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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
 
 
*Updated

Prediction: DET 13, GB 30

Update: Kevin Smith is listed as questionable again but he is expected to play after taking it easy during the week to rest his ankle.

Detroit's self-respect... it is time. Get your affairs in order and please follow me as we walk the green mile.

Detroit Lions (0-15)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  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 16-20 +9.5 46
15 @IND 21-31 +17 45
16 NO 7-42 +7 50.5
17 @GB - +10.5 43
DET @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Dan Orlovsky     190,1
RB Kevin Smith 70 30  
WR Calvin Johnson   100,1  
WR John Standeford   40  
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Lions final chance at avoiding the first ever 0-16 season happens on the road against a team that is desperate for a win. The game against the Saints was the best chance in the second half of the season but instead ended up as one of the worst losses. There are plenty of questions going into the offseason and a new coaching staff to assemble but at least the team has valuable holdovers in Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson. The shake up will be both deep and wide in scope this spring but there are a few elements worth holding onto.

Quarterback: The Lions will go with Dan Orlovsky as the losing pitcher since Daunte Culpepper is still on the mend. At least Orlovsky has thrown a score in all four road games this year and has been above 200 yards in those but both Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald are on injured reserve and the defenses are finally figuring out that Calvin Johnson is the only guy worth covering.

Running Backs: While Kevin Smith has gotten the benefit of defenses not caring much if Detroit runs in the second half but he has also been playing with a team that has little else to worry the defense as well. Smith has topped 100 rushing yards twice this year including just last week and he has seven touchdowns. Though unlikely, Smith is only 116 rushing yards short of a 1000 yard season.

Smith rushed for 40 yards on ten carries in the previous game with the Packers.

Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson already has 1229 yards to rank #5 in the NFL and his ten touchdowns tie for third best. Johnson is the entire offense for the Lions and this was cemented when they traded Roy Williams away during the season in a move that helped the 0-16 cause. That one move probably helped Johnson with marginally more work but imbalanced the offense.

Johnson returns next season but the rest of the wideouts could change and probably should. He had six catches for 129 yards and two scores in the first meeting with the Packers for his best fantasy game of the year.

Tight Ends: The tight ends have never accounted for much more than two inconsequential catches per game and the three touchdowns by the position all went to different players.

Match Against the Defense: Orlovsky, Smith and Johnson. That's all there is. But no one wants to be on the worst team in NFL history. Look for a valiant effort that will fall short.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 23 31 17 26 30 30
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 14 27 9 23 18 7


Green Bay Packers (5-10)
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 17-20 +4 41
17 DET - -10.5 43
GB vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     280,2
RB Ryan Grant 100,1 20  
TE Donald Lee   30,1  
WR Donald Driver   80  
WR Greg Jennings   110,1  
WR Jordy Nelson   30  
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Packers are on a five game losing stead and the last four games have each been lost by four points or less. Big difference between 9-6 and 5-10. Aaron Rodgers has proven to be just as good as Brett Favre - objectively mind you - but the rest of the team has lagged and the easy schedule of 2007 created false expectations this year. The two previous seasons with Favre ended only 8-8 and 4-12. Those are far better comparisons.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers has played very well in his first season and already has 3730 yards and 25 touchdowns (much better than Favre) and he only threw 13 interceptions (much better than Favre). And now he faces the Lions in Green Bay with only 270 yards needed for a 4000 yard season.

Rodgers passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns in Detroit.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant has rushed for 1097 yards this year but that's only 120 yards more than 2007 when he only played a half season. Grant has only averaged 3.7 yards per carry and has been barely good enough to not force the Packers to rethink their backfield. Grant has been better later in the year with three games over 100 rushing yards and all three have happened during the last four home games. This week is a good chance for Grant to end on a high note.

Wide Receivers: The season ends as it began - Greg Jennings remains the #1 wideout with nine touchdowns and 1191 yards and he has been equally effective on the road and at home. Donald Driver only has four scores on the season and just one game over 100 yards but he's been a solid possession receiver in almost every game.

Driver had seven catches for 52 yards and one score in Detroit while Jennings turned six receptions into 167 yards in that game.

Tight Ends: The tight ends have seen little use this year with one major exception. Donald Lee has caught a touchdown in the last five home games. Every one of them.

Match Against the Defense: What defense? The Lions would be #32 in all categories but with only 60 minutes in a game, opponents do not have enough time. Look for Rodgers to chase 4000 yards and a nice showing by Grant. There should be no mercy by the Packers who have lost five straight.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 28 2 19 7 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    DET 27 32 26 31 26 32

The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
 
 
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Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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