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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2010
PHI at TEN* STL at TB BUF at BAL MIN at GB*
CIN at ATL SF at CAR* ARI at SEA* NYG at DAL*
CLE at NO* WAS at CHI* OAK at DEN* DET, HOU
*Updated PIT at MIA JAC at KC* NE at SD* IND, NYJ

Prediction: MIN 23, GB 17

Update: Donald Driver has not practiced as of Thursday but is expected to play and has told his coach he will suit up. Barring a setback to his quadrip strain, Driver will be on the field.

Update #2: As expected, Driver returned for a full practice on Friday and is good to go.

Brett Favre returns home again and could not have picked a better time given all the injuries to the Packers defense. The Vikes finally found their second win of the year when the Cowboys fell short and there is still plenty of time to make up for a slow start that did not include any divisional losses. The Packers have lost three of their last four games and suffered numerous injuries on both sides of the ball. The Packers are favored by three points but if they win it will be entirely on the arm of Aaron Rodgers.

The Vikings swept the Packers in 2009, winning 30-20 at home and later 38-26 in Green Bay.

Minnesota Vikings (2-3)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO L 9-14 10 @CHI --
2 MIA L 10-14 11 GB --
3 DET W 24-10 12 @WAS --
4 Bye - 13 BUF --
5 @NYJ L 20-29 14 NYG --
6 DAL W 24-21 15 CHI --
7 @GB -- 16 @PHI --
8 @NE -- 17 @DET --
9 ARI -- - - -
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre - - 250,2
RB Adrian Peterson 90 20 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 20 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 20 -
WR Randy Moss - 90,1 -
WR Percy Harvin - 70,1 -
PK Ryan Longwell 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Vikings have yet to win a road game but just getting any win last week was good enough. With Randy Moss on board and Sidney Rice possibly showing in later weeks, the offense should chug along powered by Adrian Peterson and this team could still rise to the top in a division that is very much open. The whole season comes down to the next five games.

QUARTERBACK: If Brett Favre asks you if you want to see a "waggle", make sure he is holding a playbook at the time. Favre is slated to speak with league officials this week regarding his alleged stalking attempts to meet a sideline reporter back in New York two years ago. Conventional wisdom says he won't end up suspended because he's never been caught at anything until now. The cortisone shot to his elbow held up well enough last week though Favre only ended with 118 yards and one score against the Cowboys.

This will be different still with Favre not only returning, but bringing along Randy Moss as well. The Packers are much softer against the pass than the run so expect Favre to be the one to control the scoring. The last two opponents in Green Bay both threw for two touchdowns and solid yardage. Long as his elbow stays healthy, this should be at least a decent game. Favre catches a break if LB Clay Matthews remains out with an ankle injury since he is the NFL's sack leader.

Favre passed for 244 yards and four scores in Green Bay last year in his big return. He threw for 271 yards and three scores in the home meeting.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson had one of his least productive games when the Cowboys held him to only 73 yards on 24 carries but he scored his fourth touchdown on the season and that makes three of the last four games all containing a score. Problem is that those three of four games were at home. Peterson has yet to score away from Minnesota.

The Packers have one of the best rushing defenses in the league and have not allowed a score since week two and no runner has gained more than 73 yards on the Packers. Expect yet another time that Peterson cannot find the endzone away from home and settled for good but not great yardage.

Peterson gained 97 yards and one score in Green Bay last year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Sidney Rice is not quite ready to come off the PUP list so the cast remains the same with Randy Moss as the lead receiver. He only produced 55 yards on five catches but that was good enough to lead the team. Both he and Percy Harvin had lower production against the Cowboys though Harvin had a critical kick return touchdown. The dynamic between Rice and Harvin is setting up nicely and could be made formidable if Rice returns. Then again - it all depends on Favre's elbow holding up.

No wideout had more than 84 yards in either meeting with the Packers last year but Berrian scored in both games and Harvin was the leader with a score and those 84 yards in Green Bay.

The Packers have been good against the pass until lately when injuries have taken a toll. Al Harris may be coming off the PUP list with his surgically repaired knee but the SS Morgan Burnett was put on IR a week ago. I like both scores to end up here with at least least decent yardage for both as well.

TIGHT ENDS: The addition of Randy Moss not only has erased any fantasy value from Vishante Shiancoe, but he never had even one pass targeting him last week. After a strong opening to the season, Shiancoe now looks to be no different than Jim Kleinsasser. He faces a defense that has been weaker against the position, but Shiancoe has been phased out of the game plan in recent weeks.

Shiancoe never had more than 18 yards against the Packers last year but he scored in both games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 30 13 20 16 30 23
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 26 3 14 20 28 18
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIN -4 -10 -6 4 -2 -5


Green Bay Packers (3-3)
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 L 13-16 14 @DET --
6 MIA L 20-23 15 @NE --
7 MIN -- 16 NYG --
8 @NYJ -- 17 CHI --
9 DAL -- - - -
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers - - 260,2
RB Brandon Jackson 40 30 -
TE Andrew Quarless - 30 -
WR Greg Jennings - 70 -
WR Donald Driver - 50,1 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 30,1 -
WR James Jones - 30 -
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Packers are teetering between being a good team with playoff aspirations and one that is destined to break down the rest of the way, The injuries to the defense have been damaging enough but now Jermichael Finally is on injured reserve, Donald Driver is banged up and the rushing game remains mired in obscurity. Making matters worse is that Rodgers has been sacked nine times over the last two games and he's the one player that the Packers cannot afford to lose under any circumstances.

QUARTERBACK: Aaron Rodgers is trying to do it all himself now that the Packers are losing more players to injury and his security blanket of Jermichael Finley is gone. Rodgers has passed for around 300 yards in each of the last two games but only logged one passing score in each. He ran in his third touchdown of the season last week but at least he always scores multiple touchdowns during a home game.

Rodgers passed for 287 yards and three scores on the visiting Vikes last year.

The Vikings are playing much better in the secondary where no opponent has turned in more than 237 passing yards and yet they have not recorded more than two sacks in any game this year - that's a bonus for the battered Rodgers who already had one concussion this year..

Playing at home against the Vikings is always motivating and the Vikings have had their problems this year as well. Look for a couple of scores this week and decent to good yardage. If there was any rushing score, it would be Rodgers taking it.

RUNNING BACKS: The fantasy world still awaits the debut of James Starks who was on the PUP list with a hamstring strain but now is eligible for practice. The Packers need a runner to step up and this is a good offense to be in but Starks has not played since January of 2009 and is unlikely to step in immediately and make a difference. So until that happens - if it ever does - Brandon Jackson will remain the primary back who rarely gets more than a dozen carries. His receiving yardage makes him marginally interesting as a fantasy player.

I am not projecting for Starks who may not even be active, or John Kuhn who has been ineffective. The Vikings have a decent rush defense so hands off these running backs this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Donald Driver sustained a quad injury last week that hampered his play against the Dolphins and he ended with a season worst 31 yards on three catches. If he is limited or missing this week it would be a major hole in the offense that cannot afford more challenges. I will project for a somewhat limited Driver and update as warranted.

The Packers offensive brain trust plotted to get Greg Jennings the ball last week and he caught six of his seven passes for 133 yards and one touchdown thanks to a 86-yard touchdown catch. But that was more than Jennings had produced over the previous four games combined. If Driver is limited, then Jennings will enjoy running with his Vikings entourage on every pass play.

Jennings (7-81) scored once against the visiting Vikings while Driver had 63 yards on six receptions in that game.

The Vikings have not allowed a receiver to gain more than 71 yards on them this year and only four have scored. Driver would be in a nice spot for a touchdown this week if he proves healthy enough. It is a risky move to start either wideouts here but they have the most upside for a team that should be stopped in the running game.

TIGHT ENDS: Now that Jermichael Finley is on IR with a torn lateral meniscus, the Packers have gone to using both rookie tight ends. Tom Crabtree had one catch for 33 yards and Andrew Quarless had his reception for 23 yards. But together they only accounted for three targets and are unlikely to become a fantasy factor.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 5 31 7 9 17 13
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 5 10 10 3 8 29
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) GB 0 -21 3 -6 -9 16

WEEK 7
2010
PHI at TEN STL at TB BUF at BAL MIN at GB
CIN at ATL SF at CAR ARI at SEA NYG at DAL
CLE at NO WAS at CHI OAK at DEN DET, HOU
  PIT at MIA JAC at KC NE at SD IND, NYJ
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Under the Numbers
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