Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs MIN

Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs MIN

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs MIN

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Prediction: DET 23, MIN 17 (Line: DET by 2)

UPDATE: Reggie Bush never practiced this week because of his ankle and is questionable at best to play. He will be a game time decision but never practicing is rarely favorable. I am lowering his projections because of his risk but check his game status which will be in the early round of games on Sunday. Calvin Johnson also missed all practices and is listed as doubtful. I am removing him from the projections as he is unlikely to play. Theo Riddick will play if Bush is unable.

Big divisional meeting. The 3-2 Lions are only 1-1 on the road and go to Minnesota to play the 2-3 Vikings who are still trying to figure out their ever-changing offense. Let defense be the difference here. The Vikes have only held one of five opponents to fewer than 20 points. The Lions have allowed more than 17 points just once.

The home team won both of the meetings last year. The Lions rolled up 34-24 in Detroit.

Detroit Lions

1 NYG 35-14 10 MIA —–
2 @CAR 7-24 11 @ARI —–
3 GB 19-7 12 @NE —–
4 @NYJ 24-17 13 CHI —–
5 BUF 14-17 14 TB —–
6 @MIN —– 15 MIN —–
7 NO —– 16 @CHI —–
8 @ATL —– 17 @GB —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 260,1
RB Theo Riddick 40
RB Stevan Ridley 50
WR Jeremy Kerley 3-30
WR Golden Tate 6-80,1
TE Eric Ebron 3-30
TE Timothy Wright 4-30
PK Matt Prater 3 FG 2 XP

Losing to the Bills last week was troublesome since it was at home and casts a big shadow on what the Lions are like without Calvin Johnson on the field. This is a must win to stay up with the Packers in the division but the Lions tried to make one correction. They opted to go for a new kicker, one that hopefully makes actual field goals that could win games and signed Matt Prater to a one-year deal.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Stafford has been his old high-powered self only when facing really weak defenses this year. When the Bills visited, he was held to only 221 yards and one touchdown. He has not broken 300 yards since the season opener and thrown just six touchdowns in his five games played. The lack of Megatron this week is not going to help.

Stafford only threw for 217 yards and two scores in Minnesota last year. He had 357 yards and two scores in the home meeting.

RUNNING BACK : More problems here. Joique Bell missed last week with a concussion and is no lock to play this week. He was cleared to do some work as a positive sign and I will assume he can play and update as warranted. Reggie Bush sprained his ankle and says he is day-to-day. I am going to assume both can play because otherwise they are down to only George Winn. Having a credible rushing game will be a tremendous help if Calvin Johnson cannot play.

All combined the Lions only rushed for 63 yards on 22 carries in Minnesota last year but Reggie Bush added 33 yards and a score on five catches.

WIDE RECEIVER : HC Jim Caldwell said he will considering holding Calvin Johnson out this week. Johnson has been hobbled for two games and then further injured his ankle in the loss to the Bills. Golden Tate has stepped up these last two weeks in a big way with 116 yards versus the Jets and then 134 yards and a score against the Bills. This is exactly why they brought Tate in and exactly what has been missing from the offense for years. Jeremy Ross plays a very minor role even with Megatron on the sideline.

Johnson did not play in Minnesota last year and was held to just 37 yards on four catches in the home meeting.

TIGHT END : After securing his first NFL touchdown in week five when he turned in three catches for 34 yards, Eric Ebron only managed two catches for eight yards in the loss to the Bills. He is a work in process but will grow in usage and reliability.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Vikings have allowed multiple touchdowns to the last thee quarterbacks – merely Brees, Ryan and Rodgers. Stafford comes along with no Johnson but a set of other weapons to use. The Vikes are weak against the run with six scores already allowed and over 100 rushing yards for almost every opposing backfield. This feels more like a lower scoring game though. Stafford and Tate are lower end starters this week and whatever the healthiest running back ends up to be should be decent to good.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 10 23 8 25 31 6
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 9 22 17 12 7 21

Minnesota Vikings

1 @STL 34-6 10 BYE —–
2 NE 7-30 11 @CHI —–
3 @NO 9-20 12 GB —–
4 ATL 41-28 13 CAR —–
5 @GB 10-42 14 NYJ —–
6 DET —– 15 @DET —–
7 @BUF —– 16 @MIA —–
8 @TB —– 17 CHI —–
9 WAS —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Teddy Bridgewater 30 240,1
RB Matt Asiata 30,1 3-20
RB Jerick McKinnon 30 3-20
WR Cordarrelle Patterson 4-50
WR Jarius Wright 4-50
TE Rhett Ellison 3-20
PK Blair Walsh 1 FG 2 XP

The Vikings were blown out in Green Bay and the scoring problem reared its head again after 41 points scored in Atlanta. The Adrian Peterson situation continues to pop up with the potential of him returning late in the season. Teddy Bridgewater has already proven his worth by not being Christian Ponder. This is just a rebuilding year and the schedule is not making it any easier.

QUARTERBACK : Christian Ponder (22-44-222-0-2) reminded everyone why the Viking reached to get Teddy Bridgewater who was held out with a bad ankle but mostly because it was a Thursday game and he did not have enough time to heal up. He is expected back for this week but will face the toughest defense so far of his young career. He is still waiting on his first NFL passing touchdown.

Cassel passed for just 189 yards and one score on the visiting Lions last year.

RUNNING BACK : Matt Asiata only gained 72 yards on 15 runs in Green Back but is back at home where he recently scored three times on the Falcons and their horrible pass defense. Jerick McKinnon was only allowed seven runs and is at a 2:1 sharing ratio with Asiata so far. McKinnon will be back where he ran for 135 yards on 18 runs versus the Falcons. McKinnon has been the more effective runner but Asiata holds onto the starter role from being a more complete back.

Peterson ran for 115 yards on the Lions last season and gained 93 yards and two scores in the road loss.

WIDE RECEIVER : This remains one of the worst units in the NFL and that has not changed with any of the three quarterbacks who have played. HC Mike Zimmer said he would like to get Cordarrelle Patterson “more involved,” but he is either open or not and mostly not. His season best was only four catches for 61 yards and he managed just eight yards on two catches in Green Bay. Greg Jennings slipped back to obscurity again with the only wideout touchdown and that was from the season opener. So far there is just nothing happening here despite the promises and personnel changes.

Patterson had the rare good game when the Lions visited last year. He ran for 54 yards and a score and caught two passes for 31 yards and another touchdown.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value since Kyle Rudolph left.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The problem here, aside from so many new players for the Vikes from the start of the year, is that the Lions have allowed exactly one passing score to every opponent and typically lower yardage as well. They have only allowed three rushing touchdowns and no runner has rushed for more than 84 yards on the Lions. In fact all others were held below 50 yards. Bridgewater is a very marginal play as are all the skill players here. With the split backfield, you could get really hurt relying on either Asiata or McKinnon.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 26 22 28 19 13 22
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 1 12 3 19 4 18

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