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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: Adrian Peterson 17, HOU 27 (Line: HOU by 7.5)

Players to Watch: Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster

Adrian Peterson's team is currently 8-6 and still in the running for a wild card along with four other teams. The Vikings are only 2-5 on the road. The 12-2 Texans are 6-1 at home and have clinched the AFC South and remain the #1 seed in the AFC by one game over the Broncos. Gotta still win and that's a very good thing here in week 16 for every Andre Johnson and Arian Foster owner.

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 JAC 26-23 ot 10 DET 34-24
2 @IND 20-23 11 BYE -----
3 SF 24-13 12 @CHI 10-28
4 @DET 20-13 13 @GB 14-23
5 TEN 30-7 14 CHI 21-14
6 @WAS 26-38 15 @STL 36-22
7 ARI 21-14 16 @HOU -----
8 TB 17-36 17 GB -----
9 @SEA 20-30 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
TE Kyle Rudolph 5-50,1
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: This is absolutely amazing. Honestly. Amazing. The Vikings literally have no passing game anymore. There is no one worth covering even if Christian Ponder could get the passes thrown accurately which is apparently not possible anyway. All eleven defenders know all they have to do is stop one guy. Just one guy. No need to respect anything else but one guy and yet they cannot do it. Adrian Peterson is only about 190 yards away from a 2,000 yard season and about 300 yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson's all-time record of 2,105 yards.

(Side note - did you realize that O.J. Simpson broke 2,000 yards in a 14 game season?)

The wildcard is possible though maybe less likely than for any of the other contending teams thanks to a schedule that ends with this game in Houston and then hosting the Packers.

There is no fantasy value on this team aside from maybe the team defense other than Peterson. Christian Ponder has not passed for more than 159 yards for the last four weeks. For the last three weeks, he hasn't even passed more than 25 times in a game. Meanwhile, Peterson has ran more than that for the last two weeks and racked up 576 yards in just the last three games. Every play could not be more obvious if Ponder grabbed the middle linebackers facemask and screamed at him "WE ARE GOING TO RUN PETERSON NOW!". The receivers have become such afterthoughts here that they might as well all carry huge arrows and then follow Peterson around on every play while pointing at him so the camera doesn't get lost.

Returning from a catastrophic knee injury in nine months is already miraculous. Challenging for 2000+ yards is jaw-dropping. Doing all this on the worst passing team is inconceivable. Peterson is the only fantasy play here. I know it. You know it. The defenses all know it. No one is stopping him. This is the #1 rushing defense playing at home. This will be interesting. And JJ Watt is back too...

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 7 31 18 6 16
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 19 1 25 29 5 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kirk Cousins, MIN CHI 0000025010 **
Cousins proved to be playable vs. the Bears in the last meeting, but it wasn't anything to write home about. He finished with 262 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of picks for 21.6 points in fantasy. The Bears may be again without safety Eddie Jackson, though this defense still hasn't given up a 300-yarder other than Brock Osweiler's baffling day in Week 6.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN CHI 10013200000 *
The second-year back is looking more like his healthy self in the last few weeks, racking up 209 rushing yards and two scores, adding 62 yards via the pass. He has double-digit PPR totals in five straight outings. Chicago held Cook to a pathetic four PPR points in Week 11, though, and the Bears are the third-toughest defense vs. RBs in 2018. In the last five weeks, though, three of the four rushing scores have come.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, MIN CHI 300000000 ***
With three of the four rushing TDs scored against the Bears this year coming in the last five weeks, Murray could get lucking. He was abysmal in the Week 11 game and is a risky play in any setting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN CHI 006801000 **
The Bears kept Thielen mostly in check in the Week 11 trip to Chicago, allowing seven catches for 66 yards. He has just one 100-yard game since his eight-game streak ended, and it has been three weeks since Thielen has scored. The Bears have surrendered only two touchdowns to WRs in the last five games, but this one could go either way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN CHI 004600000 **
Diggs erupted vs. Chicago for a 13-126-1 line in Week 11, his second-biggest output of the year. He has scored in consecutive games on just six total grabs and is approaching his sixth straight game without a 100-yard performance. Chicago has permitted only two WR touchdowns in the last five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN CHI 003300000 ***
Nine catches, 122 yards, two TDs ... his ridiculous stat line dwarfed just about the rest of his season. With only two scores coming into Week 16, and Detroit having been relatively strong against the position, Rudolph's game can be considered closer to a fluke. He saw five targets, snaring two for 13 yards against Chicago in their last meeting.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, MIN CHI 3322 ***
No writeup available

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI 13-6
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC 43-37
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET 34-31
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN 24-10
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE 14-42
6 GB 24-42 15 IND 29-17
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF 21-9 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brandon Weeden 230,1
RB Lamar Miller 20
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-90,1

Pregame Notes: Just win this week and the #1 seed is their clear and simple. A previous win over the Broncos ensures even if the Colts won in Indy in the season finale' that a tied record would not matter. This is the final home game and a chance to treat the hometown fans for the last time until the second round of the playoffs.

Stopping Adrian Peterson will be key as it has for every defense. But even Chris Johnson gashed the Texans for 141 yards back in week four in Houston and Peterson is capable of breaking a long one on any given play... and has... with regularity in recent games.

Matt Schaub at home should always throw at least one touchdown but his yardage will vary depending on need and how well Arian Foster is running. Last week Foster turned in a season best 165 yards on 27 carries but failed to score in a home game for only the second time all year. He was on a three game scoring streak previous and has been a lock for high yardage whenever in Houston.

The passing effort has waned in recent weeks though the Texans kept on winning thanks to rushing scores and good defensive play. The secondary got it back together after the New England loss and held Andrew Luck to only 186 yards last week. All that really matters on the offense now is Foster and Andre Johnson. Ben Tate is back as the #2 but has minimal use. Johnson has been significantly more productive in the second half of the season and comes off a 151 yard last week which was only his third highest game in the last five weeks.

Knowing that a win here means week 17 does not matter, the Texans will give their final home game a total effort like we saw last week. The only way this is anything close to being a close game is if Adrian Peterson can have big success against the best defense versus running backs. It's like the immoveable object and the unstoppable force. Plus Andre Johnson. And Arian Foster. The only weakness of the defense counters the weakness of the Minnesota offense.

This game should have so much running in it that it may be over before any other game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 18 1 25 3 4 5
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 27 14 22 21 10 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Deshaun Watson, HOU JAC 40100018000 ***
Jacksonville has been strong against quarterbacks pretty much all year, and the worst game of Watson's fantasy season came vs. this defense in Week 7. He managed only 139 passing yards and one touchdown, adding 13 yards on the ground. He has been really good the last two games, so stick with him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU JAC 10012200000 **
Miller sat last week and is trending toward playing this week. Check back for an update to be sure.The Jaguars allowed him 100 yards and a TD in Week 7, but the matchup has since soured other than Derrick Henry's aberration a few weeks back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU JAC 2004300000 ***
Foreman was pitiful on the ground in his first game since Week 11 of last year. He caught two passes, including a touchdown, to salvage a 10.7-point day in PPR. Lamar Miller is expected to return this week, so keep Foreman on the low end of your list of worthwhile gambles. Jacksonville has been stout all year vs. RBs, with the exception of one notable blip.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU JAC 005600000 ***
The star went for 50 yards and a TD on three catches in the earlier meeting. he was good for a 7-55-1 line in last year's home start vs. the Jags. This could be a conservative projection in a way, but it's also a brutal matchup. Play him in traditional leagues but with tempered expectations. He should be avoided in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vyncint Smith, HOU JAC 002300000 ***
With a whopping two NFL grabs to his name, Smith was able to score last week on a 35-yarder. He is currently averaging 31.5 yards per catch in his extremely small sample size. The Jaguars are about as tough as they come vs. WRs, and Smith shouldn't be a factor in fantasy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keke Coutee, HOU JAC 002300000 *
Coutee looks like he is on track to play this week but shouldn't be a part of the plan in fantasy lineups. Jacksonville has smothered WRs this year, and while he will have a larger role with Demaryius Thomas lost for the year, the rookie is too risky of a play for most situations.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU JAC 1133 ***
No writeup available

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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