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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
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 Austin Davis, STL DAL 0000021011 ***
The Rams are still looking for their first TD pass of the season. Until they get one, look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Zac Stacy, STL DAL 6011100000 ***
The Cowboys are giving up almost five yards a carry, and the Rams have no passing game. You do the math.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL DAL 007800000 ***
The Cowboys, shockingly enough, have yet to surrender a WR TD this year. The Rams, to the surprise of no one, have yet to score one. Quick is the most likely to snap that streak, but it's hardly a given.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL DAL 001300000 ***
At his current pace, Britt should get two catches this week. You can afford to wait and see if he continues this torrid climb towards fantasy respectability.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL DAL 005601000 ****
Cooks is a consistent provider of adequate fantasy numbers, but he could most definitely see an uptick against a defense that's already ceded three TE TDs and 186 yards to the position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL DAL 1122 ***
Legatron has six treys in two games, but he's kicking an uphill battle against a Cowboys defense that's allowed just one FG through the first two 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 EJ Manuel, BUF SD 10000021011 ***
The Bolts served up multiple TD tosses to both QBs they've faced thus far this year, but Manual hasn't thrown multiples since Week 15 of last year. That means he'll need a rushing score to salvage his fantasy day, and the Chargers haven't allowed a QB rushing TD since Week 3 of last year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF SD 5003201000 ***
Spiller is essentially sharing carries with Fred Jackson, which against a stout San Diego defense won't amount to much in the way of fantasy help. However, he's also involved in the passing game and special teams (see last week's return TD), and that's a place the Bolts are vulnerable so don't write off Spiller as a lost cause this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF SD 3003200000 ****
Only four teams have allowed fewer rushing yards this year than the Chargers... but only three teams have allowed more receiving yards to RBs. Jackson can get his work done in the passing game to salvage his fantasy day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF SD 005700000 ***
On the heels of his bustout game last week Watkins gets a San Diego defense that has for the most part kept opposing wideouts in check--with the notable exception of speed guys like Michael Floyd, who had 119 receiving yards, and Percy Harvin, who had a 51-yard TD* run. Watkins certainly has speed to burn, so if you're dipping into the Buffalo passing game for fantasy help this week he's your best bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF SD 004500000 ***
Woods' brief run as the Bills' go-to receiver lasted all of one game as he was leap-frogged last week by Sammy Watkins. No reason to think he'll get that gig back any time soon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF SD 002300000 ***
Williams has 39 yards in two games as a Bill, and the Chargers haven't been overly friendly to opposing passing games--especially secondary targets. This isn't rocket science.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF SD 002200000 ***
Mr. September's window of opportunity is slamming shut, and a Chargers' defense that's surrendered just three TE receptions on the year is likely to help hasten the process.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF SD 3311 ***
There's something to be said for tagging along on an offense that's good enough to get close but not good enough to seal the deal; that's how Carpenter has come to lead the NFL in field goals. You could do worse if you were reaching for kicking help this week.

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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