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 Drew Stanton, ARI @SEA 10000022012 ***
Remember how we were talking about the demise of the Seahawks' defense earlier this season? Well, they've held five straight quarterbacks under 20 fantasy points. Stanton isn't such a step up in class over Davis, Newton, Carr, Eli and Smith that he should be expected to snap that trend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI @SEA 4005500000 ****
Yes, Jamaal Charles carved up the Seahawks last week and yes, Ellington has drawn comparisons to Charles. Let's just nip that in the bud right now and look for something similar to the 60 rushing yards he posted against Seattle last year and mix in 20-some receiving yards as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @SEA 005600000 ***
You beat the Seahawks' secondary by throwing deep at them, and odds are Brown is the target of choice. Not that you should go out of your way to start a receiver against Seattle, but if you do...
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @SEA 004500000 ***
Wildly inconsistent, Floyd does fit the model of receivers who have success against Seattle in that he can get deep; in fact, he scored the last time these clubs met. But he's bound to draw plenty of defensive attention, to the point that John Brown may be the better fantasy deep threat this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @SEA 00000000 *
Fitz has exactly two games of fantasy note against the Seahawks so far this decade. He's banged up, with a back-up quarterback, and hopefully you have a better option this week.
Update: Fitz did not practice all week and is listed as questionable. It's a tough enough road matchup as is; add in the injury and Fitz is a monumental fantasy risk this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE John Carlson, ARI @SEA 003201000 **
The matchup says tight ends are in play against Seattle, but they've shut down Larry Donnell and Travis Kelce the past two weeks so another positive blip from Carlson is hardly a sure thing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @SEA 2211 ***
It's been a while since Catanzaro provided double-digit points, and Seattle is certainly not the venue to expect him to right that ship. Wouldn't be a bad week to find another fantasy option.

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
WR Damian Williams 2-20
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 Shaun Hill, STL @SD 0000021011 ****
The Chargers haven't allowed a visiting QB to throw multiple touchdowns against them since Russell Wilson turned the trick back in Week 2. And Hill has just one TD on the year, so he's an unlikely candidate to snap that string.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @SD 7011100000 ***
The Chargers haven't allowed much on the ground; then again, only two opposing backs have had at least 20 carries against them, and both topped 95 yards. So if Mason gets a workload similar to last week he should be a fantasy factor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @SD 1003301000 **
Cunningham clings to value as a change of pace back to Tre Mason. He's been seeing more work as a receiver of late, and there's some fantasy value there against a defense that's allowed the second-most RB receiving TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SD 003400000 ***
Britt has scored in two of the last three, had a monster game with Shaun Hill at the helm... and has just about sucked enough people into believing he's finally tapped into his vast potential that it's time for him to vanish once again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SD 1002100000 ***
Eventually the Rams will figure out how to use Austin. Keep repeating that, and click your heels together three times and it just might come true.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SD 002200000 **
It's a tough matchup against a Chargers defense that's allowed only two TE TDs all year--especially when Cook often times cedes red zone looks to Lance Kendricks. You can find a more reliable fantasy option elsewhere.
Update: Cook is listed as questionable and practiced only on a limited basis this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SD 0022 ***
Legatron is coming off a five-FG game, his first notable fantasy outing in two months. A repeat is unlikely on the road, where he has two field goals in his last four games.

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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