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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA * DET at MIN * KC at SD NYJ at OAK
* ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE * PIT at IND
* BAL at STL * HOU at NO NE at BUF * SF at CIN
* UPDATED DEN at TEN JAC at CAR * NYG at PHI * WAS at DAL (mon)

Prediction: GB 20, CHI 17

Players to Watch: Ryan Grant, James Starks

This is a must watch game that sets the tone for the NFC North.

The Packers lost 17-20 in Chicago last year though they later beat then in Green Bay 10-3. The Packers also beat them 21-14 in the playoffs in Chicago. The last six times these teams have met, neither was able to score more than 21 points. This is when the defenses are at their best.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NO 42-34 10 MIN -
2 @CAR 30-23 11 TB -
3 @CHI - 12 @DET -
4 DEN - 13 @NYG -
5 @ATL - 14 OAK -
6 STL - 15 @KC -
7 @MIN - 16 CHI -
8 Bye - 17 DET -
9 @SD -      
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers - - 270,2
RB Ryan Grant 40 10 -
RB James Starks 50 20 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 60 -
WR Greg Jennings - 70,1 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 50,1 -
WR Donald Driver - 30 -
WR James Jones - 20 -
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Packers are 2-0 with an average of 36 points scored per game. The defense has not been as smothering as in years past but the Saints were an excellent offense and the Panthers a big surprise that got handled eventually anyway. Last week probably was as much the Packers getting caught looking ahead to this week and this very big game. The Bears are not packing the offensive punch of the Packers though so we should see yet another lower scoring affair.

QUARTERBACK: Aaron Rodgers has a nice start to the year with both efforts topping 300 yards and scoring a total of five touchdowns. Rodgers has looked in top form and has no turnovers yet and only three sacks. He has not rushed the ball much at all but sitting back and tossing 300-yard games is good enough.

Rodgers never passed for more than 244 yards on the Bears last year and scored only once in each meeting. The Bears have allowed 319 and 270 yards to their first opponents though Matt Ryan and Drew Brees are among the best in the business. Like Rodgers. The Packers are not running as well this year so expect Rodgers to get the job done this week almost by himself.

RUNNING BACKS: It has only been two weeks but it looks like there may be a changing of the guard in the Packers backfield. Ryan Grant had nine carries in the opener and just six last week. He has opened games as the starter but is being upstaged each week by James Starks who has been much more productive and is getting more carries than Grant each week. There is still a split that really impacts the individual value of the players though and what needs to happen is for Starks to take over.

Starks gained 74 yards and one score on the Bears last year in Chicago.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson are turning into quite the 1-2 punch since both players have scored in each of the first two games. Jennings has been slightly more limited in yardage for now and Nelson made his numbers in the Panthers game with his one catch for 84 yards and a score. The duo are leaving breadcrumbs and scraps for Donald Driver and James Jones. Nelson has taken a definite step up this season.

Jennings gained 130 yards on eight catches and Nelson turned in four receptions for 67 yards in Chicago last year. The Bears have already allowed four receivers to gain 60+ yards on them. Consider both Jennings and Nelson as decent plays this week but likely with less upside than usual.

TIGHT ENDS: While Jermichael Finley has yet to get a touchdown, he did have at least 53 yards in both games and remains a solid but unspectacular play. The Bears were dinged by both Tony Gonzalez (5-72) and Jimmy Graham (6-79) though neither scored.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 10 10 2 18 9 2
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 16 23 14 14 24 26


Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 30-12 10 DET -
2 @NO 13-30 11 SD -
3 GB - 12 @OAK -
4 CAR - 13 KC -
5 @DET - 14 @DEN -
6 MIN - 15 SEA -
7 @TB - 16 @GB -
8 Bye - 17 @MIN -
9 @PHI -      
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 270,2
RB Matt Forte 50 80,1 -
WR D. Sanzenbacher - 20 -
WR Devin Hester - 60,1 -
WR Earl Bennett - 30 -
WR Johnny Knox - 50 -
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears came out looking like champs when they spanked the Falcons in the opener but in New Orleans it was not nearly so easy. The offense is in the second season of Mike Martz's system but so far the passing game has been mostly pedestrian. Matt Forte has been the star of the offense to the point where no one else is really contributing much. A loss this week makes winning the division an uphill battle again this year.

QUARTERBACK: After a nice opening with 312 yards and two scores, the Bears took a big step backwards with Jay Cutler only passing for 244 yards and one score in New Orleans. Most troublesome is that Cutler leads the league with 11 sacks in just two games. The offensive line still needs help and just lost their starting right tackle Gabe Carimi that will only mean even more success by the defense rushing Cutler. The Packers already have seven sacks as a team on Drew Brees (3) and Cam Newton (4) - both who have better offensive lines.

Cutler passed for 221 yards and one score when the Packers showed up last season. The Packers have allowed an unheard of 851 passing yards already but that was Drew Brees visiting and then the still shocking Cam Newton.

RUNNING BACKS: The offensive line may not be the best but at least Matt Forte is doing more than his share for the team. He has been held to only 117 yards on 26 carries in the first two weeks but has added 15 catches for 207 yards and one touchdown. His role as a dual threat is repaying everyone who drafted him and the intention of making him into a "Marshall Faulk" back is succeeding if only as a receiver. Forte has been good for over 150 total yards per week and at least five catches.

Forte only gained 29 yards on 11 runs on the Packers last season and had only two catches for 14 yards. He did late rack up 91 yards on 15 runs in Green Bay in the season finale.

The Packers defense has not allowed any runner to gain more than 40 yards or score but Forte will use his role as a receiver to keep up his value. He is a must start regardless of matchup.

WIDE RECEIVERS: For being a Mike Martz system, these wideouts are really disappointing and lagging expectations. So far there has been only one score and that went to Dane Sanzenbacher. No wideout has managed more than 60 yards or four catches in any game. Earl Bennett suffered a bruised chest but should be back this week while Roy Williams remains out with his groin injury. So far the most interesting player is the rookie Sanzenbacher who is getting time in the slot but is not worth projecting for with only four catches for 39 yards so far. This unit has to get better or the entire offense rides on Matt Forte.

Knox was the only notable wideout in the previous meeting when he gained 94 yards on four receptions. I like one touchdown to end up in this unit but it could go to any player. I'll credit Hester just to place it somewhere.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 18 11 21 20 7 6
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 32 13 29 23 28 15

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA DET at MIN KC at SD NYJ at OAK
ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE PIT at IND
BAL at STL HOU at NO NE at BUF SF at CIN
  DEN at TEN JAC at CAR NYG at PHI WAS at DAL (mon)

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