FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: STL 10, ARI 6 (Line: ARI by 2)

Players Updated: Danny Amendola

Players to Watch: Ryan Lindley, Beanie Wells

The one thing we can be sure of here is that there are not going to be many points scored. These teams already met in week five when the Rams won 17-3. Neither team seems capable of scoring more than about 17 points in any game so the fantasy value is going to be pretty slim in this matchup. Just to set the exciting stage, the Rams just got beaten by the visiting Jets and have not won a game since the week five matchup with these Cardinals. The Cardinals are on a six game losing streak since they too have won no games since the last meeting and lost that one as well. Yay! Defense! Pfffft....

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DET 23-27 10 @SF 24-24
2 WAS 31-28 11 NYJ 13-27
3 @CHI 6-23 12 @ARI -----
4 SEA 19-13 13 SF -----
5 ARI 17-3 14 @BUF -----
6 @MIA 14-17 15 MIN -----
7 GB 20-30 16 @TB -----
8 NE 7-45 17 @SEA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL @ ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 200,1
WR Kenny Britt 5-80,1
TE Jared Cook 3-40
TE Lance Kendricks 2-20
PK Greg Zuerlein 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The emotional tide from tying the 49ers swept the Rams out to sea last week when they allowed the Jets to decimate them and feel like they had a good game for once. Troublesome is that the defense that has played so well this season has allowed at least 24 points per game for the last four games though in fairness they have faced some really good teams plus the Jets.

The offense has struggled to post points and yet Sam Bradford has been more productive if only in trash time of recent games. He's thrown for at least one score in each of the last four games and scored twice against the 49ers and Jets. He only completed seven passes in the last meeting with the Cardinals but they went for 141 passing yards and two scores. He's been marginally better lately and does have Danny Amendola back.

Steven Jackson is limited in his workload so that while he has a decent rushing average in most games, he still rarely gets more than 18 runs and has just the one 101 yard game in San Francisco. Otherwise he bangs around 70 rush yards per week and ran for 76 yards on 18 runs against the Cardinals last time. Daryl Richardson takes six to eight runs per week as well but never scores. He remains just outside of any fantasy relevance and yet plays just enough to prevent Jackson from having a decent game.

The problem with the receivers is that there are none worth consideration outside of Danny Amendola who himself only managed 41 yards on seven receptions against the Jets. Brandon Gibson no longer starts and yet had three catches for nine yards and two scores last week. It was his first time in the endzone since week two. Brian Quick and Chris Givens may or may not get any passes and Austin Pettis hangs around as well. Even Steve Smith still makes a rare appearance. Amendola is the core of the passing game and the only reliable component. In the last meeting with the Cards, Givens scored a 51-yard touchdown on his only catch in the game and Lance Kendricks scored a 7-yard touchdown on his only catch in the game and only score for the year.

Arizona is top ten in defending all but wide receivers so Amendola is the only decent play here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 23 27 10 30 22 25
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 6 9 18 1 15 27

  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.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL 19-23
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL -----
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL 3-17 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF 16-19 15 DET -----
7 @MIN 14-21 16 CHI -----
8 SF 3-24 17 @SF -----
9 @GB 17-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Lindley 140
QB Carson Palmer 280,1
WR Larry Fitzgerald 6-60
WR Michael Floyd

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals could be argued to be on a upswing after nearly playing the Falcons even. Then again, every other game says that this offense is in big trouble and is not likely to get much better. Granted, Beanie Wells is due to return this week but that's akin to expecting a known arsonist to make a good firefighter. Probably not going to happen. Might just make things even worse.

The first problem of many, many problems with the offense is that not even the coaching staff has any idea who the starting quarterback here is and they've known these guys for a couple of years. Kevin Kolb was the starter in week five when he threw for 289 yards and no touchdowns in St. Louis. Kolb has the better stats this year so long as the Cardinals are facing a really weak secondary which is not the case this week. Pretty much not any again for the rest of the year. Kolb remains out with an abdominal injury.

In Atlanta, John Skelton passed for six yards on seven passes and was replaced by the rookie Ryan Lindley who went on to complete 9 of 20 for 64 yards. Overall, not a good thing.

LaRod Stephens-Howling is the only part of the offense that seems to work at least occasionally and so after he gained 127 yards on 22 runs and scored once in Atlanta, he'll give way to Beanie Wells this week who is coming off the injured reserve. Yes, this is the same Wells who so far played in three games and has 29 runs for 76 yards. no scores and a 2.6 yard per carry average. Pay no mind to the fact that Stephens-Howling has all four running back touchdowns this year. The odd reality is that he only has a big game when on the road against a far better team. It's mostly from breaking one long run, something that Wells hasn't done since the Good Humor truck stopped coming to his neighborhood back in the 90's. Ryan Williams was the starter in week five and only gained 33 yards on 14 runs in St. Louis.

Tight ends not only have no touchdowns here, they did not so much as get one pass thrown at them last week.

Michael Floyd was benched last week for making mental mistakes during the game not that it mattered much in the grand scheme of the loss. He's never really had any fantasy value though his one five catch, 80 yard effort versus the Packers made it look like he might. Larry Fitzgerald comes off a one catch, 11 yard game that sadly is not his worst of the year. Fitzgerald is the only real fantasy play on the entire team and he has the talent to be an elite receiver. But the entire offense around seems to be swirling down the drain. Fitzgerald caught eight passes for 92 yards in St. Louis earlier this year. He had 74 yards and a score against the Packers recently. He can get it done in some games but when it goes bad, he's really challenged to do anything.

No other receivers here have any real fantasy value. Andre Roberts often produces marginal yardage but has three games that ended with fewer than 20 receiving yards. Robert turned in five catches for 39 yards in the last meeting with the Rams. I will assume that Lindley starts and adjust as more is known.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 26 31 13 26 23 11
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 19 22 12 20 18 15

  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.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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