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 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 @GB 0000024022 ***
The Pack limited Stafford to 246 yards and zero scores in the earlier meeting; in fact, in five matchups with divisional foes Stafford has produced only one legit fantasy helper--390 and 2 at home against the Bears last month. And he's had just one fantasy game of note--330 and 3 last November--in his last five against the Lions. So keep those expectations in check this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @GB 5002100000 ***
Bell took a back seat to Reggie Bush in the earlier meeting with the Packers, but he moved to the fore in Detroit when Reggie went down and he has yet to relinquish the role. Bell could follow in the footsteps of fellow bigger backs Mark Ingram and Marshawn Lynch, both of whom rushed for 100 yards against the Pack, though it's more likely his split workload won't result in enough touches for such a productive day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @GB 005601000 ***
Tate's as good a wingman as there is, and Green Bay's been more permissive to secondary targets of late--three Atlanta receivers found the end zone, as did two Vikings and two Eagles, all in the last six games--so he's a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @GB 0071000000 ***
The Packers have yet to find an answer for Megatron; he's scored in 9 of 13 career meetings with Green Bay, producing a total of 12 TDs along with 6 100-yard games--four of them in the last five meetings. Johnson is definitely back in the mix after missing time midyear due to injury, so look for yet another big game from him.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @GB 0022 ***
Prater has multiple field goals in eight straight outings. If his defense can keep the Packers under wraps again, counting by threes won't be a bad thing--for either the Lions or Prater and his fantasy owners.

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
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 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 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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