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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 Nick Foles 250,1
WR Kenny Britt 5-80,1
WR Wes Welker 6-70,1
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 Case Keenum, STL @SF 0000020010 ***
Rams QBs have thrown multiple touchdowns in two of 15 games this year. Keenum did it once a couple weeks ago; no reason to get your hopes up for a repeat.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Todd Gurley, STL @SF 10021100000 ***
While the Niners' run D has been better at home, the fact remains that Gurley gouged them for 20-133-1 in the earlier meeting and will see more than enough carries to reprise those numbers--as well as extend his personal three-game scoring streak.

Update: Gurley is listed as doubtful due to a foot injury, and there's no reason for the Rams to risk their franchise back in a meaningless game. Enjoy Tre Mason.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @SF 6011100000 **
Update: With Todd Gurley listed as doubtful, expect Mason to carry the mail against an inconsistent at best San Francisco run defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SF 2003401000 **
Austin has as many or more rushes than receptions in four straight games, scoring in two of the four. His last triple-digit combo yardage game came against the Niners back in Week 8, so there's upside there as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SF 002300000 ***
Britt has scored in back-to-back games, which amongst Rams wideouts counts as "torrid". However, the Niners have given up just four WR TDs in the past seven games and shut Britt out completely in the earlier matchup so don't go chasing the last fortnight's success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SF 003400000 ***
It'd be easier to be fired up about the Niners giving up TE TDs in two of the past three games if Cooks had scored recently. Like, at any point this season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SF 1122 ***
"Legatron" a cool
nickname; but a fantasy
kicker, not so much

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 Carson Palmer 280,1
RB Chris Johnson 100,1 4-20
WR Larry Fitzgerald 6-60
WR Michael Floyd
TE Jermaine Gresham 4-60,1

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 Carson Palmer, ARI SEA 0000026020 ***
Been a while since the Seahawks saw a legit threat at quarterback. How long? Keen, Manziel, Clausen, Bridgewater, Roethlisberger (who threw for 456 yards but only one TD), Gabbert... almost two months back to Palmer's 363 and 3 in Seattle. With a shot at home field throughout the playoffs on the line the Cards will turn Palmer loose early, giving him a legit shot at solid fantasy numbers even in the face of a tough matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB David Johnson, ARI SEA 8014400000 ***
It won't be easy against the top RB defense, but Johnson has 120 or more combo yards in each of his four starts since taking over for the injured Chris Johnson, with five touchdowns in that span. The last time Arizona faced this defense CJ and Andre Ellington combined for 119 and 1 on the ground while DJ touched the ball just once (for eight yards). So... tough, yes, but not impossible.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI SEA 004501000 ***
Brown was still battling a hamstring injury and targeted just three times without a catch in the earlier meeting with Seattle. He's the third wheel in this offense, but that might just mean he draws lesser coverage so don't bench up just because you fear the matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI SEA 006501000 ***
Fitz has taken a back seat to other members of the Arizona receiving corps for the better part of three months. However, his touchdown last week and 10-130 in the earlier matchup with Seattle suggest that just because he's not the top target on his team doesn't mean he won't help your fantasy squad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI SEA 003300000 **
Floyd owns 40 percent of the WR TDs allowed by the Seahawks this season, and he's accounted for a third of the 100-yard WR games they've given up as well. With the Legion of Boom spread thin across Arizona's sterling receiving corps, plenty of opportunity for Floyd this week.

Update: Floyd missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and was limited on Friday by a knee injury. He's listed as questionable, but there's mostly optimism in Arizona that he'll be available this weekend.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI SEA 2233 ***
Season-high thirteen
last time he faced the Seahawks
Like his chances here

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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