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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN * SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB * IND at NO * SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA * KC at OAK * STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
*UPDATED GB at MIN * PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

Prediction: GB 27, MIN 13

Players to Watch: Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph

What we have to hope for is that the 6-0 Packers do not try to mail in a win against the 1-5 Vikings who may be starting a rookie quarterback on a very bad team. The Packers just clipped the Rams 24-3 in a game that could have had double the score but a divisional rival should make this game a bit more focused and the Lions are going to keep the fire lit under the Packers which is a good thing for fantasy owners.

The Packers swept the Vikings last year, winning 31-3 in Minnesota and earlier 28-24 in Green Bay.

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 49-23 13 @NYG -
5 @ATL 25-14 14 OAK -
6 STL 24-3 15 @KC -
7 @MIN - 16 CHI -
8 Bye - 17 DET -
9 @SD -      
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers - - 330,3
RB Ryan Grant 30 10 -
RB James Starks 40 10 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 70 -
WR Greg Jennings - 100,2 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 50 -
WR Donald Driver - 20 -
WR James Jones - 30,1 -
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Packers win here and head to their bye week 7-0 on the season and looking ahead, 16-0 is hardly impossible. For a team that won the Super Bowl after losing about half their players to injury last year, the Packers are still healthy and the schedule is lighter. No sign of a drop off in any way this year.

QUARTERBACK: This Rogers kid has some promise. He has thrown 17 touchdowns this season when he only had 28 scores last year. He is averaging nearly 340 yards per game and has only four interceptions. His only failing? He has rushed in scores in only one game. Aaron Rodgers is the Golden Ticket for fantasy quarterbacks this year.

Rodgers passed for 301 yards and four scores in Minnesota last year.

The Vikings have not allowed fewer than 240 passing yards this year but no quarterback has thrown for more than two scores on them. Until now.

RUNNING BACKS: With few exceptions, there has been no "hot hand" in the Packers backfield which means that Ryan Grant and James Starks pretty much split it all down the middle and there is not all that much to divide. Neither running back has scored since the season opener thanks to John Kuhn. Both backs have been nearly locked at sub-50 yard games. This is one of the weakest rushing attacks in the league probably because they watch the #1 passing attack have fun.

The Packers rushed for only 65 yards on 26 carries in Minny last season.

On the road, no reason to expect any improvement. Grant and Starks are just marginal yardage plays this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is the most productive set of wide receivers in all the land. Greg Jennings has four scores and always turns in 80+ yards each week. Jordy Nelson also has four scores but has been more effective in home games than on the road. Nelson has scored in every home matchup but just once away from Minny and his yardage fluctuates along with the scores. His only two bad games were the last two away trips when he only managed 3-40 and 3-19 in Chicago and Atlanta respectively. James Jones still has been light on yardage in almost every game but has posted a touchdown in each of the last three games.

Jennings turned in seven catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns in Minnesota last year. Jones had a touchdown and 51 yards while Jordy Nelson only caught three passes for 20 yards. Nelson never had more than 25 yards against the Vikes last year but Jennings always scored and had nice yardage.

Nelson seems to be a less attractive play with road woes and a history of not playing as well against the Vikes. But Jennings should have at least his good showing if not a monster one and James Jones is coming along as well.

TIGHT ENDS: Other than the one big game in Chicago, Jermichael Finley has been a huge disappointment with no other scores and never more than 68 yards in a game. It is more encouraging that his three best efforts were all in the three road games. Finley is overdue for a big game and it is possible here but after six weeks - he's only reliable for moderate yardage. The Vikes have not allowed a tight end to score this year but have faced only two decent ones - Gates (8-74) and Pettigrew (11-112). Finley bruised his arm last week but continued to play and should be okay this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 1 26 1 12 8 5
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 14 23 16 7 31 10


Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SD 17-24 10 @GB -
2 TB 20-24 11 OAK -
3 DET 23-26 12 @ATL -
4 @KC 17-22 13 DEN -
5 ARI 34-10 14 @DET -
6 @CHI 10-39 15 NO -
7 GB - 16 @WAS -
8 @CAR - 17 CHI -
9 Bye -      
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder - - 190,1
RB Adrian Peterson 80 10 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 30 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 50 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 30,1 -
WR Percy Harvin - 60 -
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Vikings are mulling over a quarterback change while losing their fifth game of the season. Adrian Peterson cannot win games by himself and cannot even gain many yards when he leaves the Metrodome. HC Leslie Frazier looks more and more like a guy in over his head and the team has only more easy home game when Denver shows up in week 13. This is going to be yet another long year.

QUARTERBACK: Donovan McNabb finally got the hook last week after getting sacked five times and never scoring and Christian Ponder stepped in and completed nine of 17 for 99. Nothing drastic and it was against a disinterested Packers secondary. But HC Leslie Frazier has said he will name a starting quarterback on Wednesday and the assumption has to be that Ponder gets to feel the heat in the frying pan. That puts an even bigger unknown variable into predicting performances but at least starts the Vikings onto their next era.

The Packers have been very generous to opposing quarterbacks but this is a rookie in his first start. Ponder is a safe bet for maybe one score and moderate yardage but could surprise - there just is no way of knowing yet.

RUNNING BACKS: At least he is home this week. Adrian Peterson has scored seven times this year and only once away from home. Both games over 100 rushing yards were in the Metrodome and he comes off his worst performance of the season when he only gained 39 yards on 12 runs in Chicago. Peterson will be no less a focus of the defense if Ponder is the starter.

Peterson rushed for only 72 yards on 14 carries when the Packers visited last year. He did gain 131 yards and a score on 28 carries in Green Bay though.

This year the Packers have only given up one touchdown to a running back and have been tough against the run every week. Figure on volume helping Peterson maintain some fantasy value this week and regret that they have nearly stopped throwing him the ball completely.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Percy Harvin still has sore ribs and played only parr of the Bears game but still had a season best 78 yards on seven catches. His role as a runner has been decreased because of his ribs. This entire unit only scored three times this season and no one has notched a game bigger than 88 yards. With a rookie passer on board, the outlook here is at least hard to discern if not also likely to be lower as Ponder starts to learn t he ropes.

I like one passing score and it is most likely to come here. But it could go anywhere and of the seven touchdowns allowed to wideouts this year, six of them went to the #2 or #3 receiver for their team. That makes this even less reliable.

TIGHT ENDS: Tight ends are often a rookie quarterback's best friends - big, tall and close. But Vishante Shiancoe has only scored once all year and rarely has more than 40 yards. And the rookie Kyle Rudolph is starting to show up which splits the pot for now but he should assume the #1 tight end role sooner than later. Keep an eye on Rudolph, especially to see if Ponder uses him more.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 31 12 25 19 18 18
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 29 4 27 22 4 9

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB IND at NO SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA KC at OAK STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
  GB at MIN PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

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