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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: STL 17, TB 27 (Line: TB by 3)

Players to Watch: Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford

The 6-7-1 Rams are only 2-3-1 on the road but the last three were both wins and the tie. The 6-8 Buccaneers are on a four game losing streak and fading badly coming off a humbling 41-0 loss to the Saints. Have to like the Buccaneers here in their final home game coming off a spanking. Hey - if it can work for the Cardinals...

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 15-12
6 @MIA 14-17 15 MIN 22-36
7 GB 20-30 16 @TB -----
8 NE 7-45 17 @SEA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL @ TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 270,2
WR Kenny Britt 4-40
WR Chris Givens 3-50,1
TE Lance Kendricks 3-30
PK Greg Zuerlein 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The wind down the season with two tough road games and if nothing else, they have to know that the season ender in Seattle alone will prevent them from having a winning record this year. But progress has been made in Jeff Fisher's first season - significantly on the defense for one and Sam Bradford has come around better as well. This team is probably one great running back and one very good wideout away from competing for a playoff spot.

Sam Bradford comes off his best game of the year when he passed for 377 yards and three touchdowns while watching Adrian Peterson keep running past him each time the defense took the field. Bradford is still just an average quarterback and his 18 touchdowns are encouraging given how bad 2011 was. Most of his decent games did happen at home.

Steven Jackson may have played his final game in St. Louis depending on what they want to do with the oldest starting running back in the league. Jackson was off to a nice game with 73 yards on 13 carries but the Rams fell behind and abandoned the run. Jackson added eight catches for 79 yards to dwarf all other games as a receiver.

Chris Givens has gone cold these last two games while Brian Quick scored his second touchdown of the year last week. Danny Amendola was able to play after missing two games because of his foot and not only scored once on his 58 yards and six receptions but he also scored a two point conversion.

Outside of the ever-fragile Amendola, the Rams have never developed a suitable #2 though Brandon Gibson did turn in a few nice games along with a few complete disappearing acts. Chris Givens and Brian Quick both are just rookies though and should see more work next year depending on how well they end 2012 and perform in camp next summer.

This week goes against the worst secondary which will help Bradford again but Jackson is likely to have a bad rushing effort. That won't matter if they'll only use him for eight more catches this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 24 27 12 27 29 18
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 32 13 32 26 11 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Austin Davis, STL @KC 0000021011 ***
The Chiefs haven't allowed a 20-point game to an opposing quarterback since Peyton Manning in Week 2. Meanwhile, after a hot start Davis has come back to Earth with back-to-back fantasy non-helpers. Regardless of what Brett Favre says, don't expect Davis to be much fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @KC 900000000 ***
Mason seems to have taken over as the lead dog in the Rams' backfield committee. There won't be much in the way of scoring against a Chiefs D that has yet to surrender an RB TD on the season, but with another 18-touch workload he could do enough yardage-wise to blip on the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @KC 2003300000 ***
The Chiefs haven't allowed a running back TD all year, and since Cunningham's reduced role requires a touchdown for him to be fantasy relevant he'll have an extremely difficult time helping your fantasy team this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL @KC 005600000 ***
While Quick remains the closest thing the Rams have to a reliable fantasy receiver--he's paced the St. Louis receiving corps in fantasy points five of the six games--the team hasn't had a fantasy-relevant receiver since Week 5 and the Chiefs secondary doesn't do opponents any favors. You'll have better luck looking elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @KC 004500000 ***
No reason to think this is an "up" week for the wildly inconsistent Britt, who's had just 43 yards in two games since his last fantasy-relevant effort (3-68-1 in Week 5).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Lance Kendricks, STL @KC 001101000 **
In three of the past four games the Rams have ordered the Code Red in the red zone and Kendricks has delivered; in fact, he owns all of the Rams' TE TDs on the season. So if you're wondering which is the better bet to take advantage of a Chiefs' D that's surrendered six TE TDs already this year... well, here's your answer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @KC 004400000 ***
The Chiefs have given up six TE TDs already this season... but all that likely means for Cook is that Lance "Code Red" Kendricks swipes his red zone TD again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @KC 3311 ***
Legatron is getting rusty; he hasn't had multiple field goals or topped seven points since Week 2 against Tampa. A trip to Arrowhead isn't likely to right the ship, either.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 16-10 10 SD 34-24
2 @NYG 34-41 11 @CAR 27-21
3 @DAL 10-16 12 ATL 23-24
4 WAS 22-24 13 @DEN 23-31
5 BYE ----- 14 PHI 21-23
6 KC 38-10 15 @NO 0-41
7 NO 28-35 16 STL -----
8 @MIN 36-17 17 @ATL -----
9 @OAK 42-32 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Doug Martin 90,2 5-40
WR Vincent Jackson 5-70,1
TE Brandon Myers 6-50,1

Pregame Notes: This is the one chance the Bucs have to end on a good note. The finale in Atlanta could end up as a freebie since the Falcons may have already secured the #1 seed and would not care about the game. But coming off a 41-0 loss will focus the team and hopefully give HC Greg Schiano a final home win this year.

This four game losing streak mostly comes down on the shoulders of Josh Freeman. He has struggled to complete half of his passes and twice been held to no touchdowns. The Buccaneers have fallen behind and been forced to run less, negating the one advantage they have in Doug Martin.

Freeman was at his worst against the Saints when he only completed 26 of 47 for 279 yards and four interceptions. And a lost fumble. And no scores. This was made even worse since only seven weeks previous, he threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns on the very same team.

Martin comes off his worst game of the year but he is at home where he typically ends up north of 100 total yards and scores in the most recent games in Tampa Bay. He usually ends up with 20+ carries as well as catches three or four passes. The important part to the Bucs game plan is do not fall behind early and fast because it all falls apart and Martin is no longer a factor.

Despite the four game slide, Vincent Jackson had maintained his value better than anyone else on the team and still gets 10+ targets in most games. He four best games since week three have all been in home venues and his eight touchdowns paces the team.

The Rams are less formidable away from home where their defense tends to become more average. The fantasy plays here remain Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson with Josh Freeman needing a good showing more than ever.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 10 9 25 15 23
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 13 21 8 18 20 14

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mike Glennon, TB MIN 0000026021 ****
Glennon's posted three straight two-TD games, with at least 249 yards in each and 300-plus yards in two of the three. Minnesota has given up multiple touchdown tosses or at least 273 yards in all four road games, so they're not likely to keep Glennon from his appointed rounds.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB MIN 2011100000 ***
Rainey's the touchdown/fumble guy. Given that the Vikings have allowed at least one RB TD in five of the past six games, there's a chance Rainey reaches fantasy relevancy despite getting fewer touches than Doug Martin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB MIN 5003200000 ***
The Vikings are giving up five yards per carry on the road and have let their last three hosts all rush for better than 100 yards. Martin remains the quantity guy in Tampa Bay, and this provides an opportunity for him to turn back the clock to when he was fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB MIN 005701000 **
Bucs wideouts should be splitting up 160 or so receiving yards this week, which is what the Vikings surrender to wide receivers in a typical road game. As the top target Jackson takes his cut off the top, more than enough to be a fantasy helper.
Update: VJax practiced on a limited basis all week. He's listed as questionable but expected to play, so plan on him as you usually would.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB MIN 003501000 ***
Though he's running second to Vincent Jackson in targets Evans has scored in each of his two previous games. He has a great chance to make it three straight against a Minnesota secondary that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in three straight road games and just got carved up by fellow rookie Sammy Watkins.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Louis Murphy, TB MIN 004300000 **
Tough to dismiss Murphy against a Vikings defense that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in three straight road games, but he's definitely the third wheel behind Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans so he'll have to hope for copious table scraps.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB MIN 003400000 ***
The Vikings have allowed only one TE TD all year and ASJ is still sharing targets with Brandon Myers so keep that breakout game for the rookie on hold for the time being.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB MIN 1133 ***
The Vikings are giving up less than six points per game to opposing kickers, which is great because Murray has scored less than six points in more than half of his games. You can do better elsewhere.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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