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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

Prediction: MIN 17, DET 23

This should be a fascinating game since it pits the Vikes with little passing offense against the Lions with no pass defense. The Vikings swept the Lions in 2006, winning 26-17 in week 5 and later on the road 30-20 on the road in week 14. But this year the Lions have a better offense. This is a coin flip decided by how many points the passing game by the Lions can produce. Or if Adrian Peterson can repeat last week.

Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ATL 24-3 -3 36
2 @DET 16-Sep +3 42
3 @KC 23-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
4 GB 30-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
5 BYE - - -
6 @CHI 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 @DAL 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 PHI 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 SD 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @GB 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 OAK 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @NYG 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 DET 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @SF 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 CHI 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 WAS 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @DEN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
MIN at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson 10   180,1
RB Chester Taylor 30 10  
RB Adrian Peterson 90,1 30  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   20  
WR Troy Williamson   20  
WR Bobby Wade   60,1  
WR Sidney Rice   40  
PK Ryan Longwell 2 XP 1 FG  
Pregame Notes: The Vikings had little trouble taking down the Vikings last week and discovered they had a rather dynamic rookie running back in the process. They were never really tested by the Falcons but then again, the offense should have little problem against the Lions as well. Where this game hinges is with the Vikings pass defense which has to figure out how to stop one of four wideouts each play.

Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson didn't have a big game last week but he never needed to either. He threw for 163 yards but 60 came on the lone catch and score by Adrian Peterson - otherwise his numbers would still suggest that the passing game still has a long way to go in Minnesota (which it does). Whatever Jackson can do this week is about as good as he will be this year until week 13 when the Lions show up in Minnesota.

Jackson never played in either game against the Lions last year.

Running Backs: Chester Taylor suffered an oblique contusion which is a nice way to say his teammate accidentally kicked him in the gut. Chances are that Taylor will be limited this week and there is an outside chance he may be held out but I will update if needed.

No one really wants to see Taylor now after Adrian Peterson looked so impressive gaining 103 yards on 19 carries and scoring on a 60-yard bobble-catch-screamdownthesideline. This should be another big opportunity for Peterson to buy himself more playing time in the future going against the soft defense of the Lions. He was rarely used as a receiver in college but last week showed maybe they should have rethought that back at Oklahoma.

Taylor ran for 123 yards at home against the Lions and in Detroit was the game where Artose Pinner was the surprise starter who had 125 yards and three scores against his old team.

Wide Receivers: The weak set of wideouts still exists here and last week none of them had more than two catches for 28 yards. In fairness, nothing more was needed against the Falcons. This week should see better numbers but it's still hard to rely on in fantasy terms since no Viking wideout had more than 45 yards against the Lions last year (amazing as that seems) and only Travis Taylor managed to ever score. Sort of like bringing a vegetarian to a barbeque. There's plenty there to be taken but nothing much happens.

Tight Ends: Visanthe Shiancoe had two catches for 18 yards last week which means he is about the same as any wideout.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions rush defense was better than the ranking because last week Jordan had 89 reciving yards. He only gained 70 yards on 15 carries and the Lions are better against the run than it seems. They just cannot stop any passes. Look for a good game from Peterson though who will likely get the lion's share of work and could turn in yet another big game.

Jackson faces a secondary that begs for a good game but so far there's been nothing to suggest that the Vikings are going to suddenly become even an average passing offense. A better game will happen for Jackson but nothing big enough to warrant considering him for a fantasy start.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 20 3 30 25 20 1
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 26 32 21 16 6 15


Detroit Lions (1-0)
Homefield: Ford Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @OAK 36-21 +1 39
2 MIN 16-Sep -3 42
3 @PHI 23-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
4 CHI 30-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
5 @WAS 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 BYE - - -
7 TB 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 @CHI 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 DEN 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @ARI 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 NYG 18-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
12 GB 22-Nov THU 12:30 PM
13 @MIN 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 DAL 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @SD 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 KC 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @GB 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DET vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna     290,2
RB Tatum Bell 40 30  
TE Dan Campbell   10  
WR Roy Williams   70,1  
WR Mike Furrey   40  
WR Calvin Johnson   60,1  
WR Shaun McDonald   50  
PK Jason Hanson 2 XP 3 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Lions still have big problems on the defense but now with all the new offensive players, they may actually be able to outscore their opponents anyway. Mike Martz for President! Tatum Bell is running well and Jon Kitna had a big game against the supposedly stout Oakland defense. With any luck, Detroit becomes the new St. Louis and fantasy football reaps the benefits.

Quarterback: With his new bevvy of receivers, Jon Kitna opened the entire playbook this year and used all four wideouts with deadly results. He threw for 289 yards and three scores and since this is still a Martz offense, he tossed two interceptions as well. Supported by a decent ground game and surrounded now by viable weapons, Kitna;s season looks brighter and that starts this week against the team that gave him problems twice last year.

Kitna threw for 225 yards in Minnesota and later had 294 yards at home against the Vikes. Oddly enough, he had one touchdown, one fumble and three interceptions in each game.

Running Backs: With Kevin Jones still sdielined but not PUP'd, Tatum Bell has already paid back the Lions for bringing him on board. Bell ran for 87 yards on 15 carries and scored once last week in Oakland. He also had four catches as well. This offense is going to throw first and foremost but Bell is plenty enough to keep the rushing productive when it is used. He'll have a tougher time this week but the passing results in Oakland means the defense cannot spend much time worrying about the run.

The Lions - and this is the truth so go look it up if you need to - only gained a total of 16 rushing yards in Minnesota last year and then racked up a total of (-3) rushing yards when they hosted the Vikes.

Wide Receivers: What a difference a few player moves make. Roy Williams only had four catches for 20 yards last week but scored once. Last year's surprise Mike Furrey posted five catches for 52 yards. Calvin Johnson wasted no time in scoring his first NFL touchdown and ended with four catches for 70 yards. And once the defense adjusts to those three wideouts, Shaun McDonald shows up with six catches for 90 yards and another touchdown. The least productive wideout last Sunday was Roy Williams - the best wideout from last year. These guys may all decrease each other's numbers but then again, they could help each other out because who does the secondary cover?

Roy Williams only had one catch for seven yards in Minnesota last year but managed six catches for 73 yards at home. Furrey had nine catches for 84 yards and one score in that home match-up.

Tight Ends: Don't bother - the Lions don't.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions rush defense is formidable though opponents will use their backs as receivers as well to get the job done. Look for only an moderate game here by Bell with no score. If they use him as a reciever, he could produce some fantasy value but his rushing alone won't be much unless he breaks a long run.

Kitna faces a solid secondary that can be opportunitistic but the new additions to the receivers fit very well into the game plan against the Vikings. They are tough with only two main recievers but now the Lions have four. This game will do much to show the Lions as they will be this year. If they can confound the Vikes defense and throw well, then these Lions may have actually turned a corner.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 3 17 2 10 1 10
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 8 13 5 25 7 2

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