Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* 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
  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.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 8 6 22 3 16
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 15 30 15 31 18 7

QB Colt McCoy, WAS @MIN 0000026011 **
If RG3 can't make it out of practice this week and McCoy gets the nod he's not exactly a fantasy lock; the Vikings have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @MIN 8011100000 ****
RG3's return would be a boon for Morris, as his two best showings came with the threat of RG3 in the same backfield. Morris has 12 or more carries in every game; the seven backs to hit that mark against Minnesota average 70 yards a game and have accounted for four TDs as well. Give those numbers the RG3 boost and this is at minimum a solid opportunity for Alf.
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @MIN 006901000 ***
The Vikings typically have trouble with speed receivers--like Sammy Watkins, who torched them for 9-122-2 a couple weeks back. That bodes well for DJax, as done the return of RG3 to the helm.
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @MIN 005600000 ***
Garcon saw enough early-season volume with RG3 at the helm that his return bodes well for Pierre's stats in PPR formats; also doesn't hurt that the Vikings have allowed multiple WRs to score and/or top 60 yards in four of their last six games.
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @MIN 004300000 ***
If the season opener is any indication, Roberts runs a distant third in Washington's WR pecking order when RG3 is at the helm. No reason to reach for him here.
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @MIN 004500000 ***
Mike Zimmer has tightened up a Vikings D that traditionally was torched by tight ends; this year they've allowed only two TE TDs and no tight end to top 56 yards against them. Those aren't fantasy-friendly numbers for Reed; add in the fact he's still sharing looks with Niles Paul and he's a fringe fantasy play at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @MIN 2122 ***
Won't be easy for Forbath to get his kicks against a Minnesota defense that either rolls over and gives up PATs (zero field goals, 13 XP attempts Weeks 3-5) or shuts the door altogether (just 47 points allowed total over the past three weeks). Plus, his fantasy prospects are a bone to be chewed when the gales of November come early.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  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.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 25 24 23 28 9 5
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 29 17 22 29 10 2

QB Austin Davis, STL @SF 0000018011 ***
Peyton Manning is the only quarterback to do anything of fantasy note against the Niners in the past month--a stretch that includes Austin's own 236 & 1 against San Francisco--and Davis clearly ain't Peyton Manning.
RB Tre Mason, STL @SF 500000000 ***
Mason has emerged as the lead dog in this backfield triumvirate, but the trio was ineffective in an earlier meeting with the Niners--78 rushing yards, 41 receiving yards and a Benny Cunningham TD dive--and there's no reason to expect things to change in San Francisco this time around.
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @SF 2002200000 ***
These teams met back in Week 6, at which point the Rams unveiled their three-pronged running back approach. Cunningham scored but it was the only glimmer of fantasy help amongst the bunch, and you shouldn't bank on a repeat on the road this week.
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SF 004400000 ***
WR TDs come in bunches against the Niners--four by the Broncos in Week 7, two for John Brown back in Week 3, three for Brandon Marshall in Week 2. What the Rams have is a bunch of receivers, none of whom can be counted on for a fantasy contribution. Britt's 39 yards paced the pack the last time these teams tangled; hopefully you have a better fantasy option at your disposal.
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SF 004300000 ***
The Rams still haven't figured out how to use Austin, and an epiphany is unlikely this week in San Francisco.
TE Lance Kendricks, STL @SF 001101000 ***
The Rams have ordered a Code Red Zone in three straight and four of the last five games, including the earlier meeting with San Francisco. It's not as if the St. Louis wideouts threaten to steal looks, so if you're desperate for tight end help in a TD-heavy scoring system you could do worse than Kendricks.
TE Jared Cook, STL @SF 005600000 ***
Cook's 74 yards in the earlier meeting were the most the Niners have allowed to an opposing TE all year. He's the yardage guy in the Rams' TE equation and with no real WR threat to speak of there's no reason he couldn't push for a repeat in the back end of the season series as well.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SF 1111 ****
Legatron's been more of a Micro Machine this season, with one field goal in the past four games and no double-digit points efforts in the past five. You could build a better fantasy kicker out of parts from guys cut by the Lions.

* 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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