FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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: DET 16, GB 27 Line (GB by 6.5)

Players Updated: Alex Green, James Starks

Players to Watch: Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers

This is a replay of just three weeks ago when the Packers won 24-20 in Detroit. The Packers are 8-4 and 5-1 in home games while the 4-8 Lions are only 2-4 on the road and have lost their last four games.

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 33-35
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 @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 270,1
WR Calvin Johnson 6-130,1
WR Lance Moore 4-70,1
WR Golden Tate 4-50,1
TE Brandon Pettigrew 4-30
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Lions are on a four game slide but the last four came all at home and by four points or less. The remaining schedule is not going to be any help either with the Packers, Cardinals, Falcons and Bears left to play. The Cards are the easiest remaining opponent and yet that happens in Arizona. By this point the only thing there really is to root for is Calvin Johnson and his quest to set the new single-season record for receiving yardage.

Johnson currently stands at 1428 yards in 12 games for a pace that would end with 1904 yards on the season. Jerry Rice's record still stands at 1848 yards. What else is there to play for this year in Detroit? Megatron just a record for five consecutive games with over 125 yards in each. Johnson caught five passes for 143 yards and a score on the visiting Packers and notched a touchdown in each of the last four games.

Matt Stafford only passed for 266 yards and one touchdown in the last meeting with the Packers and his worst games this year have almost all been on the road. That 266 yards was one of his lowest efforts of the year though and he's posted seven different games with over 300 passing yards.

Mikel Leshoure ran for 84 yards on 19 carries and scored once on the Packers in week 11. He has scored in both of the successive weeks since then though his streak neatly covers all home games. On the road. Leshoure has been less effective and scored only against the weakest of opponents.

The only other interesting tidbit is that Titus Young lined up incorrectly intentionally a couple off weeks ago and has been "a petulant A-hole". He has seen his last down as a Lion and is replaced by Mike Thomas. Sadly Ryan Broyles blew out his ACL last week and is also gone. He ended his senior year at Oklahoma early with his left knee blown. Now a little more than a year later he just blew his right one. That makes Nate Burleson and Broyles on IR and Young chained to a dog house forever. Mike Thomas has only caught three passes in his three games with the Lions. Tony Scheffler is expected to help fill in as a slot receiver.

The lack of credible receivers may be the end of Calvin Johnson's quest to set a record. Then again - no one can stop him recently and it is not like he is a secret weapon.

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 GB 18 17 26 4 18 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @CHI 0000026020 ***
Stafford carved up the Bears for 405 and 4 in the earlier meeting, but that was at home; he's only thrown multiple scores once in six visits to Chicago. A 242 and 2 performance in Green Bay in Week 10--his last game outdoors, by the way--provides hope, as do multiple scoring strikes in five straight.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET @CHI 2006400000 ***
The Lions' pass-catching back was also their most productive in the earlier meeting with Chicago, and you have to like his chances against a defense that's given up more RB receiving scores (7) than rushing TDs (6).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET @CHI 3002200000 ***
Just when it looked like the Lions were going to test-drive their second-round pick as their feature back of the future, they stopped giving him carries: he hasn't seen double-digit totes since 13-67 against the Packers a month ago. Maybe it's the fumbles. Whatever the reason, Abdullah is fighting an uphill battle for relevancy in his own backfield, which makes his fantasy fight that much more difficult.

Update: Abdullah was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury--further dimming his fantasy prospects for this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @CHI 200000000 ***
The upside is that Bell is getting goal line looks; the downside is that the Bears have allowed only six RB rushing scores all season, so the goal line looks might be scarce.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @CHI 004701000 ***
Only five WRs have scored on the Bears since three Lions wideouts--including Megatron--found the end zone against Chicago in Week 6. And none have topped 100 yards since two Lions--including Calvin--did so in that earlier meeting. But Johnson owns the Bears, having scored or topped 100 yards in five straight meetings, so business as usual here.

Update: Johnson practiced just once this week, and then on a limited basis, due to his lingering ankle injury. So weigh that against the optimism of his career history against the Bears.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @CHI 007701000 ***
Tate sang lead vocals for a little while but Calvin Johnson is back on the mic now, relegating Tate to leftovers. Against a secondary that's allowed only six WR TDs and one 100-yard game in the past 10 weeks, that's not a very big fantasy plate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @CHI 004500000 ***
Tim Wright, replacing the injured Ebron, scored in the earlier meeting with the Bears. Ebron is back in the starter's role but has just one score in the past eight games so he's a fringe fantasy helper at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @CHI 1122 ***
Three points per game less
outside than in; has not kicked
outdoors since Week 10

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 23-14
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 DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 10 280,2
RB James Starks
WR Randall Cobb 6-70,1
WR James Jones 2-20,1
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: it is sort of like the Packers never fully returned from their week 10 bye. They have not scored more than 24 points in the last three weeks and Aaron Rodgers production has been puzzling to say the least. In the last three games, he threw for only four total touchdowns and averaged around 250 yards. He's going on six weeks from his last 300 yard effort and now the last two weeks have seen his multiple score streak end with only single touchdowns in New York and against the Vikings.

Since mid-season, Rodgers is really little more than just a decent fantasy play with no real advantage offered. He scores every week. But lately just once and with moderate yardage at best. His last two score game was in Detroit when he passed for just 236 yards. In recent weeks, the Packers have been more focused on establishing the run but that is doing nothing for the fantasy futures of Rodgers and the receivers.

The plan is to go with the "hot hand" between Alex Green and James Starks but combined they only scored once this year and that was just last week when Starks gained 66 yards on 15 runs versus the Vikings. Green took 12 carries and gained 58 yards then as well. The rushing focus is not producing anyone with fantasy merit or even creating much good for the Packers outside of slowing games down, reducing the passing and yet never scoring.

Jordy Nelson injured his hamstring last week after just one catch and while it is not claimed to be serious, he is expected to sit out this week. His role goes over the Greg Jennings who was kinda wondering what he was going to do with Randall Cobb doing a Wally Pip on him as a starter. The lack of passing yardage and scores has really decreased the fantasy value among all these receivers. Cobb had his best game of the year when he caught nine passes for 74 yards and a score in Detroit but all other wideouts remained below 50 yards in that game.

The Lions yield two passing scores to pretty much everyone and should allow a better game for Rodgers this week. But offensive line problems are creating problems in pass protection and the running back combo has been good enough to move the sticks, even if they do not even combine for any real production. In Detroit, Starks ran for 74 yards on 25 carries while Green did not have any touches that week.

I like a defensive score in this game.

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 DET 13 11 13 28 25 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB MIN 0000025020 ***
Behind a banged up line and mired in a two-game mini-slump--longer, if you want to go back to his last 300-yard game back in week 10--Rodgers is no longer a fantasy lock, at home or otherwise. Further limiting expectations are a now-healthy Vikings defense and an underachieving receiving corps.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB MIN 10011100000 ***
Lacy has owned the Vikings, with four straight 100-yard rushing games (after a 94-yard debut) and six touchdowns in five career meetings. The Vikings vow to tackle lower and have returned multiple key defenders to the lineup following injuries, but there's still plenty of reasons to like the wildly inconsistent Lacy's chances this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB MIN 2004401000 ***
Starks had some run as the Packers' pass-catching back, then filled in for the enigmatic Eddie Lacy, and now has returned to limited touches. Given Lacy's track record of success against the Vikings, expect Starks to take a back seat--fantasy and otherwise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, GB MIN 005701000 ***
Jones went big with 6-109-1 in Minnesota, but in five games since then he's totaled just 16-196-1. Startable based on the earlier meeting with Minnesota, but inconsistent nonetheless.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB MIN 006700000 **
Cobb has been Aaron Rodgers most reliable target over the past five games, catching two-thirds of his 34 targets for 239 yards but failing to find the end zone since scoring against the Vikings in Week 11. Still, he's the safest of Green Bay's receiver options.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB MIN 003400000 ***
More targets than Cobb since the Vikings game, but he hasn't topped 42 yards since then and has one touchdown--and many more key drops. Unreliable in more ways than one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Richard Rodgers, GB MIN 002200000 ***
The Vikings haven't given up a TE TD since Week 10 and held Rodgers to 3-7 in the earlier meeting. Rodgers has done little since his Hail Mary back in Week 13 and is too inconsistent to be banked on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB MIN 22233 ***
Season-high sixteen
in last game against Vikings
Settle for three much?

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)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t