FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) *IND at CHI *PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC *JAC at MIN *PIT at DEN *WAS at NO
*BUF at NYJ *MIA at HOU *SEA at ARI *CIN at BAL (MON)
*UPDATED *CAR at TB *NE at TEN SF at GB *SD at OAK (MON)

Prediction: SEA 20, ARI 23 (Line: SEA by 2.5)

Player Updates: Marshawn Lynch, Andre Roberts, Robert Turbin, Beanie Wells

Players to Watch: Russell Wilson, Ryan Williams, Michael Floyd

The Seahawks lost 20-23 in Arizona last season but won 13-10 at home in week three. The home team has won seven of the last ten meetings and four of the last five. This is a divisional game and a coin flip that could go either way.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI ----- 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL ----- 11 BYE -----
3 GB ----- 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL ----- 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR ----- 14 ARI -----
6 NE ----- 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF ----- 16 SF -----
8 @DET ----- 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks fell to a 7-9 record when they lost their final two games of 2011 but there is an optimism that this season will be better and that at least the potential to reclaim the division exists. There have been a few surreptitious finds along the way that spawn the positive sense that the team is moving forward. Last year it was the discovery that Marshawn Lynch suddenly became the back the 2007 Bills thought he would be when he strung 11 straight games with a touchdown together starting in week four. He had a career best 4.2 YPC and ended with 1204 rushing yards. Throw in the rookie Robert Turbin for a quality backup and the backfield is suddenly in great shape.

The other find was not Matt Flynn who they paid a guaranteed $10 million on a $26 million contract. It was that 3.12 pick Russell Wilson who would decisively win the starting job in his first ever training camp. Wilson fell in the draft in part because at 5-11, 204 lbs he is much smaller than the prototypical quarterback. Then again, incredible accuracy, a big arm and dazzling open field running is not a bad thing. Wilson became a fantasy sleeper overnight and was being drafted far earlier than rational thought would suggest. But - it looks good for Seattle.

The Seahawks have an interesting set of receivers. Doug Baldwin was the undrafted rookie who stole a starting job last year and ended with 51 catches for 788 yards and four scores. Sidney Rice has been the high potential guy that has always been injured for the last two seasons and is coming off two shoulder surgeries in the offseason. Rice finally started practicing in August and is reported to be in good health for now. Terrell Owens was temporarily a Seahawk before the team came to their senses which was also what happened when they acquired Kellen Winslow before someone reminded them that they never use tight ends and that Zach Miller was acquired from Oakland for no apparent reason last year. Braylon Edwards not only made the roster but is 100% recovered from his knee surgery and was making plays and wowing the crowds in camp. At 29 years of age, he could have a rejuvenation of his career if Wilson proves to be an NFL-quality quarterback.

The Seahawks look like a team pointed in the right direction and one that keeps finding good surprises. This week is a coin flip game against a well known divisional opponent but road games have long been the weak spot for the franchise.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 28 13 14 29 20 11
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 14 8 25 10 30 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA @GB 20000027021 ***
Green Bay has given up the fifth most fantasy points on a per-game basis over the past five weeks. The Packers have permitted the highest points-per-play average in this time, also giving up a TD ever 10.9 completions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA @GB 5003200000 ***
Green Bay has really regressed versus running backs as the season has unfolded. This probably will be more about the passing game, though, where the Packers are even worse. Rawls has a hint of upside for scoring against what is the second friendliest matchup in this area.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @GB 005601000 ***
Green Bay has been exploited by wideouts in the last five weeks to the tune of giving up TDs at the second easiest rate. The position has mustered 168.6 receiving yards per game against the 13th easiest matchup for Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA @GB 2003500000 ***
Lockett won't score a 75-yard TD run every week, but he looks healthy for the first time all year. He has tremendous upside and should be in lineup as a flex for most gamers. The Packers are fantasy's 13th most exploitable defense of receivers entering Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @GB 003500000 ***
Kearse finally appeared on the radar last week (5-68-0) but continue to have no fantasy worth in 2016.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA @GB 005601000 ***
No defense has been weaker in the last five games against tight ends than Green Bay. three of the 38 receptions faced have scored, which is good for only 15th. Those 7.6 catches a game rate as second most, as do the 84 receiving yards allowed.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @GB 2222 ***
Green Bay has given up 3.2 extra point attempts and just 1.2 field goal tries per contest since Week 8.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA ----- 10 BYE -----
2 @NE ----- 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI ----- 12 STL -----
4 MIA ----- 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL ----- 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF ----- 15 DET -----
7 @MIN ----- 16 CHI -----
8 SF ----- 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals finished with an 8-8 record and a 6-2 home mark for 2011 and continue to work on the offense. A preseason battle between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb ended with Skelton getting the nod though both were already well established in ability last year. Like Flynn in Seattle, Kolb was the pricey free agent brought in only to lose out to the guy they already had on the roster for cheap.

Beanie Wells remains the starter though he sat out the entire offseason while recovering from knee surgery but he was cleared and played in the final preseason games. Wells comes off his first 1000 yard season (1047) and only missed one game in 2011 though as always he played with a bad knee most of the year. Wells started the season with seven touchdowns in the first half of the year but then was less consistent in part because of his knee. Ryan Williams was the hot rookie back last year that blew out his knee and spent his first year on injured reserve. He's back after a lost season and looks impressive so far. The pair of backs will share the load though if history serves Wells will miss more games with some injury. In fantasy terms, there is limited value in the backfield until Wells is either out injured or Williams proves to be a significantly better back.

Larry Fitzgerald ended with 80 catches for 1411 yards and eight scores while playing with a 50/50 split between Kolb and Skelton which only shows how great he truly is. In most cases, the quarterback makes the receiver. In this one - the receiver makes the quarterback better. The Cards also drafted Michael Floyd with their 1.13 pick in the NFL draft to become a needed complement to Fitzgerald but Floyd's progress has not been rapid so far. Andre Roberts opens the season as the starter with Floyd mixing in.

Tight end remains a primarily blocking position and Todd Heap is not doing much in the waning years of his career. Robert Housler is the ex-basketball player that you could talk yourself into thinking he is a sleeper type until you realize that the Cardinals have never, ever used the position as a receiver much.

At home should be the key for a win here and this is much the same team that played last year with Williams added to the backfield and Floyd playing as the #3 receiver.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 19 26 10 22 30 19
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 6 14 5 19 17 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Palmer, ARI @MIA 0000025022 ***
Miami was throttled by Joe Flacco last week, leaving the Dolphins as the fourth most generous defense in the last five weeks for quarterbacks. The position has allowed a touchdown every 11.4 completions (12th) and 270.8 aerial yards per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB David Johnson, ARI @MIA 7008801000 ***
Johnson's march continues, this week in Miami, where he faces fantasy's sixth softest matchup. The Dolphins have allowed five offensive touchdowns in as many games of late, giving up the seventh most receptions a game to RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @MIA 007600000 ***
Miami has allowed receivers to average 12.8 catches (15th) for 160.2 yards (12th) per game since Week 8, scoring four times on 64 catches (25th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @MIA 002300000 ***
Floyd is impossibly frustrating to deal with in fantasy. The matchup is mediocre, which lowers the incentive to consider him a good deal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, ARI @MIA 004401000 ***
Only the Packers have been worse against tight ends in the last five weeks. Gresham is a solid play given his recent uptick in involvement.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @MIA 3322 ***
Miami has given up the 10th most extra point attempts per game but only the 19th highest average for field goal tries. This factors to being the 12th most combined attempts per game since Week 8.

WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) IND at CHI PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC JAC at MIN PIT at DEN WAS at NO
BUF at NYJ MIA at HOU SEA at ARI CIN at BAL (MON)
  CAR at TB NE at TEN SF at GB SD at OAK (MON)

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