FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: GB 25, MIN 20 (Line: GB by 3)

Players to Watch: Adrian Peterson

The Packers can wrap up a first round bye with a win here and already won 23-14 in the first meeting just three games ago. The Vikings can clinch a wildcard with a win though and that makes this game take on big implications. This game should be all about watching Adrian Peterson trying to get his name into the record books but now has taken on new meaning. Both teams have a need to win this game.

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 55-7
8 JAC 24-15 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI 31-17 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 260,2
WR Jordy Nelson 3-40
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers lit up the Titans last week which was needed after stumbling or winning small since the week 10 bye. The only change coming into this game from the last meeting just three weeks ago is that Randall Cobb will become a game time decision because of his ankle and Ryan Grant is now in the picture.

Aaron Rodgers only passed for 286 yards and one score in the previous meeting which was in the middle of a three game stretch of single-touchdown games. He has since thrown for three touchdown in each of the last two weeks. Partially the reason for lower passing stats has been the improved running though that comes in an overall sense. The Packers are using a committee of three runners each week.

James Starks ran for 66 yards and a score on 15 carries in week 13 and Alex Green added 58 yards on 12 runs. Now Ryan Grant is also in the picture and he comes off an 80-yard effort with two scores over the Titans. Alex Green is coming back from a concussion but is expected to be fine. Starks is dealing with a bone bruise and has all but been ruled out for the regular season finale.

Jordy Nelson may also be back after missing the last three games with a hamstring strain. Ironically his last game was against the Vikings but he's been of little production since week seven. With Cobb banged up, a healthy Nelson will help to compensate and what has been a better rushing effort should also be key to the attack.

Rodgers is an automatic start every week but beyond him it is harder to reply on any one player. Nelson is worth consideration if he suffers no setback but Cobb is hurt and James Jones has been a big risk/reward sort of player that can sting you as often as make you smile. Throw in a rushing effort that has been working despite the committee and suddenly the Packers are no longer stocked with elite fantasy options after Rodgers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 5 28 1 14 22 15
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 26 10 19 20 9 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB DET 20000027030 ***
Rodgers averaged 303 yards, 2 TDs and 0.5 INTs vs. DET in 2015 without a full complement of weapons. In 2014, he throw a total of 388 yards and 3 TDs in two games, without a pick. He's much better in real life than on the fake gridiron against this defense. Detroit's defense has allowed six TDs to just one interception and may roll over again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB DET 600000000 ***
Nearly half the league is stronger than Detroit against running backs, and the Lions are one of three teams to prevent both a rushing and receiving touchdown to the position. Much of that is because Detroit give up so many plays to tight ends around the goal. Game flow and field position are extremely important to Lacy's odds of finding the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB DET 006601000 ***
Detroit gave up a 6-64-1 line to Donte Moncrief and a 6-79-0 line to T.Y. Hilton in the opener. Tennessee didn't offer a matchup like Nelson. You always start your studs, and it doesn't hurt that he is in game shape right out of the gates.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB DET 003501000 ***
Adams sees a lot of his looks when defenses blanket Jordy Nelson and/or Randall Cobb. He remains on the field, though, since Green Bay uses three-wide sets regularly. The Lions have been respectable by holding receivers to the 12th fewest points through two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB DET 006800000 ***
Cobb's play against Detroit has been a mixed bag. He scored twice in Week 17 of the 2014 season but failed to score in his next two meetings with them. His production this year doesn't compel fantasy owners to take a chance, so it is understandable if sit him against the 12th strongest defense (PPR) of wideouts if you have a safer choice. PPR gamers pretty much have to keep him in their lineups, though, and take the mediocre with the good.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, GB DET 005501000 ****
No team has been victimized more than Detroit by tight ends. This unit has ceded four touchdowns on just 15 catches. Cook makes for a sneaky play in daily and a borderline starter in traditional games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB DET 1133 ***
Detroit is giving up only 6.5 fantasy points per outing. Crosby is playable but likely won't excel.

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 23-6
8 TB 17-36 17 GB -----
9 @SEA 20-30 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 200
RB Adrian Peterson 120,1 5-30
WR Jarius Wright 3-40
TE Kyle Rudolph 4-40,1
PK Blair Walsh 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Regardless if they win or lose, hats off to the Vikings who have prevailed and won their last three games despite having no discernible ability to throw and the defense knowing that Adrian Peterson is going to be getting at least every other play in the game. The defense is largely underrated and yet formidable and the special teams have helped even without Percy Harvin.

Peterson has been held out of practices because of abdomen and groin strains but it is the time of year to expect all runners to be nicked up and in this case, it is a miracle he can take the pounding. Peterson needs 102 rushing yards to break 2000 yards and he already ran for 210 yards on 21 carries with one score in Green Bay three weeks ago. Peterson is banged up by now to be sure and he was held to only 86 yards on 25 runs in Houston last week.

The rest of the league will watch for him to at least break 2000 yards which alone is jaw-dropping considering he is still not a full year removed from his knee surgery.

The winning is even more impressive considering that Christian Ponder has not thrown for more than 175 yards in the last five weeks and scored only three times in that stretch. Ponder only threw for 119 yards and only completed 12 of 25 in Green Bay thanks to getting the 210 yards from Peterson that game.

At least the Packers will probably expect to defend Peterson and already some on the team are publicly saying they will prevent him from getting any record. The running back is the only fantasy play on this team and that has been true since Percy Harvin went down in week nine. Kyle Rudolph did score against the Packers in the last meeting and is now the best receiving option for the Vikes. But this entire game depends on Peterson - what he can get and/or what the Packers are willing to allow in order to limit him.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 7 31 17 4 14
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 13 14 17 1 10 5

  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.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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