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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 4
2011
* ATL at SEA * DET at DAL * NO at JAC * SF at PHI
BUF at CIN * MIA at SD * NYG at ARI * TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL * WAS at STL
* UPDATED * DEN at GB * NE at OAK PIT at HOU * IND at TB (mon)

Prediction: DEN 14, GB 31

Players to Watch: James Starks, Eric Decker

Update: Ryan Grant is not expected to play this week after injury his kidney. James Starks will pick up the slack and should be a nice start this week. Knowshon Moreno is now expected to play after being out with a hamstring strain. Willis McGahee will remain the primary this week but Moreno will be contributing as a change of pace and relief back

The Broncos head out on their second road game with an 1-2 record from games that were all decided by three points or less. Then again, OAK, CIN and TEN did not win the Super Bowl either. The Packers return home with a 3-0 record. The only way this game is close is if the Packers are resting after winning in Chicago last week.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK 20-23 10 @KC -
2 CIN 24-22 11 NYJ -
3 @TEN 14-17 12 @SD -
4 @GB - 13 @MIN -
5 SD - 14 CHI -
6 Bye - 15 NE -
7 @MIA - 16 @BUF -
8 DET - 17 KC -
9 @OAK -      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 250,2
RB Willis McGahee 30 10 -
RB Knowshon Moreno 20 - -
WR Eric Decker - 80,1 -
WR Matt Willis - 30 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 90,1 -
PK Matt Prater FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: There has been little positive about the new offense so far though HC John Fox is staying the course with all the same players for now. The lack of any credible rushing is dooming the offense and making ball control impossible. The same offense that posted big stats passing last year has virtually the same players and yet still wants to run.

QUARTERBACK: The problem this week is that Kyle Orton has been decent enough at home but now is on the road and facing the Packers. Last Sunday, Orton only passed for 173 yards with two scores and two interceptions at Tennessee. There's been no development of a receiving tight end and the running backs play a marginal role if that. It would be unfair to say Orton has been the problem but losing will come back to bite him at some point regardless.

The Packers have allowed 300+ passing yards each week though this could turn into a interception filled game as well. Orton is a moderate play this week with upside since the Broncos will be trailing and should have nearly no rushing attack. The question is how much the Packers bother to run up the score and then let the Broncos have all the short passes they want.

RUNNING BACKS:Knowshon Moreno has been out with a bad hamstring and while I will add him into the projections if he can play, he will be a bad start this week anyway. Willis McGahee had his one decent game at home against the Bengals but only managed 52 yards on 22 carries in Tennessee though he scored on a reception.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Lloyd is back from his groin injury but only posted 39 yards on four catches at Tennessee. He should be better this week with Cortland Finnegan not covering him. Eric Decker continues to give some fantasy value in reception point leagues as the junior version of Wes Welker. Decker was targeted a team high 12 times last Sunday with seven receptions for 48 yards. In a reception point league, he is starting to be WR3 worthy. Eddie Royal was out and Matt Willis replaced him and while he scored once, Willis only ended with two catches for 16 yards.

The Packers have allowed at least one passing score to a wideout per opponent and the Broncos are going to need to throw. Lloyd and Decker remain moderate starts this week that could have big games if there is enough trash time.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 23 16 19 27 28 24
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 31 6 30 25 24 12


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 27-17 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 vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 - 300,3
RB Ryan Grant 40 10 -
RB James Starks 90 10 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 60,1 -
WR Greg Jennings - 100,1 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 70,1 -
WR James Jones - 30 -
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Packers are just continuing where they left off last year. The offense has been just as powerful as 2010 if not more and the defense seems to get better. More importantly, the Packers actually have options at all their positions now instead of fielding healthy bodies like last season. This game could be a let down since they just beat the Bears on the road and have to play in Atlanta next week. The effort won't need to be as great this week but the team has been good about not taking off weeks.

I like a defensive score this week.

QUARTERBACK: Nothing new here. Aaron Rodgers has yet to pass for fewer than 297 yards or two touchdowns. He has not rushed as much this year or scored on the ground but he has not really had the need to with a full complement of running backs now. He has eight touchdowns and only one interception on the season.

No reason why Rodgers won't hit at least 300 yards and two scores like the last two opponents of Denver. He could do more if motivated.

RUNNING BACKS: Just when it looked like James Starks had become the primary back and Ryan Grant was taking a back seat, it all goes reverso in the hated committee backfield directed by "the hot hand". Starks could only muster five yards on 11 carries in Chicago but for some reason Grant shook all the rust off and gained 92 yards on 17 runs. John Kuhn is the leading scorer among running backs (2 TDs) just to make it even more painful.

Grant suffered a bruised kidney on Sunday but we won't know more until practice starts on Wednesday. I will project for him and update as warranted. Chances are that there should be nice running back points this week since the visiting Broncos can be dinged by the run and there may be a high volume of carries if the score gets really out of reach. But there is no safe tailback to use here. Starks seems a better bet this week if only because Grant injured his kidney but no guarantee.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Donald Driver has finally declined to getting no catches against the Bears. He has only five on the season and is being quickly phased out for the rookie Randall Cobb who is still marginal anyway. Greg Jennings remains the primary with very consistent fantasy value every week. He has two scores and 263 yards on 18 catches already. Jordy Nelson started the season with a touchdown the first two weeks but then slipped back to only 40 yards on three catches in Chicago.

Both Jennings and Nelson are good starts this week and usually every week. The Broncos still have Champ Bailey missing games because of a hamstring. Both could have monster games but may not if the Packers take the game lightly.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermichael Finley comes off a career best three touchdowns in Chicago with seven receptions for 85 yards. He's been increasing his production every week so far and remains a must start.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 6 13 5 4 9 3
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 19 12 18 5 26 22

WEEK 4
2011
ATL at SEA DET at DAL NO at JAC SF at PHI
BUF at CIN MIA at SD NYG at ARI TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL WAS at STL
  DEN at GB NE at OAK PIT at HOU IND at TB (mon)

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