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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 Hakeem Nicks 6-80,1
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 @PIT 0000031030 ****
Does it really matter what the Steelers have or haven't allowed? Luck is en fuego right now, with multiple touchdowns in every game and five straight (and six of seven) with 300-plus yards. Pep Hamilton has seen the light!
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND @PIT 5014300000 ***
Richardson continues to get most of the between-the-tackle work, and while he hasn't topped 80 yards yet he's at least found the end zone a couple times in the past month. He's not as safe a fantasy bet as Ahmad Bradshaw, but it's a favorable enough matchup to be a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND @PIT 4004201000 ****
Three backs have rushed for at least 75 yards against the Steelers in the past two games, and two backs have scored receiving touchdowns. Talk about teeing one up right in Bradshaw's wheelhouse...
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @PIT 009900000 ***
Hilton has at least 80 yards in five straight, triple-digit yardage in three of the last four, and stakes first claim to Andrew Luck's copious yardage total.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @PIT 004500000 ****
Moncrief has been seeing an uptick in playing time, and the injury to Reggie Wayne should lead to more targets as well. It's a big pie Andrew Luck is creating; you could do worse than banking on Moncrief to carve out a slice this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND @PIT 002300000 ***
Nicks remains on the fringe of relevancy, both for the Colts and fantasy wise. So long as Andrew Luck keeps churning out 300-yard games Nicks has a shot at being a fantasy helper. Reggie Wayne's possible absence this week certainly doesn't hurt Nicks' chances.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @PIT 003501000 ****
Allen is slightly more targeted and slightly more productive than his running mate at tight end. With Indy scoring at least one TE TD in every game thus far one--or both--need to be in fantasy lineups, and Allen is the slightly safer bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND @PIT 002201000 ***
While he's playing second fiddle to Dwayne Allen Fleener is still a fantasy factor in his own right with touchdowns in three of the past five games. Indy has at least one TE TD in every game, so if you're reaching for help at the position you could certainly do worse than Fleener.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @PIT 1144 ***
My Cousin Vinny is averaging better than nine points per game; opposing kickers are averaging better than nine points per game against the Steelers. Pencil Adam in for something north of nine and call it a day.

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
WR Ryan Broyles 5-70,1
WR Calvin Johnson 8-110,1
WR Golden Tate 3-40
TE Brandon Pettigrew 4-40
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 3 XP

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 @ATL 0000023010 ***
The last time these teams threw out the Welcome Matt for each other Stafford had 443 yards while Ryan threw four touchdowns. Atlanta's defense may not be quite as soft these days, but they've given up three 300-yard outings already so even sans Calvin Johnson Stafford's a decent play here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @ATL 8022200000 ***
The Falcons have given up a dozen RB TDs already, and with Reggie Bush and Theo Riddick both nicked Bell is housing the majority of the touches. More touches equals a larger share of the workload against this fantasy-friendly Falcons defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @ATL 3006400000 **
We'd like Reggie more this week if he were getting in full practices. Instead, we'll wait until the final injury report of the week to see if he's worth plugging into this extremely favorable fantasy matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @ATL 0081101000 ****
Sans Megatron it's all about the Tate. Atlanta has allowed a TD or 100-yard receiver--often both--in every game this season; Tate's a good bet to hit both ends of that daily double.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Corey Fuller, DET @ATL 002400000 ***
Fuller appears to be the receiver stepping up into the WR2 role with Calvin Johnson out. He's a sneaky fantasy play against a defense that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in every single game this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Ross, DET @ATL 002300000 ***
Ross is only slightly behind Corey Fuller in Detroit's passing game pecking order, but as it stands the Falcons are more prone to giving up a couple fantasy helpers--not a squadron.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brandon Pettigrew, DET @ATL 004300000 ****
Pettigrew has been mostly a caddy for rookie Eric Ebron this season. With Ebron injured it's Pettigrew's opportunity to shine, but the Falcons aren't particularly soft against opposing tight ends; odds are your fantasy lineup can do better.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @ATL 2133 ***
Baby steps: last week was the first time the Lions didn't miss at least one kick all season. Prater should get some opportunities against a Falcons' defense that's allowed multiple treys in four straight games, but... baby steps.

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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