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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*Updated

Prediction: MIN 24, CHI 13

Update: Percy Harvin has been cleared to play and is not even on the injury report. He should resume his full workload this week.

The Vikings drop to 11-3 and now run the risk of allowing the 10-4 Eagles to steal the #2 seed from them. The Vikings are only 4-3 in road games but won 36-20 when the Bears visited in week 12. The Bears have lost their last two games and are only 4-3 at home. Biggest factor in this game? The Chicago offense has lost all punch.

Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
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 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 7-26 -9 42.5
16 @CHI - -7 41
17 NYG - - -
MIN at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     260,2
RB Adrian Peterson 80,1 20  
TE Vishante Shiancoe   50,1  
WR Percy Harvin   60,1  
WR Bernard Berrian   50  
WR Sidney Rice   80  
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Vikings need a win and this week should be a done deal but there is some trouble brewing at least down the road. The Vikings defense has taken a visible step backwards with the loss of E.J. Henderson and Brett Favre was almost benched last week and looked almost shell-shocked in the Carolina loss. The offensive line is not blocking nearly as well as last year. That all said, these Vikes are still probably the second best team in the NFC but only begrudgingly so.

Quarterback: The last two weeks have seen Brett Favre struggle to post decent stats - only 192 yards and a score against the Bengals and 224 yards and no touchdowns last week in the Panthers loss. He's also getting sacked more in recent weeks with nine in just the last three games. Favre had a problem fading down the stretch last year as a Jet when he only scored twice in the final five games after racking up 20 scores in the first 11 weeks.

But at least Favre passed for 392 yards and three scores when he faced the Bears back in week 12. It was his best fantasy game of the year. On the road you can expect less but still a decent game here. It is important for Favre to bounce back this week and the Bears should provide the right defense to allow it.

Running Backs: Along with Brett Favre, the world wonders what is wrong with Adrian Peterson? He comes off a 12 carry, 35 yard effort in Carolina and two weeks ago in the previous road matchup, he rushed for only 19 yards on 13 carries. He has not topped 100 rushing yards since week 11 against the Lions though with total yards considered he has been much more productive. He still has a league leading 15 rushing scores but has topped 100 rushing yards only three times and never since week ten.

Peterson rushed for 85 yards and one score on 25 carries in the previous meeting with the Bears. That is a decent expectation for this week as well.

Wide Receivers: Percy Harvin returned last week but only had one catch. The rookie had been on a hot streak up until week 13 but now suffers from migraines and has two bulging disks in his neck. Harvin is scheduled to visit the Mayo Clinic this week after revealing that his neck is swollen and sore after every game since back when he played in high school. I will assume that he misses this week and update as needed.

In the previous meeting with the Bears, Harvin had 101 yards and a score on six receptions while Sidney Rice settled for 89 yards on six catches. Bernard Berrian also had six catches and gained 74 yards in that matchup. Look for Rice to get the biggest bang out of Harvin missing or being less than healthy.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe has not scored for two weeks now - something that had not happened in any game this year. But he gained 51 yards on five catches and scored on the Bears last time and should see a repeat of those stats.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 11 4 9 14 5 7
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 23 16 24 20 20 17


Chicago Bears (5-9)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 15-21 +4 46
2 PIT 17-14 +3 37.5
3 @SEA 25-19 -2 37
4 DET 48-24 -10.5 38.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @ATL 14-21 +3 45.5
7 @CIN 10-45 +1 42.5
8 CLE 30-6 +11.5 39.5
9 ARI 21-41 -3 44.5
10 @SF 6-10 +3.5 43
11 PHI 20-24 +3.5 46.5
12 @MIN 10-36 +10 47
13 STL 17-9 -9.5 41
14 GB 14-21 +4 41
15 @BAL 7-31 +10.5 39.5
16 MIN - +7 41.5
17 @DET - - -
CHI vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     210,1
RB Matt Forte 50 10  
TE Greg Olsen   50,1  
WR Devin Hester   40  
WR Earl Bennett   40  
WR Johnny Knox   60  
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bears are reeling with only one win in the last seven games and an offense that has taken a step down that it could ill afford to take. The final game of the season is in Detroit with a chance to end on a higher note but this offense is a shambles and the defense has lost players that made the difference.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler's decline since midseason reached a low point last week when he only completed ten of 27 passes for 94 yards and three interceptions in Baltimore. He only has five touchdowns in the last six games against 13 interceptions. He has scored in all but one home game though and passed for 147 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota four weeks ago.

Relying on Cutler for anything more than a mediocre showing is overly optimistic. Devin Hester may return this week and that helps but Cutler has just fallen on hard times in Chicago with an offense that cannot get the job done lately.

Running Backs: Matt Forte remains the starter who has only four scores on the year and just one game over 100 rushing yards. Forte currently has 754 rushing yards on 221 carries for a lethargic 3.4 yard average and in recent weeks it has been even worse. Forte gained 27 yards on eight carries in the previous meeting with the Vikings.

Kahlil Bell is still used as purely relief for Forte but has outplayed him when given the chance. Bell ran for 30 yards on six carries in Baltimore, Forte only managed 69 yards on 20 runs.

Back at home may help Forte's numbers a but but there is no reason to expect more than his standard mediocrity.

Wide Receivers: HC Lovie Smith said Devin Hester may play this week and his return would not hurt. Hester had been the most consistent wideout though had been less so since week 11 along with the rest of the wideouts. Hester only had one catch for 20 yards in the previous meeting with the Vikings while Earl Bennett was held to 14 yards on three receptions and Johnny Knox scored once on his only catch for 24 yards. Look for marginally better stats this week but nothing that warrants a fantasy start.

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen joins the rest of the receivers with anemic numbers in the last three weeks but his last decent game was when he faced the Vikings and had seven catches for 45 yards. The Vikings are weak against the position and makes Olsen the most likely to score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 20 32 16 10 25 16
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 22 3 17 30 9 13

The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
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