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

Prediction: DET 20, MIN 17 (Line: MIN by 3)

Update: Adrian Peterson is doubtful to play. He only practiced some on Thursday but was held out of all other practices and is not expected to play. Matt Asiata will take another start and Joe Banyard will be the #2. Calvin Johnson never practiced and is listed as questionable. It is very unlikely he will play let alone play well.

This is a replay of the season opener when the Lions won 34-24 at home. The 7-8 Lions are on a three game losing streak and have just one win in the last six games after seeming to be a contender. Not so. The 4-10-1 Vikings are even worse off but wrap up at home where the team is trying to save the coaches jobs. This could be both Leslie Frazier and Jim Schwartz final game as a head coach. That makes the final game even harder to call because nothing can affect team dynamics like knowing everything is about to change.

1 MIN 34-24 10 @CHI 21-19
2 @ARI 21-25 11 @PIT 27-37
3 @WAS 27-20 12 TB 21-24
4 CHI 40-32 13 GB 40-10
5 @GB 9-22 14 @PHI 20-34
6 @CLE 31-17 15 BAL 16-18
7 CIN 24-27 16 NYG 20-23
8 DAL 31-30 17 @MIN -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 240,1
RB Joique Bell 40,1 2-20
RB Reggie Bush 50 4-20
WR Kris Durham 3-40,1
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Golden Tate 5-60
TE Joseph Fauria 3-20,1

Pregame Notes: Going 1-5 over the last six weeks ruined what was a 6-3 start to the season and appeared to have the Lions finally getting over the hump. Not so. One of the major parts of the season was the play of Calvin Johnson who rolled up 12 touchdowns over the first 13 games and topped 100 yards seven times but in the last three games there were no scores and twice Johnson was unable to exceed 55 yards in a game. Recent disclosures say he has a partially torn PCL.

HC Jim Schwarz admitted that Johnson is dealing with both knee and ankle issues and he was a game time decision in the loss to the Giants where he only caught three passes for 43 yards. The Lions still had a chance that time. Now that they are out of the playoffs, the chance that Johnson does not play is even bigger.

Reggie Bush added a very nice weapon in the backfield that both ran and caught the ball. He scored six times this year and most games ended up with more than 100 total yards but every touchdown but one came in a home game along with all his best yardage games. To make matter worse, Bush fumbled for the fourth time this year and was benched against the Giants so fantasy championships only received 44 yards from him while Joique Bell took over and merely ended with 153 yards, ten catches and one touchdown that should have belonged to Bush. So week 17 has Bush assumedly back and not unhappy if Schwartz gets canned.

Joseph Fauria replaced Brandon Pettigrew and had a season high three catches for 43 yards. But Fauria's seven scores on the year are all he has managed since all combined he only caught 15 passes this year.

I am going to assume that Johnson does not play - what is the use if Detroit is out and he already has a partial tear of the PCL? Kris Durham, Kevin Ogletree and Nate Burleson would see the season conclude.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Here is another case of week 17 presenting just a lot of risk and unknowns. The best weapon for the Lions may not play and could be worthless even if he does. The team knows the coach is cleaning out his office on Monday. The lead running back may or may not be benched again, or part of a committee or be the primary back again. The only "hang your hat" factor at play is that the Lions have not scored more than 20 points in the last three games with a better situation at play then.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 6 5 6 14 29 16
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 31 26 31 30 28 28

 

1 @DET 24-34 10 WAS 34-27
2 @CHI 30-31 11 @SEA 20-41
3 CLE 27-31 12 @GB 26-26
4 PIT 34-27 13 CHI 23-20
5 BYE WEEK 14 @BAL 26-29
6 CAR 10-35 15 PHI 48-30
7 @NYG 7-23 16 @CIN 14-42
8 GB 31-44 17 DET -
9 @DAL 23-27 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel 220,1
RB Matt Asiata 40
WR Greg Jennings 8-100,1
WR Cordarrelle Patterson 30,1 3-60
WR Jarius Wright 3-50
PK Blair Walsh 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Vikings were overwhelmed by the Bengals last week and Adrian Peterson could not finish the game because of his groin strain and sprained foot. He may not play this week and already was holding out of practices. What sense would it make to play him here? Nothing to win and the last thing the Vikes need going into the offseason is Peterson with a torn groin.

Matt Cassel was named as the final starter but the Vikes will be looking into getting a new quarterback yet again. This will maybe wait until they get a new headcoach and staff which is at least a possibility for Frazier who is well aware that this may be his last game.

If Peterson doesn't play, the Vikes will have to turn to Matt Asiata again because Toby Gerhart is expected to remain out with his hamstring strain. Asiata punched in three scores in his only playing time this year but was held to only 51 yards on 30 carries by the Eagles. Not an optimal situation.

The Vikings are also without Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson so Chase Ford and Rhett Ellison take turns making zero impact.

Greg Jennings was the big free agent acquisition and while he only scored four times and managed just four games where he gained more than 60 yards, much of that was more on the quarterback than on Jennings. He caught a touchdown in each of the last two home games along with good yardage so there is hope this week. The Vikings are getting more use out of Cordarrelle Patterson here as the season concludes. Patterson scored in each of the last four games with two coming via a run and two as a receiver. Last week he gained 54 yards and a touchdown on just three carries and that's certain to be in the game plan this week if Peterson does miss the game.

Patterson is getting just six or seven touches per game and topped 60 yards only once thanks to the meager workload but he's learning the ropes and should take a more prominent role in 2014 when hopefully the Vikings have remedied their quarterback situation. Patterson and Jennings could make a nice pair - the speedster on deep routes or end-around's and the possession wideout hanging out over the middle.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Another hard to call offense since the coach is all but certain to be fired and the offense will be missing its only star player in Adrian Peterson. Stooping to the #3 running back promotes no confidence here. But the Lions are weak against wide receivers and make both Jennings and Patterson worthy of consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 23 12 20 15 8 15
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 13 8 29 4 30 16

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


 
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