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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU* CIN at CAR* SD at SEA*
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC* IND at DEN*
DET at MIN* TEN at NYG WAS at STL* NYJ at MIA
*updated CLE at BAL* PIT at TB* OAK at ARI* GB at CHI

Prediction: GB 24, CHI 23

This Monday night game pits two undefeated teams and goes for the early lead in the NFC North. The Packers have rolled up two nice wins while averaging 30 points per game. The Bears come off a surprise win in Dallas and while the offense started the year better than expected, the defense has been much improved from 2009. This game will go far to establish if the NFC North is going to be the Packer's playground this season or if the Bears are for real.

The Packers swept the Bears 21-15 at home and later 21-14 in Chicago last season.

Green Bay Packers (2- 0)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @PHI W 27-20 10 Bye -
2 BUF W 34-7 11 @MIN --
3 @CHI -- 12 @ATL --
4 DET -- 13 SF --
5 @WAS -- 14 @DET --
6 MIA -- 15 @NE --
7 MIN -- 16 NYG --
8 @NYJ -- 17 CHI --
9 DAL -- - - -
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20,1 - 280,2
RB John Kuhn 20 10 -
RB Brandon Jackson 30 20 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 80 -
WR Greg Jennings - 80,1 -
WR Donald Driver - 50 -
WR James Jones - 20,1 -
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Not even the loss of Ryan Grant has slowed down this offense that continues to ride the talents of Aaron Rodgers. Back on the road this week should prove no worse than the Philly game and then back home against the Lions for a freebie. It is conceivable that the Packers could be favored in nearly every game this year. It is still much too early to speculate but fantasy fans should root for the Bears to continue to do well if only to keep the Packers playing at full strength for the entire season.

QUARTERBACK: While Aaron Rodgers hasn't turned in a big yardage game yet, last week was a vintage performance when he passed for 255 yards and two scores with an additional touchdown via the run. Rodgers passed for just 180 yards and no score in Chicago last year. He only had 184 yards and one touchdown in the home meeting with the Bears. Chances are those sort of stats are not going to repeat this year and this game should post more points than 2009. And most of those points come from Rodgers against a secondary that allowed Tony Romo 374 yards last Sunday.

RUNNING BACKS: Grant was replaced by Brandon Jackson but the Packers have opted for a split backfield now with fullback John Kuhn taking an equal share. Jackson rushed for only 29 yards on 11 carries but scored once last week and only had one catch but the game was well in hand and Jackson's role as a receiver was not needed. Kuhn also rushed nine times for 36 yards and not just at the end of a decided game. Kuhn was shuttled in along with Jackson from the start of the game. Jackson may be the "primary" but not by much and so far with minor fantasy note.

Ryan Grant rumbled for 137 yards on 20 carries with two scores in Chicago last year. But this defense has only allowed a total of 64 rushing yards to running backs over the first two games. Jahvid Best managed two scores on them but there has been very little yardage allowed by a much improved Bears' rushing defense. Expect only minor yardage here in Chicago and no need to start either running back.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The amazing part of being 2-0 is that the Packers have only used Greg Jennings once as a heavily used wideout (5-82, 1 TD) in week one and otherwise no other wide receiver has turned in more than 38 yards in a game. That has been a function of what the defense allowed and in fairness, Donald Driver scored in both games but the overall stats have been low in this unit and should see an increase this week.

No wideout gained more than 56 yards in Chicago last season. Austin Miles scorched them for 142 yards on 10 catches last week but the Bears have yet to allow a wideout to score against them. Expect Rodgers to connect mostly with Jennings.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermichael Finley comes off his first 100 yard game of the season when he posted four catches for 103 yards against the Bills. Finley led the team with 70 yards on five receptions in Chicago last year. He remains a solid part of the offense and a good bet to be the lead receiver this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 5 17 7 11 5 8
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 12 10 11 16 9 27


Chicago Bears (2-0)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET W 19-14 10 MIN --
2 @DAL W 27-20 11 @MIA --
3 GB -- 12 PHI --
4 @NYG -- 13 @DET --
5 @CAR -- 14 NE --
6 SEA -- 15 @MIN --
7 WAS -- 16 NYJ --
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF --   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 250,2
RB Matt Forte 40 40 -
TE Greg Olsen - 20 -
WR Devin Hester - 50 -
WR Earl Bennett - 40,1 -
WR Johnny Knox - 60,1 -
PK Robbie Gould 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Nice start to the season has the Bears suddenly looking like contenders while the Vikings once again slip backwards. Sure the rushing game is still lethargic but that was to be expected. The passing attack has already been upgraded by Mike Martz and the defense is playing well. This week is back at home and the Packers never won by more than a score last season in either matchup. This could be a pivotal game - a win paints a much different picture of the season and these Bears look improved so far.

QUARTERBACK: Fantasy fans wanted to believe that the Martz system would benefit Jay Cutler and for those who took the plunge in their draft - so far, so good. Cutler has averaged over 300 yards per game and thrown five touchdowns against only one interception. He's changed who the primary receiver is weekly and used a tight end more than any Martz offense before. Cutler has been pummeled by the rush but still completed 21 of 29 passes in Dallas. The offense is developing into a very nice passing attack with multiple weapons for Cutler.

Cutler passed for 209 yards and two scores when the Packers visited last year. This week will be a big challenge though with the Packers having allowed only one passing score so far but then again they only have faced the Bills and Eagles (who lost their quarterback). No reason to bench Cutler though his total yards should dip down because the Packers should be able to control the game and reduce the time the Bears have the ball.

RUNNING BACKS: The Bears continue to rely heavily on Matt Forte but his rushing totals - 17-50 and 10-29 - are hardly keeping the offense going. Forte had his big game as a receiver in week one (7-151, 2 TDs) and last week still posted five catches for 37 yards and a score. This team is not running much and certainly not running well. But at least Forte is contributing and scoring as a receiver. Chester Taylor has been little more than an ineffective support player.

Forte never rushed for more than 55 yards in either game with the Packers in 2009. He had four catches for 16 yards in the home game. The Packers have allowed a rushing score in each game so far but almost no yardage. Look for Forte to matter only as a receiver.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Devin Aromashodu had five catches for 71 yards in the season opener but he had three drops and has been replaced by Earl Bennett as the starting slot receiver. Bennett only managed five catches for 29 yards last week but both Devin Hester (4-77, 1 TD) and Johnny Knox (4-86) were a big part of the final winning drives. This group should settle down from here on out with each of the three about as likely to have a decent game. For all the preseason hype about Johnny Knox, he has preferred someone else in each of the first two games.

Knox caught five passes for 83 yards and one score against the visiting Packers last year. Aromashodu led the team with eight receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. The Packers have shut down the wide receivers so far but this week should see at least moderate success here and likely both touchdowns.

TIGHT ENDS: What to think? Mike Martz historically ignores this position and yet Greg Olsen had four catches for 37 yards in the opener and then was limited to one catch in Dallas but it went for a 39 yard touchdown. This week should see Olsen take a backseat to the wideouts. He literally was thrown just one pass last week. Martz is not going to change.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 2 4 15 14 8 17
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 11 17 5 4 8 4

WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU CIN at CAR SD at SEA
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC IND at DEN
DET at MIN TEN at NYG WAS at STL NYJ at MIA
  CLE at BAL PIT at TB OAK at ARI GB at CHI
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