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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: CHI 17, ARI 16 (Line: CHI by 5)

Players to Watch: Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, ARI Defense

The 8-6 Bears are on a three game losing streak and have lost five of their last six. They are 2-3 on the road and face the 5-9 Cardinals who just ended their eight game losing streak when they took down the visiting Lions after losing the previous week 0-58 in Seattle. This is a messy game because the Bears are very banged up and yet the Cardinals are just short of talent. Whatever happens here is not likely to involve a lot of points.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU 6-13
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF 7-32
3 STL 23-6 12 MIN 28-10
4 @DAL 34-18 13 SEA 17-23
5 @JAC 41-3 14 @MIN 14-21
6 BYE ----- 15 GB 13-21
7 DET 13-7 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR 23-22 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN 51-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Bears have gone from the top of the division to now having a very realistic chance of missing the playoffs all together. And with the way they are playing, it would not matter much anyway if they did show up in the postseason. Worst of all is an offense that has scored more than 17 points only once in the last six weeks. The Bears drew a tough schedule to be sure but by now they are so banged up and shaken up that even this game is by no means a certain win.

Jay Cutler is playing but admits that his neck is not 100% and it showed in the Packers game. His offensive line has been horrible all year and just lost a right tackle to make it a little worse. The final two games are on the road as well which will be no help. Cutler is getting pummeled every week and it is almost a miracle he has hung on this long. Then again, playing a clearly limited Cutler shows how little faith they have in Jason Campbell.

Matt Forte has been great in fantasy terms because he's recently gone back to adding five or six catches per week. He's been topping out around 60 rushing yards every week and has not ran in a score since back in week nine. Last week Michael Bush was never given a carry and Forte was allowed goal line duty but he never scored. Bush has been hampered by his sore ribs and the Bears are considering just placing him on injured reserve.

Alshon Jeffery had no catches last week despite four targets as the Bears passing attack literally has declined to looking for Brandon Marshall on every play and throwing him 15-20 passes every week. If the ball doesn't go to him, Cutler just checks down on a back like Forte. No other wideouts caught a pass last week - just Marshall, Forte and RB Armando Allen. Earl Bennett should return from his concussion this week but has no fantasy value.

This team has lost all fantasy value outside of Marshall who is force fed passes every week and Matt Forte. As bad as the Cardinals are - and they are plenty bad - their defense has not been the main problem. The chances that Patrick Peterson tries to climb Mount Marshall every play is very, very high.

I like a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 25 18 14 32 19 1
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 3 19 10 16 15 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mitchell Trubisky, CHI @CIN 20100015001 ***
Trubisky doesn't have any fantasy worth at this point in his young career, especially in playoff season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jordan Howard, CHI @CIN 6001100000 ***
Over the past six games, Howard has two outings with more than 6.5 PPR points. He has just 8.2 combined in the last two contests. Cincinnati has permitted 105.8 rushing yards (11th), 60.4 receiving yards (3rd), 5.4 receptions (12th) and the fifth-most fantasy points per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI @CIN 1003200000 ***
The matchup is prime for a PPR back like Cohen, but his weekly involvement is too scant to recommend him as anything more than a wild flier in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, CHI @CIN 004500000 ***
Inman has scored double figures in three of the past four games, including his first touchdown as a Bear in Week 13. The Bengals have been strong against the position, but they face a few key injuries on that side of the ball after a violent Monday Night Football game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kendall Wright, CHI @CIN 002300000 ***
Avoid Wright in all formats this week. The Bengals are a top-12 defense against wideouts, and his role is not consistently significant enough to matter.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Adam Shaheen, CHI @CIN 001100000 ***
The rookie takes on the worst matchup for finding the end zone. Cincinnati has given up 26 straight receptions without permitting a TE to score, but it's not a terrible place to look for catches or yardage.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, CHI @CIN 0000 *
This is the third-best matchup for field goal opportunities, and it's No. 2 for possible fantasy points. The sum of this situation is Santos faces the eighth-best matchup of the week.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL 19-23
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL 17-31
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ 6-7
5 @STL 3-17 14 @SEA 0-58
6 BUF 16-19 15 DET 38-10
7 @MIN 14-21 16 CHI -----
8 SF 3-24 17 @SF -----
9 @GB 17-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 240,1
RB Adrian Peterson 150,1 4-20
WR Larry Fitzgerald 4-40
TE Jermaine Gresham 4-50,1
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Every so often you see a game score that just begs a closer look at the box score. The Cardinals beating the Lions 38-10 was one of those games. Even after looking at it, the win is still a head scratcher coming after eight straight losses and coming off a 0-58 humiliation. IT ends up that the offense is still plenty bad but the defense showed up and used four turnovers to their advantage.

When Beanie Wells scores three times in one game, it meant it went really well since he only had two scores over the first 13 games of the year. Wells rushed for 67 yards on 17 runs which was his season high on carries and yards as well. Remarkably, he had two home games since returning in week 12 and totaled all five of his touchdowns in those two efforts. He faces a solid defense this week though and at best he has to hope his defense can get him the field position again.

Ryan Lindley passed for only 104 yards on the Lions but that is his second best game of the year and he still has not actually thrown a touchdown in the NFL. This has left Larry Fitzgerald with a weekly stat line that is actually hard to stomach. He has not scored since week nine and has not been above 31 yards in any game. There is no more fantasy value in any of this offense now that Fitzgerald has been completely neutered.

This week could be when the Cards are the ones coming off a big win and play flat but by this point there is no distinguishing what "flat" and "normal" looks like in Arizona. Flat is the new normal. The defense might make it interesting and could keep the Cards in the game but the offense yet again won't have a lot to do with it.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 31 30 28 30 28 7
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 6 4 11 9 3 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blaine Gabbert, ARI TEN 20000022011 ***
Gabbert faces a great matchup for yardage -- the second-best, in fact -- but little else about it is favorable. The Titans have given up nine TD passes in the past five games, allowing 277.2 yards along the way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI TEN 6011100000 **
Williams (ribs) will get another shot at carrying the load if Adrian Peterson cannot play. The Titans are a stiff test on the ground. Pass-catching backs find a decent matchup, but Williams has two catches in the past four games. Since Week 8, RBs have averaged a pathetic 59.6 rushing yards and a score every 45.5 carries against the Nashville-based franchise.

Update: Williams has been removed from the injury report after fully practicing Thursday and Friday. He will get another crack at it with Adrian Peterson ruled out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI TEN 0081001000 ***
Tennessee offers one of the best matchups in both scoring formats. The Titans have allowed receivers to average 13 receptions (6th), 167.2 yards (11th) and a touchdown every 10.8 catches (10th) over the last five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR J.J. Nelson, ARI TEN 003400000 ***
Update: Nelson was limited all week with a knee but is questionable. He probably will see a handful of targets with John Brown ruled out. Gamers can look elsewhere despite the positive matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI TEN 003400000 ***
This is the second-best matchup for catches as well as No. 8 for yardage and PPR points since Week 8. RSJ is a high-risk, high-reward candidate. Only two of the past 30 receptions by tight ends have scored against the Titans.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, ARI TEN 2233 ***
Tennessee has granted the sixth-most fantasy points a game, and most of the work has come from distance. This is the fourth-best matchup for potential points.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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