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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 ATL 20000020011 ***
Atlanta's improved secondary has limited the likes of Drew Brees and Andy Dalton to one TD toss apiece; maybe they surrender Bridgewater's first NFL scoring strike, but don't expect much more than that.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN ATL 5014300000 ***
Unlikely this undermanned version of the Vikings offense gets Asiata close enough for a goal line plunge, but if he remains the pass-catching back--no lock, as Jerick McKinnon is creeping up on him targets-wise--he could salvage fantasy value against a Falcons defense that's allowed the second-most RB receptions and third-most RB receiving yards thus far this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN ATL 3005701000 *
Two reasons to like Patterson this week. First, big-bodied receivers have found success against the Falcons, from Marques Colston's 110 yards to Vincent Jackson's touchdown. Second, the Vikings are fresh out of playmakers and desperately need to find ways to get the ball into Patterson's hands.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN ATL 006600000 ***
Jennings saw an uptick in productivity with the Vikings changing quarterbacks and forced to the air, but there's still no reason to expect much more than adequate numbers here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rhett Ellison, MIN ATL 002100000 ***
Ellison's a nice special teams player, but he's no replacement for Kyle Rudolph--especially in a matchup with a Falcons D that has yet to allow a TE TD this year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN ATL 1122 ***
Pros: Kicking inside, an offense that has a demonstrated ability to settle for field goals. Cons: an offense that may not provide many opportunities on the business side of midfield.

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
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 @CHI 0000025020 ***
Rodgers has thrown for multiple TDs in four of his last five full games against the Bears, including 318 and 2 in his triumphant Week 17 return last year. Chicago hasn't surrendered a multiple TD outing thus far this season, but they've faced EJ Manuel, Colin Kaepernick, and Geno Smith; it would be folly to lump Rodgers into that group, so don't bet against him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @CHI 6012100000 ***
After three straight fantasy duds against stout run Ds Lacy has to be salivating at a Bears defense that's surrendering 4.9 yards per carry, a deense he took for 216 yards and two TDs in last season's series. Lacy may not make it all up to you in one week, but this game should be a good start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @CHI 0071101000 ***
Nelson was a destructive force in his last meeting with the Bears, rolling up 161 yards on 10 catches. He's hit the century mark in two of his last four against Chicago, averaging 106 yards per game in that span; after being held in check by the Lions last week, he's poised to bust out here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB @CHI 005601000 ***
Cobb's last two meetings with Chicago have been big-time fantasy helpers: 2-55-2 last December and 6-115 the previous season. He's been taking a back seat to Jordy Nelson thus far this season, but he's still a major factor in this passing game and the matchup isn't so difficult as to suggest he's bench fodder.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @CHI 003300000 ***
Quarless found the end zone last week against a Lions defense that largely ignores tight ends; he's not targeted consistently enough, nor is the Bears' D similarly soft, so as to warrant fantasy consideration this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1133 ***
Crosby has eight or more points in three of his last four meetings with the Bears, and while he's coming off a one-point effort last week he should bounce back nicely against a Chicago defense that's allowed at least eight points to every opposing kicker and a league-high nine field goals thus far this season.

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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