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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
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 @CHI 10000027031 ***
The last time we saw Rodgers he was being thrown to the Lambeau turf by the Bears; that was two months ago. Maybe he returns in time for this do-or-die NFC North battle, but there would be a lot of rust to shake off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @CHI 12012100000 **
Two months ago Lacy rushed for 150 yards and a score against the Bears, kicking off a stretch in which the Bears have allowed eight 100-yard rushers in eight games--along with 10 RB rushing scores in that span. Assuming he's healthy enough to play, he's money this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB @CHI 300000000 ****
If Eddie Lacy can't go this week Starks is a great fallback plan. He had 40 yards and a touchdown on limited carries in the earlier meeting with Chicago, averaged 4.7 yards per carry in relief of Lacy last week, and is poised to push the Packers into the postseason if Lacy is out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @CHI 0071001000 ****
Giving up so much on the ground cuts into receiver production against Chicago; they haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 3. They have, however, served up five WR TDs in the past four games. Nelson would be a fantasy stud once again if Aaron Rodgers plays; if it's Matt Flynn, he's a nice play with upside but nowhere near a must-start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarrett Boykin, GB @CHI 003501000 **
With the return of Aaron Rodgers the entire Green Bay passing game gets a lift--especially secondary targets like Boykin. Of course, that lift will take a hit if Randall Cobb gets healthy and takes snaps away from Boykin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @CHI 003200000 ***
Quarless has had a couple decent games in the past month, and while the Bears have only allowed five TE TDs on the year no team has given up more yardage to the position. Still, much of Quarless' fantasy value depends on whether or not it's Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1144 ****
Crosby has been the tortoise, a steady contributor with just two games of less than seven points all season long. He can handle the elements and will be banked on for points in a must-win game for the Packers, so he definitely has fantasy upside this week.

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 Nate Washington 5-60,1
TE Craig Stevens 2-20

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
RB Shonn Greene, TEN HOU 301000000 ***
It only took four months for Green to live up to the job share we were anticipating back in August. Greene saw almost as many carries as Chris Johnson and swiped his touchdown; he now owns three of Tennessee's last four RB rushing scores. Both teams are playing out the string, and if Greene is going to get a similar workload it's tough to bet against him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, TEN HOU 0061001000 ****
Wright owns four of the last five double-digit target outings by Titans receivers, including 20 two weeks ago. He also turned 11 targets into 54 yards and a score when the Titans faced Houston in Week 2 and is without question Tennessee's top downfield target.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nate Washington, TEN HOU 003400000 ***
Washington is an occasional contributor as the Titans' secondary receiver, battling Justin Hunter for looks. Ultimately, it's not a gig that offers a ton of fantasy upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, TEN HOU 002400000 ***
Assuming Hunter doesn't run afoul of team rules again, he'll get a chance to show his stuff as the deep threat/big play complement to Kendall Wright's steady possession receiver.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN HOU 003301000 ***
Walker scored in the earlier meeting with Houston back in Week 2. More recently he has 18 targets, 88 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. And with the Texans having given up three tight end touchdowns in the past four games, Walker makes a very good fantasy play 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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