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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2010
*TB at CIN GB at WAS *STL at DET *PHI at SF
*ATL at CLE JAC at BUF *NO at ARI *MIN at NYJ
*NYG at HOU *DEN at BAL *SD at OAK MIA, NE
*UPDATED *KC at IND *CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA

Prediction: GB 27, WAS 20

The Packers head east with their 3-1 record to face the 2-2 Redskins but there's an interesting note to those records - the only loss by the Packers came in a squeaker at a divisional foe. The only wins for the Skins came in squeakers over their divisional foes. Outside of well know divisional rivals, the Packers are 2-0 and the Redskins are 0-2 and have allowed 30 points to both opponents.

Green Bay Packers (3-1)
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 W 28-26 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 WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers - - 280,3
RB John Kuhn 20 - -
RB Brandon Jackson 20 10 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 70,1 -
WR Greg Jennings - 60,1 -
WR Donald Driver - 80,1 -
WR James Jones - 40 -
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Packers still miss Ryan Grant and have done nothing to fill his place besides accepting the big step down to Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn. With literally no fear of the rushing game, opponents can load up even more against the pass and that shows in Rodgers stats from this year. Rodgers has also been openly feuding with OC Joe Philbin about the play calling as well. The Packers are still a definite playoff contender but have lost the balance in their offense.

QUARTERBACK: Aaron Rodgers remains a great fantasy quarterback and he has either thrown or run in multiple scores every week. But his yardage is varying from 180 (twice) up to 316 yards. His added threat as a runner should continue with the weak effort from the running backs. Rodgers is still money every week, just not quite the big payoff as 2009 had seen.

The Redskins have been one of the worst teams against the pass and wide receivers in particular. They have never failed to allow a passing score and gave up 497 passing yards to Matt Schaub in Washington in week two. The Skins are also very tough on the run at home. Expect a big game here by Rodgers because he will have to be the one to win it.

RUNNING BACKS: There are precious few rushing yards generated by these guys and even that has to be split into more meaningless numbers. Brandon Jackson as a starter hasn't taken more than 11 carries or gained more than 33 yards. Even his role as a receiver has been on the wane. John Kuhn takes six or eight carries each week and always ends up around 30 yards. The Packers are not bringing on anyone to help and are just accepting that the rushing game is going to be a liability.

There is no reliable fantasy value here outside of literally three or four points per week. The Redskins at home held Arian Foster to only 69 yards on 19 carries so there is no chance that Kuhn or Jackson belongs in a fantasy lineup this week. There is a nice opportunity for the next Ryan Grant to step up to be a starter - but apparently he is not yet on the Packers roster.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The strength of this team is that there are four wide receivers and none of them really have a major role. They all contribute each week and it all gets split up but Rodgers is spreading the ball among all wideouts. Greg Jennings has a score in three different games but only once totaled more than 36 yards. Donald Driver has also scored in three games and had two efforts less than 40 yards. James Jones and Jordy Nelson mix in to a lesser degree but overall it all works. In fantasy terms, it is killing the individual value of all except Driver.

The Redskins have been thrashed by the better wideouts so look for this week to reward both Driver and Jennings and with more yardage than usual because the run is going to add very little to the offense. This is the soft spot and this is where Rodgers will be looking along with Jermichael Finley.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermichael Finley had two straight games of 100+ yards but then settled down against the Lions to only 36 yards on four catches. But he also had his first touchdown of the season. Finley doesn't usually get as many targets as Jennings or Driver, he just catches almost all of his and does big things when he has the ball.

The Skins have been better against tight ends because they have not faced many good receivers. No problem starting Finley this week and he should have a nice game. Even Brent Celek scored on the Skins last week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 5 31 8 13 12 7
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 28 26 31 10 25 4
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) GB 23 -5 23 -3 13 -3


Washington Redskins (2-2)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL W 13-7 10 PHI --
2 HOU L 27-30 11 @TEN --
3 @STL L 16-30 12 MIN --
4 @PHI W 17-12 13 @NYG --
5 GB -- 14 TB --
6 IND -- 15 @DAL --
7 @CHI -- 16 @JAC --
8 @DET -- 17 NYG --
9 Bye - - - -
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 20 - 200,1
RB Ryan Torain 80,1 - -
TE Chris Cooley - 50,1 -
WR Santana Moss - 80 -
WR Anthony Armstrong - 40 -
PK Graham Gano 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Redskins come off a huge win over the Eagles that sets them up as 2-0 in the division and tied for the lead. These next two home games against the Packers and Colts are going to be a big test and the Skins will be without Clinton Portis. The Skins also stemmed their two game losing streak in part thanks to knocking out Michael Vick last week. Back at home, they face the Packers who can pass as well as the Texans and while there is no big runner for them, the Packers are bringing a very good defense to the party.

QUARTERBACK: Donovan McNabb is experiencing tightness in his quadriceps according to HC Mike Shanahan who downplayed the injury as not serious. McNabb has taken to running more in the last two weeks but that could be curtailed. He has yet to pass for more than one touchdown in a game and other than against the weak Texans secondary, he has yet to throw for more than 236 yards. But he has been just good enough a couple of times and only has two interceptions on the season.

Shaun Hill was a surprise when he passed for 331 yards and two scores on the visiting Packers but again - those interdivisional games are always different. Otherwise no opponent has passed for more than 221 yards (and that was Cutler). No reason to expect McNabb to do more against probably the best defense he will have yet faced.

RUNNING BACKS: Clinton Portis heard his groin "pop" in the game last week and those sort of unwelcomed sounds are usually met with several weeks of recovery. He's out this game and since the Skins have already released three other runners, Ryan Torain is the last man standing once again.

Torain spent time with Shanahan in Denver and was out of football because of injury. Shanahan expressed confidence and even some excitement in relying on Torain until Portis is ready to play again. Torain rushed for 46 yards on seven carries in St. Louis and then gained 70 yards and a score in Philly last week. Torain has a history of durability problems but for at least the next few weeks he'll be the Redskins' rushing attack - if not longer.

The Packers rank high against the run because no back has had more than 17 runs or 64 yards against them and only two have scored. The Skins will be looking to establish the run and while Torain may not have a monster game here, he should provide no less than a decent fantasy game with some upside depending on how the game goes.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The wide receivers for the Skins have been almost invisible other than Santana Moss who had three strong games to start and peaked in week three with 124 yards and a score in St. Louis. Then last week, Moss only had one pass thrown to him and did not catch it. But he should have at least moderate stats this week against the Packers who have not allowed any 100 yard receivers yet but many have ended up with 80+ yards. Moss is a moderate play this week.

TIGHT ENDS: Chris Cooley has the team lead with two touchdown receptions ( of only three ever thrown) and while his yardage has been declining since week one, the Packers are much softer against tight ends and should be where McNabb can get some success. Cooley once again is the best bet for a touchdown catch.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 22 24 24 11 8 15
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 20 7 6 25 26 18
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) WAS -2 -17 -18 14 18 3

WEEK 5
2010
TB at CIN GB at WAS STL at DET PHI at SF
ATL at CLE JAC at BUF NO at ARI MIN at NYJ
NYG at HOU DEN at BAL SD at OAK MIA, NE
  KC at IND CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA
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