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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Saturday
Monday
 
* updated

Prediction: GB 14, CHI 27

Update: This will be a good NFC North game. No snow or rain but it will only be around 7 to 10 degrees. Matt Forte did not practice this week until Friday when he was still limited but HC Lovie Smith said he expected Forte to play and that they were just resting his toe. This is the Monday night game so you have no other options but it is a good matchup and the headcoach is confident in him.

This Monday night game looked much more intriguing about a month ago but the Packers are on a four game losing streak and have already lost the chance to even have a winning season. The Bears are just one game behind the Vikings in the NFC North and would need some major help to qualify for a wildcard. But this is a national game and a chance for the Bears to get a bit of revenge for the 37-3 spanking they got in Green Bay in week 11. The Packers have not won since and are only 2-5 on the road and the Bears are 5-2 at home.

Green Bay Packers (5-9)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 24-19 -3 38.5
2 @DET 48-25 -3 45
3 DAL 16-27 +3 51
4 @TB 21-30 +1.5 43
5 ATL 24-27 -3 41
6 @SEA 27-17 +2.5 46.5
7 IND 34-14 +1 47
8 BYE - - -
9 @TEN 16-19 +5.5 42.5
10 @MIN 27-28 +2.5 45.5
11 CHI 37-3 -3.5 43
12 @NO 29-51 +1 51.5
13 CAR 31-35 -3 43
14 HOU 21-24 -3 43
15 @JAX 16-20 -1.5 45
16 @CHI - +4 42
17 DET - - -
GB @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     200,2
RB Ryan Grant 50 10  
TE Donald Lee   10  
WR Donald Driver   60,1  
WR Greg Jennings   70,1  
WR Jordy Nelson   20  
PK Mason Crosby   2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The season has hit hard times and the Packers hopes have been dashed when the defense has declined and the offense cannot get back on track. The last three losses were all by four points or less but hosting the Texans should have never been that close anyway. The Packers get to pack in it early this year in this final road trip before returning home for their freebie against the Lions in week 17.

Quarterback: These final four losses are hard to pin on Aaron Rodgers who passed for 250 + yards in each game and had an average of two scores in each. He propping up his fantasy value if nothing else and this is a player who has been playing in his first year as a starter. He has passed for 23 scores and had five games over 290 passing yards. Losing is hard this year because of the cakewalk schedule of 2007 that made Favre look so good but it has been a successful year for the franchise if only in a long-term way.

Rodgers passed for 227 yards and two scores when the Bears visited in week 11.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant had a monster ending to 2007, signed a new contract and has never really played like last year - thank the schedule for that partially. Grant only has four scores on the year and just three games over 100 rushing yards and none of those were on the road. He has only one touchdown in an away game and has basically been about half of what he was in 2007. Grant is not necessarily the primary back in 2008.

Grant rushed for 145 yards and one score against the Bears this season. Even Brandon Jackson gained 50 yards on 10 carries. That happened at home.

Wide Receivers: What Greg Jennings has lacked in yardage he has been making up in scoring with a total of eight touchdowns so far and four over the last five games. His scorching start to the season cooled down fast enough and by midseason he has been over 75 yards only two more times.

Donald Driver has scored less but has been just as consistent with over 60 yards in most of the recent games. The passing attack has faltered from earlier in the year but only because Rodgers has distributed the passing more.

Jennings caught five passes for 64 yards and one score against the Bears. Driver turned in four receptions for 60 yards.

Tight Ends: Donald Lee caught six passes for 33 yards and one score against the Bears this year. He has become a common target in the endzone and has scored in five consecutive home games. But not once on the road. His last five road trips never had more than one catch for under ten yards.

Match Against the Defense: This is a replay game but the results should differ dramatically since the Packers have already fallen on hard times and now are on the road where they have played far worse. Expect a lowering of all production from the first time except Rodgers should still manage a decent game with scores for both wideouts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 29 2 19 7 3
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 18 17 26 19 19 12


Chicago Bears (8-6)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 29-13 +9.5 44
2 @CAR 17-20 +3 37
3 TB 24-27 -3 35.5
4 PHI 24-20 +3 45
5 @DET 34-7 -3.5 44.5
6 @ATL 20-22 -2.5 43.5
7 MIN 48-41 -3 38
8 BYE - - -
9 DET 27-23 -13 43
10 TEN 14-21 +3 38.5
11 @GB 3-37 +3.5 43
12 @STL 27-3 -9 43
13 @MIN 14-34 +3 42
14 JAX 23-10 -6.5 40
15 NO 27-24 -4 42
16 GB - - -
17 @HOU - - -
CHI vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton     170,1
RB Matt Forte 80,1 40  
TE Greg Olsen   40,1  
WR Brandon Lloyd   20  
WR Devin Hester   40  
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: This is the final game at Soldier Field for the year and hosting the Packers will no doubt delight the hometown crowd as long as it turns in a rout - which is possible. The Bears still have a less than ideal quarterback situation and the wide receivers still need some work but at least the rookie running back Matt Forte has filled the bill with a hard-nosed every down runner who wisely avoided all the baggage that Cedric Benson saddled himself with. Having no competition also helped. This should be a cold night and ideal for that Chicago flavor to the game.

Quarterback: Kyle Orton started the year with a nice streak of multiple touchdown games but he's fallen back into more familiar territory since midseason with several games without a passing score and only once in the last six weeks have more more than 175 passing yards. The good defense and sound rushing game allowed him the luxury on most weeks but Orton couldn't be the difference maker when it was needed more often than not.

Orton passed for 133 yards in Green Bay this year.

Running Backs: Matt Forte injured his toe in the game last Thursday but the team said it was no concern other than just being sore. He was x-rayed at the game and since nothing was broken he returned to play. He ended up with just 11 carries for 34 yards and one score with five receptions for 29 yards. Forte has become the central focus of this offense as both a runner and receiver so I will check on his status late week and update as needed. His return to the game alone indicates this is a non-event.

Forte rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries in Green Bay and added six receptions for 40 yards.

Wide Receivers: Marty Booker has been out with sore ribs but his absence has hardly been felt - none of those wideouts matter much other than Devin Hester who still has a ways to go to being a fantasy starter but has made definite strides this year as a receiver. Hester has scored three times to lead all wideouts and had two games over 80 yards. The wideouts still barely register in the game plan and the receiving ability of the tight ends and Matt Forte make the wide receivers often left out.

No wideout gained more than 36 yards in Green Bay this season.

Tight Ends: Neither Desmond Clark nor Greg Olsen ever have truly big games but they contribute some every week and in combination are an integral part of the offense. Olsen has been developing well and has three scores on the year. He has been far better in home games where he typically has 40 yards or more weekly.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears should fit the defense well since their strength - wide receivers - is the last thing the Bears worry about. Look for a solid game here by Forte with at least one score provided he is healthy.

This could be a really nice spot for Orton since the Packers have consistently allowed multiple scores to road opponents but Orton is not one to press the pass and Forte will take care if it in most cases anyway. I like one score to Olsen and a defensive score as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 17 15 28 9 19 8
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 16 27 6 21 18 7

The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Saturday
Monday
   
Other Features
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Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
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