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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10 WAS at MIN (THU) DAL at NO JAC at TEN STL at IND
CIN at BAL HOU at ARI SEA at ATL MIA at TB (MON)
BUF at PIT DEN at SD OAK at NYG On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at SF DET at CHI PHI at GB CLE, KC, NE, NYJ

Prediction: WAS 27, MIN 24 (Line: WAS by 2.5)

Players of Interest: Robert Griffin III

This is the Thursday game and probably won't make it easy on the announcers to generate excitement about a 3-5 Redskins team visiting a 1-7 Vikings squad who have lost their last four games. But this is certainly a coin flip game and one that may actually look better than we may suspect since there won't be any defenses within several miles of the stadium. This is actually likely to be a match-up that only fantasy football could love.

1 PHI 27-33 10 @MIN -
2 @GB 20-38 11 @PHI -
3 DET 20-27 12 SF -
4 @OAK 24-14 13 NYG -
5 BYE WEEK 14 KC -
6 @DAL 16-31 15 @ATL -
7 CHI 45--41 16 DAL -
8 @DEN 21-45 17 @NYG -
9 SD 30-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 20 270,2
RB Alfred Morris 70,1
WR Pierre Garcon 6-80,1
WR Leonard Hankerson 4-60
WR DeSean Jackson 7-110,1
TE Jordan Reed 7-80,1
PK Kai Forbath 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Redskins won their last two home games but most road venues have ended poorly. The offense looked much better last week in the Chargers win and facing the Vikings defense shouldn't be any worse. The NFC East can make it look like the Redskins still have a shot at the division and they are playing better. They also get to play their remaining toughest games all at home. A win here would be very big to their fleeting chances but a loss would erase even the sense that they could pull off a miracle. This is actually a pretty big game for the Redskins. At least they'll want to make it seem so.

QUARTERBACKS: Robert Griffin III is back to running much less in games but mainly because the running backs are doing their jobs. He's been a more effective passer but that hasn't translated into fantasy production. Just last week he threw for 291 yards but let the running backs score all four touchdowns. Griffin only passed for nine touchdowns on the year and has only topped one score in a game once since week two.

RUNNING BACKS: He may have zero input as a receiver, but Alfred Morris is making a difference as a running back and improved from earlier in the season. He comes off a season best 121 yards and a score on 25 carries in the win over the Chargers and that gives him five touchdowns on the season. That was the first time so far that he was allowed more than 19 runs. Of course they opted to run fullback Darrel Young three times for a touchdown so Morris could have had a monster game. Same as week seven when Roy Helu stole three touchdowns as well and left none for Morris. In fantasy terms, at least Morris is consistently good every week. He may never be great but at least he's a solid start every week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Leonard Hankerson and Pierre Garcon may not do a lot in every game, but they are always the only two wideouts who matter anymore. Garcon comes off a season best 172 yards on seven catches but he's been much more consistent around 60 yards per week and hasn't scored since week four. Hankerson is even less productive with under 50 yards every week but at least the two are always the ones that get whatever passing action happens in games. And at least the four games with a score between them saw three of them in road venues.

TIGHT ENDS: Jordan Reed was less used last week since the rushing effort went so well and he even added his first rushing attempt on the year that gained 18 yards. When your tight end is running the ball, it says he's much more a receiver than a blocker. Reed is getting as many targets anyone other than Garcon. He'll bounce back this week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Vikes secondary already allowed 16 passing touchdowns with almost every opponent scoring at least twice via the pass along with very solid yardage. Half of the opponents threw for more than 300 yards as well so expect at least a good effort here from Griffin. The Vikings rushing defense still has not allowed a 100 yard rusher but have allowed 10 scores to the position and three runners ended up around 90 yards. This should play out to allow Griffin, Garcon and Reed to turn in better than average games. For Reed, he faces the same defense that just gave up 102 yards and a score to Jason Witten who had been dormant the previous month. The rushing effort should result in at least one rushing touchdown but that is no longer easy to call for a team that loves to give others a chance.

WHAT TO WATCH: Robert Griffin needs to come up big here to win the game and the situation is ripe for a good showing. Playing on the road makes it less likely that the Skins can just rely on the rushing effort and they'll be giving up some points themselves and hopefully this turns into a shootout between otherwise marginal teams.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 14 5 13 11 29 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 30 26 24 29 27 25

 

1 @DET 24-34 10 WAS -
2 @CHI 30-31 11 @SEA -
3 CLE 27-31 12 @GB -
4 PIT 34-27 13 CHI -
5 BYE WEEK 14 @BAL -
6 CAR 10-35 15 PHI -
7 @NYG 7-23 16 @CIN -
8 GB 31-44 17 DET -
9 @DAL 23-27 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder 30 220,1
RB Adrian Peterson 100,2 3-20
WR Greg Jennings 5-60
WR Cordarrelle Patterson 2-30,1
WR Jarius Wright 3-30
PK Blair Walsh 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Vikings were in the Dallas game until the very end and at least the offense was more effective for a second game in a row and Christian Ponder is apparently making Josh Freeman into a very small footnote to the 2013 Vikings season. The rest of the schedule is likely never going to be easier than this week but that doesn't mean it is easy enough. Facing a team as desperate as they are means that the Vikes will have to wait for a trap game later on when some team is just content to mail in their effort.

QUARTERBACKS: After starting five games so far, Christian Ponder is the only quarterback who can say that they have rushed in more touchdowns (4) than they have thrown (3) this year. Not exactly encouraging to the fantasy fortunes of the entire set of receivers and in reality he's mostly just stealing them from Adrian Peterson on play action keeper plays near the goal line. His one plus is consistency - four of his five games were all right around 230 passing yards.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson was a little extra motivated in front of a lot fans from his old hometown in Texas and ran for 140 yards and a score on 25 carries. That gives him eight touchdowns and a pace that would result in just over 1400 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. A tremendous season despite how it compares to 2012. Peterson is being used effectively as a receiver in games as well to add to his yardage totals.

WIDE RECEIVERS: When you go to Dallas and play the Cowboys and the best wideout only gets 56 yards, you are just not trying that hard. Greg Jennings caught six passes for those 56 yards but that is roughly an average game for him and actually a little higher than usual. Jerome Simpson faced the weaker side of the secondary and came away with only two receptions for 24 yards. All told, the Vikings have scored with a wideout in only one game all year. Marginal value here at best and no reason to expect any improvement. The Dallas game showed that.

TIGHT ENDS: Sadly the only scoring member of the receivers is Kyle Rudolph who scored three times this year and yet rarely ends up with more than 50 yards. He scored in Dallas but only fielded two passes for 35 yards and then broke his foot and will be out for a month. John Carlson will replace him but is not worth projecting for or picking up from waivers.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Redskins secondary has been plenty abused by opposing quarterbacks but they have faced a list of some of the best in the league. Ponder is more likely to run it in than to pass a score. The Skins are weak against wideouts in particular but the Vikings use theirs so little and so poorly that even a nice home matchup doesn't make them fantasy relevant. No opponent so far failed to score at least once via the pass but the Vikes may challenge that, particuarly with Rudolph out. The Skins are also weak against the run and have already allowed ten scores to the position. Expect a very nice game here by Peterson and there is a chance for nice passing but it would require the Vikings to play differently and that is not going to happen.

WHAT TO WATCH: Adrian Peterson rushing. That is about all there is ever to watch with the Vikings.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 24 13 30 20 23 9
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 31 29 30 19 15 24

WEEK 10 WAS at MIN (THU) DAL at NO JAC at TEN STL at IND
CIN at BAL HOU at ARI SEA at ATL MIA at TB (MON)
BUF at PIT DEN at SD OAK at NYG On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at SF DET at CHI PHI at GB CLE, KC, NE, NYJ


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