Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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
  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 Fred Jackson 50
RB Marshawn Lynch 90,1 2-10
TE Jimmy Graham 6-70,1
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 27 25 29 24 22 19
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 17 19 12 19 16 28

QB Russell Wilson, SEA @CIN 40000025021 ***
After failing to do much against NFC North foes the past fortnight Wilson switches to the AFC and a much tougher defense. The upside to his passing line is two TDs and mediocre yardage, but he's rushed at least six times in every game--and all five quarterbacks with six or more carries against the Bengals since the start of the 2012 season have added 50-plus rushing yards to their bottom line, with four of them scoring a rushing TD as well.
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA @CIN 5005300000 ***
If Rawls has the full workload--no Marshawn Lynch, no Fred Jackson--he's maybe a fringe fantasy option at best against a defense that has yet to allow a RB rushing score. And if he's job-sharing, he's flat-out bench fodder.
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @CIN 00000000 *
Maybe Lynch returns, maybe it's some combo of he and Thomas Rawls; doesn't much matter this week. It's a tough matchup against a Bengals D that has yet to allow a RB rushing score, one that speed backs have had moderate success against but for the most part has locked down opponents. A share of that small pie doesn't do much for the fantasy appetite.
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @CIN 006701000 ***
Kearse has 75-plus yards all three times he's made it to the field, but banking on the Seahawks for passing game consistency feels hinky--especially when you note his targets have decreased each game. Reward isn't high enough to offset the risk.
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @CIN 006501000 ***
Baldwin's been reasonably consistent out of the Seattle slot, but the upside is limited so it's barely worth the risk to plug him in against a quality secondary that's allowed just two receivers to top 55 yards this season.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA @CIN 004500000 ***
Lockett lines up on the right side, and the past two games right-side wideouts have gutted the Bengals for 13-186-2 (Steve Smith) and 11-148 (Jeremy Maclin). Sadly, Lockett won't see anywhere near the 17 and 13 targets that duo received, so his upside remains limited--and a return score your best bet for fantasy help.
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA @CIN 005400000 ***
Remember when Jimmy Graham used to be a fantasy deity? Now he's just like everybody else: occasional big game, mostly a lot of heartbreak. He's topped out at eight targets, a number he bested eight times last season. Making matters worse, he's facing a Bengals D that has yet to allow a TE TD and has held every TE they've faced under 50 yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @CIN 1122 ***
Seattle's settling for field goals, and the Bengals are holding opposing teams to treys instead of TDs--like Cairo Santos' seven three-pointers last week. Sets up nicely for Steven.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  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
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Kenny Britt 3-40
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 25 29 15 26 8 16
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 5 14 8 13 3 4

QB Nick Foles, STL @GB 0000019001 ***
Odds are Foles' three TDs in Arizona last week were more mirage than trend; with another tough trip on the docket--the Pack has allowed one passing score and 385 passing yards in two home games--best not to chase Foles' hat trick from last week.
RB Todd Gurley, STL @GB 6012200000 ***
Clearly Gurley's got game, taking a good Arizona defense for 146 yards (at 7.6 yards a pop) on the road. Green Bay's not nearly as stout, but they haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in Lambeau since December 2013 so it'll be another test for the rookie. After what we saw last week, smart money is on a passing grade.
WR Tavon Austin, STL @GB 2003400000 ***
Austin's the closest thing to a reliable member of the St. Louis passing game, and that's stretching a bit. He's a threat to contribute as a return man and the Rams find ways to get the ball in his hands, plus the recent Lambeau success of fellow slot guy Doug Baldwin (7-92-1) suggests Austin has at least a chance of fantasy viability.
WR Kenny Britt, STL @GB 004500000 ***
Britt went from 10 targets and 102 yards in Week 3 to one target and zero catches last week. Which Britt shows up at Lambeau? Don't risk it; keep all versions on your fantasy bench.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @GB 3211 ***
Both Zuerlein and the Pack had field-goal-filled first weeks; since then both have been relatively quiet. That doesn't bode well for Legatron's prospects at Lambeau this week.

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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