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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: TEN 13, GB 24 (Line: GB by 13)

Players Upated: Alex Green

Players to Watch: Aaron Rodgers, Chris Johnson

The 4-9 Titans are on a short week after playing Monday night and are just 2-5 away from home. The 10-4 Packers clinched the NFC North with their win over the Bears and are only a half game behind the 49ers for a #2 seed and a first round bye. This is the final regular season game at home. This is also going to be a cold game at around 20 degrees forecasted.

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 21-13
7 @STL 30-20 16 TEN -----
8 JAC 24-15 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI 31-17 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 250,2
WR Randall Cobb 6-100,1
WR Jordy Nelson
TE Jermichael Finley 3-40
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: As it stands, the Packers won't know if they have a shot at the #2 seed until the 49ers and Seahawks play late on Sunday night. The 49ers wind up their season at home against the Cardinals which should be a lock for a win so realistically - the Packers may not have anything to win in the final week in Minnesota since they'll get the #3 seed regardless. This week should be the easy remaining game for the Packers and then they can end up chasing Adrian Peterson all over the field in the season finale.

Aaron Rodgers was on a three game slide with only one score in each and only moderate yardage. He posted 291 yards and three scores on the Bears last week to reverse the trend and faces another soft secondary again this week. Rodgers tweaked his ankle last week but claims it was not an issue. The biggest fear this week is that Rodgers ends up handing off a lot as he did in the three marginal fantasy games recently. The Titans are weak against the run and it would help keep Rodgers healthy.

Unfortunately, now the Packers are opting for using three running backs in rotation so that even though they combined for 28 carries, none of them had meaningful fantasy value. Alex Green remains the best bet but even he only ended with 35 yards on 13 carries while Ryan Grant was allowed eight runs for 32 yards. Throw in DuJuan Harris and even fullback John Kuhn and there is no reason to guess which one might do the most. They have all combined for only three touchdowns on the season anyway and none have gained more than 74 rush yards in any game.

Jordy Nelson remains out and there has been little in the way of any receiver having a big game aside from James Jones three scores last week on just five catches for 60 yards but he only managed two touchdowns over the previous six weeks and usually ends up with fewer than 50 yards per game. Randall Cobb topped 100 yards in the last two games but has not scored since back in week 11.

Notable this week is that Clay Matthews returned last week and was back to form. He'll be a major problem for the Titans and that could depress the game score. That could end up with more rushing and less need for Rodgers to air it out. The points are there for the taking but three of the last four games, Rodgers did not bother scoring any more than needed to win and relied on the run more.

I like a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 5 31 1 17 27 19
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 21 29 12 27 28 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB DET 10000030020 ***
Rodgers was abysmal in the earlier matchup--162 yards, one TD--and he's actually been awful in three straight against the Lions. That run includes two home dates, so it's not just a home/road split. Rodgers hasn't been much of a fantasy helper the past fortnight, and expectations should be kept in check this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB DET 8013300000 ***
Lacy has averaged 60 yards from scrimmage per game against the Lions, with no TDs to boot. Doesn't help when Aaron Rodgers attempts to pad his stats by throwing at the stripe rather than giving Lacy a shot, though Lacy has scored in three straight and five of the last six. It's taken burly backs to crack the Lions' code at the stripe--Matt Asiata, LeGarrette Blount, Steven Jackson--and Lacy certainly has the bulk, if given the opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB DET 006902000 ***
Subdued passing numbers for Aaron Rodgers mean subdued numbers for Nelson, who has been fantastic at home but hasn't scored or topped 100 yards against the Lions since New Year's Day of 2012. Check your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB DET 0071000000 ****
Cobb has been held in check by the Lions as well, with just one career TD and one career 100-yard game against them. He's been a little less volatile than Jordy Nelson, especially on the road, but he hasn't been quite as productive as his running mate in Lambeau either. It's not a great matchup, but at this juncture Cobb is an every-week fantasy play regardless of foe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB DET 003500000 ***
While Green Bay's receiver depth has been especially productive at home, the Lions aren't giving up enough to feed all three mouths so keep Adams in reserve this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB DET 2233 ****
Crosby has multiple field goals in four straight and seven of his last eight, and double digit points in five of his last eight. He posted a season-low single point in the earlier meeting with Detroit but this one's at home, where he's averaging four more points per game than on the road. So he's good for at least five here, right?

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA 37-3
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC 19-24
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU 10-24
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND 23-27
6 PIT 26-23 15 NYJ 14-10
7 @BUF 35-34 16 @GB -----
8 IND 13-19 17 JAC -----
9 CHI 20-51 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 30 240,1
RB Jackie Battle 20 2-10
RB Shonn Greene 70
RB Dexter McCluster 6-60,1
WR Kris Durham 3-40
WR Kevin Walter 3-40
WR Nate Washington 5-60,1
TE Craig Stevens 2-20
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 1 XP
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans come off their Monday night win and have a great shot at one more win in the season finale against the visiting Jaguars. The season is winding down with better defense than how it began but that's likely a function too of an offense that has been challenged to score more than 20 points in a game for the entire year.

Chris Johnson will get $9 million guaranteed next year if he remains on the roster after February so the Titans are deciding if he is worth all that cash with so much else that is needed on the team. Johnson spoke out this past week about his future and how it may not be in Tennessee so that only adds fuel to what may be a fire. Johnson is the only player that has been a true positive this year even if he lacks the consistency he had in previous seasons.

Johnson has been less effective for the last three games but peeled off a 94-yard touchdown against the Jets to total 122 yards on 21 carries on the game. As has always been the case, his yardage varies greatly since he either breaks a long run or not.

Craig Stevens replaced Jared Cook but that only meant he had two catches instead of just one.

Jake Locker has only been able to play in nine games this year and scored just nine times with most games producing moderate yardage. He hasn't sparked any offensive revival in Tennessee here in his first season as a starter but the learning curve is not done yet and he remains in the plans.

Kendall Wright will miss the last two games with a broken rib and that should turn into more work for Nate Washington who has lost all fantasy value this year. Washington has not scored since week nine and rarely has more than 50 or 60 yards in any game. Kenny Britt finally had one big game with 143 yards on the visiting Colts in week 14 but then was right back to just one catch last week. This remains a below average unit that still has no reliable fantasy value from any of the receivers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 20 28 20 13 20 14
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 14 17 20 3 13 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Charlie Whitehurst, TEN IND 0000020011 ***
Whitehurst saw plenty of action in the earlier game with Indy, throwing for 177 yards and a touchdown. That's actually a pretty typical game for him; no reason to set your expectations differently.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bishop Sankey, TEN IND 5011100000 **
Sankey scored in the earlier meeting with Indy, and at this juncture there's really no reason to give anyone else carries; the Titans need to find out what their second-round pick is capable of going forward. With greater volume comes greater responsibility--like, he'll need to turn 14 carries into more than 44 yards, like he did against Jacksonville last week, if he wants to become the feature back in Tennessee.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nate Washington, TEN IND 004500000 ***
Washington had his moment in the sun with 6-102 against a bad Jets' secondary; now he's just taking up roster space.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, TEN IND 004500000 ***
Wright is playing through a hand injury; despite that he led all Titans receivers with 4-73 last week against Jacksonville and is the best bet to post something similar against an Indy team he took for 5-55 (also team-leading) in the earlier meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN IND 005601000 ***
Walker scored against Indy in the earlier meeting--hardly surprising, seeing as the Colts have given up 10 TE TDs on the year. They've also allowed six games of 80 yards or more, including Walker's 84 earlier in the year. Given how heavily targeted Walker is, and how bad the rest of Tennessee's receiving corps is, a similar stat line feels like a starting point for Walker this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN IND 1122 ***
The Colts have allowed one multiple-field goal outing in the past 10 games. No reason to think the Titans suddenly find one between the couch cushions this week.

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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