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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 Jerome Simpson 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 Matt Cassel, MIN DET 0000022011 ***
Christian Ponder launched the Vikings' forgettable 2013 season with 236 and 1 against the Lions; now Cassel gets to stake his claim to a roster spot (starting job?) in 2014 with a by-comparison outing in the Metrodome finale. The Lions have allowed only two passing scores in the past four games, so it'll be a stiffer test than you might think for Cassel.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN DET 400000000 *
Right now Adrian Peterson appears to be the healthiest running back on the Vikings roster, but Asiata may work his way back into the mix as well. Still, if Peterson is active he'll get the carries and Asiata will have only memories of his one shining three-touchdown moment a couple weeks back. UPDATE: With Peterson listed as doubtful and Toby Gerhart out, Asiata is expected to get the start this week. He scored thrice a couple weeks back under similar circumstances, but against a stout Detroit defensive line he'll need the offense to set him up with short opportunities to be an effective fantasy back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Jennings, MIN DET 0081001000 ***
Jerome Simpson had the big day the last time these teams got together, but much has changed since: Matt Cassel is the quarterback, Jennings his favorite receiver, and explosive rookie Cordarrelle Patterson is seeing more looks as well. Toss in Jarius Wright and it's a crowded house--though target-wise Jennings still tends to be the patriarch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN DET 3013600000 **
The Vikings continue to find ways to get the ball into the hands of the explosive Patterson. He's approaching the franchise kickoff return record, has a couple touchdown runs of late, and last week led the team in targets as well. He's a threat any time he touches the ball, to the point that he at least warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarius Wright, MIN DET 003500000 ***
Wright has been a surprise contributor in the Vikings' passing game, but it's impossible to bank on him being productive when he's at best the team's third option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN DET 1122 ***
Walsh averages two points more per game at home, and he's facing a Lions' defense that has allowed more points to kickers than any other team in the Metrodome's swan song. Expect him to get ample opportunity to kick the Lions while they're down, as well as try some lengthy field goals in a game with no playoff ramifications whatsoever.

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 10000027031 ***
The last time we saw Rodgers he was being thrown to the Lambeau turf by the Bears; that was two months ago. Maybe he returns in time for this do-or-die NFC North battle, but there would be a lot of rust to shake off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @CHI 12012100000 **
Two months ago Lacy rushed for 150 yards and a score against the Bears, kicking off a stretch in which the Bears have allowed eight 100-yard rushers in eight games--along with 10 RB rushing scores in that span. Assuming he's healthy enough to play, he's money this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB @CHI 300000000 ****
If Eddie Lacy can't go this week Starks is a great fallback plan. He had 40 yards and a touchdown on limited carries in the earlier meeting with Chicago, averaged 4.7 yards per carry in relief of Lacy last week, and is poised to push the Packers into the postseason if Lacy is out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @CHI 0071001000 ****
Giving up so much on the ground cuts into receiver production against Chicago; they haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 3. They have, however, served up five WR TDs in the past four games. Nelson would be a fantasy stud once again if Aaron Rodgers plays; if it's Matt Flynn, he's a nice play with upside but nowhere near a must-start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarrett Boykin, GB @CHI 003501000 **
With the return of Aaron Rodgers the entire Green Bay passing game gets a lift--especially secondary targets like Boykin. Of course, that lift will take a hit if Randall Cobb gets healthy and takes snaps away from Boykin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @CHI 003200000 ***
Quarless has had a couple decent games in the past month, and while the Bears have only allowed five TE TDs on the year no team has given up more yardage to the position. Still, much of Quarless' fantasy value depends on whether or not it's Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1144 ****
Crosby has been the tortoise, a steady contributor with just two games of less than seven points all season long. He can handle the elements and will be banked on for points in a must-win game for the Packers, so he definitely has fantasy upside this week.

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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