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
TE Fred Davis 5-50

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 DAL 0000026011 ***
RG3 threw four TDs in his first game against the Cowboys, back in November 2012; in 57 attempts he hasn't thrown one since, though he did run for one in the back end of the 2012 series. Colt McCoy couldn't crack the Cowboys for a scoring strike (though he did run one in) in the earlier meeting this season; sensing a theme here? RG3 came close to a rushing score in Week 15, but he'll need one to be a fantasy factor this week--and he hasn't had one since that 2012 Week 17 game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS DAL 701000000 ***
Alf has scored in all five of his career meetings with the Cowboys, including a TD in the earlier meeting which, at 18-73-1, was actually his least productive effort against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed seven RB TDs in the past five games, so Alf should have ample opportunity to extend his streak here--unless Darrel Young swipes his scores again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS DAL 0051101000 ****
Jackson dropped 136 yards on the Cowboys in the front end of this season series, but he hasn't caught a touchdown pass against them since December of 2010--and he's been in their division for years. Bank on the yardage--DJax just posted 126 on his former mates from Philadelphia last week--but don't count on a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS DAL 003500000 ***
The last time Roberts had fantasy value was right after the Redskins signed him to start opposite Pierre Garcon. Much has happened since then, none of it beneficial to Roberts' fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS DAL 004500000 ***
Garcon has shown moderate signs of life, but his biggest outing came when DeSean Jackson was out of the lineup so when the Redskins are at full strength he's clearly a second banana. Look for a first banana before settling this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS DAL 005500000 ***
Reed split 67 yards with Niles Paul in the earlier matchup with Dallas, but he's made the tight end position his own over the past month. That makes him the most likely to take advantage of a Dallas defense that's allowed 10 TE TDs on the year as well as six games of 50-plus yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS DAL 2222 ****
Forbath has actually been adequate of late, if you're into something in the eight-point neighborhood. That seems to be the ceiling, however, so you can likely do better 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 @SEA 0000018002 ***
Last week's 290 and 2 sounds like a real fantasy quarterback line for Hill, something we haven't seen from him this year. Of course, now he heads to Seattle, where mediocre quarterbacks go to be pummeled. It was a nice run.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @SEA 3001100000 ***
Mason had 85 yards and a touchdown in the earlier meeting with Seattle so you can't dismiss him out of hand. However, he's not DeMarco Murray, the only opposing back to top 55 yards in Seattle, which means he's far more likely to wind up with a stat line something like those recorded by Andre Williams (13-33-1) or Frank Gore (11-29-1)--and those lines are heavily dependent on that score for fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL @SEA 004500000 ***
Bailey's 4-33 against Seattle last December is the best showing by a receiver on the Rams' active roster against the Seahawks. So... yay?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SEA 1002100000 ***
Austin has 31 total yards in two career meetings with the Seahawks. You'll want to look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SEA 002100000 ***
Britt's 1-14 in 2010 as a member of the Titans is the best game by a current Rams receiver in Seattle. Yes, it's that bad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SEA 004400000 ***
Cook scored on his last visit to Seattle, but it was Lance Kendricks who scored in the earlier meeting with the Seahawks--as well as last week against the Giants. On paper it's a favorable matchup, but Cook is sharing too many looks to be banked on for fantasy help here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SEA 1111 **
You wanna bank on a kicker going to Seattle, where opposing booters have a total of four points the past two games, you're on your own.

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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