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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 17
2010
*MIA at NE OAK at KC *CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
*TB at NO TEN at IND *MIN at DET *SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS *STL at SEA
*Updated *DAL at PHI *CIN at BAL *PIT at CLE ARI at SF

Prediction: CHI 17, GB 24

Update: The Bears are still saying that they are not going to rest players this week but that still seems not likely for the entire game anyway. Earl Bennett has been held out of practice for two days before getting some limited work on Friday. I am removing him from the projections.

This game is going to be very cold and kind of breezy. This is a replay of week three with the Bears beat the visiting Packers 20-17. The Bears have already clinched the NFC North, a first round bye and they could take the number one seed if Atlanta loses to the visiting Panthers (ouch) and the Saints lose to the visiting Buccaneers. The Packers have to win this game to get a wildcard or have both the Giants and Buccaneers lose their games. The Bears will already know at 4:15 PM EST if the Steelers lost their 1 PM EST game to the Panthers and will almost certainly have nothing to play for in this game. Packers - gotta win it. TB plays early but NYG is late.

Chicago Bears (11-4)
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 W 24-20
5 @CAR W 23-6 14 NE L 7-36
6 SEA L 20-23 15 @MIN W 40-14
7 WAS L 14-17 16 NYJ W 38-34
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF W 22-19   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 220,2
RB Matt Forte 40 20 -
TE Greg Olsen - 20,1 -
WR Devin Hester - 30 -
WR Earl Bennett - 60 -
WR Johnny Knox - 70,1 -
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears are playing better as the season progresses and since their week eight bye, their only loss was to the Patriots. HC Lovie Smith says that they will play this game like every other but the Bears will already know what happened before they play and barring a miracle from the Panthers in Atlanta, there is nothing to play for in this game and even if they do not pull players from the game, there is less motivation for the Bears anyway.

Smith says they play in earnest but that does not come with a guarantee and that makes all the players here a risk.

QUARTERBACK: Jay Cutler passed for only 221 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Packers and he's been mostly productive this year though not consistently. He has five games with three or more passing touchdowns and yet four games with none. Cutler has tended to remain around 200 yards or so for the last two months.

If Cutler plays this one all the way, he can get two passing scores but one touchdown is more reliable.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte only gained 29 yards on 22 runs in the week three game against the Packers and he had just two receptions for 14 yards. But Forte has been a far better runner as the season wore on and has three games with more than 100 rushing yards and he has scored nine times this season. His role as a receiver did not see any bump up with Mike Martz but he is running better now than any other time in the NFL. He comes off 113 yards and a score on the Jets. He had 117 yards on the Eagles. He's turned into a legitimate running backs.

That all said the Packers are top ranked against rusher and only allowed two touchdowns at home all year. This game may not matter anyway so expect a lesser effort from Forte for this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Johnny Knox turned in 94 yards on four catches against the Packers in week three and he has been a factor in almost every game. He has scored three times in just the last two weeks and offers the most productive consistency of any Bears wideout. Earl Bennett only caught three passes for 21 yards against the Packers while Devin Hester only snared one pass for 16 yards.

Cutler is better and more comfortable in the new scheme now and should connect with at least one wideout for a score. That would almost have to be Knox or Hester who have both scored in the last two games. But get it wrong with Hester and there is no yardage to rely on.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen has been little used since week 11 but he had his best game of the year when he faced the Packers and produced five catches for 64 yards and one score. Olsen has five touchdowns on the season that leads the team.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 19 21 22 23 16 6
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 6 3 4 26 10 8
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CHI -13 -18 -18 3 -6 2


Green Bay Packers (8-6)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @PHI W 27-20 10 Bye -
2 BUF W 34-7 11 @MIN W 31-3
3 @CHI L 17-20 12 @ATL L 17-20
4 DET W 28-26 13 SF W 34-16
5 @WAS L 13-16 14 @DET L 3-7
6 MIA L 20-23 15 @NE L 27-31
7 MIN W 28-24 16 NYG W 45-17
8 @NYJ W 9-0 17 CHI --
9 DAL W 45-7 - - -
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers - - 290,3
RB Brandon Jackson 30 30 -
WR Greg Jennings - 100,1 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 40,1 -
WR Donald Driver - 40 -
WR James Jones - 80,1 -
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Packers have to win this to control their own destiny but they are 6-1 at home and producing big points in recent games. It doesn't hurt either that the Bears claim to play this game seriously and yet have nothing to gain from it while the Packers have to win. This will be another very cold game but Rodgers is used to that by now.

QUARTERBACK: Aaron Rodgers returned from his concussion with a vengeance when he threw for 404 yards and four scores on the Giants. He's healthy again and ready for this rematch. Rodgers passed for 316 yards and one score in the previous matchup with the Bears and rushed in one score. He has four rushing touchdowns on the season but only one in the last eight weeks. Rodgers has been a lock for a good game at home.

RUNNING BACKS: The Packers only got 12 yards on seven runs from Brandon Jackson in the first meeting but that was soon after losing Ryan Grant for the year and John Kuhn was mixed in that week as well. By now the Packers are comfortable with Brandon Jackson either delivering the goods or just abandoning the rushing effort and letting Rodgers do his thing.

The Bears have a very good rushing defense which should be plenty to handle the #30 running back group in the NFL.

WIDE RECEIVERS: In the first meeting with the Bears, Jermichael Finley had 115 yards and a score but since he left in week four, there has been no tight end that has filled his role and the wide receivers have take more center stage, especially Greg Jennings who only had two catches for 18 yards and one score in the Bears game before. Donald Driver turned in nine catches for 61 yards and James Jones managed five receptions for 55 yards in that game. But this unit has been more heavily used since those early weeks thanks to the loss of Finley.

Jennings has been a lock for a good showing in home games and should always be started anyway. Driver still plays a role but mostly as a possession guy who only has one touchdown in the last 12 weeks. Both James Jones and Jordy Nelson have been stepping up in recent weeks and will be a factor in this game.

TIGHT ENDS: No reliable fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 2 30 2 21 15 4
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 9 9 11 11 6 29
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) GB 7 -21 9 -10 -9 25

WEEK 17
2010
MIA at NE OAK at KC CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
TB at NO TEN at IND MIN at DET SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS STL at SEA
  DAL at PHI CIN at BAL PIT at CLE ARI at SF
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