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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
Monday
On Bye
JAX, NO
*updates
TEN, WAS

Prediction: GB 17, MIN 13

The Packers being 3-0 surprises everyone including the Packers. The Vikings coming into this at 1-2 is not a surprise. The Packers swept the Vikings last year, winning 23-17 on the road and later 9-7 at home. The Vikings are due for a turn around game and the Packers are certainly due for a fall but this week just doesn't look like the one to change directions.

Update: I am not changing the projections but Vernand Morency has been able to practice on a limited basis this week and could get some playing time on Sunday. Not enough to warrant projecting for him in any case. Brandon Jackson and Greg Jennings were both held out of Thursday practice and Jennings did not have a full practice on Wednesday either because of his hamstring. Both appear likely to play this week but they already had low projections anyway. Bubba Franks was held out on Wednesday but returned for some work on Thursday and is expected to play. His value is almost purely if he catches a score or not anyway.

Troy Williamson also was limited this week because of his hamstring but should get some playing time so he can drop a pass.

Green Bay Packers (3-0)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PHI 16-13 +3 43.5
2 @NYG 35-13 +2.5 38.5
3 SD 31-24 +5 43
4 @MIN   -1.5 38
5 CHI 7-Oct SUN 8:15 PM
6 WAS 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 BYE - - -
8 @DEN 29-Oct MON 8:30 PM
9 @KC 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 MIN 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 CAR 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @DET 22-Nov THU 12:30 PM
13 @DAL 29-Nov THU 8:15 PM
14 OAK 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @STL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @CHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DET 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
GBP at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     260,2
RB Brandon Jackson 30 20  
RB DeShawn Wynn 30 20  
TE Donald Lee   30,1  
TE Bubba Franks   20  
WR Donald Driver   90  
WR Greg Jennings   30  
WR James Jones   40,1  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Packers are enjoying good games from Brett Favre despite there being less than stellar wideouts besides Driver (imagine if Moss had come to town) and the running game is dormant but the defense has been up to the task every week in holding down the Eagles, Giants and Chargers. Now the Vikings present the easiest test of the season so far. The Packers may not be completely "3-0" good but between Favre and the defense, they've earned their spot and no other NFC North team appears able to challenge them yet.

Quarterback: Brett Favre appears ready to sew up his drive for all the records earlier than expected. He's thrown for three touchdowns in each of the last two games while averaging 325 yards per game. That certainly won't last all season but then again - who thought it would have happened now? The Packers have that "chosen one" look about them so far this year and it's not like the Saints were going to use it anyway.

Last year when Favre played in Minnesota, he threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns but in week 16 when they hosted the Vikes, he only had 285 yards and two interceptions.

Running Backs: For all the joy in Green Bay, the rushing game has not been the source. No runner has managed more than 50 yards for the Packers and the "starter" is rather hard to designate since Brandon Jackson, DeShawn Wynn and now Ryan Grant are getting carries with Vernand Morency still on the sideline with his sore right knee. Wynn injured his ankle last week but is expected to play with the rest of the throng. Ryan Grant has spawned optimism from the coaching staff after being acquired in a trade with the Giants but he's only been given three carries this year. So far the brightest star in this group is probably Grant because he has not proven yet to be below average. Just because there is no big running back here yet doesn't mean that there ever will this season.

Ahman Green never had more than 55 rushing yards against the 2006 Vikings despite games of 22 and 18 carries.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver left the Chargers game with a sore knee but also his third straight game this year with a score and at least 70 yards. Greg Jennings finally returned to the lineup last week and had a 57-yard touchdown catch that made his hamstring injury seem rather healed. The Packers are still not going to overuse Jennings to protect the hamstrings but he is back again. James Jones turned in 79 yards on six catches last week after having 75 yards against the Giants. It may seem like a motley group but it is working so far. And working rather well.

Donald Driver still performed well against the Vikings secondary last year, catching six passes for 191 yards and a score on the road and later nine receptions for 99 yards.

Tight Ends: While the tight ends are not used too much for yardage - the best yet is just 44 yards - this unit has just as many touchdowns as the wideouts. Bubba Franks has scored in each of the last two games and Donald Lee has one touchdown already.

The Packers tight ends never did any more than Bubba Frank's five catches for 43 yards against the Vikes last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings have a top rush defense and the Packers cannot even decide who the running back of the next series will be. No running back has scored against them so do not expect much at all from the run game of Green Bay.

Favre has had nice success against the Vikings in the past but playing in Minnesota means that Favre is very likely to fall off his big yardage ways for the week. Even Kitna only had 245 yards and one score against the visiting Vikes though the Packers defense should see that Favre has the ball more than Kitna got. Look for a good game but not as big as the last two weeks. This is not likely to be a big scoring game anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 7 18 13 6 17 13
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 17 4 17 23 12 18

 

Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ATL 24-3 -3 36
2 @DET 17-20 +3 42.5
3 @KC 10-13 +3 33.5
4 GB   +1.5 38
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 vs GBP Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb     180
RB Adrian Peterson 100,1 40  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   40  
WR Troy Williamson   20  
WR Bobby Wade   40  
WR Sidney Rice   20  
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Vikings offense hoped to get a spark last week by using Kelly Holcomb but amazingly the exact same thing happened as if Tarvaris Jackson was playing. The defense is good but even holding opponents to an average of just 12 points per game has produced a 1-2 record. That's a pretty big indictment against the offense that has only faced ATL, DET and KC. Just wait until after the bye week when the games start out at Chicago and at Dallas.

Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson opened the season with games of 163 and 166 yards so it was only reasonable to assume that Kelly Holcomb against the Chiefs would do better. Nope. Holcomb threw for 165 yards and no scores. The only difference was that Jackson had only been sacked once this year while the less mobile Holcomb was taken down five times. I am assuming Jackson misses one more game but will update if needed. Then again - what is the difference really? Three games have produced just one passing score and that was purely about running back Adrian Peterson turning a short pass into a long score.

In week 16, Tarvaris Jackson started against the Packers last year and only had 50 yards passing and one interception.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson continues to impress coming off a 102 yard game on 25 carries in Kansas City with one touchdown (the only one at that) and adding three catches for 48 yards which was more than any wideout had. Peterson is proving to be a top notch draft pick, it is just a shame that defenses will devote everything to stopping him since there is no passing game here.

Chester Taylor missed his second game with the hip injury and I am assuming he will be held out one more game.

Taylor never had more than 75 rushing yards against the Packers in 2006 and never scored.

Wide Receivers: When you hear people discussing "YAC" about the Vikings wideouts, realize they are not talking about yards after catch. They are discussing the sound people make when thinking about the productivity of this unit. Does 210 yards sound good? That's what five different wideouts have combined for three games to produce. It's like the old Atlanta offense without Vick there to run.

Tight Ends: Other than the freak 51 yard game by Vishante Shiancoe last week, the tight ends are just as bad as the wideouts.

Match Against the Defense: Look for a decent to good game here by Peterson against a defense that has allowed Derrick Ward to gain 90 yards in the only road game by the Packers. Peterson is the focus of this offense (at least the only productive one) and should score once in this game.

Holcomb or Jackson - whichever one plays goes against a decent secondary and one that should pressure the quarterback. No reason yet to expect any miracles here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 27 5 32 25 26 1
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 20 11 16 18 17 5

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