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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF* CIN at CLE* IND at JAC* CHI at NYG
SEA at STL* BAL at PIT* HOU at OAK* NE at MIA*
CAR at NO* DEN at TEN* WAS at PHI DAL, KC
*updated DET at GB* SF at ATL ARI at SD* MIN, TB

Prediction: DET 10, GB 27

Update: Jahvid Best says he will be playing this week and that his turf toe has improved enough that he'll be able to withstand the pain. I am leaving his projections low and in the best case this was not going to be a big game fort him. I may update after the Friday report.

Update #2: Best was able to have limited practice on Friday and is expected to play on Sunday. His performance will depend on his ability to play with the pain and if he suffers any setback or further aggravation.

The Lions sink to 0-3 and now may be without both their starting quarterback and running back. They are not even losing games closely anymore. The Packers come off a disappointing loss to the Bears and won't be in the mood for any charity this week.

The Packers swept the Lions in 2009, winning 26-0 at home and 34-12 in Detroit.

Detroit Lions (0-3)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI L 14-19 10 @BUF --
2 PHI L 32-35 11 @DAL --
3 @MIN L 10-24 12 NE --
4 @GB -- 13 CHI --
5 STL -- 14 GB --
6 @NYG -- 15 @TB --
7 Bye - 16 @MIA --
8 WAS -- 17 MIN --
9 NYJ -- - - -
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill - - 190,1
RB Jahvid Best 30 20 -
TE Tony Scheffler - 30 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 40,1 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 50 -
WR Bryant Johnson - 20 -
WR Nate Burleson - 20 -
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Lions yet again are being hit with the injury bug where they could least afford it. Jahvid Best has been the lone positive addition to the offense and now has a turf toe. The opening schedule has been brutal and other than week five when they host the Rams, the Lions are just marching uphill while losing more members of the band.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Stafford remains out with his shoulder injury though he may see some limited work in practice this week. He remains very unlikely to start against the Packers so Shaun Hill takes his third start. He's been good for at least one score each week and decent to good yardage.

The Lions only passed for 106 yards in Green Bay last year. They have only allowed two passing scores and no more than 221 yards so look for a low game from Hill that remains outside fantasy consideration.

RUNNING BACKS: Jahvid Best has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 case of turf toe but may play this week depending on his ability to withstand pain. Best is considered "day to day" and this will not be a kind venue for a running back this week. Kevin Smith will likely be active for the first time but Maurice Morris is there as well and in the event that Best cannot play, the workload will be split between the two runners and there is not enough there to split in Green Bay.

I will project that a limited Best plays and update as needed. This would be his toughest venue to date anyway. The Packers have not allowed more than 64 rush yards by any runner.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Nate Burleson is expected to return from his ankle injury this week. He only produced one catch in each of the two games he played though and has not been a factor this year. None of the receivers have mattered outside of Calvin Johnson who who is stuck around 50 yards every week and only has one touchdown. Johnson's fantasy stock has plummeted with the injury to Matt Stafford and what little success there has been in the passing game has not been with the wide receivers.

Calvin Johnson was out when the Lions played in Green Bay last year. He's the only player here worth starting and that is only because of his upside. More than 50 yards will be a huge success though and no other receivers are worrying the secondary.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew has been the preferred outlet for Shaun Hill with games of 108 and 44 yards these last two weeks. He has 13 receptions in that time compared to only eight for Johnson. Tony Scheffler has also been a good outlet and turned in seven catches for 60 yards and a score last week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 18 3 32 6 29 5
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 9 5 5 12 10 14
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DET -9 2 -27 6 -19 9


Green Bay Packers (2- 1)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @PHI W 27-20 10 Bye -
2 BUF W 34-7 11 @MIN --
3 @CHI L 17-20 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 vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 - 280,2
RB John Kuhn 40,1 - -
RB Brandon Jackson 30 20 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 60 -
WR Greg Jennings - 70,1 -
WR Donald Driver - 60 -
WR James Jones - 30 -
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Short week after the loss to the Bears on Monday but the Packers killed themselves with turnovers and an avalanche of penalty calls. This week should be a nice win and the kind of game you want after a Monday night tilt. Much to the delight of every Aaron Rodgers owner, the rushing attack here has evaporated and now each game is just an aerial display by Rodgers. The Packers should be 3-0 but they'll bounce back this week.

QUARTERBACK: As stated, Aaron Rodgers is throwing more with every passing game and he's even taken to rushing in a score in each of the last two weeks. While the offense has become imbalanced, at least the passing game is so diverse that it cannot be easily shut down and the Packers can continue to post yards and points.

Rodgers passed for 358 yards and two scores when the Lions visited last year.

Look for a very healthy game by Rodgers and far less of a chance than usual that the Packers just resort to running the ball.

RUNNING BACKS: Brandon Jackson rushed for only 12 yards on seven carries against the Bears and is no solution to the rushing problem. He didn't even open the game last time when John Kuhn started but he only had six runs for 31 yards. Kuhn is a nice change of pace back and a solid short yardage guy but the Packers appear resigned to having no significant running attack this year.

Ryan Grant gained 90 yards on 24 carries versus the visiting Lions in 2009.

With five rushing scores allowed and almost 300 yards in just the last two weeks, there should be a chance for an improved showing but Jackson hasn't matter and Kuhn never gets enough carries because he needs oxygen on the sideline. Expect a rushing score that has to favor Kuhn this week. It would be nice to see a big running effort here but no reason to expect it.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Greg Jennings has really declined in yardage though his touchdown last week saved his fantasy value. Jennings only posted 36 and 18 yards in those games and is getting roughly half the targets as Donald Driver. Thanks to Jermichael FInley, the wideouts here are marginal plays in most weeks and none have managed more than 61 yards in the recent games.

Driver (7-107) and Jennings (6-64) led the team in receptions against the Lions though James Jones scored once. That's a decent starting point for this week though with slightly lesser numbers. The speed guy is the one that has been scoring on the Lions and that's clearly Jennings on this team.

TIGHT ENDS: Two big weeks for Jermichael Finley that saw him turn in 103 and 115 yards. He still has not scored but he has the only performances over 100 yards for the team. Finley turned in five catches for 54 yards when the Lions visited last year. The Lions have been great against tight ends (and nothing else) so look for a more moderate game from Finley.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 25 9 11 7 14
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 26 32 23 2 15 20
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) GB 22 7 14 -9 8 6

WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF CIN at CLE IND at JAC CHI at NYG
SEA at STL BAL at PIT HOU at OAK NE at MIA
CAR at NO DEN at TEN WAS at PHI DAL, KC
  DET at GB SF at ATL ARI at SD MIN, TB
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