FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: WAS 27, STL 20 (Line:WAS by 3)

Players to watch: Alfred Morris, Aldrick Robinson

Players Updated: Pierre Garcon, Aldrick Robinson

Both teams come off surprising first weeks. The Skins were the biggest surprise of them all when they went into New Orleans and outplayed the Saints. No rookie quarterback won their first game or played that well... except for Robert Griffin III. The Skins look all new with him at the helm and all better. The Rams lost their opener in Detroit but were in it until the end thanks to an interception return and their new big-legged kicker.

The Rams lost 10-17 in Washington last year. The Skins are better but the Rams may not be.

 

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL ----- 11 PHI -----
3 CIN ----- 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB ----- 13 NYG -----
5 ATL ----- 14 BAL -----
6 MIN ----- 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 40,1 300,1
RB Roy Helu 10 4-20
RB Alfred Morris 80,1
WR Pierre Garcon 3-40
WR DeSean Jackson 5-80,1
WR Santana Moss 4-50
WR Andre Roberts 5-70,1
WR Aldrick Robinson 5-70,1

Pregame Notes: Robert Griffin III took all the headlines in week one when he directed the Redskins offense like he had been there for years. He passed for 320 yards and two scores with no interceptions and was sacked only once. His first touchdown was an 88-yard strike to Pierre Garcon. He completed 19 of 26 passes. His 139.9 QB rating was the highest of any quarterback in opening weekend. The other four rookies can be found in the bottom six of all QB ratings for the week including the 5.1 scored by Brandon Weeden. Oh yeah, he also ran for 42 yards as well. That's about as good as it gets. It was downright Newton-esque except he was playing the Cardinals, not the Saints in New Orleans.

The rushing game was a big success as well when Alfred "Al-a-Mo" Morris not only became the surprise starter for the game, but he scored twice on his 28 carries for 96 yards. Of course that does not mean anything for this week, but at least Al-a-Mo opened the year with a bang and did not fumble. His 3.4 yards per carry was nothing special and hardly anoints him as the season-long starter. We'll project for Morris but the risk is always big in relying on this backfield. Notable here - Ryan Torain rushed for 135 yards and a score in St. Louis last year. So who ever it is starting should have a good game.

Pierre Garcon opened his Washington career with an 88-yard touchdown but injured his foot on the play and that means trying to interpret the babble from Mike Shanahan about his status. Garcon claims he will play but Shanahan has not confirmed it. We will assume he can and update as warranted. Leonard Hankerson was a sleeper to some but he never woke up last Sunday. He never had a pass and was replaced by Brandon Banks (1-6) and Aldrick Robinson (4-52, TD). Morris ended up targeting Robinson more than anyone else mostly because Garcon left the game but the second-year player from SMU just had his first NFL catches and deserves some further scrutiny as the leading receiver for his team in his first ever playing time.

A slight disappointment was Fred Davis who only netted three receptions for 38 yards but Griffin was so successful with wide receivers that he rarely needed the shorter routes with his tight end.

This is still a coin toss game but the Rams defense allowed plenty of yards and scores to the Lions last week. This is still all new enough that there is risk but definite upside.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 8 6 22 3 16
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 15 30 15 31 18 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Robert Griffin III, WAS @SF 0000020012 ***
Still waiting for RG3 to take to this offense; a date with a San Francisco defense that's getting players back and held all quarterbacks not named Brees or Manning to one TD toss over the past two months... well, that's not going to help matters much.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @SF 6002200000 ***
Mark Ingram proved you can grind it out against the Niners, and Morris will get ample opportunity to do the same--though don't look for a TD against a defense that's allowed only five RB TDs all year, just one of them in San Francisco.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Roy Helu, WAS @SF 2003200000 ***
Helu continues to be a PPR helper with three of five north of 40 receiving yards, including each of the past two. That's enough to make him a fringe fantasy contributor in performance based scoring systems.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @SF 005700000 ****
The theory remains sound: Jackson's speed is the perfect fit for RG3's deep shots. It worked a couple weeks back in Minnesota, and it could work again--assuming RG3 keeps the starting gig long enough. Right now all the inconsistency does is makes DJax a fringe fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @SF 003300000 ***
Garcon appears to have become an afterthought with RG3 at the helm; tough to trust an afterthought with a fantasy start at this juncture of the season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @SF 002200000 ***
Right now the Redskins' receiver rotation isn't seeing enough productivity for three fantasy options to emerge, and Roberts is most definitely queued up behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS @SF 004300000 ***
Update: With Jordan Reed out, look for Paul to step up his looks. It's a somewhat favorable matchup against a 49ers defense that's struggled of late against tight ends, so there's some upside to Paul as a plug-in fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @SF 00000000 *
A healthy Reed definitely comes into play against a 49ers defenses that's allowed three TE TDs in the past two games. Whether or not Reed is healthy, however, remains to be seen.
Update: We can answer the "Is Reed healthy?" questions with an emphatic "no", as he has been ruled out for this week. Expect Niles Paul to see an uptick of looks in Reed's stead.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @SF 1111 ***
Wanna blame RG3 for something else? Forbath has a total of nine points in three RG3 starts, less than half his average in non-RG3 starts. So if RG3 is at the helm again this week, get your kicks elsewhere.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DET 23-27 10 @SF -----
2 WAS ----- 11 NYJ -----
3 @CHI ----- 12 @ARI -----
4 SEA ----- 13 SF -----
5 ARI ----- 14 @BUF -----
6 @MIA ----- 15 MIN -----
7 GB ----- 16 @TB -----
8 NE ----- 17 @SEA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 220,1
WR Kenny Britt 2-30
TE Jared Cook 5-50,1
TE Lance Kendricks 3-30
PK Greg Zuerlein 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams start a new era with headcoach Jeff Fisher but the results were still the same - a loss. Granted - the defense was much more opportunistic and kept them in the game with an interception returned for a touchdown. But the game reeked of the Lions being caught under motivated in the game and still they pulled off the win.

Sam Bradford has a number of new receivers but only passed for 198 yards and one score with his old buddy Danny Amendola back from elbow surgery to lead the team with five catches for 70 yards. Brandon Gibson turned in four catches for 51 yards and the one score but no other receiver mattered or even had more than 16 yards. Steve Smith ended with just one catch. A Jeff Fisher offense is never going to lead the league in passing but it has to get better here. It will just take more time.

Stephen Jackson remains the main weapon of choice but even he only gained 53 yards on 21 carries with four catches for 31 yards tacked on. The problem here is that the Redskins defense is very good against the run as evidenced by the 32 rushing yards of the Saints (3.2 YPC).

Jackson remains the main fantasy play here until something more than Danny Amendola catching the ball and falling down happens. The Skins just gave up big yardage via the pass but this is not the Superdome and Bradford is not Drew Brees.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 25 24 23 28 9 5
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 29 17 22 29 10 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Shaun Hill, STL @SD 0000021011 ****
The Chargers haven't allowed a visiting QB to throw multiple touchdowns against them since Russell Wilson turned the trick back in Week 2. And Hill has just one TD on the year, so he's an unlikely candidate to snap that string.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @SD 7011100000 ***
The Chargers haven't allowed much on the ground; then again, only two opposing backs have had at least 20 carries against them, and both topped 95 yards. So if Mason gets a workload similar to last week he should be a fantasy factor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @SD 1003301000 **
Cunningham clings to value as a change of pace back to Tre Mason. He's been seeing more work as a receiver of late, and there's some fantasy value there against a defense that's allowed the second-most RB receiving TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SD 003400000 ***
Britt has scored in two of the last three, had a monster game with Shaun Hill at the helm... and has just about sucked enough people into believing he's finally tapped into his vast potential that it's time for him to vanish once again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SD 1002100000 ***
Eventually the Rams will figure out how to use Austin. Keep repeating that, and click your heels together three times and it just might come true.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SD 002200000 **
It's a tough matchup against a Chargers defense that's allowed only two TE TDs all year--especially when Cook often times cedes red zone looks to Lance Kendricks. You can find a more reliable fantasy option elsewhere.
Update: Cook is listed as questionable and practiced only on a limited basis this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SD 0022 ***
Legatron is coming off a five-FG game, his first notable fantasy outing in two months. A repeat is unlikely on the road, where he has two field goals in his last four games.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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