FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: ARI 20, STL 23 (Line: ARI by 1.5)

Players to Watch: Any STL receiver besides Danny Amendola

The 4-0 Cardinals land in St. Louis after an overtime win against the Dolphins. The 2-2 Rams come off their surprise win over the Seahawks and have won both home games. The Cardinals swept the Rams in 2011, winning 19-13 at home and later 23-20 in St. Louis. Both teams are sporting surprisingly good defenses this year and this interdivisional match-up is a coin toss.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL -----
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL ----- 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF ----- 15 DET -----
7 @MIN ----- 16 CHI -----
8 SF ----- 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Larry Fitzgerald 6-70
WR Michael Floyd 2-20
TE Rob Housler 3-30

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals are undefeated though all but one game came by four points or less and last week at home required a comeback to tie and overtime to beat the Dolphins. This is only the second road game for the Cardinals who are winning because of a surprisingly good defense and two wideouts. Kevin Kolb has legitimately earned his starting job by now and he did produce a season best 324 yards and three scores last week. But his previous high was only 222 yards and his one road game was just 140 passing yards and one score in New England.

Beanie Wells is gone now and yet Ryan Williams has not done much with the opportunity. His 13 runs against the Dolphins only produced 26 yards and his season best as a receiver is only two catches for ten yards. Williams Powell has become the third down back they never throw to and is next in line should Williams get hurt. The Cardinals have been one of the worst rushing teams in the league this year and that is not likely to change much this week.

Aside from his one bad game - the one that came in the only away venue so far - Larry Fitzgerald has been back to his productive ways after a slow start to the season. He has scored in each of the last two games and caught at least eight passes in each. Andre Roberts (6-118) had a freakishly good game against the Dolphins when he scored twice but that gave him four touchdowns on the season and he has only failed to score once so far this year. The yardage remains around 50 or so but he has four of the seven receiving touchdowns. Michael Floyd is slowly getting more work but still offers no fantasy value.

The tight ends here never score and Todd Heap missing games has only made it worse.

The Cardinals have almost no rushing attack so far and the Rams at home are much better than their ranking suggests. This will come down, once again, to the success of the Cardinals defense in their second road game of the year and how well Kolb can connect with Fitzgerald and Roberts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 16 30 11 24 18 3
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 7 20 4 16 15 25

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Palmer, ARI PHI 0000028020 ***
Palmer's been good for 250 and 2 in each of his three starts. He was even better (302 and 3) in last year's meeting with the Eagles so don't let Philly's shutout of Eli Manning prior to their Week 7 bye dissuade you from using him this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI PHI 8016401000 ***
Consider that in two road games the Eagles have surrendered 200 and 191 combo yards to running backs as well as three RB receiving touchdowns in those two games. Even if Stepfan Taylor is in vulture mode again this week that's more than enough yardage to make Ellington a fantasy stud.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI PHI 0051001000 ****
In all three games with Carson Palmer at the helm Floyd has either scored or topped 100 yards. No reason to think he can't do so again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI PHI 004600000 ****
Carson Palmer force-fed Fitz in his first game back from injury, but aside from that Larry has a total of 43 yards in two games. He's clearly second banana to Michael Floyd, and while that doesn't make him bench fodder--especially given the matchup--it does move him down the list of options.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI PHI 004500000 ***
Brown has yet to top 50 yards in a Carson Palmer-helmed game, so keep your expectations in check; there are other mouths to feed in this passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE John Carlson, ARI PHI 003200000 ***
For some reason DMD keeps projecting stats for Arizona tight ends, which means I have to keep coming up with ways to tell you there's no fantasy value here whatsoever. How about this: from now on any time DMD projects an Arizona tight end I just say "Rosie O'Donnell". There's no fantasy value there, amiright? Okay, this week Carlson faces a Philly D that's allowed one TE TD on the year--which is one more than Arizona tight ends have scored. So... Rosie O'Donnell.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI PHI 2233 ***
Catanzaro has been consistently around nine points per game, and aside from a couple of dates with some offensively-challenged foes the Eagles have given up roughly the same. Expect something similar this week.

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 19-13 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 ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 240,1
WR Kenny Britt
WR Chris Givens 2-40
TE Jared Cook 5-60,1
TE Lance Kendricks 2-20
PK Greg Zuerlein 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams are 2-2 but both home games have been wins and the St. Louis defense under HC Jeff Fisher is already coming together with good results. Same Bradford has passed for just four touchdowns and three of those came in the Redskins match-up. This is yet another offense that Bradford is having to learn and once again it is taking time and limiting him from a general lack of good receiving talent. Danny Amendola has been the best so far and that is with just the one Washington game where he had 15 catches for 160 yards. Otherwise he remains below 70 yards and turns in five or six receptions per week.

Brandon Gibson scored the first two weeks with minimal yardage and now just does the minimal yardage. No receivers here are stepping up and the two early round rookies from the 2012 draft have combined for only five catches on the season. Steve Smith, Austin Pettis - all of them are just not getting it done. Installing a new offense is never kind to average receivers and so far only Amendola really matters.

Lance Kendricks smacks of potential but he is mainly just a blocker in this scheme and has yet to top 25 yards in any game. Bottom line - below average passing yardage is doled out to below average receivers.

Steven Jackson did not miss any games because of his sore groin and he was given 18 runs against the Seahawks but only gained 55 yards. He has never scored this year and still has not broken 60 rush yards in any game. That is not likely to change much this week against an outstanding Cardinals rushing defense that has stuffed every runner it has faced. Daryl Richardson remains involved but only as a relief back. Richardson has the only decent running back performance of the year but that was thanks to the Redskins defense and Jackson's groin that week.

The Cards also sport a very good secondary that has only allowed three passing scores this year and never more than one per opponent. The winner of this game plays the best defense and has the fewest turnovers and mistakes. With the Cards only on their second road trip and now against a familiar opponent, the Rams could pull this one off.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 28 29 14 29 4 19
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 6 2 25 7 23 15

  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 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

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