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
WR Percy Harvin 20 8-90
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 DEN 20000020021 ***
Wilson has multiple TD tosses in his last three games, including 206 and 2 in the Super Bowl win over Denver. That's enough to make him a consistent low-end fantasy contributor, with the upside of anything he brings to the table as a rusher.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA DEN 8012100000 ****
Lynch didn't contribute a ton to the Super Bowl win, and he was shut down by the Chargers last week in San Diego. However, he's rock solid at home and should find success against a defense that let Knile Davis rack up 79 yards and score twice against them last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, SEA DEN 4002301000 ***
Harvin doesn't need to touch the ball to impact opposing defenses--though sadly that impact doesn't do much for fantasy bottom lines. Expect the Seahawks to find ways to get the ball into Harvin's hands, with the result being enough productivity to warrant a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA DEN 003400000 ***
Not that Seattle's tertiary offensive players don't contribute; more that they don't contribute consistently and therefore are difficult to trust with a fantasy start. As the secondary receiver in a run-first offense, Baldwin falls directly into that category.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA DEN 002300000 ***
Kearse's 61 yards last week mark the best showing by a Seahawk wideout this season. Of course, that came on the heels of a one-catch, eight-yard outing in the opener so he can't be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA DEN 003300000 ***
The upside to Miller is that the Broncos allowed a TE TD in Week 1 and 130 yards to the position last week. The downside is that 130 is double Miller's year-to-date yardage and he has yet to visit the end zone this year. Positive matchup, but not a player you can trust to take advantage.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA DEN 2233 ***
Kicking on a team with enough offense to get you there and enough defense to allow you to settle for field goals ain't a bad gig at all; just ask Hauschka.

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 DAL 0000021011 ***
The Rams are still looking for their first TD pass of the season. Until they get one, look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Zac Stacy, STL DAL 6011100000 ***
The Cowboys are giving up almost five yards a carry, and the Rams have no passing game. You do the math.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL DAL 007800000 ***
The Cowboys, shockingly enough, have yet to surrender a WR TD this year. The Rams, to the surprise of no one, have yet to score one. Quick is the most likely to snap that streak, but it's hardly a given.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL DAL 001300000 ***
At his current pace, Britt should get two catches this week. You can afford to wait and see if he continues this torrid climb towards fantasy respectability.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL DAL 005601000 ****
Cooks is a consistent provider of adequate fantasy numbers, but he could most definitely see an uptick against a defense that's already ceded three TE TDs and 186 yards to the position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL DAL 1122 ***
Legatron has six treys in two games, but he's kicking an uphill battle against a Cowboys defense that's allowed just one FG through the first two games.

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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