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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
RB Ronnie Hillman 60 2-20
RB Adrian Peterson 80,1 4-20
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 Sam Bradford, MIN @CAR 0000020012 ***
Did anyone see that coming? Week 2 was extra kind to the new Vikings quarterback, and now he has to go on the road to face a Panthers defense that has more interceptions than touchdowns allowed. Consider last week's effort more of an aberration than the standard from Bradford, whose offense is now without Adrian Peterson.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN @CAR 5001100000 ***
Carolina has given up two rushing and one receiving touchdown to running backs in two games, helping lead to the eighth friendliest matchup for the position. Asiata should see a healthy workload in Adrian Peterson's stead, but he may come off the field in clear passing situations in favor of Jerick McKinnon. RB2 at best ... safely more of a flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN @CAR 3001100000 ***
Look for McKinnon to see a larger role with All Day saying goodnight, and Carolina has not done a great job of stopping pass-catching backs (9-81-1). PPR owners can look to McKinnon as a last-ditch flex option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN @CAR 004600000 **
Las week was a wonderful coming-out party for Diggs, but the fun stops there. Carolina has been suffocating against receivers in two games. Don't sit Diggs in non-DFS action.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN @CAR 004500000 ***
Not enough meat on the bone here ... while he has four catches in each game this year, Thielen doesn't offer enough bang for your lineup spot buck against this dominant pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN @CAR 004401000 ***
The Panthers rank in the middle of the pack at stopping tight ends. Most of the damage was done on a single play (75-yard Vance McDonald TD), so unless Rudolph can find his way into the end zone, the Vikings have an upper hand in this matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN @CAR 2211 ***
Wait to see what the offense looks like first ... it's on the road, without Adrian Peterson.

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
TE Logan Paulsen 4-50,1
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 Brian Hoyer, CHI @DAL 0000023011 ***
There is no reason to chance it with Hoyer in Week 3. Dallas hosts Chicago on Sunday night and is the 12th easiest matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI @DAL 5012100000 **
The offense may fall squarely on his shoulders without Jay Cutler under center. The likely added volume is nice, but stacked boxes can negate the effectiveness. Langford faces the 12th most difficult matchup for running backs and may struggle if Brandon Hoyer cannot exploit the secondary. Tread with caution, and avoid him in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, CHI @DAL 004501000 ***
Royal should see an uptick in looks with Brian Hoyer at quarterback and Dallas' weak fantasy WR defense paying mind to Alshon Jeffery. That said, playing Royal is a tough pill to swallow for traditional leaguers. PPR only, and only if you must.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI @DAL 004600000 ***
Dallas may look to double Jeffery all day long and force Brian Hoyer to take the checkdowns to backs and tight ends. The 'Boys have given up 24 catches for 316 yards and a trio of TDs to receivers this season. Jeffery is a starter but with much lower expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kevin White, CHI @DAL 004300000 ***
White is basically a late-season rookie at this point in his young NFL journey. Now a quarterback change comes into play, and it's really difficult to put much stock in White at this time. The matchup is respectable, so there's that going for him, but White isn't an quality start in any situation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, CHI @DAL 004400000 ***
Miller has been been non-existent through two games (7-47-0). That could change against the fourth easiest matchup for fantasy tight ends. Only Cleveland has given up more catches to the position. Brian Hoyer doesn't have the downfield game of Jay Cutler, something that bodes well for Miller.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, CHI @DAL 1122 ***
Brian Hoyer can do some decent things on offense, so maybe Barth gets ample chances. However, it's not worth chancing.

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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