Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: MIN 20, WAS 23 (Line: WAS by 2.5)

Players Updated: Percy Harvin, Jerome Simpson, Adrian Peterson

Players to Watch: Fred Davis

The 4-1 Vikings are on a three game winning streak that started with their surprise trap win over the 49ers but are only 1-1 on the road and lost in Indianapolis. The 2-3 Redskins are 0-2 at home and looking to crawl out of the NFC cellar. The Vikings have been on a nice run of wins but the home town Redskins have to pull together here or start to write off the season.

The Vikes won 33-26 at Washington last year.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 ot 10 DET -----
2 @IND 20-23 11 BYE -----
3 SF 24-13 12 @CHI -----
4 @DET 20-13 13 @GB -----
5 TEN 30-7 14 CHI -----
6 @WAS ----- 15 @STL -----
7 ARI ----- 16 @HOU -----
8 TB ----- 17 GB -----
9 @SEA ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Kendall Wright 7-60
TE Kyle Rudolph 6-60,1
PK Kai Forbath 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Vikings have their own brand of "Triplets" between Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Christian Ponder but it may be a bit early to consider the quarterback as a major difference maker quite yet. He has scored twice in three of his games but was blanked in the other two. His string of no interceptions ended against the Titans of all teams and he threw two once he saw how easy it was. Ponder gets a crack at a big game this week thanks to facing the Skins secondary but will likely be back to just one wideout in Harvin because Jerome Simpson may not play.

Percy Harvin has helped carry this team with productive games in every week other than the last road game and he finally scored when the Titans visited last week. He's adding a couple of runs per week and usually coming up with eight or nine catches in most games. Going against the worst secondary in the league should only make that even better.

Jerome Simpson is having problems with his back and never made a catch against the Titans. He is being checked out this week and may not suit up. Until they figure out what is causing the weakness and numbness in his lower leg, he's not going to be productive even if he plays. Problem here is that there are no other wideouts of any note. Devin Aromashodu will step up but that meant nothing before Simpson could play. Michael Jenkins also figures in but only for a couple of catches if that. Harvin has been a trooper to be sure with 38 catches on the year already but he cannot do it all.

Kyle Rudolph adds the occasional touchdown catch here but still has not produced more than 36 yards in a game since the season opener.

Adrian Peterson is a medical marvel to be sure. And he is gaining 4.4 yards per carry but has only one 100 yard rushing game and has not scored since week one. Peterson has been solid with around 80 rush yards per week and does supplement his production with a couple of catches as well. If he would find the end zone any time soon would make a big difference. He is certainly good with yardage but so far never great and scoreless for the last four games.

The Skins have never allowed fewer than 300 passing yards per opponent and that benefits the wideouts and tight ends with equal blessings. The run has been mostly stuffed by the Skins who have allowed just three rushing scores and yet never more than 83 rushing yards to any runner. As always with the Skins, this will be all about throwing the ball and taking advantage of the weak secondary.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 22 20 18 17 4 10
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 30 9 32 31 21 2

QB Kirk Cousins, MIN @GB 10000020020 ***
The good: Denver has given up a TD pass every 10.9 completions (6th-highest frequency). The rest: This is the worst defense for weekly yardage figures, and it's the third-hardest matchup for generating fantasy points (16.1/game).
RB Latavius Murray, MIN @GB 7011100000 ***
Back in Week 6, Murray wasn't much of a factor. The show was stolen by Jerick McKinnon's two-TD effort. Green Bay remains extremely vulnerable to running backs, though the matchup skews toward pass-catching types. Statistically, this is the worst matchup for rushing touchdowns, but extreme cold at Lambeau could flip the script.
WR Kendall Wright, MIN @GB 0071001000 ***
Wright has emerged in the past two games, landing 17 receptions on 24 targets. He hasn't scored since Week 4. This projection is rose colored but attainable. Cleveland has given up the fourth-most receptions for moderate yardage (14th) per game, with one in 18 landing in the end zone (22nd).
WR Adam Thielen, MIN @GB 0071001000 ***
Receivers have scored with the highest frequency against Green Bay in the past five weeks. One in 5.9 catches has made it into the end zone. The Packers have limited receivers to just 9.4 receptions (28th) and 121.8 yards (28th), but much of those figures can be pinned on facing shaky passing attacks of Baltimore, Carolina, Cleveland and Tampa Bay. Thielen posted a 9-97-0 line in the Stefon Diggs-less Week 6 game. This one is at Lambeau Field in what is forecasted to be single digits.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN @GB 004601000 ***
Diggs missed the previous meeting. The Packers have been a poor defense of receivers all year, but the recent weeks have provided a few matchups that have helped improve the look of the stats. This defense is 28th in receptions and yards allowed per game, but it remains the best for finding touchdowns (1 every 5.9 catches).
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN @GB 004500000 ***
Rudolph (ankle) played in only 20 snaps last week, and he was limited in Tuesday's practice based on the approximation report. Green Bay provides the third-best matchup of the week, one that rates in the top eight for receptions, yardage and touchdown efficiency against.

Update: Rudolph is not on the injury report for Saturday's game.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, MIN @GB 2233 ***
Twenty of the 21 combined kicking attempts were good, with all seven field goals being accurate. This is the sixth-worst matchup for three-pointers and sixth-best for TD-capping tries.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG -----
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL -----
6 MIN ----- 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10 240,1
TE Vernon Davis 5-60

Pregame Notes: The Skins have tumbled to a 2-0 mark thanks to playing in New Orleans and Tampa Bay still have not won at home. This week is easily their best chance of a win and along with the Panthers in week nine may be the only time they will be favored this year.

Robert Griffin III took a break as the best fantasy quarterback last week when he was knocked out of the Falcons game with a "mild" concussion. All signs point to him playing this week though he still needs to get through a week of practice free and clear before he can play. Griffin had been throwing for scores and also rushing in a touchdown for the previous three matchups. Kirk Cousins came in and gave it a valiant effort last week but it should be back to Bob this time.

Alfred Morris is still a fantasy gold mine considering that he has four touchdowns on the season and has never rushed for fewer than 78 yards in any game, He is on a two game streak with over 100 yards. His only failing is that they almost never throw to him. Then again, he is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and just under 100 yards per game.

Fred Davis has assumed a consistent role by now with his last three games producing never less than four catches and averaging just over 70 yards per game. With the wide receivers less than stellar, Davis has a place in this passing game that should only grow bigger. The wideouts have yet to distinguish themselves from each other and that even includes Pierre Garcon. The Redskins have five different wide receivers who all have between 114 and 184 yards after five games. That's a whole lot of mediocrity.

The Vikings defense has been very good - far exceeding expectations. But this is their third road game and they lost to the Colts and then clipped divisional rivals of the Lions. This is a big test so long as Griffin is able to play healthy and in his full capacity. The Vikings rushing defense has been top notch so far but they have never had to chase a quarterback.

The Redskins have to rise up this week because this is almost a must-win game.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 3 17 15 20 16 2
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 14 3 15 29 11 4

QB Alex Smith, WAS DEN 20000023020 ***
Quarterbacks have averaged 231.8 yards (19th) and 20.5 fantasy points (15th) per game vs. the Dolphins since Week 10. In this time, the position has thrown a TD every 12.5 completions (13th). Miami has tallied six interceptions, or one every 29.7 tosses. Over the course of the year, this matchup is squarely neutral.
RB Kapri Bibbs, WAS DEN 4004400000 **
Bibbs is the next, next, next, next man up for Washington. He will see the receiving work and handle a few carries to spell Samaje Perine. Denver is no joke for running backs of any flavor. Look elsewhere.

Update: Perine (groin) did not practice all week and is unlikely to play. Bibbs should see the majority of work behind a banged up offensive line.
RB Samaje Perine, WAS DEN 4001100000 *
Just two of the last 121 carries against the Broncos have found the end zone (25th) in the hands of a running back, and they're a matching 25th in the weekly rushing yardage column against this group.

Update: Perine (groin) did not practice all week and is unlikely to play. Kapri Bibbs should see the majority of work behind a banged up offensive line.
WR Josh Doctson, WAS DEN 003401000 ***
Denver has permitted four receiving TDs over the last 38 receptions by the position, which shakes out to be the the seventh-highest rate in football since Week 10. The rest of the matchup metrics are dismal.
WR Paul Richardson, WAS DEN 005600000 ***
Dallas has given up eight touchdowns to Richardson's positional counterparts in the last five outings, and there's a hint of upside for a big play. Otherwise, the matchup is neutral for the visiting 'Hawks.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS DEN 004400000 ***
This is a terrible opponent for PPR types -- Denver has given up just 7.6 receptions (31st) for 106.2 yards (32nd) since Week 10. The upside is one in 9.5 snares found the end zone. Crowder was limited in Wednesday's practice with a hamstring strain.

Update: Crowder has been limited all week and is a true gametime call. Prepare for his absence.
TE Vernon Davis, WAS DEN 002201000 *
Denver generally does well at limiting tight ends between the 20s but has struggled most of the year at keeping them out of the end zone. One in nine catches over the last five weeks has resulted in a TD.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS DEN 2222 ***
Hopkins returns from IR to face Denver's stifling defense of his position. Kickers have attempted the fewest per-game field goals, resulting in the second-lowest weekly possibility for fantasy points.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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