Game Predictions & Player Projections - NO vs DET

Game Predictions & Player Projections - NO vs DET


Game Predictions & Player Projections - NO vs DET


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Prediction: NO 20, DET 24 (Line: DET by 3)

UPDATE: Calvin Johnson never practiced this week and while he is listed as just questionable, he’s far too risky to merit consideration this week and I am not adding him into the projections. Eric Ebron is also not expected to play since his hamstring kept him out of practices the last two days. Theo Riddick is also out with a sore hamstring. Mark Ingram is probable and will play. Jimmy Graham is a game time decision after only getting limited work in on Thursday and Friday. I am not projecting for him and check pregame reports for his status.

This seems like it should be a good game but the 2-3 Saints are without Jimmy Graham and the 4-2 Lions have not allowed more than 17 points to a visitor this year but are without Calvin Johnson. The Saints are rested from their bye but are 0-3 on the road this year.

New Orleans Saints

1 @ATL 34-37 10 SF —–
2 @CLE 24-26 11 CIN —–
3 MIN 20-9 12 BAL —–
4 @DAL 17-38 13 @PIT —–
5 TB 37-31 14 CAR —–
6 BYE —– 15 @CHI —–
7 @DET —– 16 ATL —–
8 GB —– 17 @TB —–
9 @CAR —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 270,1
RB Mark Ingram 40
RB C.J. Spiller 30 3-20
WR Brandin Cooks 7-80
TE Coby Fleener 2-30
TE Josh Hill 4-50,1
PK Kai Forbath 1 FG 3 XP
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP

The Saints season is already in jeopardy at 2-3 but at least division leading Carolina is only 3-2-1. Playing without Jimmy Graham changes the offense and that could work out to their advantage for this week. But the Saints defense continues to be the biggest problem and on the road they’ve already allowed about 34 points per game.

QUARTERBACK : Drew Brees comes off his best game of the year when he passed for 371 yards against the visiting Buccaneers but once again he only passed for two touchdowns. He’s thrown for two scores in the last four games but never more. Nine touchdowns on the season after five games is a little lighter than expected but at least the yardage has been there. Uncharacteristically, he has also thrown six interceptions.

RUNNING BACK : Just when it seemed safe to forget about Pierre Thomas, he runs for 35 yards and scores once, plus he had eight catches for 77 yards and a second score. That’s roughly more fantasy value than his first four weeks combined. Khiry Robinson also ran for 89 yards and a touchdown but almost never catches any passes. Mark Ingram has been out since week two but is tentatively expected to be eased back into playing this week. That will mean a return to a three-headed monster and with Robinson enjoying some success in Ingram’s absence, the rotation ratios are a coin flip for now.

WIDE RECEIVER : The wideouts continue to be ignored in the red zone and only two scores this year needed up with a wide receiver – just one since the season opener. Marques Colston was big in that opener but has since been held under 65 yards each week with never more than five receptions. Brandin Cooks scored in the opener but not since. He’s been good at catches in the last two home games (17-130) than his last two games on the road (8-48). The lower passing scores is definitely felt with the wideouts.

TIGHT END : Oddly Jimmy Graham only scores in road games and his best two yardage efforts were away from New Orleans as well. At home he’s been almost pedestrian. But Graham injured his shoulder in the Bucs game prior to the bye and will be out for at least two or three weeks. That’s a significant hit to the passing scheme. He’ll be replaced by a platoon consisting of Tom Crabtree, Josh Hill and Ben Watson. Hill scored twice over the lost three games but Watson recorded five catches for 43 yards in the last game. None of these are 1:1 with Graham and are not reliable at least this week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Lions have never allowed more than one passing score against them and that included Aaron Rodgers. The yardage tends to be lower though Brees could change that. The Lions are ranked #1 against both quarterbacks and wide receivers and that’s hitting the Saints where they live – particularly without Graham. The rushing defense has been solid overall but has allowed over 100 rushing yards to a few opponents. Brees is a must start each week but this should be a big challenge and anything over one touchdown pass will be a success here. The addition of Ingram only serves to make the backfield even less reliable. No receiver gained more than 87 yards on the Lions and just two have scored. Both Colston and Cooks will need to step up but that’s not going to happen against the #1 defense.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 8 1 27 1 21 32
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 1 8 1 18 2 17

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 17-3 15 MIN —–
7 NO —– 16 @CHI —–
8 @ATL —– 17 @GB —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Stats | Roster
DET vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 230,2
WR Jeremy Kerley 3-40,1
WR Golden Tate 6-70,1
TE Eric Ebron
TE Timothy Wright 4-40
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 3 XP

The Lions will play once again without Calvin Johnson but facing the Saints at home and then traveling to Atlanta are both winnable games even without the star wideout. The defense has been the quiet savior so far and that has to continue. They are already 2-0 in the division and do not play a rival again until week 13 so there is plenty of time to get healthy.

QUARTERBACK : Matthew Stafford’s passing stats took a noticeable and understandable dip once Calvin Johnson was no longer a factor. Stafford only threw seven touchdowns this year and never more than two in game. With Johnson checked out, Stafford only managed 231 yards and one score on the Bills and then 185 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota. Alarming too is that he’s been sacked 14 times over just the last three games.

RUNNING BACK : Theo Riddick re-aggravated his hamstring injury and may not play this week. Reggie Bush was held out of week six but says he is a lock to return for this game and that his ankle was good enough that he could have played last week if they needed him. Bush only totals up around 100 yards in soft matchups and has been held to lower yardage this season. His role as a receiver is larger and in his last two home games he caught six passes in each. Joique Bell comes off his best game of the year when he ran for 74 yards and a score in Minnesota along with two receptions for 23 yards. Bush and Bell should both be healthy this week.

WIDE RECEIVER : Calvin Johnson’s high ankle sprain will keep him out this week and almost certainly until after the bye. In week four and five when he played a very limited role, Golden Tate topped 100 yards in each against the Jets and then Bills. But last week with no Megatron to worry about, Tate was held to only 44 yards on seven receptions Corey Fuller (2-12) and Jeremy Ross (1-8) were non-factors so once again, Tate will shoulder the wide receiver responsibilities mostly by himself.

TIGHT END : Eric Ebron has yet to top 34 yards but scored in New York back in week four. He’s still outside of fantasy relevance.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Saints defense has yielded more passing yardage than it may seem because they played the Browns, Vikings and Buccaneers. But even Mike Glennon passed for 249 yards and two scores in New Orleans and Tony Romo ended with 262 yards and three touchdowns. Losing Calvin Johnson is huge but at least the Lions are at home against a weaker secondary. And the Saints always give up a rushing score so that falls somewhere between Bush and Bell. Consider Stafford and Tate as solid starts and Bush and Bell both as moderate plays with upside of scoring one or more touchdowns.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 16 15 21 25 30 2
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 22 23 30 1 29 24

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