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
TE Tony Moeaki 2-10
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 @ARI 70000021010 ***
Unfavorable trends about here. The Cards have given up just one multiple touchdown game in their last seven, while Wilson has just one such outing in his last four--a stretch that includes his 211 and 1 against the Cardinals in Week 12. Wilson will need his feet to salvage fantasy value once again; fortunately for fantasy owners, he proved he can get it done against Arizona with 73 rushing yards in the earlier meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @ARI 5014300000 ***
Lynch has yet to rush for a road TD, and Arizona isn't overly accommodating in allowing six RB rushing scores in 14 games. Settle for his usual decent dose of yardage and cross your fingers the Seahawks get close enough for him to pound one in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @ARI 003400000 ***
Kearse joins Doug Baldwin as the most-targeted Seahawks receivers; he also joins him at the back of the line for fantasy productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @ARI 003200000 ***
The Seahawks continue to get by with minimal productivity from their passing game. Baldwin remains the most targeted, but that rarely turns into anything of fantasy note--especially in an unfavorable matchup such as this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA @ARI 002101000 *
Willson competes with Tony Moeaki for looks, and last week they finished in a dead heat: both had zero targets. You can't bank on a share of a low-output position for fantasy help at this point in the season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tony Moeaki, SEA @ARI 003400000 ***
Moeaki had four catches in the previous meeting with Arizona, a total that constitutes a big game for a Seahawks tight end. However, he's still splitting looks with many people, most notably Luke Willson, so his fantasy value is slim at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @ARI 2122 ***
Two of Hauschka's three lowest-scoring games have come in the past fortnight. Slump? Coincidence? Hauschka had 13 against Arizona when the Cards came to Seattle a month ago, there's no real reason to suggest a steep drop-off in the return match.

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 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 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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