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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
* updated

Prediction: MIN 30, DET 10

Update: As if the Lions needed anything else bad, the Vikings will still have Pat Williams and Kevin Williams who have their suspensions postponed and can play this week to squash Kevin Smith in particular. Shaun McDonald is questionable and has missed the last two practices. He is a gametime decision and would be replaced by John Standeford. I am lowering the numbers for McDonald and he may not play so check the inactives if you must use him.

The Vikings come off their win over the Bears that gives them the lead in the NFC North. Long as they keep winning, it won't come down to tiebreakers but the Vikings are only 2-4 on the road this year. The Lions, however, remain O-for everywhere and have lost their last two games by a combined 55 point margin.

The Vikings won 12-10 when they hosted the Lions in week six. Let's hope this is more fun this time. The Lions actually won this game last year 20-17.

Minnesota Vikings (7-5)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 19-24 +3 38.5
2 IND 15-18 +2 43.5
3 CAR 20-10 -3.5 37
4 @TEN 17-30 +3 36
5 @NO 30-27 +3 47
6 DET 12-10 -13.5 47
7 @CHI 41-48 +3 38
8 BYE - - -
9 HOU 28-21 -4.5 47
10 GB 28-27 -2.5 45.5
11 @TB 13-19 +4 39.5
12 @JAX 30-12 +2.5 40
13 CHI 34-14 -3 42
14 @DET - -9.5 46
15 @ARZ - - -
16 ATL - - -
17 NYG - - -
MIN @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Gus Frerotte     190,1
RB Chester Taylor 40 20  
RB Adrian Peterson 120,2 10  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   10  
WR Bernard Berrian   80,1  
WR Bobby Wade   30  
WR Sidney Rice   20  
PK Ryan Longwell 3 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: Vikings have finally taken a lead in the NFC North but the remaining schedule is no cake walk other than this week. Playing in Arizona is always a challenge and then hosting the Falcons and Giants could be losses as well. No matter for now - this week has to be a win and should be the easiest win of the year. The offensive has been posting big points lately while the defense is plenty good enough to stop the Lions.

Quarterback: Nothing new with Gus Frerotte other than rushing in his first touchdown on the season last week just to screw the Peterson owners. Frerotte passed for 296 yards and one touchdown against the Lions back in week six in what has been the season best game and the offense is no worse this time around. He typically has around 200 yards and one score but can bump that up for the Lions.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson has overtaken the rushing lead with 1311 yards and is on pace to end with over 1700 rushing yards on the season. He has topped 100 yards seven times including when he rushed for 111 yards on 25 carries against the Lions this season. Peterson has also scored in five of the last six games.

He's been so effective that his leftover slop has Chester Taylor approaching the status of a fantasy starter as well with a score in each of the last two games.

Wide Receivers: Bernard Berrian was on a tear for four straight games before going AWOL for three straight weeks including being blanked by the Packers. Against the visiting Bears on Sunday, Berrian had four catches for 122 yards and one score. That makes four games over the century mark and five touchdowns on the season.

Bobby Wade started the year with around 60 yards in most games but was injured and hasn't had more than 25 yards in the last five games. Berrian is the only player here that will turn in any appreciable yardage and Sidney Rice has done nothing this year other than catch three touchdowns in games.

Berrian caught five passes for 131 yards and one touchdown when the Lions visited in week six.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe has been less productive in the past month after starting the year with four scores. His key is that his stats spike when the Vikes face a top notch defense and that forces Frerotte to read down to his tight end. Normally he has only minor fantasy value and only had one catch for ten yards against the Lions in the previous meeting.

Match Against the Defense: Like Christmas only three weeks early. Let's not waste bandwidth here - expect over 100 yards and at least one score from Adrian Peterson this week with an obvious chance for a truly monster showing. Frerotte should not need to throw as much this week and will end with one score that always will favor Berrian the most. There could be others but there doesn't need to be so it makes relying on anything beyond a moderate showing.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 24 8 24 15 8 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    DET 27 30 22 28 28 32

Detroit Lions (0-12)
Homefield: Ford Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ATL 21-34 -3 41
2 GB 25-48 +3 45
3 @SF 13-31 +4 46
4 BYE - - -
5 CHI 7-34 +3.5 44.5
6 @MIN 10-12 +13.5 47
7 @HOU 21-28 +9 48
8 WAS 17-25 +8 43.5
9 @CHI 23-27 +13 43
10 JAX 14-38 +6.5 44.5
11 @CAR 22-31 +14 39.5
12 TB 20-38 +8.5 41
13 TEN 10-47 +11 44.5
14 MIN - +9.5 46
15 @IND - - -
16 NO - - -
17 @GB - - -
DET vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper     140,1
RB Kevin Smith 50 20  
TE Michael Gaines   20  
WR Calvin Johnson   70,1  
WR Shaun McDonald   20  
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: Let the beating begin (Part XIII). The Lions do not face a losing record on the remaining schedule and their best shot at finally getting the win is either this week if the Bears completely forget they are playing on Sunday and party way too much on Saturday night, or it could be in week 16 when the Saints show up but that could have Brees with 600 passing yards. The Lions are still an integral part of the NFL, they now serve to dole out wonderful fantasy points to their opponents every week.

Quarterback: You have to like consistency if nothing else. Daunte Culpepper has passed for one touchdown in each of the last three games and remained below 135 yards in three of the last four. That matches right up to when Orlovsky was the quarterback in week six and the Lions went to Minnesota where he threw for 150 yards and one touchdown. Chances of the score going to Calvin Johnson - very high. Chances you would want to start Culpepper - I am hoping very, very low.

Running Backs: Kevin Smith only ran for 22 yards on 12 carries last Thursday in one of is worst games of the year but he had topped 85 rushing yards in each of the three previous weeks and has five touchdowns on the year. He never shares with Johnson anymore. The Lions rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries mixing both Smith and Rudi Johnson in Minnesota back in week six but Smith now gets almost all the carries - as unproductive as they sometimes can be..

Wide Receivers: Evidently the Titans discovered the secret receiver of Calvin Johnson who comes off only his second scoreless game in the last eight matchups. And Johnson still managed five receptions for 66 yards which was right at where he ends up in most weeks. Mike Furrey remains out with a severe concussion while Shaun McDonald sticks around 30 or 40 yards every week.

Calvin Johnson had four receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown against the Vikings.

Tight Ends: Michael Gaines comes off his first touchdown of the year and the yardage is always low enough to make Gaines a nonfactor for fantasy purposes.

Match Against the Defense: Here is the one question to answer with the Lions 2008. Can they throw a touchdown to Calvin Johnson? Smith goes against a defense that crushed him last time so count him out. The only player they Lions ever score with is Calvin almost every game. But he never has two scores. Figure eventually the Vikes will allow that one score to Johnson but nothing else here has any fantasy merit. It doesn't even have much NFL merit.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 21 31 15 27 30 27
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIN 11 6 9 21 12 31

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