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
RB Reggie Bush 50 1-10
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 @CHI 0000031030 ***
Stafford hasn't thrown a road TD since Week 8, but a date with the dysfunctional Bears--whom he gutted for 390 and 2 back in Week 13--should get him back on course.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joique Bell, DET @CHI 7012200000 ***
Bell gouged the Bears for 91 yards and two TDs just three weeks ago; in the two games since, Chicago has served up 419 combo yards and three TDs to opposing backs. Bell has accounted for 236 combo yards and a pair of scores in the two games since, so there's really nothing preventing him from a repeat of--maybe even improvement on--those solid fantasy stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Calvin Johnson, DET @CHI 00101202000 ***
Megatron has five TDs in his last three against the Bears, including 11-146-2 just three weeks ago. Unlikely that Chicago's secondary has improved enough since Thanksgiving to not consider Johnson one of the better fantasy plays of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @CHI 007901000 ***
Tate chipped in 8-89 against Chicago a couple weeks back, then last week scored his first TD in a game in which Calvin Johnson also played significant snaps. He's obviously not as reliable a fantasy play as Megatron, but he should still give you a fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @CHI 002200000 ***
It's an incredibly favorable matchup, as no team has given up as many TE TDs as the Bears and it isn't even close. However, the Lions have exactly two TE TDs on the year and with the receivers set to have success it's unlikely they suddenly swerve and turn to Ebron.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @CHI 2244 ***
Inking Prater midseason has turned out to be the best move the Lions could have made; he has half the misses of his 2014 predecessors in twice as many games. More importantly, he's booted multiple treys in seven straight, has three consecutive games with double-digit points (including Week 13 against Chicago) and faces a Bears D that's surrendered at least seven points to every kicker they've faced.

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 @TB 0000028020 ***
Maybe Rodgers relaxed a little too much last week, as he was blanked by the Bills in Buffalo. It's another road date, and we have more than enough evidence at this point to see that Rodgers is far less effective away from Lambeau. Moreover, the Bucs have been solid since their Week 7 bye, especially at home where they've allowed an average game of 212 passing yards and one passing score. If you survived Rodgers' goose-egg last week your team should be stocked enough to absorb a better--but still not elite--outing here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @TB 8012200000 ***
So much for a bum hip and sharing touches; Lacy looked perfectly fine last week and should be good to go against a Bucs D that over the past five games has given up an average of 140 combo yards and a touchdown to opposing backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @TB 0061001000 ***
Nelson's last road TD came in Week 6, giving him a three-game scoring drought on the road heading into Tampa. Tough to bench an elite receiver, but the numbers suggest Jordy's just another guy away from Lambeau... and Tampa's a long ways from America's Dairyland.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB @TB 007901000 ****
Cobb's productivity has held up better on the road than his receiving corps mates; witness his 96 yards last week in the loss to Buffalo. While it's been bigger receivers having the most success against the Bucs they've surrendered stats to some speed guys as well, and Cobb should carve out another fantasy helper in Tampa Bay this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB @TB 002300000 ***
The Packers still haven't received anything resembling a fantasy helper from a third receiver on the road, and there's nothing in the Bucs' pattern of stats surrendered to wideouts to suggest that changes this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @TB 002200000 ***
The Packers continue to split TE snaps, cutting into any chance at fantasy stats either Quarless or Richard Rodgers might have.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @TB 2233 ***
Mason has multiple field goals in three straight and six of seven, with double-digit points in five of those seven outings. He should get his kicks again against a Bucs defense that, after a brief and unexpected three-game bout of competency, is back to giving up double-digit points to opposing kickers.

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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