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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

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 PHI 30000026021 ***
If there were any team Jay Gruden were forced to play RG3 against, the Eagles might be the best possible option. In four career meetings RG3 has thrown multiple TDs four times, a total of 10 touchdowns against four INTs, averaging 272 yards per game with another 40 rushing yards per game to boot. You'd take those numbers from RG3, right? He wasn't that far off last week against the Giants with 236 & 1 plus 46 rushing, and with Philly as the second-most fantasy friendly defense against quarterbacks an uptick is to be expected. RG3 is playing for somebody's job, be it in DC or elsewhere, and the Eagles are a perfect foil for him to make some noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS PHI 8001100000 ***
The Redskins have gotten away from running Morris 20 times a game, perhaps because they've dropped the last three games by an average of 18 points per game. He carried 23 times for 77 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly and you have to think the game plan calls for heavy doses of Alf. As an added bonus, any read options carry the threat of an RG3 run, which in the past has opened lanes for Morris. Think of those previous game numbers as a baseline, with room to move upwards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS PHI 005901000 **
You think DJax is motivated? Now even his own coach is talking smack about him. He put up 117 and a touch on the Eagles in the earlier meeting, and with RG3 throwing deep he should get a few extra chances to put the torch to his former squad. Revenge is a dish best served in the fantasy bowl.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS PHI 005701000 **
Garcon seems to be more of a Colt McCoy favorite than an RG3 favorite, though after seeing what Garcon did to the Eagles back in Week 3 (11-138-1) maybe he'll reconsider. It's a risk, as Garcon has been a bit player most of the season, but there's some upside if RG3 is willing to reacquaint himself with Pierre.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS PHI 005500000 ***
Philly has allowed only one TE TD on the year, but two tight ends have topped 100 yards and another two--including Niles Paul back in Week 3, before Reed was back from injury--topped 65 yards. He'd be more of a yardage play than a TD play, but there's some upside to Reed this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS PHI 2111 ***
Blame RG3: With other quarterbacks Forbath is averaging better than seven points per game; in games in which RG3 took the bulk of the snaps, he's averaging 4.6. He tallied 10 for the Kirk Cousins-led Redskins against Philly earlier this year, but don't get your hopes up for the rematch.

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 NYG 0000022010 ***
If not for his rushing score in a 52-0 blowout of the Raiders, Hill wouldn't have a single fantasy helper to his credit. Only one of the last six quarterbacks to face the Giants has thrown double-digit touchdown passes; unlikely Hill winds up the second.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL NYG 10012100000 ****
Mason continues to get the bulk of the workload, so when there's a favorable matchup--like against the Giants, who have allowed four 100-yard rushers--he's the primary beneficiary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL NYG 004601000 **
If Shaun Hill puts up enough yardage to generate a fantasy-worthy receiver--and that's a reasonably big "if"--Bailey is the most likely candidate; he's been the Rams' top receiver three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL NYG 005700000 ***
Britt remains in the mix, but he's wildly inconsistent and dependent on a quarterback who doesn't exactly churn out tons of helpful fantasy stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL NYG 3002100000 ***
The Rams are becoming more creative in getting the ball to their top pick from a year ago, but he's largely a non-factor as a receiver so you're banking on returns and gimmick plays for him to get you fantasy points--always a risky proposition.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL NYG 002200000 ***
Cook will be the most targeted tight end in a reasonably favorable matchup, but he still has to fend off Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey--as well as hope Shaun Hill throws enough for them to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL NYG 2222 ***
Aside from his five-field goal outing against the Broncos Zuerlein has been mostly ordinary with no more than two field goals in any other contest since Week 2. It's not an overly favorable matchup, so no need to go out of your way to get Legatron into your lineup.

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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