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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: MIN 17, CAR 13

Friday Night Update: Berrian has returned to full practice but Sidney Rice was held out of practice because of the flu and is now questionable to play. Check the inactives on Sunday night and realize you may not have many alternatives if he does not play.

Thursday Night Update: Percy Harvin remains out of practice because of his migraine headaches and their after-effects. Bernard Berrian has been limited but is still expected to play. Sidney Rice was held out of practice for an undisclosed illness. Friday updates if he appears anything more than just a 24 hour bug.

The Vikings bounced back from their loss in Arizona and routed the visiting Bengals. This week they travel to meet the Panthers but are only 4-2 in away games while the Panthers are 3-3 at home.

Minnesota Vikings (11-2)
Homefield: Metrodome
  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 30-20 -3.5 46
5 @STL 38-10 -10 39
6 BAL 33-31 -3 44.5
7 @PIT 17-27 +6 46.5
8 @GB 38-26 +3.5 46.5
9 BYE - - -
10 DET 27-10 17 47.5
11 SEA 35-9 -10.5 47
12 CHI 36-10 -10 47
13 @ARI 17-30 +3.5 48
14 CIN 30-10 -6 42.5
15 @CAR - -7 43
16 @CHI - - -
17 NYG - - -
MIN at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     230,1
RB Adrian Peterson 100,1 30  
RB Chester Taylor 20 40  
TE Vishante Shiancoe   20,1  
WR Bernard Berrian   30  
WR Sidney Rice   70  
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Vikings window on catching up with the Saints is closing (if it was really ever open) and 11-2 keeps them two games ahead of the Eagles for the #2 seed. The remaining games are no slam dunks but the Vikings could run the table if they wanted to and if they do not elect to rest players at least in week 17 when the game will have no meaning.

Quarterback: After eight games that ended with multiple scores and good yardage, Brett Favre stuck it to fantasy owners last week when he only passed for 192 yards and one touchdown right when some fantasy playoffs were starting. He's been nearly golden every week this year and flops last week at home.

The problem this week - at least in the fantasy football world - is that Favre faces one of the best secondaries that has only allowed six passing scores to visitors while intercepting those teams seven times. This is compounded by the Panthers have a very weak rushing defense. Last week the Vikes rushed their way to victory and should do that again.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson still only has three games over 100 yards but has racked up 14 rushing touchdowns and had solid yardage every week. He has been less productive in road games so far but the Panthers present a nice chance to roll up some yardage in a game that should be slowly played and largely about the run on both sides.

Chester Taylor could have some minor fantasy value this week as well since the Panthers have allowed three touchdowns via the pass to running backs There is no reason for Favre to force the issue in a game the Vikes can win. Look for more rushing this week.

Wide Receivers: HC Brad Childress said that Percy Harvin may practice on Wednesday but his migraine headache situation is still not cleared up and Harvin is no lock to play again this week. That removes Favre's favorite guy near the goal line. Sidney Rice scored for the fifth time last Sunday and remains the primary wideout, especially with Harvin on the sideline. Bernard Berrian saw no increase in workload with Harvin out either and has tended to be even worse on the road.

The Panthers have a good secondary and have allowed only one touchdown to a wide receiver in Carolina. Look for decent yardage for Rice but no other wideout here has fantasy value this week.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe has nine scores on the year and goes against the biggest weakness of the Panthers secondary - such as it is. Shiancoe has been light on yardage in most games but is solid with those touchdown catches.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 7 3 7 15 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 5 26 3 12 13 31

Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PHI 10-38 +2.5 43.5
2 @ATL 20-28 +6 43
3 @DAL 7-21 +9 46
4 BYE - -3.5 37.5
5 WAS 20-17 -5 38
6 @TB 28-21 -3 39
7 BUF 9-20 -7 37
8 @ARI 34-21 10 43.5
9 @NO 20-30 +14 52
10 ATL 28-19 +1 43.5
11 MIA 17-24 -3 43.5
12 @NYJ 6-17 +3.5 41
13 TB 16-6 -3.5 40
14 @NE 10-20 12.5 43.5
15 MIN - +7 43
16 @NYG - - -
17 NO - - -
CAR vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Moore     160,1
RB DeAngelo Williams 80 10  
RB Jonathan Stewart 40 10  
TE Dante Rosario   20  
WR Steve Smith   60,1  
WR Muhsin Muhammad   40  
PK John Kasay 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Panthers have lost three of their last four games and now have seen both offensive tackles get placed on injured reserve. The starting quarterback is out with a bad finger but the jury is undecided on how bad of a thing that really is? One of the two running backs just suffered another toe injury. And the last three games are hosting the two best record teams in the NFC and traveling to play the Giants in New York. Overall, this could have ended better.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme remains out with his injured finger and there is speculation that he's just out-out because there is no sense in bringing him back anyway. Matt Moore threw his first touchdown last week to Steve Smith like the script says but still has not topped the 200 passing yard mark.

The Vikings secondary is only average and probably less so on the road but the Panthers are using the newbie behind a injury decimated line. There is no reason to consider Moore as a fantasy starter but I will credit him with one touchdown if only in trash time.

Running Backs: HC John Fox admitted that Jonathan Stewart suffered a toe injury last week but would not confirm if it was the surgically repaired two. Stewart only had seven carries in the game for 29 yards after rolling up 120 yards and a score against the Buccaneers. DeAngelo Williams has not scored since week nine and had less than 100 total yards for the last two weeks but he has always been better at home and should see more carries depending on how injured Stewart's toe actually is.

The Vikings have only allowed two runners to score against them on the entire season and none have rushed for more than 84 yards. Williams needs Stewart to not play much to hope for a decent yardage total. A score is highly unlikely. I will assume that Stewart plays but is limited and update based on the practices.

Wide Receivers: Steve Smith had a touchdown catch last week for the first time since week 11 and he still only totals five touchdowns on the season. But Moore has zeroed in on him for two weeks and given him around 80 yards in both games. None of the other wideouts have ever scored for the Panthers or had more than around 50 yards in a game.

The Vikings have been giving up a score to the opponents #1 wideout in most of the road games. Smith is by far the best option if there is to be a touchdown pass.

Tight Ends: No real fantasy value despite playing one of the weakest defenses against the tight end. No tight ends have scored since week six for the Panthers and with Moore there even fewer passes have gone their way.

Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 31 7 29 17 26 16
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 18 3 16 29 12 10

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