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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: MIN 20, GB 31 (LINE: GB by 9)

Players Updated: Percy Harvin, Kyle Rudolph, Greg Jennings

Players to Watch: Greg Jennings

The Vikings were swept by the Packers last year, losing 27-33 at home and later 7-45 in Green Bay.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 ot 10 DET 34-24
2 @IND 20-23 11 BYE -----
3 SF 24-13 12 @CHI 10-28
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 @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder 20 200,1
RB Adrian Peterson 110,1 5-30
WR Greg Jennings 2-20
WR Jarius Wright 5-60,1
TE Kyle Rudolph 3-30
PK Blair Walsh 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The 6-5 Vikings hold onto a winning record is probably over for good this year. After getting waxed in Chicago, they get to play this week in Green Bay, then host the Bears, then road trips to good defenses in St. Louis and Houston before a final wrap up against the Packers. So no more of that whole "favored to win" thing. These final five games are going to be brutal and with Percy Harvin still ailing, they are literally down to Arian Peterson and more Adrian Peterson.

Peterson actually missed the team bus to Chicago last week but for some reason he was not suspended like most players would be. I have to think HC Leslie Frazier finally caught up to him and gave him a very stern apology for leaving without him. Plus a free dinner coupon at Applebees because it is ADRIAN PETERSON MAN. No - all men are not created equal. Not in purple anyway.

Adrian Peterson only gained 51 yards on 14 runs in Green Bay last year but scored once. He is on a five game stretch of 100+ rushing yards and always remains above 100 total yards in every game regardless.

Christian Ponder really flounders when Percy Harvin is not there to constantly throw passes at. Ponder passed for just 190 yards and no scores in Green Bay last year. The entire set of wideouts are one of the weakest in the league and are weakest once you deduct Harvin. Jerome SImpson has been of no help and Michael Jenkins insists on being Michael Jenkins. Kyle Rudolph became the primary receiver for the last two weeks and scored in each while catching around six passes for 60 yards in both. His stock for next year has to be higher because the team around him is bound to get better. In theory anyway.

The rookie Jarius Wright has shown up for two weeks now covering for Harvin. He is somewhat encouraging with 3-65 and a score against the Lions and then 7-49 in Chicago. Considering the lackluster stats around him, that is pretty good.

The Vikings have to hope that Peterson gets early success and keeps the game competitive because once the Packers get a lead of any size, the Vikings are back to playing volleyball between Ponder and the wideouts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 27 12 30 16 6 21
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 18 17 26 4 18 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Teddy Bridgewater, MIN CHI 10000028020 ****
Since a disappointing 158 and 1 in Chicago in Week 11 Bridgewater has been steadily building, with four multiple touchdown games and two 300-yard efforts in the five games since. The Bears have allowed 13 passing touchdowns and 1,085 passing yards over their past three road games; while that 361 and 4 average may be aggressive for Bridgewater, it does suggest he'll be on the positive side of a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN CHI 5013200000 ***
Asiata is a similar style back to Joique Bell and Mark Ingram, who have combined for four TDs in three games against the Bears. Asiata's rushing yardage isn't likely to overwhelm, but he's been bringing more to the table in the passing game and the Bears have given up 70 RB receiving yards per game over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Charles Johnson, MIN CHI 0071001000 ****
Johnson left last week's loss to the Dolphins prematurely, and early word this week is that he may not be able to practice. If that's the case, no need to risk him in a meaningless game. We'll check on his availability later this week.
Update: Johnson worked his way up to a full practice session Friday. He's listed as probable, and if he's probably going to play he's probably going to receive plenty of attention from Teddy Bridgewater.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN CHI 005601000 ****
In just shy of one season's worth of meetings with the Bears Jennings has amassed 974 yards and six TDs against them. Sure, much of that came with the Pack but despite shaky quarterbacking he mustered 12-162-1 in last season's series. He had one catch in the earlier meeting this year but has taken on a larger role of late and if Charles Johnson can't go could provide Teddy Bridgewater with the WR1 target he'll be needing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarius Wright, MIN CHI 002400000 ***
With Charles Johnson injured and potentially out for this game expect Wright to continue to step up for the Vikings. Over the past three games he's scored twice and topped 100 yards once--and that was with Johnson hogging the looks. The same defense that let Louis Murphy go for 113 yards and Cole Beasley score twice isn't likely to be able to slow Wright's roll, either.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN CHI 2233 ****
The Bears have allowed at least seven kicker points in every game this season and multiple field goals in nine of their last 10. Walsh didn't miss last week, ending a 1-for-6 stretch, and he was two for three on treys the last time he faced the Bears, so seven feels like a baseline this week.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI 23-10 11 @DET 24-20
3 @SEA 12-14 12 @NYG 10-38
4 NO 28-27 13 MIN -----
5 @IND 27-30 14 DET -----
6 @HOU 42-24 15 @CHI -----
7 @STL 30-20 16 TEN -----
8 JAC 24-15 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI 31-17 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 10 290,3
RB John Kuhn 10,1 2-10
RB James Starks 40 2-10
WR Randall Cobb 10 5-60,1
WR Jordy Nelson 5-80,1
TE Jermichael Finley 5-50,1
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers ended their five game winning streak in a particularly ugly manner in New York that smacked of a Packers team just tired and not giving the effort. Aside from Jordy Nelson catching a 61-yard touchdown in the first quarter, there was nearly no offense by the Packers. Deduct the one pass and Aaron Rodgers passed for only 158 yards and no scores. It all went bad very quickly and never got any better. Fortunately it was clearly an aberration and just "one of those games."

Rodgers passed for 250 yards and four touchdowns versus the visiting Vikings in 2011. His last three home games combined for ten touchdowns. Rodgers will be fine this week and bounce back against a very familiar opponent. The real test will come in week 15 when he plays in Chicago for what may be the NFC North crown.

The rushing effort here ranks as the worst in the NFL and has only scored twice all year. No runners ever get close to 100 yards. They rarely catch many passes. And now Alex Green and James Starks are splitting carries which is like mediocrity in stereo. It may be in Rodgers contract that they are banned from assembling a decent rushing game that could detract from all the passing. Cedric Benson becomes eligible to come off the PUP list but it appears he is in no jeopardy of actually playing any time soon. There could be more info later in the week but most reports have Benson not even close to 100%.

This week will see Greg Jennings practicing and likely playing though he will be limited in his first game back since week four. Randall Cobb has become such a major cog in the offense in his absence that it will be interesting to see how they fit Jennings back in. Cobb scored seven times in the last seven weeks and often led the team in yardage. Jordy Nelson is locked in as the flanker and he led the Packers with five catches for 63 yards and two scores on the visiting Vikings last year. James Jones has been in decline recently and though he was an official starter against the Giants, he was never thrown any passes. With Jennings returning, Jones role is even more in question.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 32 1 12 29 16
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 22 16 11 20 14 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB DET 10000030020 ***
Rodgers was abysmal in the earlier matchup--162 yards, one TD--and he's actually been awful in three straight against the Lions. That run includes two home dates, so it's not just a home/road split. Rodgers hasn't been much of a fantasy helper the past fortnight, and expectations should be kept in check this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB DET 8013300000 ***
Lacy has averaged 60 yards from scrimmage per game against the Lions, with no TDs to boot. Doesn't help when Aaron Rodgers attempts to pad his stats by throwing at the stripe rather than giving Lacy a shot, though Lacy has scored in three straight and five of the last six. It's taken burly backs to crack the Lions' code at the stripe--Matt Asiata, LeGarrette Blount, Steven Jackson--and Lacy certainly has the bulk, if given the opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB DET 006902000 ***
Subdued passing numbers for Aaron Rodgers mean subdued numbers for Nelson, who has been fantastic at home but hasn't scored or topped 100 yards against the Lions since New Year's Day of 2012. Check your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB DET 0071000000 ****
Cobb has been held in check by the Lions as well, with just one career TD and one career 100-yard game against them. He's been a little less volatile than Jordy Nelson, especially on the road, but he hasn't been quite as productive as his running mate in Lambeau either. It's not a great matchup, but at this juncture Cobb is an every-week fantasy play regardless of foe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB DET 003500000 ***
While Green Bay's receiver depth has been especially productive at home, the Lions aren't giving up enough to feed all three mouths so keep Adams in reserve this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB DET 2233 ****
Crosby has multiple field goals in four straight and seven of his last eight, and double digit points in five of his last eight. He posted a season-low single point in the earlier meeting with Detroit but this one's at home, where he's averaging four more points per game than on the road. So he's good for at least five here, right?

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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