as questionable and is a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Markus Wheaton, CHI @TB 00000000 *
Wheaton is mildly intriguing, but until gamers see any kind of chemistry with QB Mike Glennon, it's tough to take this chance, especially without a wonderful matchup.

Update: Wheaton is questionable and a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, CHI @TB 004300000 ***
The Bucs gave up only three TE TDs in 2016. This linebacking corps is as tough as they come, and Miller is only playable with the expectation of PPR volume in an offense lacking targets.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, CHI @TB 2211 ***
Revenge for the former Buc? The Bears are getting awfully thin in the playmaker department. It's probably safest to avoid him in all setups.

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)

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