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 NYG 0000022010 ***
If not for his rushing score in a 52-0 blowout of the Raiders, Hill wouldn't have a single fantasy helper to his credit. Only one of the last six quarterbacks to face the Giants has thrown double-digit touchdown passes; unlikely Hill winds up the second.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL NYG 10012100000 ****
Mason continues to get the bulk of the workload, so when there's a favorable matchup--like against the Giants, who have allowed four 100-yard rushers--he's the primary beneficiary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL NYG 004601000 **
If Shaun Hill puts up enough yardage to generate a fantasy-worthy receiver--and that's a reasonably big "if"--Bailey is the most likely candidate; he's been the Rams' top receiver three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL NYG 005700000 ***
Britt remains in the mix, but he's wildly inconsistent and dependent on a quarterback who doesn't exactly churn out tons of helpful fantasy stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL NYG 3002100000 ***
The Rams are becoming more creative in getting the ball to their top pick from a year ago, but he's largely a non-factor as a receiver so you're banking on returns and gimmick plays for him to get you fantasy points--always a risky proposition.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL NYG 002200000 ***
Cook will be the most targeted tight end in a reasonably favorable matchup, but he still has to fend off Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey--as well as hope Shaun Hill throws enough for them to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL NYG 2222 ***
Aside from his five-field goal outing against the Broncos Zuerlein has been mostly ordinary with no more than two field goals in any other contest since Week 2. It's not an overly favorable matchup, so no need to go out of your way to get Legatron into your lineup.

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 70000021010 ***
Unfavorable trends about here. The Cards have given up just one multiple touchdown game in their last seven, while Wilson has just one such outing in his last four--a stretch that includes his 211 and 1 against the Cardinals in Week 12. Wilson will need his feet to salvage fantasy value once again; fortunately for fantasy owners, he proved he can get it done against Arizona with 73 rushing yards in the earlier meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @ARI 5014300000 ***
Lynch has yet to rush for a road TD, and Arizona isn't overly accommodating in allowing six RB rushing scores in 14 games. Settle for his usual decent dose of yardage and cross your fingers the Seahawks get close enough for him to pound one in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @ARI 003400000 ***
Kearse joins Doug Baldwin as the most-targeted Seahawks receivers; he also joins him at the back of the line for fantasy productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @ARI 003200000 ***
The Seahawks continue to get by with minimal productivity from their passing game. Baldwin remains the most targeted, but that rarely turns into anything of fantasy note--especially in an unfavorable matchup such as this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA @ARI 002101000 *
Willson competes with Tony Moeaki for looks, and last week they finished in a dead heat: both had zero targets. You can't bank on a share of a low-output position for fantasy help at this point in the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @ARI 2122 ***
Two of Hauschka's three lowest-scoring games have come in the past fortnight. Slump? Coincidence? Hauschka had 13 against Arizona when the Cards came to Seattle a month ago, there's no real reason to suggest a steep drop-off in the return match.

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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