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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 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: MIN 17, DET 23

Update: Calvin Johnson has not practiced this week and remains a game time decision. Check the inactives on Sunday before starting Johnson. Brett Favre still has not passed his concussion tests and barring a sudden improvement is not expected to play this week.

Both these teams are like a broken alarm clock you throw away and then wonder where the ringing is coming from. These teams are not broken, at least not completely left for dead by any means. The Vikings shocked the Eagles by taking them down in their house on Tuesday night without Brett Favre or Tarvaris Jackson. The Lions have gone from the laughing stock of the league and generator of the all-time record of road futility to suddenly winning three games in a row. And two were back-to-back road games! At least this week we know one is going to lose.

Minnesota Vikings (6-9)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO L 9-14 10 @CHI L 13-27
2 MIA L 10-14 11 GB L 3-31
3 DET W 24-10 12 @WAS W 17-13
4 Bye - 13 BUF W 38-14
5 @NYJ L 20-29 14 NYG L 3-21
6 DAL W 24-21 15 CHI L 14-40
7 @GB L 24-28 16 @PHI W 24-14
8 @NE L 18-28 17 @DET --
9 ARI W 27-24 - - -
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Webb 40 - 200,1
RB Adrian Peterson 100,1 20 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 50 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 30 -
WR Percy Harvin - 80,1 -
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Vikings shocked the world and maybe even themselves when they brought down the mighty Michael Vick and the Eagles in their stadium with inspired defensive play and beating up Vick. Leslie Frazier would like to end with two road wins in his effort to build his own case to remain but the Lions are at home and on a roll as well.

QUARTERBACK: Brett Favre failed another concussion test on Wednesday but he will take another later this week and if he is cleared he will play according to Leslie Frazier. Joe Webb made his own case for remaining on the team with 195 pass yards in Philly and he ran six times for 31 yards and one score. Back in week three, Favre passed for 201 yards and one score in the win over the Lions.

The Lions have held recent home opponents to only one touchdown though the pass yardage has tended to be higher than most. Favre would like ending a career against a weaker than most secondary but that's no lock for a big game by any means. With Hakeem Nicks out, there is less to worry about by the defense.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson took a shot to his injured knee on his first carry Tuesday and had to wear a special pad on his knee for added protection the rest of the game. But he still ended with 118 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and had one catch for 11 yards. Peterson enjoyed one of his best efforts against the Lions this year when he posted 160 rushing yards on 23 carries with two scores and he had five catches for 50 yards.

The Lions play far tougher at home though and while they do give up scores, the yardage is much lower in Detroit than in away games. Expect a good game here by Peterson, but not nearly as much in the first meeting.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Interim coach Leslie Frazier confirmed that Sidney Rice sustained a concussion in Tuesday night's game and it is unlikely that he will get medical clearance to play this week. Percy Harvin caught six passes from them for 62 yards and comes off an even bigger 100 yard day. Harvin remains a must start every week but without Rice around no other wideout has enough fantasy merit to consider.

TIGHT ENDS: The position has been little used this season but at least Webb threw six passes for 41 yards to Vishante Shiancoe in his only start so far. That should bode well for at least some yardage though Shiancoe has only one score on the year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 8 26 25 32 24
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 23 29 18 6 9 9
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIN -6 21 -8 -19 -23 -15


Detroit Lions (5-10)
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 L 20-24
5 STL W 44-6 14 GB W 7-3
6 @NYG L 20-28 15 @TB W 23-20
7 Bye - 16 @MIA W 34-27
8 WAS W 37-25 17 MIN --
9 NYJ L 20-23 - - -
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill - - 240,1
RB Maurice Morris 60,1 20 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 60,1 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 50 -
WR Bryant Johnson - 30 -
WR Nate Burleson - 20 -
PK Dave Rayner 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Three games in a row is huge for a Detroit fan. The notion that they could end on a four game winning streak boggles the mind since they were 2-10 just three weeks ago. The offense has not changed much through the year with Matt Stafford unable to stay healthy and the addition of Jahvid Best only mattered for the first two weeks. But the season is ending on a high note and that makes up for a lot.

QUARTERBACK: HC Jim Schwartz confirmed that Shaun Hill will be the Lions' starting quarterback in Week 17. Hill returned last week and threw for 222 yards and two scores in the win in Miami. Hill was the starter in Minnesota in week three when he passed for 237 yards and one touchdown. The Vikings have allowed one score to all but three teams and six franchises saw multiple passing scores in Minny.

Calvin Johnson is banged up that doesn't help. But there are other weapons to use and this is a rare chance to end the season with a bang.

RUNNING BACKS: The Lions only gained 31 rushing yards against the Vikings last year but Jahvid Best is contributing some with his 53-yard scoring catch last week and Maurice Morris has scored in each of the last two games and they were on the road to Tampa Bay and Miami. Against the Vikes early in the year, Jahvid Best ran for 26 yards on seven carries and added 13 yards on two catches.

Best is still so unproductive that you cannot rely on him and Morris offers at least some yardage and a score on occasion.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Calvin Johnson is nursing a very sore ankle and will miss some practice time this week but is still expected to play so far. Johnson was pulled from the Miami game and did not finish it. Johnson will be a risk to rely on and he has not scored in three weeks after scoring in eight of nine games. Unless he is called out he pretty much has to be a fantasy starter but this week looks like a downer for him if he even plays. I will assume limited play and adjust as warranted.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew has set the all-time record for tight end yardage for the Lions and he's only getting better. He comes off a 74-yard game with one score over the visiting Buccaneers last week. The Giants are good against the position but so is Pettigrew. I like Pettigrew to end his season on a high note here after gaining 44 yards on six catches against them in week three.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 9 26 17 9 19 5
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 17 7 19 17 7 31
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DET 8 -19 2 8 -12 26

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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