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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WILDCARD
ROUND
SATURDAY SUNDAY
New Orleans at Seattle, 4:30 PM EST Baltimore at Kansas City, 1I PM EST
New York Jets at Indianapolis, 8 PM EST Green Bay at Philadelphia, 4:30 PM EST

Prediction: GB 24, PHI 20

This game belongs to the Eagles at first glance but it may not be quite so cut and dried. Granted - the Packers have lost their last three road games but that was barely getting beaten by ATL and NE in road games against the #1 seeds in each conference. And the Lions game - it happens. The Packers also turned around and beat the Giants soundly and finished up taking down the Bears.

The Eagles lost their last two though week 17 does not count. But what does is the beating the visiting Vikings put on them. The Vikings. They took down the Eagles by taking down Vick who was sacked six times lost two fumbles and threw an interception. And the Packers defense is better and taking notes.

As will always be true for both teams it all comes down to Vick versus Rodgers. Whichever quarterback plays best wins the game. These teams played in the season opener and it was in Philly. The Packers won 27-20.

The Eagles are favored by three points.

Green Bay Packers (10-6)
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 W 10-3
9 DAL W 45-7 - - -
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 30 - 270,2
RB Brandon Jackson 40 20 -
TE Donald Lee - 10,1 -
WR Greg Jennings - 70,1 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 40 -
WR Donald Driver - 40 -
WR James Jones - 60 -
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Packers will cobble together a three man rotation in the backfield but this game comes down to how well Rodgers can throw and avoid the rush. While Michael Vick is the king of rushing quarterbacks guess who comes in second? Rodgers. The Packers defense will be tested this week and if they can keep Vick at least in partial check, the Packers can win.

QUARTERBACK: Aaron Rodgers has passed for 28 touchdowns and and had over half of his games end with 290 yards or more. He has only thrown two interceptions since week seven and yet four times had three or more scores since then. Rodgers scored three times via the run over the first six games of the season but only once since then though he still gained 30 yards or so in almost every game.

Rodgers passed for 188 yards and two scores in the season opener in Philly.

The Eagles have allowed every visiting quarterback to score against them though none have managed more than two touchdowns. This game is very likely to come down to the pass and the Packers have minimal rushing ability anyway. Expect a good game with two scores from Rodgers here and anything more would be a game winner for sure.

RUNNING BACKS: The problem here is that the Packers already have one of the worst rushing units in the entire NFL and that is getting broken up into three pieces lately with Brandon Jackson as the primary of sorts, John Kuhn and James Starks also figure in though at time Dimitri Nance shows up as well. There is no fantasy play here of any reliability and never really has all year. Jackson's role has been reduced in recent weeks and there is no reason to expect it to improve.

Brandon Jackson ran for 63 yards on 18 carries in the opener against the Eagles. That was the game when Ryan Grant was lost for the season.

The Eagles rushing defense is nothing that special and has already allowed seven touchdowns to visiting runners this year along with decent games for most backs. But it will be divided up by the Packers and not nearly that productive anyway. I like a touchdown to be scored either by a running back or the defense in this game but I am not going to credit it to the back. Starks or Kuhn could bull it in from the one-yard line if that happens.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Donald Driver chugs along with around 30 or 40 yards per game and no reason to expect more. He only has one touchdown in the last 11 weeks. Greg Jennings leads the team with 12 touchdowns and he has been over 100 yards in five games since Jermichael Finley left. Jennings never has less than four receptions in a game and remains the most targeted receiver. James Jones has been coming on this year and scored twice in the last three weeks but his game basically comes down to whether or not he catches a long bomb. Jordy Nelson has been productive as a #4 wideout but is less reliable than even Jones and usually ends up with less than 40 yards in a game.

The Eagles secondary at home has only allowed four touchdowns to wideouts this year and only two since week one. And that was when both Driver (5-30) and Jennings (5-82) scored touchdowns.

TIGHT ENDS: The Packers rarely use the tight end since Jermichael Finley left but Donald Lee has caught a touchdown in each of the last two games. The Eagles rank dead last against the position and allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends. There is a chance that Lee or Andrew Quarless will catch a score this week but even the worst defense against the tight end won't make either player worthy of more than a chance at a score. The position rarely totals 20 yards in a game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 2 31 2 20 15 5
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 27 17 12 32 11 19
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-)   25 -14 10 12 -4 -14


Philadelphia Eagles (10-6))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 GB L 20-27 10 @WAS W 59-28
2 @DET W 35-32 11 NYG W 27-17
3 @JAC W 28-3 12 @CHI L 26-31
4 WAS L 12-17 13 HOU W 34-24
5 @SF W 27-24 14 @DAL W 30-27
6 ATL W 31-17 15 @NYG W 38-31
7 @TEN L 19-37 16 MIN L 14-24
8 Bye - 17 DAL L 13-14
9 IND W 26-24 - - -
Eagles Report | Statistics | Roster
PHILADELPHIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 60,1 - 210,1
RB LeSean McCoy 60 30 -
TE Brent Celek - 50,1 -
WR DeSean Jackson - 50 -
WR Jason Avant - 30 -
WR Jeremy Maclin - 40 -
PK David Akers 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Eagles have been the darling of the NFC whenever a healthy Vick plays but it was troublesome to watch the Vikings have such success unloading on Vick and the Packers defense is playing well now. Taking a week off was a big help for Vick and the Eagles need to get back on a winning track after dropping the last two home games.

QUARTERBACK: The important part of this week is how healthy Michael Vick is - he is back to full practices after sitting out last week with his quad injury. Vick was sacked six times and had three turnovers in the Vikings game when he was injured. Back in week one, Kevin Kolb was knocked out of the game and Michael Vick played and they combined for six sacks. Vick ran for 103 yards on 11 runs in that game and had 175 yards and one score as a passer. Obviously the Packers had not prepared for him once Kolb had been injured.

The Packers have only allowed 16 passing touchdowns during the regular season and no quarterback rushed in a score on them. The Eagles combined for 199 passing yards in the opener and most teams end up around 200 yards or less. This is all depends on the health of Vick of course.

RUNNING BACKS: LeSean McCoy only rushed seven times for 35 yards and one score in the season opener against the Packers and he added five catches for 47 yards. He's been better in most games since but tends to remain below 65 rushing yards in most home games and the Packers have only allowed three rushing touchdowns in road games this year. McCoy was one of those and the score credited to Vick could end up here as well. The Packers have one of the best units against running backs and will be watching Vick as a runner as well. McCoy needs to show up more as a receiver but has been less used in home games as a receiver. If the Packers elect to blitz, McCoy could be doing a lot of blocking.

WIDE RECEIVERS: In the season opener, DeSean Jackson was held to only 30 yards on four catches and Jeremy Maclin only had four receptions for 38 yards and one score against the visiting Packers. Jason Avant was slightly better with 41 yards on his four catches in that game. The Packers have only allowed one other wideout to score in a road matchup since that week. and not at all in the last five road trips.This is the strength of the Packers secondary and they have already handled Jackson and Maclin once. Vick will still try to connect with them, but the Packers are a top unit stopping wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: Michael Vick under-used Brent Celek in most games this year but he did have ten catches for 97 yards in the Vikings matchup which could end up similar to this game. The Packers biggest weakness - and maybe only weakness - is against tight ends who has scored five times in road games and tend to be more primary receivers than the wideouts when facing the Packers. Have to like Celek this week to at least have a shot at a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 1 14 6 22 1 10
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 4 4 3 25 9 9
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-)   3 -10 -3 3 8 -1

WILDCARD
ROUND
SATURDAY SUNDAY
New Orleans at Seattle, 4:30 PM EST Baltimore at Kansas City, 1I PM EST
New York Jets at Indianapolis, 8 PM EST Green Bay at Philadelphia, 4:30 PM EST
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