Unless Jay Cutler satisfies the hopes of coach Lovie Smith and returns from a concussion after just one week on the sidelines, Sunday afternoon's match up between the Vikings and the Bears will feature quarterbacks that are not exactly the talk of the town when it comes to fantasy production. Chicago's Jason Campbell threw for just 107 yards passing and one touchdown in Week 11, which was scored only because of an incorrect penalty call made by the referees. He also threw an interception and the Bears were stuck in their own half of the field for most of the game. For the Vikings, Christian Ponder has proven to be inconsistent this season. Last week, he led the Vikings to a home win over the Detroit Lions, throwing two touchdowns and no interceptions. The week before that in Seattle, Ponder threw for just 63 yards. Which Ponder will show up in Chicago this Sunday is anybody's guess.
This is especially true when you factor in the absence of the Vikings' star receiver Percy Harvin, who will miss his second straight contest with an ankle sprain. Harvin's absence opens the door for Michael Jenkins and Kyle Rudolph, who will have to shoulder the load for the Vikes. By the same token it goes without saying that Brandon Marshall is the key to the Bears' air attack. Although he is no doubt one of the best receivers in NFL, Marshall owners better hope for the return of Jay Cutler this Sunday, as the pro bowler managed only two catches on four targets with Mr. Campbell running the offense against San Francisco last week.
On the surface this contest appears to be a defensive battle, but Adrian Peterson (aka Purple Jesus) is the most likely fantasy savior who has the ability to re-write the storyline. After miraculously returning from tears in both his ACL and MCL ligaments in just over eight months, Peterson has averaged just over 157 yards rushing over the last four weeks (including five touchdowns) and could reach his personal goal of rushing for over 2,000 yards overall this season. There's no doubt that any chance of major league offense in this game rests on Peterson's shoulders.
By comparison, the Bears' Matt Forte has taken a step back fantasy wise this season. The fifth year back out of Tulane University is averaging just over 71 yards rushing per game this year after managing over 83 per contest last year. Forte has just two 100 yard rushing games to his credit coming into Week 12 and just 102 yards on the ground in the last two games combined. It remains to be seen whether the Vikings' 14th ranked run defense will offer Forte's fantasy owners any solace this week.
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