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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 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI *MIA at OAK
NO at DAL *JAC at NYG *MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ *CAR at CLE *GB at ATL *SD at IND
*UPDATED TEN at HOU PIT at BUF *KC at SEA SF at ARI

Prediction: NE 24, DET 20

The Patriots come off their squeaker past the Colts and now bring their NFL best 8-2 record to Detroit but they are only 3-2 in in road games this year. The Lions are back at home where they are 2-2 and where almost all of their wins this decade have been. This would be a great upset and the Lions are better than their record but a short week means basic packages and that'll hurt the Lions with no rushing game for balance.

New England Patriots (8-2)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN W 38-24 10 @PIT W 39-26
2 @NYJ L 14-28 11 IND W 31-28
3 BUF W 38-30 12 @DET --
4 @MIA W 41-14 13 NYJ --
5 Bye - 14 @CHI --
6 BAL W 23-20 15 GB --
7 @SD W 23-20 16 @BUF --
8 MIN W 28-18 17 MIA --
9 @CLE L 14-34 - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 230,2
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 90,1 10 -
RB Danny Woodhead 50 30 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 30 -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 20,1 -
WR Brandon Tate - 20 -
WR Deion Branch - 60,1 -
WR Wes Welker - 50 -
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Two big wins lately keeps the Pats in the driver's seat though those pesky Jets are tied with them and already beat them back in week two. Playing on Thursday should not only mean a win for the Pats, but gives them ten days to prepare to host the Jets in week 13 in what will be a must win game. The Patriots have devolved now back into what they were pre-Randy Moss - a team that is greater than the sum of the individual parts and one with really no stars outside of Tom Brady.

QUARTERBACK: Tom Brady injured his foot in the Colts game and has been limited in practice so far but there is no concern that he will not play on Thursday. Brady has been hot lately with multiple scores in each of the last three games along with decent yardage in most. The rushing game has been so good lately that it is depressing what Brady needs to do in games.

The Lions have only allowed four big passing games by opponents because the rushing defense has been weaker this year and that will play into the hands of the Pats. Expect a decent game here but unlikely it will be big. The running game should take care of business this week.

RUNNING BACKS: There is a chance that Fred Taylor could be back on Thursday not unlike what has been said for a few weeks now. Until that happens, the Pats are using an effective attack with BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the human battering ram who has topped 100 total yards in three of his last four games. Green-Ellis has seven rushing scores on the season. Danny Woodhead offers relief and more work as a receiver and he comes off a Colts game with 90 total yards and a score. He has four touchdowns so far but has been less used in road games where he has never gained more than 52 yards other than in Cleveland.

The Lions have already allowed 13 scores to opposing running backs. And five different backs had 120+ rushing yards against them. Have to like Green-Ellis in this one to score and turn in at least decent yardage if not a big game. Woodhead is always harder to gauge but has been less effective in previous road games.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This group remains marginal since the departure of Randy Moss in week five. There have only been three scores thrown to a wideout in the last six games and no wideout had more than one. Wes Welker just scored his finally but has been knocking around four catch games for 35 yards in most weeks. Deion Branch has been right and seven catches for 70 yards in the last two weeks as the most heavily used wideout. And Brandon Tate still has only one decent game,

I like one score to end up here where the Lions typically allow at least one wideout to score. But expecting any big game from any Pats wideout may be just a thing of the past.

TIGHT ENDS: The rookie duo have been very productive in combination and have scored six times over the last three games. Brady looks for either in the red zone though Rob Gronkowski is more likely to score with six touchdowns while Aaron Hernandez only has three scores (but over the last three games). Figure at least one ends up with one of these guys.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 14 7 25 2 12 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 24 30 13 4 5 20
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NE 10 23 -12 2 -7 12


Detroit Lions (2-8)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI L 14-19 10 @BUF L 12-14
2 PHI L 32-35 11 @DAL L 19-35
3 @MIN L 10-24 12 NE --
4 @GB L 26-28 13 CHI --
5 STL W 44-6 14 GB --
6 @NYG L 20-28 15 @TB --
7 Bye - 16 @MIA --
8 WAS W 37-25 17 MIN --
9 NYJ L 20-23 - - -
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill - - 290,2
RB Maurice Morris 40 40 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 60,1 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 100,1 -
WR Derrick Williams - 20 -
WR Nate Burleson - 60 -
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions are back at home where they at least have a chance of winning a game but the hope for a running game is becoming a true fantasy and this week opens up a three game stretch at home. But against three division leaders. It's all become just another sad year that started with promise, struggled with injuries and close losses and now looks to make it through the season against a pretty tough remaining schedule. The good news - Vikings in week 17 may end the season on a high note.

I am assuming that Hanson makes it back this week like he planned but check pregame inactives to make sure if you want to rely on him.

QUARTERBACK: Shaun Hill may have only produced a win when the Rams came to visit but he has been very productive in a fantasy sense. He has thrown at least one score in every start and has 12 touchdowns on the season and just nine interceptions. So far his only two home games produced 335 yards and two scores (PHI) and 227 yards and three touchdowns (STL).

The Pats secondary has been plenty soft this season with 20 passing scores allowed along with five games that produced over 300 passing yards. With nearly no rushing game to help, Hill is going to likely throw 40+ passes this week and offer at least a decent fantasy output if not a big game.

RUNNING BACKS: Jahvid Best did not practice on Monday and he has seen his turf toes get progressively worse as the season drags on. He only had three carries for two yards in Dallas and is likely to miss this game or at least be so limited that you should not consider him this short week. Best has not been much of a factor in many weeks.

That will give more work to Maurice Morris and Jerome Felton and even Aaron Brown could show up for some carries. Morris is the only one reliable enough to consider and even he'll have too few yards to warrant a fantasy start other than a PPR league for a very desperate team owner.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Lions have given up on Bryant Johnson who was inactive last week and the rookie Derrick Williams is taking his place in earnest since he too is only gaining around 25 yards per game. Calvin Johnson not has scored ten times already this year and at least once in each of the last six games that did not include Darrelle Revis. Nate Burleson has quietly carved out a productive niche as well with four scores over the last six weeks and at least 50 yards each game.

The Pats should give up at least one passing score to Johnson along with healthy yardage like the other seven receivers with 90 or so yards or more against them. Burleson should offer at least decent yardage and could score if Hill pumps it up to three touchdowns. A risk to rely on Burleson, Megatron is a must-start this week like every other week.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Scheffler has missed practice with sore ribs and may not be a factor this week. Brandon Pettigrew has been far more productive as a favorite target for Hill after Megatron. Pettigrew scored in each of the last three home games and had solid yardage in recent weeks. The Pats are weaker against the position anyway so consider Pettigrew an attractive start this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 8 23 15 7 23 6
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 23 26 25 15 2
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DET 23 0 11 18 -8 -4

WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI MIA at OAK
NO at DAL JAC at NYG MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ CAR at CLE GB at ATL SD at IND
  TEN at HOU PIT at BUF KC at SEA SF at ARI
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