FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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
STL @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 210,1
WR Kenny Britt 5-70,1
WR Chris Givens 5-90,1
TE Jared Cook 6-60
TE Lance Kendricks 3-30
PK Greg Zuerlein 1 FG 2 XP

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

  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.

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
RB Bryce Brown 90,1 4-10
RB Fred Jackson 40,1 2-20
RB C.J. Spiller 80,1 2-20
WR Mike Williams 5-60,1
TE Scott Chandler 2-20
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 1 XP

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 Kyle Orton, BUF NYJ 0000028020 ***
Orton's fantasy effectiveness peaked three weeks ago with four TDs against the Jets; since then he's thrown just one scoring strike while the Jets secondary has actually been not horrible. Still, should be another opportunity to start Orton here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF NYJ 2003200000 ***
Maybe some upside in Brown as a pass-catcher, but the ground game is being split three ways, it's a tough matchup, and Fred Jackson will resume at least a portion of his old duties.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF NYJ 2004200000 ***
Not much to like about this matchup: a banged-up Jackson sharing carries with two other guys against a defense that limited Buffalo to 61 yards on 30 carries the last time they met.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF NYJ 200000000 **
Dixon has kind of been the workhorse with Fred Jackson out, but a) that hasn't amounted to much and b) Jackson should be back for this tilt. If Boobie couldn't give you fantasy help with 22 touches in the earlier meeting, tough to see him giving you much this time around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF NYJ 0061201000 ***
Watkins toasted the Jets for 157 and 1 in the earlier meeting, one of three receivers in the past five games to go off for at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He's been slowed a bit the past couple of weeks but should be healthy enough to approximate those numbers at home in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF NYJ 006701000 ***
Woods scored in the previous matchup with the Jets, but he's battling Chris Hogan for secondary looks and is no lock to do the same in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF NYJ 003400000 ***
It's been two months since Williams was fantasy-relevant; unless Sammy Watkins can't go he remains a bit player at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF NYJ 003200000 ***
Chandler scored one of two Buffalo TE TDs the last time they met the Jets, but he's just not targeted enough to bank on similar production--even with such a favorable matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYJ 3322 ***
Carpenter has kicked multiple treys in three straight, including a 13-point affair against the Jets a month ago. He seems to be on a roll, no reason to bet against him here.

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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