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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
WR Anquan Boldin 5-60
WR Andre Roberts 4-50
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 0000028011 ***
Stafford travels to Green Bay, where he has historically failed to produce strong fantasy numbers. He has one game in his last four trips with more than two passing touchdowns and none with more than 300 yards. That said, Detroit lost Ameer Abdullah and likes to throw a ton of passes. The Packers looked mediocre vs. Sam Bradford without cornerback Sam Shields. Play Stafford only if you must.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET @GB 3006400000 ***
More work for Riddick is ahead, although it may not matter too much. He's not a good running back, particularly inside, and Detroit's coaching staff knows it. He'll be used in space and as a receiver out of the backfield. Green Bay has stifled running backs so far this year, good for the second best defense of PPR backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dwayne Washington, DET @GB 300000000 *
No Ameer Abdullah should mean much more of the rookie. The 6-foot-2, 226-pounder brings 4.44 speed to the table. He's leggy and not very elusive, with a penchant for putting the ball on the turf. This matchup (second toughest) isn't a great place to find your first NFL start, and fantasy owners should respond accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET @GB 006900000 ***
Jones has overtaken Golden Tate as Matt Stafford's primary target and is even seeing more playing time. The stats agree, too, for fantasy purposes. Green Bay presents a lousy matchup when their top cornerback, Sam Shields, is on the field. His Week 3 status is uncertain. If Shields sits, Jones safely becomes a WR1 in PPR and a WR2 in standard scoring. Bump those numbers down a tier for each if Shields goes.

Update: Shields has been ruled out for Week 3, making Jones that much better of a play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @GB 004500000 ***
Let's forget Week 2 happened ... Tate caught only two of nine targets and finished with 13 yards. That's not likely to happen again In his two full seasons with Detroit, he has snagged 69 percent of his targets. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Green Bay isn't going to be a friendly matchup, though, unless you're a PPR owner willing to accept Tate as a flex who may not crack double figures.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, DET @GB 003300000 ***
Detroit loves three-wide sets, as illustrated by Boldin being one of a Lions trio to play at least 85 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 2. That kind of time, coupled with attention on Golden Tate, makes Boldin playable in PPR formats as a flier.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @GB 006501000 ***
Ten receptions, 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns allowed ... Green Bay stinks at defending Ebron's position through two games. He's a quality start in any format and a good bet for seeing the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @GB 2211 ***
Kickers have gone 4-for-4 from both field goal range and extra point kicks against Green Bay, which is only 19th in three-point tries allowed.

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
TE Jared Cook 6-60
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 20000027030 ***
Rodgers averaged 303 yards, 2 TDs and 0.5 INTs vs. DET in 2015 without a full complement of weapons. In 2014, he throw a total of 388 yards and 3 TDs in two games, without a pick. He's much better in real life than on the fake gridiron against this defense. Detroit's defense has allowed six TDs to just one interception and may roll over again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB DET 600000000 ***
Nearly half the league is stronger than Detroit against running backs, and the Lions are one of three teams to prevent both a rushing and receiving touchdown to the position. Much of that is because Detroit give up so many plays to tight ends around the goal. Game flow and field position are extremely important to Lacy's odds of finding the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB DET 006601000 ***
Detroit gave up a 6-64-1 line to Donte Moncrief and a 6-79-0 line to T.Y. Hilton in the opener. Tennessee didn't offer a matchup like Nelson. You always start your studs, and it doesn't hurt that he is in game shape right out of the gates.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB DET 003501000 ***
Adams sees a lot of his looks when defenses blanket Jordy Nelson and/or Randall Cobb. He remains on the field, though, since Green Bay uses three-wide sets regularly. The Lions have been respectable by holding receivers to the 12th fewest points through two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB DET 006800000 ***
Cobb's play against Detroit has been a mixed bag. He scored twice in Week 17 of the 2014 season but failed to score in his next two meetings with them. His production this year doesn't compel fantasy owners to take a chance, so it is understandable if sit him against the 12th strongest defense (PPR) of wideouts if you have a safer choice. PPR gamers pretty much have to keep him in their lineups, though, and take the mediocre with the good.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, GB DET 005501000 ****
No team has been victimized more than Detroit by tight ends. This unit has ceded four touchdowns on just 15 catches. Cook makes for a sneaky play in daily and a borderline starter in traditional games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB DET 1133 ***
Detroit is giving up only 6.5 fantasy points per outing. Crosby is playable but likely won't excel.

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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