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 Alfred Morris 80,1
WR Pierre Garcon 3-40
WR DeSean Jackson 5-80,1
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.

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

QB Kirk Cousins, WAS @CAR 0000023012 ***
Cousins kills bad NFC South pass defenses at home. This one's on the road against a very good NFC South pass defense so lower your expectations considerably.
RB Matt Jones, WAS @CAR 3003200000 ***
Jones seems to be the lead back in Washington's three-back committee, with touches both on the ground and in the passing game. It's not a great matchup and with two other guys stealing touches there's plenty of risk here.
RB Chris Thompson, WAS @CAR 1006400000 ***
Thompson should be the pass-catching back, which means opportunity against a Carolina defense that's given up at least 50 RB receiving yards in four of five at home. But with Matt Jones stealing some receptions last week this is hardly a guarantee.
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @CAR 200000000 ***
Morris came back from zombieland last week to deliver an unexpected 104 rushing yards; that's unlikely here against a Panthers defense that's given up only one triple-digit effort all year, none at home.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS @CAR 005500000 ***
Despite DeSean Jackson's return Crowder has maintained a robust role in the Redskins' passing game. It's a tough matchup, and Crowder's newfound success could mean he sees more than his share of Josh Norman, so proceed with caution.
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @CAR 004400000 ***
Garcon's volume makes him the Redskins receiver to have, though this week the best answer to that question might be "none of the above".
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @CAR 003200000 ***
Jackson still has game-breaking ability, we just haven't seen much of it yet. A date with a very good Carolina defense isn't the likely stage, either.
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @CAR 005501000 **
Reed has five TDs in his last three games; as an added bonus he faces a Carolina defense that's given up 70-plus yards and/or a touchdown to the position in five straight games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS @CAR 3311 ***
Hopkins blew up for 17 points against a bad New Orleans defense last week. Now he faces a good Carolina defense that's allowed seven kicker points in the past two games combined. Dial back your expectations accordingly.

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Kenny Britt 2-30
WR Wes Welker 5-50
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 Case Keenum, STL @BAL 0000019011 *
What's the upside to a role that's yielded no more than 200 passing yards since Week 1, only one multi-touchdown game all season, and only one passing score period in the past month? At least the prospects of a fantasy helper against a Baltimore defense that's yielded multiple TD tosses in five straight and seven of the past eight games%u2014to the likes of Blake Bortles, Colin Kaepernick, and Josh McCown, no less. Keenum has demonstrated that when given the opportunity he can produce; in two of his three career starts with at least 35 pass attempts (and three of five with more than 30) he's thrown multiple touchdowns. Yes, Job #1 will be handing off to Todd Gurley but if Fisher cuts him loose even a little bit he should exploit that struggling Ravens secondary to your fantasy benefit.
RB Todd Gurley, STL @BAL 10013200000 ***
Gurley's carved out fantasy helpers in tough venues before--146 in Arizona, 159 in Green Bay, 89 and 1 in Minnesota--so he won't be daunted by a trip to Baltimore, where the Ravens have held every feature back under 65 yards and given up only a running back receiving score in four home games. We'd add to temper expectations, but 300 yards in Arizona and Green Bay suggest that won't be necessary.
WR Tavon Austin, STL @BAL 2004401000 *
Austin is the closest thing the Rams have to a go-to receiver, but it takes a few extra carries and his work in the return game to provide a safety net for his fantasy risk. The Ravens have allowed eight WR TDs in the past four games, so Austin's odds for success are definitely improved.
WR Wes Welker, STL @BAL 005500000 ***
Welker debuted with three catches for 30 yards for the Rams last week. He's as reliable as any other St. Louis wideout--which is to say he's not at all reliable for fantasy purposes.
TE Jared Cook, STL @BAL 003400000 ***
Baltimore hasn't given up a TE TD in a month; the Rams haven't scored one since Week 1. You've already wasted too much valuable time reading this; look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @BAL 1122 ***
The Ravens provide a nice baseline for kickers, giving up at least eight points in six straight and eight of nine. Zuerlein has consistently underperformed that baseline, so don't go overboard raising your expectations.

* 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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