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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: ARI 0, SEA 24 Line (SEA by 10.5)

Players Updated: Ryan Lindley, John Skelton, Larry Fitzgerald

Players to Watch: Do Larry Fitzgerald a solid and don't watch

The 4-8 Cardinals continue to swirl down the drain with an eight game losing streak but amazingly opened the season with a win over these Seahawks. The even bigger problem is that the 7-5 Seahawks are an undefeated 5-0 at home and still have designs on making the playoffs if not challenge for the division.

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 17-31
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ 6-7
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 @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Lindley
QB Carson Palmer 260,2
RB Beanie Wells 40
WR Larry Fitzgerald 4-50

Pregame Notes: A brutal season just gets worse and worse with an eight game losing streak that does not appear likely to stop until maybe next year. Road trips to Seattle and San Francisco are bound to be painful and even the two home games go against the Lions and Bears. The offense has completely fallen apart and as an entire team in a sixty minute game, the Cards only gained 72 passing yards and 81 rushing yards. 40 of those rush yards came on a trick punt. So really the offense produced just a smidgen over 100 yards on the entire afternoon.

Ryan Lindley was never benched though he completed only 10 of 31 passes for 72 yards and one interception. Kevin Kolb remains out but the coaching staff doesn't want to use John Skelton. It doesn't matter in fantasy terms but the situation in Arizona could change during the week.

Beanie Wells only gained 22 yards on 15 carries in New York and LaRod Stephens-Howling was limited to only one run. Wells is back to being the plodding, injury-prone back that holds a job for no apparent reason. With a brutal set of defenses coming up, there is no reason to expect any changes for this year.

Worse yet, Larry Fitzgerald was the lead receiver last week because he caught one pass for 23 yards. That's all. Lindley has been so bad that even Fitzgerald can do nothing to help. Over the last three games, Fitzgerald has only caught a total of five passes and 65 yards. He's well on his way to his worst season in his career and at the age of 29 still has several good years ahead of him but his talent is absolutely squandered in Arizona. The offseason must conjure up a good quarterback because outside of Fitzgerald, all of the elements of this offense are so far below average that it's a wonder they play games. it has been nine games since the Cards were able to score 20 points in a game.

Forget what happened in the season opener. There is no fantasy value here on a good week and playing in Seattle may be about as back as it gets given that they know the Cardinals all too well and need to win. This is a decent set-up for a shutout.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 26 30 16 28 25 13
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 4 12 2 7 5 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Logan Thomas, ARI @SF 0000020011 *
If rookie Derek Carr can throw for 254 and 3 against the Niners, why not Thomas? Well, Carr was 13 games into his rookie season; Thomas has thrown nine NFL passes--and completed exactly one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI @SF 800000000 ***
Despite Williams being the more effective back the Cardinals have turned to Stepfan Taylor with Andre Ellington out of the mix. Maybe they'll need to lean on both with Logan Thomas under center, but against the 49ers there's not much fantasy value--certainly not enough to be split two ways.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stepfan Taylor, ARI @SF 3002200000 ***
Andre Ellington did minimal damage (18-62 rushing, 3-13 receiving) in the earlier matchup with San Francisco; Taylor had two yards on one carry. The ground game will need to step up in support of rookie QB Logan Thomas, but it certainly isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @SF 005601000 *
Brown scored twice in the earlier matchup with the Niners, and it's not uncommon for depth receivers to have success against San Fran: among the tertiary targets who have scored against them are Paul Richardson and Wes Welker. Plus, with Logan Thomas at the helm you can expect Bruce Arians to take some deep shots. Just know that there's a tremendous amount of risk with anything associated with the Arizona passing game with a first-time starter at quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @SF 004600000 **
Floyd's speed gave the Niners problems in the earlier matchup, and QB Logan Thomas' one NFL completion did go for 81 yards so if you're grasping at straws you could hope for a home run completion. But considering Thomas is also 1-for-9 career, there's plenty of risk of strikeout.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jaron Brown, ARI @SF 002200000 ***
Brown is better known as "The Other One" when he swipes a touchdown from erstwhile third receiver John Brown. Such a tertiary target isn't a fantasy option with a first-time driver at the wheel for the Cards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @SF 002200000 **
Fitz was an afterthought in the earlier meeting, catching just three balls for 34 yards while Arizona bombed away to John Brown and Michael Floyd. Logan Thomas might be more inclined to look at Larry as a security blanket, but considering the matchup, the quarterback, and Fitz's struggles this year you can find better fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @SF 2211 ***
The good news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have mean nine field goals for Catanzaro over the past three games. The bad news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have yielded one PAT for Catanzaro in the past five games. If you believe in Logan Thomas, making his first NFL start in San Francisco, go ahead and chase Catanzaro's threes. Maybe.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ 28-7
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA 21-24
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI 23-17
5 @CAR 16-12 14 ARI -----
6 NE 24-23 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF 6-13 16 SF -----
8 @DET 24-28 17 STL -----
9 MIN 30-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30 200,2
RB Marshawn Lynch 120,1 1-10
WR Sidney Rice 4-60,1
TE Zach Miller 2-10
TE Tony Moeaki 3-40
PK Steven Hauschka 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks remain in playoff contention with their overtime win in Chicago that was their most impressive effort this year. Easily. The Seahawks were stuck at winning all games at home but then losing on the road to all but the worst of teams. Beating the Bears will make a difference and is a confidence booster. Most importantly, it showcased the progress of Russell Wilson.

Wilson has been on a five game streak of throwing multiple touchdowns and the 293 yards in Chicago was also a personal best that tied his effort against the Patriots. Russell even added 71 rush yards last week on nine runs. His yardage still typically remains average at best thanks to running Marshawn Lynch but scoring more than once every week makes him fantasy relevant and even reliable. He's come a long way since opening the year with 153 yards and one score in Arizona.

Marshawn Lynch has also been on a roll with scores in four of the last five games and 98+ yards in all but one home game. He ran for 85 yards on 21 runs in the season opener versus the Cardinals and scored six times since.

Sidney Rice caught the game winner last week but was blasted on the play and remained down for several minutes. He has since cleared all concussion tests and will be available again this week. The progress made by Wilson has been almost entirely related to using his two starting wideouts better. Golden Tate scored four times over the last four games and comes off a career best 96 yards on five catches with one touchdown in Chicago. His last two home games combined for three scores. Rice scored five times over the last five games and also comes off a season best 99 yards on six catches with one score in Chicago.

By this point, the Seahawks have now provided several fantasy relevant players. Lynch remains one of the most consistent backs in the league and WIlson, Rice and Tate are all decent plays for at least average points though rarely anything considered big. The Cardinals defense has not left them yet and most teams no longer take them too seriously so the game scores typically remain on the low side from what could be.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 25 15 22 26 27 22
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 5 9 16 3 15 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA STL 60100021010 ***
Eli Manning's 391 and 3 last week against the Rams was the first multiple touchdown game St. Louis had allowed since... well, since Wilson turned the trick with 313 and 2 back in Week 7. Wilson added 106 rushing yards and a rushing score as well, yielding a fantasy line not unlike last week's against Arizona. Can lightning strike again? Given the way Wilson is augmenting his passing numbers with a consistent dose of rushing stats, odds are it's a yes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA STL 10011100000 ****
The Rams just let Andre Williams run over them for 110 yards in their house; what chance do they have against Lynch in his, where he's averaging 85 yards and almost 1.5 touchdowns per game? St. Louis slowed him in the front end of the season series (18-53), but so did Arizona and Lynch burned them with 113 and 2 in the rematch. So, advantage Skittles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA STL 006800000 ***
While it's tough to identify which nameless face will step up at any given time to represent the Seattle receivers, you can make a compelling case for Baldwin this week. He had 7-123-1 in the earlier meeting with St. Louis and comes off 7-113 last week. Those games represent the only 100-yard games by Seattle receivers this year, so if it's going to happen again he's the most likely candidate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, SEA STL 006700000 ***
Richardson saw the second-most targets last week against Arizona, but he's far too inconsistent a fantasy contributor to be banked on this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA STL 002301000 *
The Rams have allowed only two TE TDs all season--but one went to Cooper Helfet in the earlier meeting between these clubs, and Wilson shredded the Cardinals last week with 139 yards and a pair of scores. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA STL 1144 ***
If you can get over Hauschka's oh-fer last week, it's a genuine opportunity. The Rams have given up 34 kicker points the past three games, suggesting Hauschka has a chance to upgrade on the eight points he scored in the earlier meeting in St. Louis.

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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