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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2010
HOU at PHI *CHI at DET *CLE at MIA *DAL at IND
*JAC at TEN *ATL at TB *SF at GB *CAR at SEA
DEN at KC NO at CIN *OAK at SD *PIT at BAL
*Updated WAS at NYG *BUF at MIN STL at ARI NYJ at NE

Prediction: CHI 24, DET 17

Update: Jason Hanson has been placed on injured reserve and may be dropped on all teams now. Shaun Hill is out at least this week and maybe for the rest of the season with a broken finger.

This is the rematch of the season opener that the Bears won 19-14 when they hosted the Lions. Since then the Bears have accumulated the second best record in the NFC and lead the NFC North by a full game over the Packers. The Bears are 4-1 on the road this year while the Lions are 2-3 at home and are on a four game losing streak. The Bears have won their last four games.

Chicago Bears (8-3)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET W 19-14 10 MIN W 27-13
2 @DAL W 27-20 11 @MIA W 16-0
3 GB W 20-17 12 PHI W 31-26
4 @NYG L 3-17 13 @DET --
5 @CAR W 23-6 14 NE --
6 SEA L 20-23 15 @MIN --
7 WAS L 14-17 16 NYJ --
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF W 22-19   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 290,2
RB Matt Forte 70,1 20 -
TE Greg Olsen - 30,1 -
WR Devin Hester - 40 -
WR Earl Bennett - 60 -
WR Johnny Knox - 80,1 -
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Plenty of spots still left to trip up for the Bears who have to host the Pats and Jets before ending the season in Green Bay for what may be all the marbles in the division. The win in week three against the Packers will count big and the Bears are 3-0 against the division. This is nothing to look past but is a game that the Bears should win..

QUARTERBACK: Jay Cutler has not been very productive in road games where he has only the Dallas game with any significant production. But Cutler passed for a season high 372 yards and two scores in the season opener against the Lions and the offense is running better now. The last two home games had him throwing for a total of seven touchdowns but the last road trip had none.

But the Lions always allow a passing score and Tom Brady just pasted them for four touchdowns and 341 yards over Thanksgiving. Cutler should be a safe play for good yardage and two scores and could end up doubling that. He is a solid play this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte has been very effective against the Lions in the past and in week one he gained only 50 yards on 27 carries but added seven receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver. His next best game as a receiver was only 37 yards back in week two. But Forte has been effective in road games when facing a below average defense and the Lions have already allowed 15 touchdowns to running backs this year.

Forte would need to break a long run to roll up much yardage here but he should be good for one touchdown and decent yardage.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Devin Hester is getting more action lately with 86 yards on three catches against the Eagles and a touchdown in the Vikings game. Earl Bennett had his first two touchdown game last week when he caught four passes for 56 yards and even Johnny Knox scored against the Eagles with three receptions for 68 yards. Back in the season opener, Johnny Knox turned in 52 yards on three catches, Bennett settled for just 29 yards on five catches and Hester only had one catch. This unit is playing better and getting slightly more passes lately. I like one touchdown to end up with this unit and possibly more. I'll favor Knox slightly and he should have at least a good yardage game here.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen only had one catch in the home opener against the Lions but it was for a 39-yard touchdown. Olsen has scored in three of the last four games and this week should make it one more. WIth six scores, he is the receiving touchdown leader on the team.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 19 22 24 19 20 6
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 25 30 20 7 6 20
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CHI 6 8 -4 -12 -14 14


Detroit Lions (2-9)
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 L 24-45
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 CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill - - 180,1
QB Drew Stanton - - 160,1
RB Maurice Morris 40,1 30 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 30 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 40,1 -
WR Bryant Johnson - 20 -
WR Nate Burleson - 30 -
PK Dave Rayner 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions have lost their last four games and recently they have not even been remotely close. The rest of the schedule doesn't get much better and the only game that they may be favored in is the Vikings tilt to end the year. Matthew Stafford has been out and now Jahvid Best has succumbed to his toe injury. And once again, the Lions are just trying to coast to the finish line with a different set of players than they had to start the year.

I assume that Jason Hanson remains out and that Dave Rayner will again handle the kicking job.

QUARTERBACK: The previous matchup with the Bears was when Matt Stafford was injured (no, not last time. The time before that one). Shaun Hill has done a great job holding down the fort and making Calvin Johnson's fantasy stock remain high. And Hill has scored in every game started with a couple of scores or more in home games until the Pats showed up. Shaun Hill has a broken right index finger and will miss this week and likely the rest of the season. That brings Drew Stanton back in play and no one wanted to see that happen.

The Bears have been outstanding against the pass and while they are softer the road, they have only allowed five touchdowns in their five previous road games and only once did anyone had more than one score.

RUNNING BACKS: Jahvid Best has finally fallen victim to his turf toe injuries and was on the field for only one play last week and had no touches. No reason to project for him anymore since the injury will linger until the end of the season. Not unlike the turf toe injury that robbed Darren McFadden of his rookie season, Best can hope to return in 2011 and try for a healthy year.

Maurice Morris was actually a good replacement last week when he gained 55 yards and two scores on just nine runs. He added five catches for 20 yards as well while Aaron Brown offered only a couple of relief carries.. Back in week one, Best opened his career with two scores on the Bears and Morris should manage one touchdown this week. I like the two scores but the Bears are unlikely to allow that to be both via a pass.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Whether it was Stafford or Hill passing, Calvin Johnson has been on a tear since week three with a score in all but the Jets game and 11 touchdowns in total. Nate Burleson has been quietly effective with four touchdowns over the last seven games but the duo are the only wideouts with a score or any appreciable yardage. Back in the season opener, Johnson & Johnson were held to only five catches for 69 yards in total and had no scores against the Bears.

The touchdown is most likely to end up here and that should favor Johnson who gained 86 yards and a score on the visiting Bears last year. But the yardage will be meager with Stanton on board and even the score has a low confidence.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew only had one catch for six yards in the season opener but has been on a roll in every game since. He has scored in three of the last four home games and may end up with a touchdown this week but should be a good option for yardage this week. The last three weeks had Pettigrew turning in at least 50 yards but Stanton should depress that.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 8 21 16 6 23 8
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 3 7 4 8 2 27
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DET -5 -14 -12 2 -21 19

WEEK 13
2010
HOU at PHI CHI at DET CLE at MIA DAL at IND
JAC at TEN ATL at TB SF at GB CAR at SEA
DEN at KC NO at CIN OAK at SD PIT at BAL
  WAS at NYG BUF at MIN STL at ARI NYJ at NE
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