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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: CHI 27, Adrian Peterson 20 (Line:CHI by 3)

Players Updated: Earl Bennett, Michael Bush

Players to Watch: Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson

The 8-4 Bears travel to Minnesota with a 3-2 road record and face the 6-6 Vikings who are on a two game losing streak. This is a replay of week 12 - just two games ago - when the Bears won handily 28-10 in Chicago.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU 6-13
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF 7-32
3 STL 23-6 12 MIN 28-10
4 @DAL 34-18 13 SEA 17-23
5 @JAC 41-3 14 @MIN -----
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET 13-7 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR 23-22 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN 51-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 190,1
WR Kendall Wright 2-20
PK Connor Barth 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bears are not going to catch up to the 11-1 Falcons but they are a half game behind the 49ers who they lost to in week 11. That makes getting a #2 seed daunting and a home game versus the 8-4 Packers looms on the other side of this game for what will likely be the divisional title. That makes looking past this week something that the Bears cannot afford to do since every win is important and in particular divisional wins since the Packers already beat Chicago back in week two.

Jay Cutler passed for 188 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Vikes in his first game back from a concussion. He's thrown for multiple scores in the last three road games along with healthy yardage.

Matt Forte only gained 42 yards on 14 runs when the Vikings visited but left that game in the third quarter with an ankle injury. He was able to play against the Seahawks just last week when he ran 21 times for 66 yards and added three catches for 30 yards and one touchdown. He'll be healthy entering this game and Michael Bush accounted for 21 runs and 60 yards replacing Forte in that game. Bush also rushed in two touchdowns as well. The 126 rush yards and two scores are why Cutler did not need to throw as much in the last matchup.

As always, only Brandon Marshall matters in the passing game and he turned in a season high 12 catches for 92 yards on the Vikings. Just last week versus the Seahawks, Marshall was able to rack up ten receptions for a season best 165 yards. The equation is not hard to decipher here - Forte runs and catches the ball, add in a little Michael Bush and then throw every other pass to Marshall. That gets you to 8-4 tied for the division lead.

There is still an outside chance that Alshon Jeffrey returns this week to a limited role since it has been over two weeks since he had his knee scoped. LC Brian Urlacher will miss this and the next couple of games with a hamstring strain which will not hurt the stats of Adrian Peterson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 28 14 18 31 9 1
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 22 16 11 20 14 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mike Glennon, CHI PIT 0000024010 ***
Last week wasn't pretty, but in Glennon's defense, he has no weapons left. The Steelers should punish him from the onset.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI PIT 2008501000 **
The Bears are running out of weapons, which should make Cohen the top target most any week. He will need to defy the fantasy odds against a Pittsburgh defense that has granted only 11 receptions for 71 yards to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI PIT 5002200000 **
Unless Howard can manage to find the end zone or steal some receptions from Tarik Cohen, this is not likely going to end well for fantasy owners who start him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, CHI PIT 004500000 ***
Wright is abjectly wrong for fantasy owners in any traditional setting. Think about him as a deep flier in DFS action. Pittsburgh rates as the seventh-worst opponent for WRs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Joshua Bellamy, CHI PIT 004400000 ***
Receivers have scored just once on 19 receptions this year when facing Pittsburgh. There is no reason to chance Bellamy in conventional leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, CHI PIT 002300000 ***
Thompson has minute appeal in DFS contests as a contrarian sleeper, and this is only if you feel the Bears will need to throw a bunch in a catch-up scenario.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, CHI PIT 005400000 ***
The Steelers have given up 10 receptions for 107 yards but no scores to tight ends in 2017. Miller has a sliver of potential, and with it comes considerable risk.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, CHI PIT 2211 ***
It's tough sledding in Chicago this year, and it won't be any easier against a Steelers team that has given up only two FGs and one XPA on the year.

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 14-23
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 vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 210,1
WR Jarius Wright 3-50
TE Kyle Rudolph 6-60,1
PK Kai Forbath 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The killer schedule is still drawing blood and these final four games could all be losses - the Vikings will be underdogs in each. This is a replay of just two weeks ago when the Vikings lost by 18 points and the offense is struggling outside of Adrian Peterson. Greatly struggling. Enough so that now HC Leslie Frazier gets the weekly task of throwing his support behind his starting quarterback.

Christian Ponder has only gotten worse as the season progressed and he's only scored six times over the last six games while throwing seven interceptions and four times failing to pass for more than 160 yards. In Chicago, he was only good for 159 yards and one score with both an interception and turnover.Last week was 119 yards and one score in Green Bay.

Ponder is getting little help outside of Kyle Rudolph who scored in Chicago with 55 yards on five catches. The second-year tight end scored in each of the last three games while remaining just above 50 yards in each and on this offense that is wildly productive.

Percy Harvin remains out and with him any chance of a success passing effort. Harvin was initially hoped to return last week but that never happened. He has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain which involves a completely torn ligament. He may be able to play this week but will require pain injections to do so. In his place Jarius Wright has been of little help along with every other wideout. There is no element of this passing offense that contains fantasy relevancy.

Adrian Peterson literally is carrying the entire offense. He is on a six game streak of 100+ yard games including 210 yards and a score in Green Bay last week. He scored in each of those six games except, of course, the Bears game in Chicago when he "only" managed 108 yards on 18 runs but added six receptions for 30 yards. Peterson currently stands at 1446 rushing yards which is a pace that would end at 1928 yards. He's actually been far more productive as the season progresses and, sadly, as the rest of the offense disappears. Fortunately the Vikings are not squandering Peterson prime years by forcing him to carry the team. No wait. That is exactly what is happening. Imagine Peterson playing in a high powered offense. With a good quarterback.

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 CHI 3 3 7 19 8 25

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Case Keenum, MIN TB 20000020011 ***
Update: Sam Bradford has been ruled out, making Keenum the starter for another week. The matchup is so-so ... Chicago wasn't a good gauge last week of how well the Bucs will defend the position. Last year, Tampa Bay was respectable, allowing 30 or more fantasy points twice and more than two TD passes three times.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN TB 8013200000 ***
Tampa gave up a bunch of receiving work to Tarik Cohen but little else. Cook has come awfully close to scoring twice now, and getting Sam Bradford back in the starting lineup should do wonders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN TB 004501000 **
The Buccaneers did a number on what Chicago is calling a receiving corps, and Thielen sorely missed Sam Bradford last week. He's barely playable without his marshmallow of a quarterback.

Update: Bradford has been ruled out for Week 3. Lower your expectations in all setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN TB 003400000 **
Assuming Sam Bradford starts, Diggs is a much safer play. The Bucs didn't give up much to WRs last week, which may be misleading given all of the Bears' injuries at the position. Cautiously treat Diggs as a PPR No. 2 or a third otherwise.

Update: Bradford has been ruled out for Week 3. Lower your expectations in all setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Laquon Treadwell, MIN TB 002300000 ***
Minnesota's third target is too erratic to matter in fantasy leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN TB 003300000 ***
Rudolph will be a safer fantasy start if Sam Bradford returns to the lineup. If not, consider the veteran tight end as a fringe play. Tampa gave up a 6-42-0 line to Chicago tight ends in its one game this year.

Update: Bradford has been ruled out for Week 3. Lower your expectations in all setups.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, MIN TB 2222 ***
Gauging Tampa's defense of fantasy kickers is skewed from having a Week 1 bye and returning to face the Bears. Sam Bradford's status will also play a role in the final projections for Forbath.

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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