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 PIT 30000024011 ***
DangerRuss destroyed a hapless Niners defense with his first multi-TD game in two months. The Steelers will be a tougher nut to crack, as they've held four of the last five (and six of eight) QBs they've faced to one TD or less. No reason to think lightning strikes twice for Wilson.
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA PIT 8013200000 ***
Rawls replaces the injured Marshawn Lynch in an extremely tough matchup with a Steelers defense that's allowed only two RB TDs on the season. That said, they let replacement back Charcandrick West rush for 110 and a touch against them the last time they hit the road. Rawls has 100-plus yards in three of the four games in which he's seen double-digit touches, so he's at least worth a shot even with the difficult matchup.
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA PIT 005600000 ***
Baldwin is the closest thing the Seahawks have to a reliable receiver, which makes him most likely to take advantage of a Pittsburgh secondary that's allowed six WR TDs and four 100-yard receivers in the past five games.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA PIT 003500000 ***
Lockett scored twice last week and is Seattle's closest approximation to a WR2. That puts him in position to capitalize on the opportunities presented by a Steelers defense that's allowed three wideouts to score or top 65 yards in each of the last two games, and a total of 12 wide receivers to hit those marks in the past five games.
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA PIT 006701000 **
At this juncture Graham has been reduced to a matchup tight end, but at least this week he has a favorable matchup with a Steelers defense that's allowed eight TE TDs on the year and gave up 65 and 1 to Gary Barnidge the last time they took the field.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA PIT 4322 ***
Hauschka's been consistent, just not particularly productive. Maybe Pittsburgh lends a helping hand; they've allowed multiple field goals in three straight on the road.

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
WR Wes Welker 7-70,1
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 @CIN 0000016002 *
If Case Keenum hasn't cleared concussion protocol we'll be treated to the quarterback stylings of Foles once again. There's no fantasy value to be had here, especially with a tough matchup against the Bengals.

Update: Foles is the likely starter with Keenum still in the concussion protocol as of Friday. Not that you want any part of the Rams' passing game for fantasy purposes anyway.
RB Todd Gurley, STL @CIN 8013200000 ***
It's far from an easy matchup, but Gurley has scored in five straight and is a must play regardless of opponent. What other offense do the Rams have?
WR Tavon Austin, STL @CIN 3004200000 ***
The only member of the Rams' passing game that warrants fantasy attention, in no small part because he'll carry the ball a few times a game and is a threat as a return man as well.
WR Kenny Britt, STL @CIN 002200000 ***
You can count the number of 60-yard games by Rams receivers this year on one hand. Britt owns two of them; he also has 30 yards in the past two games combined. The upside isn't work the risk.
TE Jared Cook, STL @CIN 002300000 ***
The Bengals have allowed one TE to score this year; Cook is an unlikely candidate to be the second, and the yardage isn't there for him to be a fantasy factor otherwise.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @CIN 0000 *
Bad offense versus good defense means not much in the way of opportunity for Legatron 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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