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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 MIA 0000023020 **
With only two touchdown passes in the last two weeks, and one 300-yard day in the last five contests, Cousins is an iffy fantasy choice on his own merits. Alternatively, Miami has given up the most fantasy points in the last four games, presenting the fifth-best opponent to exploit for yardage (283.8), on average, and touchdown efficiency (every 9.5 completions).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN MIA 9014300000 ***
Cook faces a defense that has been trashed by a few backs this year. For the most part, Miami's defense has played well in the last five games vs. the position. The matchups were on the easy side, though, and Cook has looked rather spry in recent weeks. RBs have scored three times over 93 carries in the last four games, averaging just shy of a 100 yards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, MIN MIA 300000000 ***
No end zone, no fantasy value. Keep Murray in reserve, unless you're convinced he can buck the trend of this defense keeping RBs out of the end zone. Only one back in the last 75 carries has found paydirt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Thielen, MIN MIA 007901000 ***
Wide receivers have averaged 13.5 receptions (8th) for 181.5 yards (8th) against the Dolphins in the last four games. One in nine receptions scored (8th). Thielen is a must-start, as he has been all year, and has an easily beatable matchup for Week 15 play, especially if Dolphins CB Xavien Howard doesn't go.

Update: Howard has been listed as doubtful.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN MIA 006701000 ***
Two weeks ago, Diggs suffered swelling in his knee that almost kept him out of action. He toughed it out but hasn't looked the same. He was a little fresher last week and has a much more favorable opponent this week against Miami. Minnesota faces the eighth-best matchup for receptions and yards per game, as well as points per play and touchdown efficiency.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN MIA 003400000 **
The veteran hasn't scored since Week 3, and perhaps the change at offensive coordinator helps him out, but gamers shouldn't want to find out the hard way during the playoffs. At least the matchup is sparkling.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, MIN MIA 2233 ***
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 @NYJ 30000023020 ***
The Jets have yielded a lot of room on the ground in 2018 and have been moderately capable against quarterbacks. In the past five weeks, this is the top matchup for big plays. Passers have averaged a modest 250.8 yards and 1.5 TDs a game. Watson has been somewhat disappointing in the last six weeks. He has two games of 30-plus points, but the others were 22 or fewer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @NYJ 7012200000 ***
The matchup actually skews negative, but that isn't to say Miller cannot find room to work. This is a the quality opponent for yardage (5th) on the ground and even offers a decent shot at a TD (12th) based on data from the last five weeks. The Jets have been strong against pass-catching backs, which isn't exactly Miller's cup of tea.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Blue, HOU @NYJ 400000000 ***
Even with a touchdown, like we saw last week, Blue's limited returns make him a bench or waiver body in fantasy. He hasn't topped nine PPR points since Week 5 and now could lose work to D'Onta Foreman.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU @NYJ 200000000 *
He was activated last week but didn't see the Week 14 active lineup on game day and is potentially in the same situation once again. Avoid him in all settings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @NYJ 0071101000 ***
Hopkins should ball out for gamers in Week 15 against a Jets defense that has been hammered by the position this year. Despite upgrades to the secondary in the past two offseasons, New York has allowed the third-most points per game in PPR, fueled by submitting to the third-most yardage on weekly clip. WRs have scored once per outing, on average, and this is a stellar matchup for racking up receptions. Enjoy!
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, HOU @NYJ 004500000 ***
Thomas could get in on the action this week. The Jets have been laughable in their defense of the position, especially in PPR. This is the third-best matchup of the week, and no team has yielded more yards to WRs in the last five weeks (208.8/game). This is a safe projection for Thomas, but note he has definite upside in this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Thomas, HOU @NYJ 002101000 *
The Jets have yielded only 37 catches for 451 yards vs. TEs this year, though five of them have scored, so there's a hint of upside for a cheap TD.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU @NYJ 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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t