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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: STL 17, BUF 24 Line: (BUF by 3)

Players Updated: Stevie Johnson

Players to Watch: Chris Givens, C.J. Spiller

The 5-6-1 Rams hit the road where they are only 1-3-1 and apparently can only beat the 49ers. The 5-7 Bills are 3-2 at home. Notable too is that the last time the Rams played the 49ers to a tie, they followed that great effort up by getting waxed by the Jets in St. Louis.

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 31-17
4 SEA 19-13 13 SF 16-13
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
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Rams season just peaked with their overtime win over the 49ers and for whatever reason, they match up well. That's a good thing considering San Francisco could be a divisional bully. But the Rams need to win at least three more games to reach a winning season and that's unlikely with three road trips left on the schedule. A win over the visiting Rams is within reach but a bad record away from St. Louis is going to need next year to fix. Undeniably progress has been made in this first year for Jeff Fisher. Progress is something that could not be claimed for years.

Sam Bradford has been better in recent weeks with a string of three games with two scores in each that stopped against the 49ers. Two of those came in away venues though both went against divisional rivals. Of the three non-divisional road games played, Bradford only scored once via a pass though he ran in a touchdown in Miami for his only ground score of the year.

Steven Jackson was held to just 48 rush yards last week but added five catches for 69 yards. He totaled only six catches in the previous five games and has only 21 receptions on the season. Jackson continues to yield around six runs to Daryl Richardson each week but has been productive recently though again - in divisional games. He has only two touchdowns this year.

Danny Amendola was a scratch last week and he only played seven snaps the previous week. He's a major difference maker in the passing equation but played in only one productive game since week four and cannot get back on the field because of his heel. Until he can practice fully and leaves the injury report he's a greatly risky fantasy play. In his place, Chris Givens turned in a career best 11 receptions for 92 yards while no other wideout managed more than one catch against the 49ers. That gives Givens back-to-back games with over 90 yards which is plenty cause for excitement in an offense that has been desperate for a play maker for several years.

The Rams don't play well on the road and are coming off a big emotional win. Figure on a natural let down that won't take as much advantage against a below average defense in Buffalo.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 24 27 11 29 23 20
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 23 31 23 16 16 23

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE 31-37
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA 19-14
3 @CLE 24-14 12 @IND 13-20
4 NE 28-52 13 JAC 34-18
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL -----
6 @ARI 19-16 15 SEA -----
7 TEN 34-35 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU 9-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Bills are only 5-7 but have a legitimate shot at ending .500 with three home games and only one away venue left to play. The defense has been much better since mid-season and no remaining opponent comes at them with a high-scoring offense. In the end, not much was really accomplished this year other than playing marginally better and yet not well enough to matter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is spending more time handing off in recent games than passing. For the last three weeks, he's remained below 180 yards each game and thrown just three touchdowns. He's thrown 40 passes in just one game all year but usually ends up over 30 throws. His matchup this week is harder to gauge since the Rams have played against a lot of bad quarterbacks and stuffed them. But they also allowed over 300 yards and three scores to both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

C.J. Spiller did not get as much use last week as desired because they felt that Fred Jackson was better in the rain and weather against the Jaguars. But Spiller is good for over 100 total yards since week five even though his role as a receiver has been in decline for the past month. Jackson rushed for 109 yards last week but is rarely afforded the workload that allows more than mediocre stats. Spiller is the one they want with the ball as much he can handle.

Stevie Johnson left the Jaguars game with bad hamstring but claims that it wasn't that bad and the weather and slick field was more the reason why they did not want to jeopardize a sore hamstring. T.J. Graham takes his place if it were needed but only Johnson is relevant for a fantasy start with his five touchdowns on the season. Donald Jones scored four times but when he has a bad game it is like single-catch bad.

The Rams on the road are much less formidable and should be emotionally down this week anyway. That makes the standard starters apply here - C.J. Spiller and Stevie Johnson. Both Fitzpatrick and Jackson could show up with good numbers but the risk is higher that they'll just end up with moderate stats at best.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 21 6 28 17 24 15
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 16 21 10 18 17 14

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF ARI 20000020001 ***
Taylor erupted with big plays in Week 2, but this go of it won't be as easy. He takes on a Cardinals' pass defense that ranks ninth against the position, allowing only 17.7 fantasy points per game. Only daily gamers can consider him a viable option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF ARI 6014200000 ***
Don't sit your studs, but be cautious with McCoy. First of all, the matchup looks brutal on paper. Only four teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to RBs. The matchup looks much worse than it is after Doug Martin went down in Week 2. LeGarrette Blount mustered 70 yards and a TD in the opener.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF ARI 002400000 ***
The home run Goodwin clobbered in Week 2 is the only reason he is in the fantasy conversation at this point. Avoid him in all traditional setups, even though Arizona is a sound matchup. DFS only.

Update: The expected loss of Sammy Watkins this week means more looks for Goodwin, but he's largely a one-trick pony. As previously noted, DFS only.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF ARI 004400000 ***
With all of the attention on Sammy Watkins, Woods may see an increased target count. Play him if you are truly desperate or looking for a DFS gamble. The Cardinals have allowed the eighth most fantasy points per game to the position so far, and garbage-time points could be a real scenario here.

Update: Sammy Watkins (foot) is a game-time decision and not expected to go ... bump up Woods based on the sheer volume increase, but he's still a barely worthy play in most situations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Salas, BUF ARI 003400000 ***
Buffalo's slot receiver can spring up now and again, but fantasy owners shouldn't look his way due to a lack of consistency and targets.

Update: Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay are both questionable. Salas might see more looks, if it matters, although he, too, is listed as as questionable with a groin strain. Clay and Salas were limited practice participants Friday.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF ARI 004400000 ***
Arizona faced two teams with tight end issues so far, resulting in this D giving up only eight catches for 44 yards. Clay isn't involved enough to warrant consideration, but he is a big-play guy, so a TD is not a crazy expectation.

Update: Clay is questionable but practiced in a limited fashion Friday. He may be hampered, but the uncertain nature of Sammy Watkins' playing time opens the door for Clay to see more targets. Tread cautiously.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF ARI 3311 ***
Buffalo's offense is just good enough in this matchup to give Carpenter several chances from downtown.

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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