The Packers and Power Rankings – Week 12 Preview

The Packers are riding high in the latest power rankings. Does it matter?

The Packers are riding high in the latest power rankings. Does it matter?

By Jon Meerdink

Almost every power ranking in the universe has the Packers pegged as the third best team in the NFL.

Seriously, go check.

Sports Illustrated? Third Third.

ESPN? Third.

FOX Sports? Third.

CBS? Third.

USA Today? Third.

SB Nation? Third.

Associated Press? Third.

Of the non-team specific websites listed on the first page of Google’s search results for “NFL power rankings,” only Walter Football has the Packers listed as anything other than third, and they have the Packers second in the NFL. The results are so consistent that there’s actually more disagreement over who the best team is than the third best team. Is there really that wide of a consensus that the Packers are, in fact, the third best team in the league?

If there is such a consensus, it’s relatively recent. Based on my examination of the AP’s “Pro32″ poll, the Packers have only recently arrived in the top 3, and this is the highest they’ve been ranked since Week 1. How do I know this? Behold:

power rankings

Yeah, I have a lot of free time. What of it?


That chart represents the complete movement of every team in the league as ranked in the AP’s weekly power poll. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the most accurate representation of the teams in the poll, but I want to use it as a baseline for a couple points.

First, I think it’s less important to look at how each team is ranked in a given week than which way they’re trending. The Seahawks have been in first place more weeks than anybody, but they’ve spend most of the second half of the season sliding downward. The Patriots and Cardinals have more or less trended upward, peaking at first and second respectively. The Packers have traveled a similar path. The Raiders are bad and have always been bad.

Second, these rankings, while generally good at showing where a particular team is headed and where they’ve been relative to other teams are really, really really susceptible to major shifts on a nearly weekly basis. Outside of the last couple weeks, there have been significant shifts in the AP Pro32 power ranking almost like clockwork. Basically, my point is this: it’s hard to look at a number and definitively say “yes, the Packers are certainly the third best team in the NFL.”

All this leads me to this weekend’s game.

The Packers thoroughly beat the Vikings the first time around. The Packers are currently ranked much higher than the Vikings in the AP’s poll. But so many things have changed between then and now that I’m not sure there’s any point in just lining up the numbers and saying “the Packers will definitively win because their numbers are different than the Vikings’ numbers.”

I know it’s a weak case and I’m about to make a pick where I have the Packers over the Vikings by a score greater than I’m really comfortable doing, but really, these teams are less different than I think we probably realize, and it’s helpful to keep that in mind as the Packers ride this hot streak. One or two plays with different outcomes and one or two players in different positions and the Packers and Vikings could easily be in different positions on the power rankings.

Packers – 34 Vikings – 17

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Fantasy Outlook – Week 12

rodgersBy Jordan Huenink

As we creep closer to the playoffs, the pressure is growing for those of you with 5-6 or 6-5 records. Chances are that you’re on the bubble of making the playoffs and need a win this week to ensure your post-season birth.

If you haven’t taken my advice about the Packers’ studs the last, couple weeks I beg you to do so this week! The Pack travels to Minnesota on Sunday to face the Vikings. We all know how this went down last time.

Aaron Rodgers is currently projected as the #2 fantasy quarterback this week at 21.5 points. That number comes out to about 300 yards passing, two touchdowns. Take into account the productivity of Eddie Lacy last time he faced the Vikings, it’s understandable that Rodgers is only predicted for two. Back in Week 5, Lacy racked up 105 rush yards and two touchdowns. He’s projected or 85 yards and touchdown this week as well.

What about the receivers? Jordy Nelson is currently predicted for about 90 yards and a touchdown. (Guessing it’s another 50+ yarder too.) Randall Cobb is projected for 13.4 fantasy points, which could come out to 74 yards and a touchdown, or just 134 receiving yards, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility after last week’s showing. even has Davante Adams projected for 9.3 points! Needless to say, everyone expects Rodgers’ air assault to continue against the Vikings who just gave up 330 yards and three touchdowns to Jay Cutler last week.

The Packers D/ST is a great start for this week as well. After playing well against the up-tempo Eagles defense, they shouldn’t have much issue with Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings. They probably won’t have three touchdowns again, but I’m guessing they’ll be able to manage a few sacks and a couple takeaways.

As for the rest of the league, Andrew Luck and the Colts passing game is facing Jacksonville. Make sure he and his top receivers are in your starting roster, but temper your expectations for Trent Richardson. With Ahmad Bradshaw out with a broken ankle, Trent may get the bulk of the carries. However, he had a majority of the carries last season as well and was not productive. I’d use him as a Flex or RB2 at most.

Even though he had a rough outing against the Packers, Mark Sanchez should have a much better time against a poor Tennesee Titans defense. Look for him to connect with Jordan Matthews and Jeremy Maclin for a couple touchdowns. Ravens running back Justin Forsett also has a favorable match-up at New Orleans this week. The Saints are giving up an average of 114 yards rushing per game.

With Ben Tate off the Browns roster, look for Isaiah Crowell and Terrence West to put up good numbers against the Falcons. Josh Gordon is also making his return for Cleveland this week after his ten-game suspension. While there may be some rust that needs to get knocked off, look for Brian Hoyer to target Gordon 12-15 times. Those looks could translate into a good chunk of yards.

On the negative side of things, targets for Julian Edelman have dropped off in New England as of late. Look for low numbers against an impressive Detroit defense this week. Don’t expect insane numbers from breakout running back Jonas Gray either. Detroit is the #1 defense in the league against the run, and have only allowed four rushing touchdowns all season. In that same game, be careful not to expect big numbers from Lions QB Matthew Stafford. He averages only 17 fantasy points on the road this season, including only a 5-point performance last week against Arizona.

The Little Things

boinkBy Jon Meerdink

Two consecutive blowouts, an offense that’s riding high, and an ascending defense leaves very little dissect from week to week.

Sure, there are still warts there. The defense did give up a bunch of yards, the special teams had a couple gaffes, and the NFC North isn’t locked up yet, but come on people! This is a time to talk about little things that don’t matter…like gloves.

Specifically Jarrett Boykin‘s gloves.

Boykin has been underwhelming on the field, but his glove game is always on point, and it’s always been on point.

What’s unique about Boykin is he prefers a glove style that almost nobody else uses: solid colors. We’ve seen Jarrett in white gloves…


…in green gloves…

MJS packers15 46 of hoffman.jpg packers15

…and even in black gloves.


But last Sunday night, Boykin broke new ground with some fantastic YELLOW gloves, which featured prominently on his blocked punt that wasn’t a blocked punt.


I really don’t have a good explanation as to why Jarrett Boykin’s gloves fascinate me, but they do. Every game I have to check and see what he’s wearing because…I don’t know why, but I do.

He doesn’t always stick to his solid glove plan, though, although there is evidence of his preference for solid gloves dating all the way back to his college years. Occasionally Boykin will throw in a black outside/white palm pair, and he did the camouflage nonsense for the “Salute to Service” promotion last year. He’s also thrown in several different iterations of black, green, and even yellow over the past couple season.

Does this matter? Not in the slightest, but I think it’s fun to see the little quirks that differentiate the players. The little modifications or choices guys make to stand out from the crowd have always fascinated me, whether it was Gilbert Brown‘s black visor, Ahman Green‘s forearm pads (and flirtation with rubber elbow pads), or the weird shoes Julius Peppers wore in early in the season or the black socks he wore later on, it’s the little things that make individual players stick out just as much as what they do on the field.

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Fantasy Rewind – Week 11

defenseBy Jordan Huenink

If you’re looking for some players to get on your fantasy roster NOW before the playoffs come a’knockin’, look no further than the Green Bay Packers. Sure, we all expected Aaron Rodgers and company to torch the Bears at Lambeau in Week 10, but few – if any – predicted the fantasy tsunami that the offense would put up against Philadelphia on Sunday.

Rodgers led all quarterbacks in scoring this past week with 28.8 fantasy points, which is more than five points better than the second QB on the list, Jay Cutler (23.3). Jordy Nelson caught four balls for 109 yards and his fifth-straight touchdown at home (16.9). Randall Cobb broke his streak of six straight games with a touchdown, but still racked up ten catches for 129 yards (12.9). Eddie Lacy completed the offensive trifecta with 23.4 fantasy points of his own. The big back finished with 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well as three catches for 45 yards and another score.

The Packers defense led the league in fantasy scoring this week with a whopping 33.9 fantasy points! But then again, I suppose that’s what happens when you have an interception, fumble AND punt returns for touchdowns. They also got after Mark Sanchez for three sacks. One of the big scoring surprises of the week.

Let’s take a peek behind the curtain and see which of my Week 11 predictions hit the mark and which ones missed.

Not only did I tell you to start all Packers this week (Rodgers, Nelson, Cobb & Lacy), I also snuck in a sleeper plug for Davante Adams who managed a touchdown and 7.3 fantasy points. I also predicted a good chunk of yards for Matt Forte against Minnesota (175 total), but was wrong on his touchdown total.

I REALLY missed when I told you to be careful starting the Packers D/ST. I also wrongly predicted another sputtering outing by the Bears offense. Cutler put up 330 yards and two TDs, and really utilized his big wide receivers against the smaller, Viking secondary. They also didn’t lose like I predicted / was hoping. And finally I couldn’t have been more wrong about the Denver Broncos offense against St. Louis – who saw THAT coming? Peyton Manning managed only one touchdown and threw two, ugly interceptions. The Broncos also got bit by the injury bug, so pay close attention to the Week 12 status of Montee Ball, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas if you own them.

Other Week 11 fantasy headlines:

- Jonas Gray rushes for 199 yards and four TDs for New England
Le’Veon Bell drops 204 yards and a TD on the Titans
– Bucs rookie WR Mike Evans goes over 200 to beat the Redskins
Jamaal Charles and KC run over the Seahawks for 159 yards and two TDs

As for me, I managed my tenth win of the season thanks to Bell’s performance on Monday. I can lock down the #1 seed for the playoffs with a win next week, so we’ll reconvene on Thursday to see what Week 12 has to offer.

On Throwback Uniforms – Week 11 Preview

Mmm...throwback sack.

Mmm…throwback sack.

By Jon Meerdink

In Week 1 of the 2010 season, the Packers traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in a season opening showdown. The game was to be something of a coming out party for Kevin Kolb, anointed in the offseason as Philadelphia’s starter. They’d jettisoned Donovan McNabb in the offseason, making way for Kolb to ascend to the starting role.

This is notable because it was Kolb that Clay Matthews chased down and sacked brutally in that game, leaping onto his back as Kolb rolled to his left and pinning his arms to his sides in such a way that Kolb could not cushion his fall at all. He took the full force of the impact on his chest and head and would leave the game with a concussion, opening the door for Michael Vick to begin his redemption tour in earnest.

The play sticks in my mind for a couple reasons. First, because it was an excellent play by Matthews, fully displaying his unique pass rushing skills, but second, because you can’t see a replay of that play without immediately noticing the fantastic throwback uniforms the Eagles wore that day.

The Kelly green look is legendary in Philadelphia, and the Eagles periodically kick around the idea of bringing it back full-time. I’d fully support the idea, but for now, the color is associated with nothing more than a memory of the beginning what would be an especially awesome season.

The Packers, of course, debuted their most recent throwback uniform that season too, bringing out the big yellow circle jerseys in a game against the 49ers, which I happily attended. That game has its own unique highlight in my mind: Donald Driver‘s semi-miraculous catch-and-run that featured 47 missed tackles by San Francisco, give or take.

The Packers have pulled out the uniform on two other occasions: last year against the Browns and three years ago against the Rams. I love it with the chocolate brown helmet, but I’m meh on it with the yellow helmet.

All the throwback related talk, though, had me thinking this week: with the NFL’s “safety-conscious” (heavy sarcasm) ways ever more at the forefront, what are some Packers throwbacks that wouldn’t run afoul of the league’s “one helmet” rule?

I can think of three obvious contenders, with a fourth option on the table, too.

First, GIVE ME SOME SOLID GREEN UNIFORMS. Yes, there’s a precedent, and yes, they’d be awesome. Or…maybe they’d be awesome, I’m not sure how this electric green would really look under the lights at Lambeau, but it could be fun.

packers green pants


Second, could I interest you in an increased dose of yellow with your Packers uniform? This would go pretty well with the existing yellow helmet, and the uniform itself is different enough to provide a striking visual contrast to the Packers’ standard getups. (The Packers also wore a solid yellow outfit at least once in their history…but that seems like a bit much).

packers yellow shoulders

Thirdly, I think the little used “midnight green” alternate uniform from the 50’s could be a fun look, especially given how rare it was. As best I can tell (thanks to the excellent Wearing of the Green (and Gold) blog) and some of my own sleuthing, this gem was only worn twice: once in 1956 and once in 1958. Both times it was paired with a white helmet (a WHITE helmet!!!) and white pants. The white pants would do, but the white helmet would have to be yellow. Small sacrifices for a unique look. It actually reminds me a bit of the non-bumblebee throwback the Steelers used to wear.

midnight green

The fourth option would be less a throwback and more a change the Packers could consider if they’d ever want to overall their look permanently. Yes, that’ll never happen, but bear with me. If that were to somehow happen, I’d advocate for a hybrid return to the Lombardi uniforms: no collar stripes, three sleeve stripes, three sock stripes, and gray facemasks. That seems like a fair balance between old and new.

The sock stripes are just neat, I think, but they’d have to be reduced to match the sleeve stripes. With the minimal fabric available on modern uniforms, there’s just not room for five stripes. Doing away with the collar striping would free up a little space for the shoulder numbers, which seem to have been getting a bit crowded the last few years as uniform tops shrink and shrink.

Anyhow, that’s all I have to say about throwbacks and alternates. I think the Packers win by seven or more this weekend, Aaron Rodgers throws four touchdowns, and Casey Hayward and Sam Shields both get interceptions.

The Pick: Packers – 34 Eagles – 24

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Fantasy Outlook: Week 11

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are all smiles as they get set to face the Philly defense this week.

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are all smiles as they get set to face the Philly defense this week.

By Jordan Huenink

While we were away, my fantasy team unfortunately suffered it’s first defeat at the hands of my newly confident brother in-law. In fact, everyone else in our league would have beaten me this past week since I had the lowest score out of everyone. It was bound to happen at some point. But I’ve moved on, and have shifted my focus to Week 11. That’s the key to fantasy football – you can’t dwell on your losses! So pick your head up, strap on your boots and think of a couple more lame cliches because we’re in the homestretch to the playoffs!

Looking ahead to Sunday’s game against the Eagles, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense could be in line for another, big fantasy outing. Speaking strictly to on-field statistics, the Eagles are currently ranked 22nd against the pass giving up an average of 251 yards per game and 19 touchdowns on the year, and are ranked 19th against the run (115 yards/game, 4 total TDs).

Looking at fantasy stats, the Eagles are allowing 22 points per game to quarterbacks, 18 points to running backs and 26 points to wide receivers. So if the numbers I’ve given haven’t persuaded you yet – START ALL PACKERS this week! And by all, I mean the big four – Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy. Davante Adams could also be a sneaky sleeper tonight if you’re in a deeper league.

With the Eagles’ high-octane, fast-paced offense, it may be risky starting the Packers D/ST this coming week – even after their impressive performance this past Sunday. The Eagles average 31 points per game, and I’d be more confident in the offense scoring enough points to win, rather than the defense getting a needed, late-game stop.

For those of you in the playoff hunt, the Packers have a pretty favorable schedule moving forward. They play at Minnesota and home against New England to wrap up the fantasy regular season, and then play Atlanta at home, at Buffalo and at Tampa Bay to round out the playoffs. Not too shabby! Playoff schedules are always something to keep in mind at this point in the season. You can use that information to trade for players with favorable schedules, or trade away players with harder schedules. Can make a huge difference!

Looking to the rest of the league for Week 11, there are some intriguing fantasy match-ups on tap!

Can Smokin’ Jay Cutler and the Bears “juggernaut” offense get things back on track versus the Vikings? You’d like to think so, but the Vikings are currently ranked #9 in total yardage allowed at only 326 yards per game. Matt Forte will get his yardage and probably a couple touchdowns, but I’m not confident that Chicago gets their first, home win this week.

Denver travels to St. Louis to play the Rams, and you can expect Peyton Manning and the Broncos to continue their offensive onslaught. Demaryius Thomas hasn’t caught a touchdown in his last three games – a career-long drought – so you can look for Manning to help break that streak. He seems to target receivers who haven’t caught scores in a while. Just ask Julius Thomas!

The marquee match-up of the week has New England traveling to Indianapolis on Sunday night. Tom Brady vs Andrew Luck. Two high-scoring offenses who are both clicking on all cylinders recently. Luck hasn’t had great results against the Patriots in his career so far, but hopefully the third time is the charm. It’d be a real passing-of-the-torch kind of thing if he bested Brady, I think.

I hope you haven’t given up on your fantasy team yet! How is your team doing?

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What I Learned While We Were Away

Packer Perspective is about signs like this.

Packer Perspective is about signs like this.

By Jon Meerdink

It’s been more than a month since I’ve written a post for The Packer Perspective. That’s the longest stretch without a new post since the blog started in April 2012.

There were several reasons for the hiatus. First, work was absolutely crazy for a time. The lead-up to an election is always insane for any media outlet, and due to a couple vacations I ended up pulling six day weeks two of the four full weeks in October.

Then there was the preparation for the proposal to my then-girlfriend (now fiancée), which included lining up more than a dozen different people to make a trip to Chicago, several different, major schedule changes, and (I kid you not) being robbed at gunpoint.

Needless to say, it’s been an interesting month.

Despite the eventfulness of the last month, though, I’ve had a lot of time to just watch football. I’ve seen college football, a lot of Packers games, and even a couple of the new FXFL contests, which were interesting for a few different reasons. The second or third week of my self-imposed hiatus, I realized how different it was to just watch football without thinking about writing about it. Football is fun, period, but it’s especially fun when you just watch it for the sheer enjoyment of it, which is something that I realize now I’d been getting away from over the past season or so of writing this blog.

Do you know how fun it is to watch an Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass for the sole purpose of just watching an Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass? It’s very freeing to just see the beauty and skill of it and not think about fitting a play into a narrative or a story. The same goes for watching Clay Matthews rush the passer with abandon or seeing Eddie Lacy forcefully navigate through a defense. Watching football was fun again for the first time in a while. I missed that.

I realize that this is starting to sound a lot like the column where I tell you that I’m hanging up my keyboard and leaving the blogging business for good, but that’s not true. I don’t want that at all. What I do want is fun. Football is fun, and writing about football should be fun. So let’s have some fun.

I realize now that you don’t need me to break down games for you. There’s no need for a 1200 word day-after-the-game autopsy of a win or a loss. You’ve got a host of professional writers to do that for you, and I am not that. What I can give you is me and my take on what happened on the field, on Twitter, and around the rest of the internet. If you’re like me, and I think a lot of the people who read this blog are, there’s a good chance you’ve already broken down the game on your own. What you want, I hope, is to have fun talking about the things that make the game fun, and I think we can provide that here.

So let’s have some fun. Let’s talk about uniforms and Aaron Rodgers’ Smokin’ Jay Cutler hand signal and who would win in the Packers version of Fight Club. That’s why I started Packer Perspective, and that’s what will keep it going.

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Fantasy Outlook: Week 8

The Rodgers vs Brees match-up this week should produce loads of fantasy points.

The Rodgers vs Brees match-up this week should produce loads of fantasy points.

by Jordan Huenink

Whoa. I blacked out. What happened? It’s Week 8 already? It feels like I didn’t even write posts for Week 7! Oh wait…

Like Jon, I have also been inundated with ridiculous amounts of work at my ACTUAL job. A fun bout with the dreaded flu also took me out earlier this week. But that’s behind us now like all my fantasy football opponents. That’s right, I’m still rolling strong at an undefeated mark of 7-0. Can’t make this stuff up! I must be getting lucky this year or something. Or maybe the fantasy powers that be are smiling down on me now that I’m actually doing something I thoroughly enjoy. (I hope my boss isn’t reading this…) It’s highly unlikely otherwise that THIS is the year that my draft strategy was executed to perfection.

The Packers head to New Orleans this week to take on the Saints on Sunday night – a game that has “Fantasy Football Bonanza” written all over it. These two, high-powered offenses and middle-of-the-pack defenses should result in a high-scoring game both in reality and fantasy. Let’s make some Packer fantasy predictions, shall we?

Aaron Rodgers will keep rolling. I ‘m guessing we see 350 yards and four TDs on his stat line for Sunday. The Saints are ranked #28 against the pass so far this year. Easy one. On to the next position.

As for the run, look for the Saints to do more damage on the ground than the Packers. Even without starting running back Pierre Thomas, look for Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson to pick up the slack and find the end zone at least once between the two of them. Lacy will (hopefully) gain a majority of his fantasy points in the second half after the Packers have a nice lead. The Packers are #31 against the run, while the Saints are #11.

Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams will keep the trend going as they each will once again catch another touchdown. Nelson will probably have a second one as well. Despite his ability to distribute the ball, Rodgers has really been able to key in on these three receivers recently no matter what the defenses try to do. Look for them all to score double digits in fantasy this week.

As for the rest of the league, here are some of my players to start for this week.

Russell Wilson has been a fantasy beast over the last, few weeks. He has rushed for over 100 yards twice this season. He could very well score 30+ fantasy points again this week. Ryan Tannehill has looked hot lately. Look for him to continue against the Jaguars. Kyle Orton has bust back onto the fantasy scene by putting up an average of 297 yards per game. His matchup against the Jets this week is a juicy one.

Will DeMarco Murray have yet ANOTHER 100-yard game? Monday night at home against the Redskins? Chalk that up as a ‘yes!’ Jerick McKinnon has emerged as the featured back in Minnesota. A matchup against Tampa Bay this week gives him a great chance to rack up fantasy points. With Stevan Ridley out for the year, look for Shane Vereen to continue getting an increased number of carries against the Bears this week. He should be creeping into the Top 15 pretty soon!

Mike Wallace should piggyback on Tannehill’s success against Jacksonville. He’s been a touchdown machine lately, catching five scores in six games this season. With Percy Harvin now on the east coast, Doug Baldwin should be the main beneficiary on Russell Wilson’s passes. His seven catches for 123 yards last week were all season highs. Sammy Watkins had a huge day against Minnesota last week. He should be able to feast on the Jets secondary.

The Seattle Seahawks are #30 in the league against tight ends this year. Look for Greg Olsen to exploit his matchups on Sunday. Back from his injury, Jordan Reed should be able to put up decent numbers against a Dallas defense that allows an average of 12+ fantasy points to tight ends. Will all depend on the quarterback play, however.

As for D/STs, the Dolphins, Vikings, Bills, Texans and Cowboys all have favorable matchups.

Best of luck in Week 8! Feel free to hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with any fantasy football questions you have. I’d be glad to help you out!

Three Things to Watch in Miami

Ryan Tannehill: QB savior or athletic bust?

Ryan Tannehill: QB savior or athletic bust?

By Jon Meerdink

[Editor’s note: I apologize for the lack of full previews the last couple weeks. Time constraints have put a serious dent in my writing output. I hope to get us back to full strength soon. Thanks for reading anyway.]

Miami is no longer the pushover they once were in the post-Dan Marino era. By no means a powerhouse yet, they are showing signs of improvement, both in their overall play and with a few bright spots individually.

The Packers, meanwhile, are coming off two excellent performances and seem to be gaining steam. Let’s take a quick look at what we can watch in Miami this weekend.

1. The defenses – The Packers defense is trending in the right direction. They’ve made strides in points allowed and takeaways over last season, and the run defense is improving as the year goes on. Miami boasts a formidable running attack, and with Josh Boyd hobbled and Datone Jones unlikely to play, it’s possible the Packers could be thin up front. A strong running team may have the advantage in the heat down the stretch, as both teams tire in the Miami sun. If the Packers can’t stop the run, this could be a long one.

2. Tannehill’s development – Ryan Tannehill remains a marvelous athlete. That was always true. He caught 101 passes as a receiver over his freshman and sophomore years at Texas A&M before transitioning to quarterback, and he still possesses excellent speed and overall athletic ability. He’s coming along as a passer, although it’s tough to really say he’s made it yet, as his completion percentage, yards per attempt, and TD/INT ratio still leave a bit to be desired. If the Packers can force Tannehill to beat them as a passer, though, that would likely help their cause immensely.

3. Lacy on repeat – Eddie Lacy finally got going last week with his first 100 yard rushing game of the season, but seeing him do it twice in a row would be an unusual feat. Despite his excellent rookie season, Lacy never posted back to back 100 yard games, and with the Dolphins’ stout defense looming, this may not be the best chance for him to do it. However, another solid effort for Lacy would make things that much easier for his offensive counterparts.

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Fantasy Outlook – Week 6

Jordan predicts James Starks will find the end zone for the first time this season.

Jordan predicts James Starks will find the end zone for the first time this season.

By Jordan Huenink

It’s only Week 6, and already the NFL has lost its remaining, undefeated teams – cue ’72 Dolphins reference. However, I guarantee that some fantasy leagues still have some 5-0 leaders in the group. Is that you? I hope so, because then we can be in a club together! That’s right, I survived another week unscathed and am enjoying the top of Fantasy Mountain – for now. I have a feeling my first loss is coming soon – just hopefully not this week at the hands of my father in-law!

So what players have the best chance of getting you another tally in the win column this week? Let’s take a look at some predictions.

First off, the Packers play at Miami this week. The Dolphins are ranked 9th in the league against the pass this year allowing 215 yards per game as well as 1.4 touchdowns. They also have 11 sacks on the season so far. On the flip side of that, the Dolphins defense is ranked 13th against the run – giving up an average of 107 yards per game.

That being said, I see Aaron Rodgers having another solid game to the tune of 18-20 fantasy points. That would come out to around 250 yards and two TDs. For the sake of predicting things, I’m guessing that one of those will go to Jordy Nelson (of course), and the other will go to a running back – let’s say James Starks. Why not? Let’s get crazy!

As for Eddie Lacy, he should have a modest game as long as he can get in the end zone. If not, he could put up 50-75 yards on the ground this week with some receiving yards sprinkled in. Look for Mason Crosby to be middle-of-the-road this week as well. The more touchdowns the Packers score, the less fantasy points Crosby scores. Just fine for Packers fans, but not as pleasant for fantasy owners (like me!). I’m predicting the Pack will put up 27 points this week – three TDs and two field goals. Should give Crosby 10 points on the day.

As for the rest of the league, keep an eye on San Diego running back Brandon Oliver as he aims to build on his breakout performance from last week. He’ll be going up against the Oakland Raiders, who are ranked just ahead of the Packers at 31st against the run (158 yards/game). Offenses have also had their way against the Jets so far this season. It’s not going to get any easier for them this week as Peyton Manning comes to town. Look for Manning to toss another four touchdowns in this game as he continues to track down Brett Favre for the career touchdown record. Receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas will be on the receiving end of three of those scores – Julius Thomas the fourth.  All huge plays this week (as usual)!

After being gouged for 241 yards against the Vikings in Week 4, the Atlanta Falcons defense faces Matt Forte and the Bears this week. Look for Forte to have a game similar to that against the Packers (120+ yards). Other running backs I’m fond of this week are Lamar Miller (vs GB), Andre Williams (@PHI) and Andre Ellington (vs WAS).

On the negative side of the prediction train (all aboard!), DeMarco Murray is looking at his first game of 2014 that he does NOT reach the 100-yard mark. The Cowboys travel to Seattle to face a Seahawk defense that is only allowing 62 yards on the ground per game – good enough for 1st in the league. Still a must-start for fantasy owners though, as he is getting an average of 24 carries per game – a handful of those have to be in the red zone! As of now it looks like Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is going to start this week against the Lions. While he was impressive in his first game two weeks ago, don’t lean on him this week against the solid Lion’s D who is allowing a league low 282 total yards per game.

Best of luck in Week 6!

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