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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

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

Prediction: GB 27, SD 20

Update: Ryan Mathews and Malcom Floyd both have not practiced this week, are listed as questionable and are expected to be game time decisions. Curtis Brinkley finally practiced on Friday and will help Mike Tolbert if Mathews cannot play. I am lowering their projections but realize they could be better or may not play - no way of knowing until pregame warmups.

The Packers come off their bye with the NFL's only perfect record (in a good way that is) and head to San Diego where the Chargers are 4-3 and locked into a three way tie in the AFC West thanks in part to one simple botched snap on Monday night. The Chargers are 3-0 at home but there may be a difference between the Packers and the Vikings, Chiefs or Dolphins. A large difference.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  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 33-27 16 CHI -
8 Bye - 17 DET -
9 @SD -      
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers - - 300,3
RB Ryan Grant 30 - -
RB James Starks 50 20 -
TE Jermichael Finley - 30,1 -
WR Greg Jennings - 90,1 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 50 -
WR Donald Driver - 20 -
WR James Jones - 60,1 -
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: No sign of any post-Championship slump from this team. The Packers plug along winning most games handily and their remaining schedule is no worse that what they have already plowed through. The important part now is to keep sharp and healthy because there is still plenty of football left to play.

QUARTERBACK: We knew he was good last year. But Aaron Rodgers is hitting a whole new level with 20 touchdowns in just seven games and the worst yardage so far has been 297 yards in Chicago. Rodgers is averaging 339 yards per game and is on a pace for 5422 yards which would be a record. Bottom line, he is the best fantasy quarterback in the league and every week is a near guarantee of 300+ yards with three touchdowns.

The only comparable quarterback to face the Chargers was Tom Brady who passed for 423 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers is an automatic start regardless of anything for now.

RUNNING BACKS: As good as the Packers are passing, the rushing effort has been average at best. James Starks scored in week one and then never again. He has around 50 yards or so each week with a couple of catches. Ryan Grant still has not scored this year but offers up about ten carries per week to ensure that Starks is not quite that big a deal. Both backs have marginal fantasy value but nothing more.

The Chargers have been good against the run in allowing just two rushing touchdowns and they play tougher at home. With the split backfield in Green Bay, figure on just marginal yardage.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Greg Jennings remains a top fantasy wideout with five touchdowns and three games over 100 yards. Jennings is a lock for 80+ yards and offers almost guaranteed consistency. Jordy Nelson is a star as long as the Packers are at home where he has scored every game and had no less than 77 yards but on the road for whatever reason, Nelson does not fare well. He has not scored in the last three away trips and topped out at 52 yards in those outings. James Jones was on a three game scoring streak until the Vikings game but still had 63 yards. Bottom line - with 300 yards and three scores to spread around each week, the wideouts here stand to benefit.

Nelson disappears on the road for whatever reason so figure on a nice game here from Jennings

TIGHT ENDS:Jermichael Finley has not remotely met expectations this year but at least he has scored twice and comes to life in road games. All four of his touchdowns came away from Green Bay and he typically ends with 60+ yards. The Chargers have faced very few decent tight ends and Finley has four touchdowns that all came on the road. He's calmed down on yardage to be sure since opponents are still doubling him in many cases but he's a decent chance for a touchdown this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 1 21 1 12 2 8
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 8 11 8 9 18 27

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN 24-17 10 OAK -
2 @NE 21-35 11 @CHI -
3 KC 20-17 12 DEN -
4 MIA 26-16 13 @JAC -
5 @DEN 29-24 14 BUF -
6 Bye - 15 BAL -
7 @NYJ 21-27 16 @DET -
8 @KC 20-23 17 @OAK -
9 GB -      
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 260,2
RB Ryan Mathews 40 20 -
TE Antonio Gates - 70,1 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 30 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 50,1 -
WR Patrick Crayton - 30 -
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough loss in Kansas City is no way to start the week and the schedule has plenty of rough spots left along the way. There still is no answer for "that's wrong with Rivers?" and the Chargers defense has taken a step back from recent seasons. An emotional loss last week and hosting the Raiders next week and this being a short week could easily translate into a less than full effort. The way the Chargers have been playing, even that may be hard to detect.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers The Lesser continues to disappoint fantasy owners who thought they had a steal in their drafts. But he's been little more than mediocre for the last month and even the return of Antonio Gates led to River's worst game yet. Rivers keeps missing on deep balls so that people question if his shoulder or elbow or wrist is hurting him but not being reported. Over the last four games, Rivers only threw for three touchdowns against five interceptions and the one painful last fumble. All is not right in the House of Rivers but no one is saying what. Rivers was better than this last season using wideouts they literally were grabbing off the street the previous week.

The Packers defense has been good and most of the yards and scores allowed were trash time. This should be the place that Rivers comes to life and turns in a decent game. Even Christian Ponder just had two scores and 219 yards on this defense. Rivers is getting hard to rely on but this is one week worth the chance.

RUNNING BACKS: This could be a problem. Mike Tolbert never practiced or played last week because of his hand and hamstring. Ryan Mathews took the start but ended up with a strained groin and could not finish the Chiefs game. Curtis Brinkley went from the practice squad to backup runner to only guy left in the matter of a week and was impressive gaining 43 yards on ten carries and scoring a touchdown. But he was diagnosed with a concussion after the game so the backfield may be pretty empty this week. I will project for Mathews playing since his groin strain was not reported to be bad but updates are very likely here at the end of the week.

The Packers are good against the run in most cases and the Chargers are all hurt anyway. Mathews could end up as a nice receiver as well if he plays.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Since Rivers went into his funk a month ago, the value here has been pretty minimal. Vincent Jackson has been almost unused since week four and largely because Rivers deep pass is one of the missing elements. Jackson was having a nice start to the year with three scores and two games over 100 yards in just the first three weeks but nothing since. There has only been one passing score to a wideout since week four. Just one. The Packers are pretty kind to receivers this year but it is hard to rely on any of them at this point.

Jackson has to be a starter despite the crappy stats of late but Malcolm Floyd and Patrick Crayton are only plays for marginal yardage. This all boils down to Jackson finally catching a long pass.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates played nearly the entire game in Kansas City and did not appear to suffer any setbacks. He ended with 73 yards on four catches and had a 30-yard touchdown called back on a questionable offensive pass interference penalty. That would have given him a score in both games since he returned. He is a must start this week and could figure in big with a rushing effort that is likely to stumble.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 13 2 25 13 7 25
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 30 16 30 18 10 7

BAL at PIT GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN MIA at KC SF at WAS Bye Week

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