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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: Adrian Peterson 17, HOU 27 (Line: HOU by 7.5)

Players to Watch: Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster

Adrian Peterson's team is currently 8-6 and still in the running for a wild card along with four other teams. The Vikings are only 2-5 on the road. The 12-2 Texans are 6-1 at home and have clinched the AFC South and remain the #1 seed in the AFC by one game over the Broncos. Gotta still win and that's a very good thing here in week 16 for every Andre Johnson and Arian Foster owner.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 ot 10 DET 34-24
2 @IND 20-23 11 BYE -----
3 SF 24-13 12 @CHI 10-28
4 @DET 20-13 13 @GB 14-23
5 TEN 30-7 14 CHI 21-14
6 @WAS 26-38 15 @STL 36-22
7 ARI 21-14 16 @HOU -----
8 TB 17-36 17 GB -----
9 @SEA 20-30 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN @ HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 270,2
RB Adrian Peterson 150,1 4-20
WR Jarius Wright 2-30
TE Kyle Rudolph 5-50,1
PK Blair Walsh 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: This is absolutely amazing. Honestly. Amazing. The Vikings literally have no passing game anymore. There is no one worth covering even if Christian Ponder could get the passes thrown accurately which is apparently not possible anyway. All eleven defenders know all they have to do is stop one guy. Just one guy. No need to respect anything else but one guy and yet they cannot do it. Adrian Peterson is only about 190 yards away from a 2,000 yard season and about 300 yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson's all-time record of 2,105 yards.

(Side note - did you realize that O.J. Simpson broke 2,000 yards in a 14 game season?)

The wildcard is possible though maybe less likely than for any of the other contending teams thanks to a schedule that ends with this game in Houston and then hosting the Packers.

There is no fantasy value on this team aside from maybe the team defense other than Peterson. Christian Ponder has not passed for more than 159 yards for the last four weeks. For the last three weeks, he hasn't even passed more than 25 times in a game. Meanwhile, Peterson has ran more than that for the last two weeks and racked up 576 yards in just the last three games. Every play could not be more obvious if Ponder grabbed the middle linebackers facemask and screamed at him "WE ARE GOING TO RUN PETERSON NOW!". The receivers have become such afterthoughts here that they might as well all carry huge arrows and then follow Peterson around on every play while pointing at him so the camera doesn't get lost.

Returning from a catastrophic knee injury in nine months is already miraculous. Challenging for 2000+ yards is jaw-dropping. Doing all this on the worst passing team is inconceivable. Peterson is the only fantasy play here. I know it. You know it. The defenses all know it. No one is stopping him. This is the #1 rushing defense playing at home. This will be interesting. And JJ Watt is back too...

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 7 31 18 6 16
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 19 1 25 29 5 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Sam Bradford, MIN @CAR 0000020012 ***
Did anyone see that coming? Week 2 was extra kind to the new Vikings quarterback, and now he has to go on the road to face a Panthers defense that has more interceptions than touchdowns allowed. Consider last week's effort more of an aberration than the standard from Bradford, whose offense is now without Adrian Peterson.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Asiata, MIN @CAR 5001100000 ***
Carolina has given up two rushing and one receiving touchdown to running backs in two games, helping lead to the eighth friendliest matchup for the position. Asiata should see a healthy workload in Adrian Peterson's stead, but he may come off the field in clear passing situations in favor of Jerick McKinnon. RB2 at best ... safely more of a flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jerick McKinnon, MIN @CAR 3001100000 ***
Look for McKinnon to see a larger role with All Day saying goodnight, and Carolina has not done a great job of stopping pass-catching backs (9-81-1). PPR owners can look to McKinnon as a last-ditch flex option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN @CAR 004600000 **
Las week was a wonderful coming-out party for Diggs, but the fun stops there. Carolina has been suffocating against receivers in two games. Don't sit Diggs in non-DFS action.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN @CAR 004500000 ***
Not enough meat on the bone here ... while he has four catches in each game this year, Thielen doesn't offer enough bang for your lineup spot buck against this dominant pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN @CAR 004401000 ***
The Panthers rank in the middle of the pack at stopping tight ends. Most of the damage was done on a single play (75-yard Vance McDonald TD), so unless Rudolph can find his way into the end zone, the Vikings have an upper hand in this matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Blair Walsh, MIN @CAR 2211 ***
Wait to see what the offense looks like first ... it's on the road, without Adrian Peterson.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI 13-6
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC 43-37
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET 34-31
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN 24-10
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE 14-42
6 GB 24-42 15 IND 29-17
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF 21-9 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brandon Weeden 230,1
RB Lamar Miller 20
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Just win this week and the #1 seed is their clear and simple. A previous win over the Broncos ensures even if the Colts won in Indy in the season finale' that a tied record would not matter. This is the final home game and a chance to treat the hometown fans for the last time until the second round of the playoffs.

Stopping Adrian Peterson will be key as it has for every defense. But even Chris Johnson gashed the Texans for 141 yards back in week four in Houston and Peterson is capable of breaking a long one on any given play... and has... with regularity in recent games.

Matt Schaub at home should always throw at least one touchdown but his yardage will vary depending on need and how well Arian Foster is running. Last week Foster turned in a season best 165 yards on 27 carries but failed to score in a home game for only the second time all year. He was on a three game scoring streak previous and has been a lock for high yardage whenever in Houston.

The passing effort has waned in recent weeks though the Texans kept on winning thanks to rushing scores and good defensive play. The secondary got it back together after the New England loss and held Andrew Luck to only 186 yards last week. All that really matters on the offense now is Foster and Andre Johnson. Ben Tate is back as the #2 but has minimal use. Johnson has been significantly more productive in the second half of the season and comes off a 151 yard last week which was only his third highest game in the last five weeks.

Knowing that a win here means week 17 does not matter, the Texans will give their final home game a total effort like we saw last week. The only way this is anything close to being a close game is if Adrian Peterson can have big success against the best defense versus running backs. It's like the immoveable object and the unstoppable force. Plus Andre Johnson. And Arian Foster. The only weakness of the defense counters the weakness of the Minnesota offense.

This game should have so much running in it that it may be over before any other game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 18 1 25 3 4 5
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 27 14 22 21 10 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Brock Osweiler, HOU @NE 0000027021 ***
On the road, at Bill's house, you have to be desperate for Osweiler to be used in traditional starting lineup. DFS gamers may want to take a chance, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @NE 8004200000 ***
Miller is a respectable start and better in PPR. The Patriots rank 16th against the position, allowing two TDs on the ground this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @NE 0071201000 ***
Hopkins is an elite player with special attributes. New England has yielded the fourth most fantasy points to the position in the first two weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Will Fuller, HOU @NE 006901000 ***
The rookie has enjoyed a strong start to his career and is rewarding fantasy owners, or at least those of whom brave enough to start him in the first two weeks. He's a WR3 with upside against the fourth easiest statistical matchup for wide receivers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, HOU @NE 2222 ***
Novak has been too good to get away from, especially on the road against a quality defense where his offense may sputter.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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