FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: SEA 20, STL 16 (Line: SEA by 3)

Players to Watch: Both team defenses

Player Updated: Steven Jackson

The Rams have only won once in the last ten meetings and these games almost always go off with a minimum of points - 70% have come in as "unders" on already low expectations. The 2-1 Seahawks come off the now infamous Monday night loss game against the Packers and hit the road where they last lost to the Cardinals. The Rams are 1-2 and their lone win came at home against the Redskins. The Seahawks swept the Rams last season, winning 24-7 in St. Louis and later 30-13 in Seattle. This should be another low scoring affair between these teams and really a coin flip game with an improved Rams team and a potentially emotionally spent Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL ----- 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR ----- 14 ARI -----
6 NE ----- 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF ----- 16 SF -----
8 @DET ----- 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA @ STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 40 150,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 90,1 2-10
TE Zach Miller 3-30
PK Steven Hauschka 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: It was a crazy ending to the Packers game but at least it salvaged a little fantasy value for the Seahawks who were otherwise pretty shut down. Russell Wilson only had 110 yards and one score before throwing the final interception touchdown and he still has not passed for more than 153 yards in any game. Always good for one score and 150, never good for anything more. This is a rushing team with a great defense. They throw only when needed.

Marshawn Lynch has been sold with no fewer than 85 rushing yards in every game but he only has one touchdown from when the Cowboys showed up and almost no role as a receiver. Lynch needs the easier matchup to make a big fantasy impact and four road games over the next five weeks is going to test how well he can control the offense. He's always going to get 20+ carries but he needs to make them count. No running back plays as a receiver in this scheme.

The passing numbers have meant a dearth of fantasy relevance with the receivers. Golden Tate had one two scores against the Packers but only 68 yards and has been a relative total bust until last week. His first two games were only four catches for 46 yards combined. Sidney Rice has not topped 36 yards in a game yet and Doug Baldwin has been out with a shoulder injury but that is hardly noticeable when he had just three catches for 13 yards in the first two weeks. Baldwin was the big free agent rookie surprise in 2011. This year - under a rock.

Everyone ran out to grab Anthony McCoy after he caught five passes for 41 yards and a score in week two but then was back to only one catch against the Packers. There is no reliable, consistent part of this pass attack. Only Lynch merits consideration every week.

These games are always tough matchups that the Seahawks end up winning. But the Rams defense is all new this year and playing far better than anything seen in St. Louis in many years. Cortland Finnegan has been a great addition and Jeff Fisher has really changed that defense. It may not be enough to win, but it will keep the Rams competitive in most games. That alone is new from last season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 27 25 29 24 22 19
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 17 19 12 19 16 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA @CAR 40100021020 ***
Wilson has multiple touchdowns in five of six and enters this game fresh off the first 300/100 double in NFL history; he's also rushed for a TD in three straight and hit the century mark in two of three. Carolina has allowed multiple passing scores in six of seven, including the last five in a row; certainly they'll be just as hospitable to Wilson this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @CAR 10014201000 ****
Lynch has seen his yardage decline in each of the past three games, but even if that trend continues he's bound to find the end zone against a defense that's allowed seven RB TDs in the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @CAR 005801000 ***
Carolina has allowed a 90-yard receiver in five straight; Baldwin's targets last week suggest he's the Seahawk most likely to extend that run.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @CAR 003500000 ***
While Baldwin may be getting the most attention post-Percy, Kearse should be a fantasy helper this week as well against a Carolina defense that's allowed multiple wideouts to score in three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Cooper Helfet, SEA @CAR 002300000 ***
Admit it: prior to last week you had no idea what a Cooper Helfet was. A date with a Carolina defense that has yet to surrender a TE TD suggests you don't need to remember that name this week, either.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @CAR 1144 ****
Hauschka has double-digit field goals in four straight, at least eight points in every one of those games. Facing a Carolina defense that's allowed an average of more than nine points per game over the past five, he should get plenty of opportunity to swing the leg.

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 6-23 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 SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 190
QB Shaun Hill 10
WR Kenny Britt 3-40
WR Chris Givens 1-10
TE Jared Cook 6-60
TE Lance Kendricks 2-20
PK Greg Zuerlein 3 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams offense seemed to be taking a step forward finally but one trip to Chicago later and that optimism is waning fast. Sam Bradford passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns on the visiting Redskins (like everyone else has) but then only passed for 152 yards, no score and two interceptions against the Bears. While it would be nice to think that he's just playing really well in home games, chances are he just played well because the Redskins are ranked dead last against quarterbacks and wide receivers.

Steven Jackson was able to play against the Bears but only gained 29 yards on 11 runs before pulling himself from the game because of his groin. Daryl Richardson had no better luck in Chicago and would be the starter if Jackson is unable to go this week. He is expected to be available this week though but never had more than 63 yards against the Seahawks last season.

The passing effort remains mostly about Danny Amendola who only caught five of his nine passes in Chicago for 66 yards. But no other receiver comes close to him in usage. Brandon Gibson scored the first two weeks and leads the team in touchdowns but has never gained more than 53 yards and was held to just two catches for 19 yards versus the Bears. Brian Quick has become a healthy inactive for games and Steve Smith has made almost no contribution.

The tight ends are of no consequence as well with rarely more than 20 yards in any game. Bradford needs someone to step up but so far that has not happened and there is no reason to expect much more after three weeks. If Amendola is injured again this year, the offense takes yet another step down.

This will be a tough week even though it is at home. The Seahawks defense has been outstanding and outside of Amendola catching the ball and falling down or Jackson trying to run without grabbing at his groin, there is not much offense here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 25 29 15 26 8 16
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 5 14 8 13 3 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Austin Davis, STL @KC 0000021011 ***
The Chiefs haven't allowed a 20-point game to an opposing quarterback since Peyton Manning in Week 2. Meanwhile, after a hot start Davis has come back to Earth with back-to-back fantasy non-helpers. Regardless of what Brett Favre says, don't expect Davis to be much fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @KC 900000000 ***
Mason seems to have taken over as the lead dog in the Rams' backfield committee. There won't be much in the way of scoring against a Chiefs D that has yet to surrender an RB TD on the season, but with another 18-touch workload he could do enough yardage-wise to blip on the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @KC 2003300000 ***
The Chiefs haven't allowed a running back TD all year, and since Cunningham's reduced role requires a touchdown for him to be fantasy relevant he'll have an extremely difficult time helping your fantasy team this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL @KC 005600000 ***
While Quick remains the closest thing the Rams have to a reliable fantasy receiver--he's paced the St. Louis receiving corps in fantasy points five of the six games--the team hasn't had a fantasy-relevant receiver since Week 5 and the Chiefs secondary doesn't do opponents any favors. You'll have better luck looking elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @KC 004500000 ***
No reason to think this is an "up" week for the wildly inconsistent Britt, who's had just 43 yards in two games since his last fantasy-relevant effort (3-68-1 in Week 5).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Lance Kendricks, STL @KC 001101000 **
In three of the past four games the Rams have ordered the Code Red in the red zone and Kendricks has delivered; in fact, he owns all of the Rams' TE TDs on the season. So if you're wondering which is the better bet to take advantage of a Chiefs' D that's surrendered six TE TDs already this year... well, here's your answer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @KC 004400000 ***
The Chiefs have given up six TE TDs already this season... but all that likely means for Cook is that Lance "Code Red" Kendricks swipes his red zone TD again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @KC 3311 ***
Legatron is getting rusty; he hasn't had multiple field goals or topped seven points since Week 2 against Tampa. A trip to Arrowhead isn't likely to right the ship, either.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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