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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
*Updated

Prediction: GB 20, MIN 27

What an announcers wet dream. The thought of Brett Favre battling against his old Packers team and on the heels of winning last week on that last second pass? John Madden may unretire just for the night. The ghost of Howard Cosell may show up and he never even knew Favre.

These divisional rivals traded home wins in 2008, with the Vikings taking theirs 28-27 in week 10 and the Packers winning in Green Bay 24-19 in the season opener. And this is a big game but really only as far as the divisional implications go. Favre himself may find it a big deal since he can stick it to the Packers management on national TV but it's a far less important factor to anyone else on the field. The reality here is that the game boils down to how well the Packers can stop Adrian Peterson and if the Vikes can control Aaron Rodgers. Favre is just the side dish in this meal.

Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 21-15 -4 46
2 CIN 24-31 -9 42
3 @STL 36-17 -6.5 41
4 @MIN - +3.5 46
5 BYE - - -
6 DET - - -
7 @CLE - - -
8 MIN - - -
9 @TB - - -
10 DAL - - -
11 SF - - -
12 @DET - - -
13 BAL - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 @PIT - - -
16 SEA - - -
17 @ARI - - -
GB at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     190,2
RB Ryan Grant 70 10  
TE Donald Lee   20,1  
WR Greg Jennings   60,1  
WR Donald Driver   60  
WR Jordy Nelson   30  
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: This week allows the Packers to see where they truly stand since the first two games had a conflicting picture of the team and playing St. Louis last week was akin to an early bye. With only a bye week on the other side, the Packers could do themselves a great favor with a win here but a loss - while not catastrophic - certainly will set them back in the division.

Quarterback: The "what's wrong with Aaron Rodgers?" cries are getting more quiet each week since he has scored at least once in every game and improved in yardage to having 269 yards last Sunday. But Rodgers passed for only 142 yards and no score in Minnesota last year. He only had 178 yards and one touchdown in the home meeting.

This year the Vikes have not faced anyone really with games against Brady Quinn, Matt Stafford and Shaun Hill but even then they allowed one passing score in each though minimal passing yards.

Look for two scores and decent yardage here. This is unfortunately the week with the graphic on TV about Rodgers vs. Favre and a Monday night game as well.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant came within one yard from his first 100 yard game of the season when he had 26 runs in St. Louis but he failed to score for the first time this season and still is rarely used as a receiver despite the absence of Brandon Jackson. Grant has averaged 3.8 yards per carry but that came with two home games and a road trip to St. Louis. He's been only marginally effective as a runner this year and had been salvaging his fantasy value with a touchdowns until last week.

Grant rushed for 75 on 16 carries and scored once in Minnesota last season.

The Vikings have yet to allow a rushing touchdown and no runner has topped 83 yards. Expect just another moderate, non-scoring game from Ryan.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings had two catches for over 50 yards last week despite playing with a bad wrist. So far he has either turned in over 100 yards each week, or he has had no catches. it all averages out but getting blanked by the Bengals was rough on fantasy owners. Donald Driver has been unusually active in the last two games with more than 95 yards and a score in each. Jordy Nelson had a season best 46 yards in St. Louis but like James Jones has been a nonfactor in every other game. Jones has a sprained finger and has fallen behind Nelson on the depth chart.

No wideout gained more than 46 yards in Minnesota last season.

The Vikings remain very good against wide receivers and none had had more than 51 yards against them this year. Only Calvin Johnson has scored. This is a Monday night game which tends to have more fireworks though. The yardage may be lagging but a least one score should end up here with Jennings more likely.

Tight Ends: The Packers have been inconsistent using the tight ends but in the end - none of them are worthy of a fantasy start. I like one of them to score this week but there are three candidates. Lee is on the field the most.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 8 18 8 24 8 4
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIN 9 2 2 30 21 19


Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CLE 34-20 +3.5 40
2 @DET 27-13 -10 47
3 SF 27-24 -7 40.5
4 GB - -3.5 46
5 @STL - - -
6 BAL - - -
7 @PIT - - -
8 @GB - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 DET - - -
11 SEA - - -
12 CHI - - -
13 @ARI - - -
14 CIN - - -
15 @CAR - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 NYG - - -
MIN vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     200,2
RB Adrian Peterson 130,1 20  
TE Vishante Shiancoe   10  
WR Bernard Berrian   60,1  
WR Sidney Rice   50  
WR Percy Harvin   50,1  
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Vikings were greeted to what a real quarterback can do when Brett Favre won the game on his pass to Greg Lewis that upended the 49ers near the final gun. That preserved the Vikings perfect record and showed that they could beat someone other than the Browns and Lions. The running game has been good but not as dominating as it was last season and that's even with a soft opening schedule. Last week started the real tests for this team and it's about to get a lot tougher before it eases up in the second half of the season.

Quarterback: Brett Favre had the first 300 yard game by a Vikings quarterback in Minnesota since there was a guy named Randy Moss there to catch the passes. The final 32 yards came on the pass with 12 seconds left to play and was vintage Favre. But that was also the first time Favre had passed for more than 155 yards for the Vikings. This is a run first team, not a shootout team.

Gus Frerotte passed for 151 yards and two scores against the visiting Packers last year.

The Packers have allowed around two passing scores per opponent this year and no doubt Favre wants to fatten his records with the Packers. The yardage won't be high but Favre won't resist tossing for touchdowns when the end zone is near. Why hand off to Peterson when you can pump up your own records?

Running Backs: After opening the season with a monster game, Adrian Peterson has not had more than 92 rushing yards in a game and scored only once in the last two weeks. Chester Taylor has been very quiet this year but came to life in week three when Favre threw him seven dump off passes for 70 yards to keep the sticks moving. At home this week, Peterson should have a nice game in store for the Monday night crowd.

Peterson demolished the visiting Packers in 2008 when he ran 30 times for 192 yards and one touchdown. He also had 33 yards on three catches while Chester Taylor had 84 yards on four receptions with a score as well.

The Packers have allowed the last two runners to gain over 100 yards - Cedric Benson (29-141) and Steven Jackson (27-117) as a very favorable sign for Peterson this week. Neither of those runners scored but look for Peterson to take one touchdown before Favre can throw it to someone else.

Wide Receivers: Greg Lewis timed his first ever catch for the Vikings nicely. While the media talks about Brett Favre, Lewis made a tremendous catch that made the game-winning score possible. Sidney Rice (4-56, 1 TD) had a good showing and has been improving weekly like Bernard Berrian (4-56). But at least the highlight reels prefer Percy Harvin who has scored in each of his first three games though last week was a kick return. There is minimal fantasy value here since no player has managed to have more than 56 receiving yards or five receptions.

The Packers have allowed four passing scores to wideouts and three to the Bengals alone. I like Favre to toss two which should both favor the wide receivers. Harvin has yet to not score and makes a natural best bet and the other I'll credit Berrian since he is the only wide receiver who has not scored yet.

Tight Ends: Not much work for Vishante Shiancoe who has topped out at just 26 yards on three catches.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 23 5 14 26 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 27 9 26 20 13 13

The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
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