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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: 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
RB Reggie Bush 50 1-10
RB Mikel Leshoure 70 2-20
RB Montell Owens 60 4-20
WR Calvin Johnson 6-130,1
WR Golden Tate 4-50,1
TE Brandon Pettigrew 4-30

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 @MIN 0000024012 ***
Stafford kicked off the season with 357 and 2 against the Vikings; since then Minnesota has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks of any team in the league while Stafford has 4,430 yards and 28 touchdowns. Nothing to play for doesn't mean Stafford won't get a chance to up those numbers in a very favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @MIN 4012200000 **
Bell scored twice as the change of pace guy in the earlier meeting with the Vikings; he also chipped in 67 receiving yards. And last week, with Reggie Bush struggling, Bell added 154 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. So he's a threat, especially when the matchup is favorable like this one is.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Reggie Bush, DET @MIN 5004200000 *
Bush gouged the Vikings for 90 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards, and a touchdown way back in Week 1. It's a road game but it's still a fast track and a dome, and the Vikings are still giving up big yardage to pass-catching backs. Maybe the fireworks won't be quite as big as in Detroit, but there should still be fireworks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kris Durham, DET @MIN 003401000 **
Durham has parlayed his familiarity with Matthew Stafford into an occasional fantasy helper, and secondary receivers often have success against the Vikings. Hopefully you don't have to dig this deep into the depth chart for fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @MIN 005600000 ***
Tate scored twice in the earlier meeting with St. Louis, but he hasn't topped two catches in either of the Seahawks' last two games so he's a difficult fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @MIN 00000000 *
We'll write a proof for Einstein's theory of relativity before we figure out how the Vikings held Megatron to 4-37 back in Week 1. Over the past month Minnesota has served up 249 & 2 to Alshon Jeffery, 92 & 1 to Marlon Brown, 195 & 1 to DeSean Jackson, and 97 & 2 to A.J. Green; aside from bailing due to injury there's no logical way Megatron dogs fantasy owners again this week. UPDATE: What was that we were saying about injury? Megatron did not practice all week, and while he's listed as questionable there is talk he's played his last snap of 2013. That makes him a risky fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Joseph Fauria, DET @MIN 003201000 ***
With Brandon Pettigrew hurt, Fauria saw a season-high seven targets last week. Good timing, as he'll now face a Vikings defense that's allowed the second-most touchdowns to the position and let Fauria find the end zone in the earlier matchup, as well as four TE TDs in the previous three games.

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 @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 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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