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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 10
2011
OAK at SD (thu) DEN at KC * NE at NYJ * STL at CLE
* ARI at PHI * DET at CHI * NO at ATL * TEN at CAR
BAL at SEA HOU at TB * NYG at SF WAS at MIA
* UPDATED * BUF at DAL JAC at IND * PIT at CIN MIN at GB (mon)

Prediction: DET 26, CHI 20

Players to Watch: Earl Bennett

Update: Devin Hester has not practiced this week because of his ankle. He is still a game time decision but I am removing him from the projections.

This is a rematch of week five when the Lions won 24-13 in Detroit. Both teams trail the unbeaten Packers and the 5-3 Bears are trying to claw their way into contention past the 6-2 Lions. The Bears are 3-1 at home but the Lions are 4-0 on the road. This will be an excellent game to watch and the Lions come off their bye ready for it.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 27-20 10 @CHI -
2 KC 48-3 11 CAR -
3 @MIN 26-23 12 GB -
4 @DAL 34-30 13 @NO -
5 CHI 24-13 14 MIN -
6 SF 19-25 15 @OAK -
7 ATL 16-23 16 SD -
8 @DEN 45-10 17 @GB -
9 Bye -      
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford - - 280,2
RB Maurice Morris 40 - -
RB Keiland Williams 20 - -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 60,1 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 120,1 -
WR Titus Young - 60 -
WR Nate Burleson - 30 -
PK Jason Hanson 4 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Lions hit the second half of the season and with two remaining matchups with the Packers, they actually control their own destiny. This year has already been a success and spawned more optimism than in years if not a decade or more. After having the pieces laying around for a while, the Lions finally figured out how to make them all work together. This has also been a season of less injuries than most years, running backs aside.

QUARTERBACK: Matthew Stafford has made it halfway through a season and being healthy has been a huge benefit. He has thrown for 19 touchdowns over eight games and yet only has four interceptions. Half of his games have been over 290 yards. Against the Bears in week five, Stafford threw for 219 yards and two scores.

The Bears have been better against the pass in Chicago but Stafford has been consistent with multiple score games. Stafford should post a good game here that could get big potentially. He only had 219 yards in the last meeting because Jahvid Best ran for 163 yards that week.

RUNNING BACKS: Jahvid Best remains out with his concussion and the Lions just re-signed Kevin Smith for depth after trying out 25 running backs last week. Smith knows the offense and according to HC Jim Schwartz has been able to get healthy with the time away from football. He'll fill in for the #3 for now.

Maurice Morris remains the primary back but he has only been good for around 50 yards per week though he scored in Denver. Keiland Williams is short yardage and change of pace but has no fantasy value. Morris is a marginal play this week in Chicago where the Bears have been very good against the run. Adrian Peterson is the only runner to score on the Bears in Chicago.

WIDE RECEIVERS:Calvin Johnson had his usual big game at home when he posted 130 yards and a score on the visiting Bears but no other wideout had more than 14 yards in that game. Johnson only needed five catches thanks to Jahvid Best taking over the game as a runner. There are no secrets here - Johnson has scored in every game this year other than the 49ers tilt when he still caught seven passes for 113 yards. Titus Young had a score in Denver but has been mostly marginal every week with around 50 yards or so. These two teams know each other very well - expect Johnson to show up but unlikely the other two wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew turned in 39 yards on four catches and scored once on the visiting Bears last time. He again faces the worst team at stopping tight ends - six touchdowns allowed and plenty of yardage. Look for a good game from Pettigrew again this week and a good shot at a touchdown. His three best efforts were all in road games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 6 19 3 8 3 2
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 28 9 17 32 19 11


Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 30-12 10 DET -
2 @NO 13-30 11 SD -
3 GB 17-27 12 @OAK -
4 CAR 34-29 13 KC -
5 @DET 13-24 14 @DEN -
6 MIN 39-10 15 SEA -
7 @TB 24-18 16 @GB -
8 Bye - 17 @MIN -
9 @PHI 30-24      
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 250,1
RB Matt Forte 100 50 -
RB Marion Barber 20,1 - -
WR Roy Williams - 50 -
WR Devin Hester - 20 -
WR Earl Bennett - 60,1 -
WR Johnny Knox - 40 -
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears are on a nice three game winning streak since last losing to the LIons and never more impressive than taking down the Eagles in Philly after their week eight bye. Aside from the week 16 game in Green Bay, the schedule is chock full of sub-.500 teams after this week. This week is all important because a loss lets the Lions sweep them that could even matter in a wildcard race.

QUARTERBACK: Jay Cutler comes off a good game against the Eagles where he passed for 208 yards and two scores with no sacks for the first time this season. In week five, he threw for 249 yards and one touchdown in Detroit and was sacked three times. Cutler has been consistent on the road with one score and 220-ish yards but at home he has been scoring twice with better yardage in almost every game.

The Lions secondary has been very good though and outside of Tony Romo, no opposing quarterback has scored more than once or had more than 250 passing yards. I like the Lions that prepared for this one for two weeks and already held him at bay in Detroit.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte remains the engine to this offense with big yards as a runner and receiver though he has only scored three times thanks to Marion Barber who busted in four very short touchdowns this year. Forte gained 116 yards on 22 carries and added 35 more on four catches in Detroit. At home he has been more productive thought often as a receiver than a runner.

The Lions have only allowed two rushing scores this year and moderate yardage at best. Forte has been successful running though and all Barber needs is three chances from the one-yard line. Forte is safe for total yards but Barber may lose the score to a pass.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This unit now expands to five deep with the return of Earl Bennett who did not play in the previous Lions matchup but led the team with 95 yards and a score last Monday in his first game since week two. The best receiver in the Lions game was Dane Sanzenbacher with 64 yards on six catches but he steps back to make way for Bennett. No other wideout managed more than 32 yards in that last meeting. Bennett needs another game to show what he can do before he is worth a fantasy start though the passing score is likely to end up here.

None of these wideouts are more than risky fantasy plays to get some moderate yardage. The unit averages less than one score per game. The only commonality so far is that all the wideouts are mediocre.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value. Matt Spaeth had a touchdown last week but it was his first since the opener and no Bear tight end has produced more than 27 yards in any game this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 23 7 18 27 9 7
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 7 7 10 17 27 3

WEEK 10
2011
OAK at SD (thu) DEN at KC NE at NYJ STL at CLE
ARI at PHI DET at CHI NO at ATL TEN at CAR
BAL at SEA HOU at TB NYG at SF WAS at MIA
  BUF at DAL JAC at IND PIT at CIN MIN at GB (mon)

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