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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

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

Prediction: NO 27, MIN 22

Update: Mark Ingram has been ruled out again with his bad toe and has been removed from the projections.

The Saints are 10-3 and tied with the 49ers for the #2 seed in the NFC. The Saints will win their division when they win this game. though they are only 4-3 on the road. The Vikings are just 2-11 and on a five game losing streak with a 1-5 home record. The Saints have won five straight since being upset in St. Louis.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 34-42 10 @ATL 26-23
2 CHI 30-13 11 Bye -
3 HOU 40-33 12 NYG 49-24
4 @JAC 23-10 13 DET 31-17
5 @CAR 30-27 14 @TEN 22-17
6 @TB 20-26 15 @MIN -
7 IND 62-7 16 ATL -
8 @STL 21-31 17 CAR -
9 TB 27-16 - - -
Saints Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ORLEANS at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees - - 340,2
RB Mark Ingram 30,1 10 -
RB Pierre Thomas 40,1 10 -
RB Darren Sproles 30 40 -
TE Jimmy Graham - 60 -
WR Marques Colston - 90,1 -
WR Lance Moore - 60,1 -
WR Devery Henderson - 20 -
WR Robert Meachem - 40 -
PK John Kasay 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Saints need to win here and then ride out the last two weeks with home games against the Falcons and Panthers who they have already beaten (albeit by a field goal each). The Saints like to roll up the score in home games but in road trips they have either lost or won by less than five points every time. This could be a harder game than it may seem with the Vikings taking the Broncos down to the wire just two weeks ago.

QUARTERBACK: Ah yes, the 300 Club. Drew Brees already has ten games with over 300 passing yards and one more sets the all-time record. He has passed for 32 touchdowns and has not thrown an interception in four weeks. He is a must start and never fails to deliver good results. Going against the #29 secondary which may not even be that good, sure - Brees once again catches on fire right when his owners need him the most.

One caveat - Brees only passes for more than two scores when he is at home.

RUNNING BACKS: Mark Ingram has a "light" case of turf toe and may be back this week. In his place Chris Ivory gained 53 yards on 13 runs in Tennessee and Darren Sproles has his standard away from home game with only 33 rush yards but 58 yards on seven catches. The Vikings have allowed six touchdowns to visiting running backs already and over 100 rushing yards to the last two teams.

I will tentatively put Ingram back in the lineup and pull him later in the week if necessary. Ingram's main value is as scorer though he had 134 rush yards over the last two games he played.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The constant musical chairs approach to wide outs last week meant that Marques Colston took his turn to have a 105-yard, two-touchdown effort in Tennessee and now his name goes back into the hopper for next week's drawing. Colston has been good for 50+ yards every week but had not scored since week seven. Lance Moore scored in four of the last six games and yet when he did not, he never had more than 28 yards in those games. Robert Meachem has the same pattern. The only for sure player is Devery Henderson who has not scored or even mattered for the last 12 weeks.

At least two scores come to this position and healthy yardage. Chances are best that Colston and Moore both get their ping pong ball pulled by Sean Payton on the sideline.

TIGHT ENDS: Although HC Sean Payton was not concerned about Jimmy Graham's back, the star tight end said it was causing him tremendous pain before the game and that he was in pain for the entirety of the day. Graham declined to be injected and has since been given an MRI with no negative results reported. Graham is a gamer and will play but the pain is going to limit him if it occurs again.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 2 6 2 4 27
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 29 17 29 19 32 31

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
  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 28-34
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 vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder - - 240,1
RB Adrian Peterson 120,1 - -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 30 -
WR Devin Aromashodu - 60 -
WR Greg Camarillo - 40 -
WR Percy Harvin 20 90,1 -
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Vikings are playing out a bad year but at least they are going out while generating points. The final three games are going to be a challenge to win but at least the Bears are decimated by injury and may be susceptible to an upset in the season finale. Some strides have been made this first year for HC Leslie Frazier and capping it off with a win over the Bears would be very nice.

QUARTERBACK: Christian Ponder got the hook in Detroit after throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble but he already had two scores as well along with 115 passing yards. Ponder is clearly the future in Minnesota so it was more a teachable moment than a meaningful reprimand. Ponder's last home game was his career best 381 yards and three touchdowns on the visiting Broncos. Ponder has also been nursing a hip pointer but it is not considered a limitation or ongoing problem.

The Saints allows allow at least one passing score and over seven road games have permitted 12 passing scores along with higher yardage by those capable of it. Expect a decent showing by Ponder this week but with Adrian Peterson back it should limit what Ponder needs to do.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson has been resting his ankle since week 11 and is expected to return this week to play against the Saints. Peterson almost played in the Lions matchup last Sunday and looks to continue his streak of six straight games with at least one touchdown. Peterson has scored in every home game this year along with posting his best yardage totals.

The Saints on the road are susceptible to the run and have allowed six scores and three games of around 100 rushing yards. Expect a solid game from Peterson as long as the ankle holds out.

WIDE RECEIVERS: One of the main encouraging aspects of this season is the connection between the rookie Ponder and Percy Harvin who has scored in each of the last four games while maintaining around 100 total yards or more. He gets four or five runs per week and comes off a career best ten catches in Detroit. Michael Jenkins has long since faded into the background and Devin Aromashodu has never really taken a step forward but Harvin has become the play maker the Viking envisioned when he was drafted.

Harvin has elevated himself into a WR1 spot where he should be an automatic start each week regardless of matchup.

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe scored last week but it was his first since in seven games and he still never produces more than around 40 yards in a game. No real fantasy value here.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 15 14 16 17 24 22
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 27 23 27 8 18 4

JAC at ATL (thu) CIN at STL MIA at BUF SEA at CHI
DAL at TB (sat) CLE at ARI NE at DEN TEN at IND
  CAR at HOU GB at KC NYJ at PHI PIT at SF (mon)

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