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 @SEA 0000018002 ***
Last week's 290 and 2 sounds like a real fantasy quarterback line for Hill, something we haven't seen from him this year. Of course, now he heads to Seattle, where mediocre quarterbacks go to be pummeled. It was a nice run.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @SEA 3001100000 ***
Mason had 85 yards and a touchdown in the earlier meeting with Seattle so you can't dismiss him out of hand. However, he's not DeMarco Murray, the only opposing back to top 55 yards in Seattle, which means he's far more likely to wind up with a stat line something like those recorded by Andre Williams (13-33-1) or Frank Gore (11-29-1)--and those lines are heavily dependent on that score for fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL @SEA 004500000 ***
Bailey's 4-33 against Seattle last December is the best showing by a receiver on the Rams' active roster against the Seahawks. So... yay?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SEA 1002100000 ***
Austin has 31 total yards in two career meetings with the Seahawks. You'll want to look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SEA 002100000 ***
Britt's 1-14 in 2010 as a member of the Titans is the best game by a current Rams receiver in Seattle. Yes, it's that bad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SEA 004400000 ***
Cook scored on his last visit to Seattle, but it was Lance Kendricks who scored in the earlier meeting with the Seahawks--as well as last week against the Giants. On paper it's a favorable matchup, but Cook is sharing too many looks to be banked on for fantasy help here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SEA 1111 **
You wanna bank on a kicker going to Seattle, where opposing booters have a total of four points the past two games, you're on your own.

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
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 @NE 0000025021 **
Orto threw for 299 and 2 in the earlier meeting with New England, but he'd been in a bit of a slump until last week's 329 and 3 in Oakland. He'll catch the Patriots with nothing to play for, but he's still a bit of a risky fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 2007500000 ***
Jackson has scored in three of his last four against the Patriots, and four of his last six--including a rushing TD in the earlier meeting with New England. The risk is that the Bills know what they have in Jackson so they may give CJ Spiller some extra looks--but that's just one of the many risks you run with a Week 17 title game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3003200000 ***
Spiller returned to four carries for negative four yards last week in Oakland, along with four catches for 14 yards. But he actually has a decent track record in New England, topping 100 combo yards on each of his last three visits and scoring in two of his last four trips to Gillette Stadium. If the Bills opt to give him an audition to keep his job, he has a decent shot of carving out some fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 007701000 **
With Darrelle Revis all over Sammy Watkins, Woods paced the Bills in the earlier matchup with 7-78-1. Woods also scored last week, and they're likely to be playing catchup so another solid fantasy outing wouldn't surprise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NE 004500000 ***
Hogan has the distinct advantage of not drawing Darrelle Revis. He scored in the earlier matchup and is a viable option if New England's varsity corners stick around long enough to blanket Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NE 003300000 **
Watkins was shut down by Darrelle Revis in the earlier meeting, but with New England having locked up home field advantage Revis may make an early exit. You wanna hang your fantasy hat on that, go ahead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004401000 ***
Chandler had his best game of the season, 105 yards, in the earlier meeting with New England. He scored last week and, given the strength of the Patriots' corners, is a viable alternative for Kyle Orton--and thus a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 1122 ***
New England has allowed multiple field goals in five of their last six; Carpenter has kicked multiple field goals in five of his last seven. Expect an uptick over his two point performance against the Patriots earlier this season--maybe even a big one if Bill Belichick starts playing the JV sooner rather than later.

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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