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 NYG 0000022010 ***
If not for his rushing score in a 52-0 blowout of the Raiders, Hill wouldn't have a single fantasy helper to his credit. Only one of the last six quarterbacks to face the Giants has thrown double-digit touchdown passes; unlikely Hill winds up the second.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL NYG 10012100000 ****
Mason continues to get the bulk of the workload, so when there's a favorable matchup--like against the Giants, who have allowed four 100-yard rushers--he's the primary beneficiary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL NYG 004601000 **
If Shaun Hill puts up enough yardage to generate a fantasy-worthy receiver--and that's a reasonably big "if"--Bailey is the most likely candidate; he's been the Rams' top receiver three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL NYG 005700000 ***
Britt remains in the mix, but he's wildly inconsistent and dependent on a quarterback who doesn't exactly churn out tons of helpful fantasy stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL NYG 3002100000 ***
The Rams are becoming more creative in getting the ball to their top pick from a year ago, but he's largely a non-factor as a receiver so you're banking on returns and gimmick plays for him to get you fantasy points--always a risky proposition.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL NYG 002200000 ***
Cook will be the most targeted tight end in a reasonably favorable matchup, but he still has to fend off Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey--as well as hope Shaun Hill throws enough for them to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL NYG 2222 ***
Aside from his five-field goal outing against the Broncos Zuerlein has been mostly ordinary with no more than two field goals in any other contest since Week 2. It's not an overly favorable matchup, so no need to go out of your way to get Legatron into your lineup.

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 Ryan Lindley, ARI SEA 0000018001 *
It's been nine games since an opposing quarterback delivered a fantasy helper (two TDs and 250-plus yards) against the Seahawks. Lindley, who has yet to throw a touchdown in 181 NFL attempts, is not the next. The last time he saw the Seahawks he was on the butt end of a 58-0 thrashing in which the only highlight of his 8-17-59 performance was that he wasn't picked off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stepfan Taylor, ARI SEA 2004300000 ***
Taylor will get the pleasure of between-the-tackles work against the Seahawks. His share of the Arizona workload won't amount to much if any fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI SEA 3001100000 ***
Williams was the slightly more effective back last week as he and Stepfan Taylor split the workload. Neither will do much this week against a Seattle defense that has allowed exactly one running back (Jamaal Charles) to top 50 yards in the past two months.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI SEA 003500000 *
Brown's 61 yards in Week 12 is the best showing by a wideout against the Seahawks in the past five games. So if 61 yards floats your boat, enjoy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI SEA 003400000 *
In three previous full games with Lindley at the helm, Fitzgerald has been targeted 24 times. Unfortunately only eight of those were close enough for the sure-handed Fitz to grab, and they resulted in a meager 76 yards and zero TDs. Tough to expect any of those stats to improve against Seattle's stout secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE John Carlson, ARI SEA 003300000 ***
Ryan Lindley leaned heavily on tight ends (23 targets, one shy of Larry Fitzgerald over that same span) in his earlier stint as a starter, so there's that upside for Carlson. Also, Seattle's softest spot defensively this season has been tight end. Nope... can't quite muster up enough enthusiasm to warrant a fantasy play for Carlson this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI SEA 1100 ***
Maybe Catanzaro does all the Cards' scoring again, but the Ryan Lindley-led offense may not even get him across midfield.

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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