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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 @DAL 20000030031 ***
Even when Luck is bad, he's good. Luck posted his worst fantasy outing of the season last week, but it still involved two TDs. So that's the floor, with the ceiling one of the eight games he's posted of 30-plus fantasy points. Not a bad neighborhood to be in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dan Herron, IND @DAL 3004400000 ***
The Cowboys have given up 10 RB TDs in the past five games, and with Herron the vastly more productive back he's the more likely to claim a piece of that pie. That said, he's still inexplicably sharing touches with Trent Richardson, so there's a bit of risk involved.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND @DAL 300000000 ***
Richardson still gets some touches, and the Cowboys have been forthcoming with running back scores--not just to feature backs, either; the likes of Chris Polk, Andre Williams and Marion Grice have gotten in on the action--so if you're desperate you at least know he's getting some carries.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @DAL 004601000 *
Primary receivers with speed have been the Cowboys' bugaboo of late, from Cecil Shorts (5-119) to Odell Beckham Jr. (10-146-2) to Jeremy Maclin twice (8-108, 4-98). Indy's entry in this sweepstakes would be Hilton, who's targeted more than enough to put up similar statlines.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @DAL 004500000 ***
Moncrief should be the Colts' WR2, but Reggie Wayne is hanging around and Hakeem Nicks swipes some looks from time to time so he's far from a sure thing.It's also worth noting that only once all year--the Rams, back in Week 3--have multiple wideouts scored in the same game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND @DAL 003200000 ***
At this juncture Wayne is a mere shadow of his former fantasy self. You can do better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND @DAL 002200000 ***
Nicks emerges from time to time to swipe a touchdown from Donte Moncrief, but he's far too unreliable to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND @DAL 005601000 ***
Fleecer sees fewer snaps but more targets than Dwayne Allen; unfortunately when both are in the lineup Allen has been the more productive while Fleener takes a back seat. It's a very good matchup for both tight ends, though again Fleener flies wingman when both Indy TEs are healthy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @DAL 003201000 ***
The better blocker of Indy's tight ends, Allen is seeing more snaps because of it. And more snaps against a team that struggles to defend the tight end means more fantasy opportunities for Allen.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @DAL 3333 ***
The bad news: three of Vinatieri's four lowest-scoring games have come in the last three weeks. The good news: Vegas likes this one for points, and points mean Vinny gets his--by ones or by threes.

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 @CHI 0000031030 ***
Stafford hasn't thrown a road TD since Week 8, but a date with the dysfunctional Bears--whom he gutted for 390 and 2 back in Week 13--should get him back on course.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @CHI 7012200000 ***
Bell gouged the Bears for 91 yards and two TDs just three weeks ago; in the two games since, Chicago has served up 419 combo yards and three TDs to opposing backs. Bell has accounted for 236 combo yards and a pair of scores in the two games since, so there's really nothing preventing him from a repeat of--maybe even improvement on--those solid fantasy stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @CHI 00101202000 ***
Megatron has five TDs in his last three against the Bears, including 11-146-2 just three weeks ago. Unlikely that Chicago's secondary has improved enough since Thanksgiving to not consider Johnson one of the better fantasy plays of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @CHI 007901000 ***
Tate chipped in 8-89 against Chicago a couple weeks back, then last week scored his first TD in a game in which Calvin Johnson also played significant snaps. He's obviously not as reliable a fantasy play as Megatron, but he should still give you a fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @CHI 002200000 ***
It's an incredibly favorable matchup, as no team has given up as many TE TDs as the Bears and it isn't even close. However, the Lions have exactly two TE TDs on the year and with the receivers set to have success it's unlikely they suddenly swerve and turn to Ebron.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @CHI 2244 ***
Inking Prater midseason has turned out to be the best move the Lions could have made; he has half the misses of his 2014 predecessors in twice as many games. More importantly, he's booted multiple treys in seven straight, has three consecutive games with double-digit points (including Week 13 against Chicago) and faces a Bears D that's surrendered at least seven points to every kicker they've faced.

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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