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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

Prediction: GB 24, CHI 20 (Line: GB by 3 )

Players Updated: Jordy Nelson

Players to Watch: Alex Green, Matt Forte

This is high noon in the NFC North and a win by the Packers secures the division and keeps the Packers at least in the race for a first round bye depending on the 49ers who are a half game ahead. A win by the Bears throws the division into a tie at the top with two games left to play. This is as big as a non-playoff game is going to get in the division.

The Packers already won the first meeting 23-10 in Green Bay.

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 27-20
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 @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20,1 210,1
WR Randall Cobb 4-50
WR Jordy Nelson
TE Martellus Bennett 5-50
TE Lance Kendricks 3-30
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: There is a chance of snow in this game and last week was not a banner performance for Aaron Rodgers when it snowed. He was held to only 173 passing yards at home by the Lions and the Packers went to a run heavy attack, using 27 rushes to only 24 passes. The Packers won the game and were effective rushing the ball which draws plenty of concern to fantasy owners who hold Rodgers or Packers receivers.

Rodgers only passed for 219 yards and one score in the last meeting with the Bears and this time around Brian Urlacher will not be playing which will make the run even more effective. This is the same Bears team that lost to the Vikings even though they held them to only 91 passing yards (thank you Adrian Peterson). Rodgers threw no touchdowns in a home game for the first time in 35 games at Lambeau Field.

What did work last week was Alex Green rushing 13 times to gain 69 yards and newly on the scene Dujuan Harris gaining 31 yards on seven carries. Ryan Grant even played but only was allowed one carry and gained 13 yards. The last meeting with these teams was when Cedric Benson rushed for 81 yards on 20 carries. Chicago defensive injuries will hurt their run stopping and unlike playing the Vikings, they cannot elect to ignore the passing of Aaron Rodgers.

Jordy Nelson was out with a bad hamstring last week but has not been ruled out for this game and HC Mike McCarthy was optimistic that he would play. I will project him as limited and adjust later in the week as more progress is known. The last meeting with the Bears had Tom Crabtree scoring on his only catch in the game on a fake field goal attempt while Jermichael Finley was held to just 26 yards on four catches. Donald Driver also caught a score on his only catch in that game. Randall Cobb was shut down with only one catch for 20 yards and the top receiver was Nelson with six receptions for 84 yards.

The Bears defense has taken a step back from that week two game but that doesn't mean the Packers will have an easy time and this is being played in Chicago possibly in bad weather. RCB Tim Jennings is playing injured which would help Nelson if he plays but the loss of Urlacher is the most telling.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 7 30 1 14 26 19
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 5 3 10 14 5 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB CIN 0000030020 ***
Down two starting tackles and top two receivers could be a real thing for Rodgers in Week 3. Cincinnati visits a battered Packers squad. The Bengals have given up just one TD through the air and another on the ground to the position this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ty Montgomery, GB CIN 6016500000 ***
Montgomery delivered for fantasy owners a week ago and may need to do it again for an ailing Packers' offense. Cincinnati will provide a tougher task, but not by much. Cincy has given up 256 yards on 71 carries and a TD, making this the ninth-best matchup for exploitation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB CIN 0081001000 ***
It could the Davante Adams Show if Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson cannot go. Cincinnati is as stiff of an opponent as the stats suggest, though Adams would be likely to see a mess of targets come his way.

Update: Adams is a sound play with Cobb listed as doubtful. Nelson is a game-time decision but is expected to play after fully practicing all three days this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB CIN 007901000 ***
Nelson is likely a game-time decision with a quad strain. The Bengals represent fantasy's toughest matchup for PPR receivers in Week 3.

Update: Despite being listed as questionable, Nelson is fully expected to play. He didn't miss a day of practice. Randall Cobb, however, is doubtful, which means more targets for Nelson.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, GB CIN 004400000 ***
Cincinnati has given up a mere two catches for 19 yards through two games to tight ends. Bennett is a risky bet in any gaming format, but he could see an uptick in targets if Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb cannot play.

Update: Cobb listed as doubtful. Nelson is a game-time decision but is expected to play after fully practicing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB CIN 3333 ***
The Bengals are just average at defending the position, allowing four FGAs and a trio of extra points to sail through the goalposts. Green Bay could struggle to match its usually offensive potency with all of the injuries it is facing.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU 6-13
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF 7-32
3 STL 23-6 12 MIN 28-10
4 @DAL 34-18 13 SEA 17-23
5 @JAC 41-3 14 @MIN 14-21
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET 13-7 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR 23-22 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN 51-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 230,1
WR Kendall Wright 4-50
PK Connor Barth 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bears were nearly without Jay Cutler again after he injured his neck last week. But he is expected to be able to play this week though he may miss some practices along the way. This is the biggest game of the year for the Bears who still have to finish out with two road efforts that won't be easy at least in Detroit. Losing last week to the Vikings only served to show the problems with the defense when Adrian Peterson ran wild and beat them despite the lack of passing in that game.

Cutler was only able to throw for 126 yards and one score in that previous meeting that also included four interceptions and seven sacks - all season worsts. What matters here is if LB Clay Mathews and FS Charles Woodson return this week as they are hoped to do. Playing without them have made the Packers defense far less problematic as the Giants proved last week.

Matt Forte only ran seven times for 31 yards in that first meeting and added four catches for 49 yards. He's coming off his best game in six weeks when he ran for 85 yards against the Vikings and added a season best six catches for 34 yards. Michael Bush was only ran one time last week and has become a nonfactor despite gaining 60 yards and two scores on the same Vikings only two weeks prior.

The good news is that Alshon Jeffrey is back and scored on his three receptions for 57 yards last week. Without him, the Bears are purely one-dimensional in the passing game with Brandon Marshall getting 14+ passes every week and currently on a three game streak with 10+ catches in each. Marshall already has seven games over 100 yards but had his worst game of the season back in week two when he only caught two passes for 24 yards in Green Bay.

This game is going to hinge a bit on the playing status of Woodson and especially Clay Mathews. As the season progresses and the weather turns colder, the more that Forte is going to be featured. Marshall is going to get double digit targets every week anyway but if Woodson returns it will help the Packers secondary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 26 13 16 31 12 1
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 13 19 20 8 14 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mike Glennon, CHI PIT 0000024010 ***
Last week wasn't pretty, but in Glennon's defense, he has no weapons left. The Steelers should punish him from the onset.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI PIT 2008501000 **
The Bears are running out of weapons, which should make Cohen the top target most any week. He will need to defy the fantasy odds against a Pittsburgh defense that has granted only 11 receptions for 71 yards to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI PIT 5002200000 **
Unless Howard can manage to find the end zone or steal some receptions from Tarik Cohen, this is not likely going to end well for fantasy owners who start him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, CHI PIT 004500000 ***
Wright is abjectly wrong for fantasy owners in any traditional setting. Think about him as a deep flier in DFS action. Pittsburgh rates as the seventh-worst opponent for WRs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Joshua Bellamy, CHI PIT 004400000 ***
Receivers have scored just once on 19 receptions this year when facing Pittsburgh. There is no reason to chance Bellamy in conventional leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, CHI PIT 002300000 ***
Thompson has minute appeal in DFS contests as a contrarian sleeper, and this is only if you feel the Bears will need to throw a bunch in a catch-up scenario.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, CHI PIT 005400000 ***
The Steelers have given up 10 receptions for 107 yards but no scores to tight ends in 2017. Miller has a sliver of potential, and with it comes considerable risk.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, CHI PIT 2211 ***
It's tough sledding in Chicago this year, and it won't be any easier against a Steelers team that has given up only two FGs and one XPA on the year.

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

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