FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: STL 13, CHI 27 (Line: CHI by 9)

Players to Watch: Daryl Richardson, Michael Bush

Player Updated: Steven Jackson, Daryl Richardson

The Rams come off their improbable, "but it happened" win over the Redskins and hit the road to Chicago. The Bears are coming off their loss in Green Bay and will be without Matt Forte but the home venue should be plenty enough to take down the Rams.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DET 23-27 10 @SF -----
2 WAS 31-28 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 @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 200,1
WR Kenny Britt 3-50
TE Jared Cook 4-60,1
TE Lance Kendricks 1-10
PK Greg Zuerlein 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams had a game for the ages - or at least of the last two years - when they took down the Redskins. Sam Bradford comes off the best game of his career when he passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns and he has but one interception on the season. Bradford is making heavy use of Danny Amendola who set the franchise record with 15 catches for 160 yards and one touchdown. He's been the primary receiver in both games and has been thrown 25 passes already this year, catching 20 of them. Amendola continues to be the new Wes Welker (who is not himself lately anyway).

Brandon Gibson has scored in both games but remains locked around 50 yards. That leaves him short of fantasy relevance and Steve Smith is making a move to take some of his workload away. Smith was the talk of the camp but has only caught four passes for 55 yards so far.

Of course all the news last week was the benching/injury to Steven Jackson who was robbed - robbed I say! - of a touchdown and then spiked the ball in anger drawing a penalty. He did not play again though it appears his groin was an issue and perhaps HC Jeff Fisher did not give a timeout to his star player with more touches than any active running back in the league.

Daryl Richardson has supplanted Isaiah Pead as the primary backup and looked great gaining 83 yards on 15 runs as he finished out the game. How that plays out next season is anyone's guess but for now, Richardson remains the backup and relief player.

This week will be a major challenge against a Bears defense at home. Last week was an offensive explosion but remember the troubles in Detroit the week before - they are about to get even worse.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 10 25 5 23 6 13
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 7 12 22 26 9 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Austin Davis, STL @PHI 0000024021 ***
Every quarterback to face the Eagles has thrown for multiple touchdowns, and Davis just hit the hat trick against Dallas. If you're scrambling for a plug-in QB this week, Davis certainly appears to be your guy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Zac Stacy, STL @PHI 6003101000 **
Backs have found success by both land and air against the Eagles, and Stacy is capable of strafing them both ways. Don't sweat Bennie Cunningham's increased touches last week; Stacy is still the guy and a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL @PHI 005601000 ***
Philly has been one of the more fantasy-friendly defenses for wide receivers; Quick has been the closest thing the Rams have to a consistent passing game contributor and the best option for fantasy help here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @PHI 006600000 ***
Britt's had some success with his new squad, but he's nowhere near a reliable fantasy contributor. That said, it's a favorable matchup and if injuries or the bye week have you stuck he's worth a flier.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Austin Pettis, STL @PHI 003300000 ***
Pettis scored the last time the Rams took the field, but his four targets per game don't provide enough opportunity for him to be a consistent fantasy producer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @PHI 1003200000 ***
Hey, look, Austin's back! Now let's get him a clarified role in this passing game so he can consistently produce fantasy stats and we can bank on him for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @PHI 004500000 ***
Cook still gets vultured by Lance Kendricks, siphoning off what little fantasy value he may have.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @PHI 2222 ***
Legatron faces a Philly D that's allowed multiple field goal attempts in every game this season. You have to like his chances of being at least a fringe fantasy contributor.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU -----
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF -----
3 STL ----- 12 MIN -----
4 @DAL ----- 13 SEA -----
5 @JAC ----- 14 @MIN -----
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET ----- 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR ----- 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 10 240,2
WR Santonio Holmes 4-50,1
WR Alshon Jeffery 3-40,1
WR Brandon Marshall 6-100,1
TE Martellus Bennett 6-70,1
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Talk about your swings. The Bears throttled the Colts in the season opener and then went to Green Bay where the passing effort fell apart and Jay Cutler not only completed but 11 of 27 passes for 126 yards, but he threw for interceptions and was sacked seven times. It was like Mike Martz never left. Cutler passed for 333 yards and two scores in the opener but could not generate anything against the Packers.

The meager passing numbers not only hit all players, but Brandon Marshall took a nosedive. Week one with nine catches for 119 yards and a score sent fantasy owners dancing in the streets assuming such would happen with regularity. Then Marshall only managed two receptions for 24 yards. Fortunately this week should be closer to week one than week two.

The Bears also lost Matt Forte to a low ankle sprain that should keep him out a week to a month depending on who you ask. Figure on the month as closer since it originally was thought to be a high ankle sprain. Right now the guys that stole Michael Bush in the draft actually are getting paid back early on their speculation. Bush gained 54 yards on 14 runs versus the Packers but has not yet caught any passes. In that way, he won't be a compete replacement for the healing Forte.

The Rams come to town which should offer good things to all aspects of the team. Plus the Bears have been waiting for 11 days by the time the game starts and hopefully that does not make them as rusty as it did the Cowboys.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 26 9 15 31 19 6
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 29 20 19 29 7 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jay Cutler, CHI @CAR 0000023020 ****
Cutler has multiple touchdown tosses in every game this season; the Panthers have surrendered multiple scoring strikes in three of four. You don't need an abacus to do the math here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, CHI @CAR 8015400000 ***
Forte got back on track last week with 171 yards from scrimmage. Facing a Carolina defense that's been gutted for 389 RB rushing yards and a total of 438 RB combo yards over just the past two games, Forte's run of success is slated to continue.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI @CAR 005601000 ***
The healthier (for now, at least) of Chicago's twin tower receivers, Jeffery should claim the bulk of the yardage offered up by a Carolina defense that's surrendered 380 WR receiving yards over the past two games alone. He's also at the front of the line for a touchdown against a secondary that's served up five WR TDs the past two weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Santonio Holmes, CHI @CAR 003300000 ***
Holmes comes into play if either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery are ruled or knocked out of this game, but even then he lands behind Martellus Bennett in the passing game pecking order. Look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, CHI @CAR 00000000 *
Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have a golden opportunity to split something akin to the 380 WR yards and five TDs the Panthers have allowed over the past two games. Even hobbled, Marshall is a serious threat to score though the injury may negatively tweak his yardage downward. Either way, he's a solid fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI @CAR 006401000 ***
The Panthers have yet to allow a TE TD, but they're serving up a steady dose of yardage. Bennett is getting plenty of run as the fallback option when either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery--or both--hobble off with an injury. He's a good bet for yardage, but the score only becomes likely if either Marshall or Jeffery are forced out of action.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, CHI @CAR 1133 ***
Gould's season to this point has been relatively quiet, but that could change against a Carolina defense that's given up 75 points over the past two games.

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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