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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections |  Projections by Team | Game Predictions Summary

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

Prediction: MIN 9, SD 30

Players to Watch: Bernard Berrian, Antonio Gates

Update: Patrick Crayton is only listed as questionable because of his ankle surgery but has not practice this week and is not expected to play. He is removed from the projections.

The Vikings cleared out the coaching staff and is starting over with HC Leslie Frazier and OC Bill Musgrave. The loss of Sidney Rice was compensated by adding Michael Jenkins and Donovan McNabb Part III takes the helm for now. That all adds up to a lot of change that could not start until August versus the Chargers who have no such changes and welcome back players injured last year.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SD - 10 @GB -
2 TB - 11 OAK -
3 DET - 12 @ATL -
4 @KC - 13 DEN -
5 ARI - 14 @DET -
6 @CHI - 15 NO -
7 GB - 16 @WAS -
8 @CAR - 17 CHI -
9 Bye -      
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb - - 180
RB Adrian Peterson 90 20 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 20 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 50 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 20 -
WR Percy Harvin 20 60 -
PK Ryan Longwell 3 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: It is a new era in Minnesota but one thing remains steadfastly the same - Adrian Peterson is the showcase and motor of this offense. His supporting cast has not really gotten worse with McNabb certainly capable and Michael Jenkins being an unheralded blocker as a wideout. The passing game may suffer without Sidney Rice but Peterson should remain the happiest guy on this team.

QUARTERBACK: Donovan McNabb brings in a veteran presence though he has been in decline for a few seasons. He is a seat warmer and tutor for Christian Ponder and hopefully can allow the rookie to season on the bench all year. McNabb has little more than Percy Harvin as a play maker on this squad but the team is going to live and die by what Adrian Peterson does. McNabb mainly has to not hurt the team or teach bad habits to the rookie.

This week he is on the road against the #2 defense against quarterbacks last year. Not a good combination.

RUNNING BACKS: No reason to look any further than Adrian Peterson on this team, He has rushed for around 1300 yards or more in each of his four seasons and never had less than 10 rushing touchdowns. He has a minimal role as a receiver but is mostly all about 300 carries a year and challenging for the lead in rushing yards. What could be a stunted passing attack may impact his numbers at least slightly.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The departure of Sidney Rice leaves the passing game up to Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian. Harvin claims to have found the solution to his migraines and looks to improve on his 871 yards and five scores of 2010. Harvin is a play maker and the one that defenses must account for given his speed and open field ability. That leaves Berrian as the one player most needed to take over Rice's spot and contribute as he did back in in 2008 when he had a career best 964 yards and seven scores in his first season with the Vikes.

Michael Jenkins will also figure in but mainly as a blocker with no real fantasy value... just like in Atlanta!

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe should start the year slowly thanks to a hamstring that prevented him from several weeks of critical practices in August. He is expected to play this week but expect marginal production.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 10 26 24 31 21
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 2 11 2 21 2 27

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN - 10 OAK -
2 @NE - 11 @CHI -
3 KC - 12 DEN -
4 MIA - 13 @JAC -
5 @DEN - 14 BUF -
6 Bye - 15 BAL -
7 @NYJ - 16 @DET -
8 @KC - 17 @OAK -
9 GB -      
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 300,2
RB Ryan Mathews 50 10 -
RB Mike Tolbert 80,1 10 -
TE Antonio Gates - 50,1 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 70 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 100,1 -
WR Patrick Crayton - 30 -
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers once again enter a season wondering how they could have such a good defense and offense and yet struggle to even make it to the postseason let alone win when they get there. The same cast all returns from last year and for at least this week they are all healthy again. This game should be a slam dunk win but next week in New England will answer more questions.

QUARTERBACK: Ever the elite quarterback, Philip Rivers has thrown for over 4000 yards in each of the last three seasons and comes off a career best 4710 yards and 39 touchdowns against only 19 interceptions. And that was with numerous injuries to the receivers. The same gang is back and ready to break the jinx that seems to always doom the Chargers.

RUNNING BACKS: Once again it will be a committee backfield employing Ryan Mathews as the underachieving college star and Mike Tolbert as the undrafted back who happens to play better than anyone else on the roster. Last season saw the rookie Mathews settle for just 678 rush yards and seven touchdowns while Tolbert gained 735 yards and 11 scores. The hope will be that Mathews can exert himself into a bigger role and the reality is that Tolbert is there for when they conclude it is not happening again this year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This should be a big year. Vincent Jackson is not holding out and is poised to improve on 2009 when he had 68-1167 and nine touchdowns. Malcolm Floyd is also back as a very credible #2 who came up with 717 yards on just 37 catches last year and scored six times himself. Patrick Crayton mans the slot but that's still below fantasy relevance. Crayton returns from ankle surgery a few weeks back and should be fine.

The wideouts are the weaker point of the Vikes coverage and should post at least decent numbers this week if not a bona fide big game for Jackson.

TIGHT ENDS: After missing six games last year, the 31-year old Antonio Gates has been hampered by his feet problems (plantar fasciitis) up through training camp but has finally had full practices and he considers the injury a nonevent and his plantar fasciitis is of no concern. But he is getting older - and no less likely to incur injuries. And with the receivers all healthy again, he won't be as needed as he was. He is a risk but one with great reward.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 6 4 12 2 4 14
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 16 8 19 16 7 31

NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE MIN at SD SEA at SF
BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL NE at MIA (mon)
  CAR at ARI IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t