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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 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 Brett Hundley, GB BAL 30100020001 ***
Fresh off of its bye, Baltimore heads to Green Bay with fantasy's second-best defense of QBs in tow. Hundley looked more competent last week, though he remains a good ways off from being a reasonable fantasy play. Baltimore has given up only three TD strikes in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Williams, GB BAL 6012200000 **
No Aaron Jones, and likely no Ty Montgomery, means Williams will have the majority of the work will fall squarely on his rookie shoulders. Baltimore returns from a bye week with the eighth-softest rushing yardage defense but the 19th-easiest scoring defense. One in 59 carries, on average, goes into the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB BAL 004600000 ***
This isn't the kind of situation in which a gamer should feel comfortable about a player getting on track. The Week 10 showing was nice and all, but Baltimore is coming off a bye week and has the fourth-toughest defense in fantasy. Only two of the past 39 catches have scored, and that spans four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB BAL 003500000 ***
Cobb faces a brutal matchup with a defense coming off of a well-timed bye. The Ravens have given up just 9.8 catches for 105 yards and 0.5 TDs per game to wide receivers. It doesn't get much tougher than this.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB BAL 003400000 ***
Nelson has fallen off of the fantasy map with Aaron Rodgers' injury, and expecting him to rechart his course this week is an expedition one shouldn't want to venture. Baltimore has given up 39 catches over it's last four games, which ranks as the sixth fewest. Moreover, only two of those balls have found paydirt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Lance Kendricks, GB BAL 002200000 ***
The Packers utilize the position too inconsistently to consider Kendricks for a lineup spot.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB BAL 2222 ***
Baltimore is a midrange opponent for kickers this week. Most of the work has come via three-pointers, so there is at least that going for Crosby. Even if every kick was good, the position would have averaged a modest 8.0 fantasy points.

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

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 Mitchell Trubisky, CHI DET 0000019010 ***
Trubisky showed a little life last week. Detroit, though, has given up only four TD passes, while intercepting as many, in the past four games. Remove two rushing TDs and this goes from being the 12th-best matchup of the week to the 12th-worst.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI DET 11011100000 ***
Howard takes on the Lions' porous rushing defense. This group has permitted 114 rushing yards (6th-most) and a rushing TD every 19.6 carries, which is the second-highest frequency. Through the air, backs have gone for 6.0 catches for 37.3 yards. None of the 24 catches since Week 5 have scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, CHI DET 1003200000 ***
Cunningham played nearly 50 percent of the snaps last week and appears to have solidly taken over for Tarik Cohen. It's somewhat interesting that Cohen's downfall began when Mitchell Trubisky took over. At any rate, Detroit is a midrange defense for receiving backs. Look elsewhere for a better reward play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, CHI DET 004401000 **
Inman showed progress the last two years with the Chargers but was the odd man out with the Mike Williams selection. He had not played since Week 4 of this year but returned to finish with six catches for 88 yards on eight targets vs. Green Bay. The Lions have surrendered 12.5 catches (9th most), 164.3 yards (11th) and a TD every 16.7 receptions (22nd).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, CHI DET 004500000 ***
Wright has seen eight targets in each of the past two contests but hasn't managed to do anything with them. Those looks have resulted in just seven catches for 69 yards. Detroit is a borderline matchup. Play him at your own risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Joshua Bellamy, CHI DET 002300000 **
Bellamy was targeted seven times last week, catching two for 57 and a score. He's a wild gamble in any format. The Lions have given up top-11 figures for yardage and catches but only three WR TDs in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tre McBride III, CHI DET 002300000 *
McBride doesn't belong on any fantasy rosters at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Adam Shaheen, CHI DET 002300000 ***
Detroit has been dominant against tight ends lately, giving up only three catches per contest since Week 5. The rookie tight end doesn't belong on anyone's radar right now.

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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