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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: IND 23, DET 24 (LINE: DET by 4)

Players Updated: Mikel Leshoure

Players to Watch: TY Hilton, Ryan Broyles

The 7-4 Colts are not going to win the division with the 10-1 Texans in control, but they currently have a one game lead over all other AFC teams for the #5 seed wildcard. The Colts are only 2-3 on the road though and the 4-7 Lions are also 2-3 at home and on a three game losing streak. This game could go either way very easily.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC 27-10
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE 24-59
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF 20-13
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET -----
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN -----
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU -----
7 CLE 17-13 16 @KC -----
8 @TEN 19-13 17 HOU -----
9 MIA 23-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 10 240,2
RB Vick Ballard 60 2-10
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 80,1 3-20
RB Trent Richardson 120,1 5-30
WR T.Y. Hilton 5-70,1
WR Reggie Wayne 6-80,1
TE Dwayne Allen 3-30
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The 7-4 Colts have a great shot at a wildcard but two matchups with the Texans in the final three weeks are likely to impact what happens to the Colts After Manning. With any luck, the Texans will have nothing to play for in that final game and just sends the subs to Indy for the game. This year has been a rousing success already if only in what Andrew Luck has done

Andrew Luck comes off one of his worst games of the year when he only threw for 240 yards and one score against the visiting Bills and he was held to only 227 yards and no passing scores by the Jaguars though he ran in two scores in that game. He's already thrown for a record setting five 300 yards games but always seems to come up smaller in games against the easier defenses. His 13 passing touchdowns are balanced by five rushing scores.

The rushing effort has been bad all year and only scored three rushing touchdowns with no one rushing for more than 80 yards in any game. In most weeks, Donald Brown and Vick Ballard are splitting the workload and neither has much fantasy value with no scores or even more than one catch per game. This hopefully is address in the draft next year.

The passing effort has boiled down to almost entirely Reggie Wayne and his 84 catches for 1105 yards. Looking deep for either Donnie Avery or TY Hilton. The tight ends rarely figure in nor do the running backs. Luck has progressed enough that he can rely on just the wide receivers. The rookie Hilton has come on strongly in the last four games with a total of four touchdowns and two efforts that exceeded 100 yards. He was blanked in week 10 by the Jags but otherwise has been producing bug numbers for the last month. He is taking over that deep role that Avery started the season out supplying.

This will be a very good test for Luck against a banged up Lions secondary. If the Colts can't win here, the playoffs will be a one week deal if they even make it there. But win this week and the Colts turnaround from last year will have been even more remarkable.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 9 28 6 22 17 26
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 13 11 13 28 25 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND JAC 0000025020 ***
Luck threw for 260 & 2 in Jacksonville earlier this season, and with Indy still able to move up to the third seed in the AFC he'll have every opportunity to match or better those numbers against a Jaguars defense that's allowed multiple touchdown tosses in five of their last six on the road.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND JAC 6003200000 ***
Richardson is seeing the volume to be effective, but Donald Brown is doing more with fewer touches. As such, Richardson's productivity is stunted, both by Brown taking looks off his plate and by Richardson simply not doing enough with the carries he is receiving. It'll be a disinterested Houston defense, so if you're hurting for backfield help Richardson has at least a modicum of upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Griff Whalen, IND JAC 005601000 ***
Whalen's work in the slot is taking equally from the Indy wideouts and Coby Fleener, to the point that he's been the Colts' most productive fantasy pass-catcher the past two games. If you're scraping for PPR help, he's definitely an option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND JAC 004600000 ***
Reggie Wayne blew up the Texans for 100 yards in the earlier meeting, but he's on the shelf so those looks will now likely head to Hilton. Good news, too, as it's been almost two months since TY posted a legitimate fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Da'Rick Rogers, IND JAC 003300000 ***
Rogers is staking his claim to the wingman gig in Indy, and it's a friendly enough matchup that he at least warrants fantasy consideration this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND JAC 004501000 ***
Fleener scored in the earlier matchup with Jacksonville, but he's done so little over the past month that he can't be trusted for fantasy help here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND JAC 3333 ****
Vinny posted his second-best game of the season in the earlier meeting with Jacksonville; he's also scored double digits in two straight, three of four, and four of six. As per usual, he's a solid fantasy bet again this week.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN 24-34
2 @SF 19-27 11 GB 20-24
3 @TEN 41-44 12 HOU 31-34
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 IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 290,2
RB Joique Bell 20 5-30
RB Reggie Bush 40 3-20
RB Mikel Leshoure 80,1 2-10
WR Ryan Broyles 5-70,1
WR Calvin Johnson 8-110,1
WR Kevin Ogletree
WR Golden Tate 3-40
TE Brandon Pettigrew 4-40
PK David Akers

Pregame Notes: These last two losses - both by four points or less - pretty much ensure that the 4-7 Lions are going to have yet another losing season since their remaining slate contains only one team with a losing record and the Cardinals game goes off in Arizona. The defense has given up 24+ points in four of the last five games but at least the offense is scoring better. The only useful part of the remaining season is determining how much they like their current receivers and backfield for next year.

Matt Stafford comes off a season high 441 passing yards against the Texans on Thanksgiving but he's never been better than the defense this season and caught the Texans with an injured secondary. He still scores in almost every game but rarely passes for more than one score.

Mikel Leshoure is not doing much in yardage but at least he's scored in three of the last four games. He has no role as a receiver and his yardage rarely top 70 yards but he gets the bulk of all rushing carries every week. Joique Bell is losing playing time to Kevin Smith in recent weeks but still has the only other running back scores since the season opener. Only Leshoure has fantasy value and that is marginal in most weeks.

While Calvin Johnson went into a lull from weeks four through eight, he's been on fire the last four games with over 120 yards in every matchup and scoring in each of the last three. He's passed A.J. Green to reclaim his spot as the top fantasy wideout. Titus Young was held out last week for disciplinary reasons and may not play in this game as well. Ryan Broyles took his place against the Texans and gained 126 yards on six catches. It appears that Young has lost his starting job for good since Broyles was expected to gain more work by next year anyway.

The nice part of the remaining schedule? It should see the Lions behind in almost all games and needing to throw. And that is the only part of the offense that generates useful fantasy points.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 5 10 4 8 8 28
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 14 22 27 2 11 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @MIN 0000024012 ***
Stafford kicked off the season with 357 and 2 against the Vikings; since then Minnesota has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks of any team in the league while Stafford has 4,430 yards and 28 touchdowns. Nothing to play for doesn't mean Stafford won't get a chance to up those numbers in a very favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @MIN 4012200000 **
Bell scored twice as the change of pace guy in the earlier meeting with the Vikings; he also chipped in 67 receiving yards. And last week, with Reggie Bush struggling, Bell added 154 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. So he's a threat, especially when the matchup is favorable like this one is.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @MIN 5004200000 *
Bush gouged the Vikings for 90 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards, and a touchdown way back in Week 1. It's a road game but it's still a fast track and a dome, and the Vikings are still giving up big yardage to pass-catching backs. Maybe the fireworks won't be quite as big as in Detroit, but there should still be fireworks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kris Durham, DET @MIN 003401000 **
Durham has parlayed his familiarity with Matthew Stafford into an occasional fantasy helper, and secondary receivers often have success against the Vikings. Hopefully you don't have to dig this deep into the depth chart for fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @MIN 005600000 ***
Tate scored twice in the earlier meeting with St. Louis, but he hasn't topped two catches in either of the Seahawks' last two games so he's a difficult fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @MIN 00000000 *
We'll write a proof for Einstein's theory of relativity before we figure out how the Vikings held Megatron to 4-37 back in Week 1. Over the past month Minnesota has served up 249 & 2 to Alshon Jeffery, 92 & 1 to Marlon Brown, 195 & 1 to DeSean Jackson, and 97 & 2 to A.J. Green; aside from bailing due to injury there's no logical way Megatron dogs fantasy owners again this week. UPDATE: What was that we were saying about injury? Megatron did not practice all week, and while he's listed as questionable there is talk he's played his last snap of 2013. That makes him a risky fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Joseph Fauria, DET @MIN 003201000 ***
With Brandon Pettigrew hurt, Fauria saw a season-high seven targets last week. Good timing, as he'll now face a Vikings defense that's allowed the second-most touchdowns to the position and let Fauria find the end zone in the earlier matchup, as well as four TE TDs in the previous three games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K David Akers, DET @MIN 2222 ***
Akers hit for double-digits in a home matchup with the Vikings back in Week 1, but he hasn't done much since--certainly not enough to be trusted with a fantasy start on the road in a meaningless game.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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