FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: STL 6, SEA 27 (Line: SEA by 10.5)

Players to Watch: Marshawn Lynch

The Seahawks can win the NFC West if they beat the Rams and the 49ers lose to the Cardinals. They could even get a first round bye if they win here, the 49ers and the Packers both lose. They have already clinched a wildcard and are probably going to have to be happy with that. This is a replay of week four when the Rams won 19-13 in St. Louis. Seattle is one of only two teams that are undefeated at home this year. And only 3-5 in road games.

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 28-13
8 NE 7-45 17 @SEA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 200
WR Kenny Britt 3-30,1
TE Lance Kendricks 3-40
PK Greg Zuerlein 2 FG

Pregame Notes: The Rams are winding down their first season under Jeff Fisher and even finishing 7-9-1 is a big upgrade from the 2-14 standing from last year. More than anything, Fisher has brought back defense to the Rams who held seven different opponents under 20 points including four of the last five. They also tied and beat the 49ers. They beat the Seahawks.

Sam Bradford bounced back from his horrible sophomore season when he only passed for 2164 yards and six touchdowns. He currently stands at 3450 yards and 20 scores though his QB Rating remains around 50. Bradford passed for 221 yards and no scores in the last meeting with the Seahawks.

Steven Jackson may be back next year though he's clearly not the future in St. Louis as the elder statesman of all starting tailbacks. Jackson only scored four times this year but has been much more productive in the second half of the season when they stopped splitting time with Daryl Richardson and just let Jackson take a full load. He ran for only 55 yards on 18 carries in the other Seahawks game and oddly enough has been the most productive in road games. The last four away from home saw him either score or turn in 100+ yards.

Lance Kendricks has been little used this year - he only caught two passes for 22 yards in the other Seahawks matchup. But he scored in each of the last two games and comes off his career best game of 119 yards on four catches in Tampa Bay thanks to the 80-yard touchdown catch and run. Kendricks previous high for the year was only 48 yards.

The wideouts have been a mish-mash all season long. Danny Amendola had big games against the Redskins and 49ers but otherwise has been either injured or moderately productive. Chris Givens went through a seven week streak where he had fantasy value and scored three times but has fallen back into the pack with three straight games of 40 yards or less. Givens had no catches versus the Seahawks and Amendola did not play that week. Brandon Gibson only managed 28 yards on two catches then and has been far too inconsistent to merit any fantasy consideration.

This is going to be a bad week since the Seahawks have something to play for and are at home where they are just dominating everyone. There really is no attractive fantasy play here outside of expecting a marginal game from Jackson. The Seahawks even get to use CB Richard Sherman who was granted his suspension appeal.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 23 27 12 27 30 9
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 3 7 1 9 1 6

  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.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ 28-7
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA 21-24
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI 23-17
5 @CAR 16-12 14 ARI 58-0
6 NE 24-23 15 @BUF 50-17
7 @SF 6-13 16 SF 42-13
8 @DET 24-28 17 STL -----
9 MIN 30-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30 200,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 120,1 1-10
TE Zach Miller 3-30,1
PK Steven Hauschka 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks have morphed into a dominating team - at least when they are at home. The defense has become one of the top units in the league and held 12 opponents to 20 points or less including the 58-0 drubbing of the Cardinals. The offense has been decent enough all year with Marshawn Lynch but even Russell Wilson has been evolving from a game manager.

Wilson passed for only 160 yards in St. Louis and did not score while throwing three interceptions. He's been on a hot streak with touchdown lately though and since week eight has thrown 17 touchdown over eight weeks. But his yardage is rarely anything notable and he still has never topped 300 yards in any game. Over half his games end with under 200 yards passed.

Marshawn Lynch and the defense is what keeps this team in the "W" column. He rushed for 118 yards and one score on 20 runs in St. Louis and added a season high four catches for 37 yards. Lynch already scored 12 times this year and scored in all but one of the last eight weeks. He has nine efforts that topped 100 rushing yards. He even added a receiving touchdown last week for the first time.

Zach Miller has been little used this season with only around 25 yards per game but he did score in two of the last three games. The problem with the wideouts is that they have been mostly under-used and very inconsistent. Sidney Rice is tops with six scores but he has only one touchdown in the last five weeks. Golden Tate has five touchdowns but almost no yardage and they show up randomly or at least when he can manage an undetected push-off. Doug Baldwin showed up last week with two touchdowns but only had one other all year. There is no reliable fantasy players here and the yardage is almost always lacking.

Lynch is an obvious play here and the Seattle defense as well. Wilson is only a play for scores but he never has much yardage and you cannot count on more than two scores. I like a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 16 6 21 23 18 8
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 16 18 9 18 20 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA ARI 40000018010 ***
Wilson hasn't topped 200 yards in a month and has as many games without a passing touchdown as with. Fortunately for his fantasy value he also has 244 rushing yards and a rushing TD in that span. The Cards won't be an easy nut to crack on either count--they've allowed only 85 QB rushing yards all year--so consider Wilson a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA ARI 8022200000 ****
Back to back 100-yard efforts, six touchdowns in the past three games... so what if the Cards are a tough run-game matchup on paper, it's Beast Mode. Never go against Beast Mode.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA ARI 004500000 ****
The good news is, Baldwin has the last two Seattle WR TDs. The bad news is, it's taken five weeks to score those two TDs. That's too inconsistent a contribution to be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA ARI 003400000 ***
Kearse has pieced together a couple under-the-radar fantasy helpers the past two weeks, totaling 124 yards. But if that's the upside, you'll want to look for a higher fantasy ceiling elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA ARI 002200000 ***
The Cards have allowed just one TE TD in their past six games, so it's not a favorable opportunity for the rarely used Willson.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA ARI 1133 ***
Hauschka's been money for at least eight points in every home game this year; no reason to expect different in a big divisional battle.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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