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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 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL *NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
*NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF *SD at HOU *IND at PHI SF, STL
*Updated *NYJ at DET *ARI at MIN *DAL at GB TEN, WAS

Prediction: ARI 10, MIN 24

Update: Sidney Rice is back to practice but not expected to play this week. His hip should be fully healed but the Vikes want to be cautious and probably do not need him this week anyway. Harvin has been held out of practice so far but Friday should be a better measure of his status. I am lowering his stats for now because he won't be 100% if he even plays. Brett Favre is being limited in practice but is expected to keep his starting streak alive.

Beanie Wells has been limited in practices because of his knee and may end up as a game time decision. The expectations were already low for him anyway. Steve Breaston has been resting his knee but is still expected to play.

Update #2: Wells is questionable but had more work on Friday and says that he will play. Breaston has been upgraded to probable.

The Cardinals are pretty much a side note in this game which gets to discuss all things Vikings - can Favre start this week? Who is he texting now?What is that he is holding? Where is Randy? WHAT!?! Where will Randy be? Can Childress make it another week? There is so much drama and distraction in Minnesota that the game is the only place of rest for the players. So far it has required a very bad team to show up as a visitor for the Vikings to win anything... oh look. Here come the Cardinals and they are beautiful, man. Imagine if this was the Monday night game.

The Cardinals won 30-17 against the visiting Vikings last year.

Arizona Cardinals (3-4)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @STL W 17-13 10 SEA -
2 @ATL L 7-41 11 @KC -
3 OAK W 24-23 12 SF -
4 @SD L 10-41 13 STL -
5 NO W 30-20 14 DEN -
6 Bye - 15 @CAR -
7 @SEA L 10-22 16 DAL -
8 TB L 35-38 17 @SF -
9 @MIN - - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson - - 190,1
RB Beanie Wells 40 - -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 70 -
WR Steve Breaston - 50,1 -
WR Early Doucet - 40 -
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker to the Buccaneers and yet at 3-4 they are only a game back in the NFC West. But the Cardinals are only 1-3 on the road with a win over their divisional rival Rams in the season opener. After that every road effort has been little more than being a punching bag with a Cardinal on your head. They have never lost by less than 12 points away from Arizona.

QUARTERBACK: HC Ken Whisenhunt has not yet named a starter this week but it was apparent that Derek Anderson played better. The Cardinals have only passed for five touchdowns all year long so it doesn't make a huge difference either way. I will assume that Anderson starts this week and change if warranted but even if he does there is no guarantee he finishes the game.

Expect marginal stats here with the Cardinals facing a decent secondary on the road. I will project for one passing score but that alone would be a success and could be thrown by either quarterback.

RUNNING BACKS: Tim Hightower has been all but phased out and LaRod Stephens-Howling is cutting in on what little he has left to give away and even scored a touchdown against the Buccaneers. But the Cards are trying to establish Beanie Wells as the primary runner even if that means accepting only around 50 yards per week on 15 carries. Wells only averages around 3.4 yards per carry and even less in recent games. He has scored in each of the last two but his role as a heavy lifter is less than impressive. Wells gets the lion's share but does little with the workload.

In Minnesota, no opposing running back has scored or had more than 80 yards. Most have less than 35 yards so consider Wells a poor play this week. His lack of receiving skills only makes him even less valuable in fantasy play.

Wells only gained 28 yards on 13 carries against the Vikes last year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Things are looking up here at least slightly. While Larry Fitzgerald is almost the only weapon on this team, he still has scored four times and has been above 70 yards in most weeks. Steve Breaston returned this week and posted 147 yards on eight catches to show what should have been happening all alone. Early Doucet has been back for two weeks with around 40 yards from the slot and this group is finally looking better if only marginally. With Breaston out the entire offense became one-dimensional with only Fitzgerald who mattered.

Of the six receivers who have scored on the Vikings, all but one were the #2 guy and that makes Breaston a much more interesting play this week. Fitzgerald will get his 10+ targets but Breaston should matter again this week.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 32 28 26 31 29 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 8 11 9 8 5 29
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ARI -24 -17 -17 -23 -24 25


Minnesota Vikings (2-5)
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 L 24-28 16 @PHI --
8 @NE L 18-28 17 @DET --
9 ARI -- - - -
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre - - 160,1
RB Adrian Peterson 120,2 30 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 30,1 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 40 -
WR Percy Harvin - 40 -
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Wow. without spending 5000 words, just wow.

QUARTERBACK: Brett Favre now sports eight stitches in his chin and is taking a precautionary concussion test but is expected to start the game this week even if they have to strap him to a dolly and wheel him out there. But he'll be without Randy Moss and Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin is banged up but will play. Fortunately for this week, the Cardinals should get steam rolled by Adrian Peterson so Favre does not need to have a big role in this game.

Favre passed for 275 yards and two scores in Arizona last year.

Expect no more than one scoring pass and marginal yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: While the Vikings are battling media fires all over, at least Adrian Peterson can offer a solid, no-problems-here presence that alone can win this game. Peterson has scored in five of the last six games and topped 100 total yards in all but one. He'll be facing the #28 defense against running backs and become the fifth runner to top 100 rushing yards against them.

Expect no less than one rushing score from Peterson who may end up with two, particularly if Favre does not throw a touchdown. The Vikings want nothing more than a nice win on the ground without risking Favre or exposing Harvin as the only real weapon again.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The loss of Randy Moss is likely to have a depressing effect on Percy Harvin who was sputtering each week until he showed up and took with him the safeties on each play. Moss really opened up the middle for Harvin who will now need to wait for Sidney Rice to get back. Rice may start practicing as early as this week but the expectations are that he won't play for another two or three weeks. That's a long time for Harvin owners who were reaping the Moss benefit.

Fortunately, the Cardinals are weak against receivers even when there is only one that matters. Harvin can still get a score this week with some decent yardage but no other receivers have any real fantasy value.

Harvin caught six passes for 79 yards and a score in Arizona last season.

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe may see an uptick in use with Moss gone but he only has one score on the year and that was in the season opener. His yardage may jump a bit as a possession player but this week is likely to be more about blocking for Peterson.

Shiancoe caught only two passes for 14 yards against the Cards last year but scored once.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 9 17 17 32 26
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 18 28 15 29 31 30
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIN -11 19 -2 12 -1 4

WEEK 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF SD at HOU IND at PHI SF, STL
  NYJ at DET ARI at MIN DAL at GB TEN, WAS
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