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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) * HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ * NYG at DAL TB at JAC
* Update * CHI at DEN * MIN at DET * OAK at GB * STL at SEA (mon)

Prediction: MIN 17, DET 27

Update: Christian Ponder is questionable to play with his hip pointer and will be a game time decision. Even Ponder said he would not be 100% if he played and would be limited. That casts too much risk on the Vikes quarterback situation to consider for a fantasy start. Adrian Peterson practiced some on Thursday and Friday and may be able to play but won't be certain until game time and even then he has said he is only 80% and would take a pain killer to let him play with the bad ankle. I am lowering his stats some, he is not a lock to play thought probably will suit up and give it a go.

Kevin Smith has not been ruled out yet and was only able to have some limited work on Friday because of his ankle. The expectation is that he will likely be held out though he could end up with a cameo of sorts as he did last week when he played well for one quarter and then re-aggravated his high ankle sprain.

The 2-10 Vikings bring their 1-5 road record to Detroit where the 7-5 Lions remain in wild card contention and have a 3-3 home mark. This is a replay of week three when the Lions won 26-23 in Minnesota. Back before we knew they were so good and then not so good again.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SD 17-24 10 @GB 7-45
2 TB 20-24 11 OAK 21-27
3 DET 23-26 12 @ATL 14-24
4 @KC 17-22 13 DEN 32-35
5 ARI 34-10 14 @DET -
6 @CHI 10-39 15 NO -
7 GB 27-33 16 @WAS -
8 @CAR 24-21 17 CHI -
9 Bye -      
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Webb 30,1 - 160
RB Adrian Peterson 60,1 10 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 30 -
WR Devin Aromashodu - 40 -
WR Percy Harvin 30 60 -
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Vikings become the latest victim of the Holy War but at least took the Broncos to task without Adrian Peterson and scoring 32 points along the way. The season is winding down and it is starting to make less sense endangering franchise players so that hopefully next year can be better. That is almost a lock to happen if only because the bar is so low by now.

QUARTERBACK: The Vikings have brought Sage Rosenfels on board and Christian Ponder is nursing a hip pointer but if he cannot play, Joe Webb is expected to take the reins this week. Ponder will be a practice watch but as the franchise's future, he's probably better off just taking a week off of the pounding and healing up. Webb started the final two games of 2010 and ran in one score but did not pass for any touchdowns or produce more than 195 yards via the pass.

I will assume Webb starts and that throws risk into the passing game and yet Webb is a decent runner and could add some value there. He's unlikely to throw for more than one score and even then it could more likely be a rushing touchdown.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson rushed for 78 yards on 17 runs and scored once in the previous meeting with the Lions. He also added 19 yards on four receptions. Peterson has missed the last two games with a high-ankle sprain but HC Leslie Frazier was optimistic that Peterson could return this week. I will assume a slightly limited Peterson plays and update later as warranted.

Toby Gerhart returns to just a chance of pace and relief back with no fantasy value.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Losing Ponder will probably hurt Percy Harvin who has been on a three game stretch of scoring and turning in nice yardage. Harvin has done more in these last three games than he did the previous part of this season and is flashing his play making ability as never before. Last week against the Broncos, Harvin ended with a career best 156 receiving yards and two scores. Devin Aromashodu also had 90 yards in that game but had been staying below 40 yards in almost every other game.

Harvin is the only worthy fantasy starter but a change at QB casts some doubt. He's still likely a decent yardage play only riskier. He caught three passes for 47 yards in the first meeting and added 41 yards on two runs.

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe has been consistent around 30 to 40 yards per week but had just one score in the last nine games. He's still not fantasy relevant. Shiancoe scored in the first meeting with the Lions but it was on his only catch in the game for eight yards.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 24 12 18 18 23 21
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 14 11 14 6 31 25


Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 27-20 10 @CHI 13-37
2 KC 48-3 11 CAR 49-35
3 @MIN 26-23 12 GB 15-27
4 @DAL 34-30 13 @NO 17-31
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 vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford - - 330,3
RB Maurice Morris 40 50 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 30 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 110,2 -
WR Titus Young - 40 -
WR Nate Burleson - 70,1 -
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions are 1-3 after their bye thanks to a pretty brutal stretch of the schedule that should be over now. A week 17 game to Green Bay still looms but they may be mailing that one in if they Pack has the #1 seed wrapped up. If the Lions can win at least three of the next four games, they could sneak in with a wild card bid.

QUARTERBACK: Matthew Stafford produced one of his best efforts of the season back in week three when he passed for 378 yards and two touchdowns on the Vikings. Stafford has still maintained at least one passing score in every game with 270+ yards in eight of 12 games played. This week he is back at home against the Vikes who have allowed multiple touchdown passes in all but one road game. Stafford is a very safe start this week and faces a Vikings secondary that has been stripped of talent since back in week three.

RUNNING BACKS: Kevin Smith is no lock to play this week after aggravating his ankle sprain during the Saints loss. The problem is that Smith looks so good and so superior to the others that he worth hurting more because he adds so much more to their offense. I am assuming that he cannot play and will update as warranted. Maurice Morris only had a four yard loss on two carries and a catch for 14 yards in the previous game against the Vikings because Jahvid Best ran 12 times for 14 yards and added five carries for 74 yards.

The Vikes have been better against the run than their stats suggest and the Lions have nearly no rushing game without Smith. Expect mediocre numbers again this time. Morris has been a much more active receiver for the last two weeks.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Calvin Johnson gained 108 yards and two scores on seven catches in Minnesota this year and should be a lock for a big game. The Vikings are getting worse and worse against the pass and wideouts thanks to a injury-ravaged secondary and Johnson was already big on the road against their secondary back when it was healthy. Nate Burleson only had two grabs for 12 yards in that game but has been more active in the last month. Titus Young produced 51 yards on four catches in that game as well.

Johnson is a must start anyway and more so this week. Even Burleson or Young may end up with appreciable stats though more likely Burleson given that Young was benched last week for a bonehead penalty.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew has really dropped off after a good start to the season and has just one score since week five. Pettigrew had a season best 112 yards on 11 catches in Minneapolis this year but has been held to fewer than 45 yards in each of the last eight games. He;s nothing more than a fringe fantasy tight ends in big leagues.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 5 7 4 6 10 5
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 30 19 30 15 32 20

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ NYG at DAL TB at JAC
  CHI at DEN MIN at DET OAK at GB STL at SEA (mon)

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