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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)

Prediction: ARI 20, NO 27 (Line: NO by 9)

Players of Interest: Andre Ellington

Update: Rashard Mendenhall and Larry Fitzgerald both did not practice until Friday when they had limited work. Both are listed as questionable and are expected to play this week. Fitzgerald will carry risk to rely on but as always he has potential. Mendenhall may not be 100% because of his toe but he is probably feeling the heat from Andre Ellington anyway. Rob Housler is also expected to make his season debut.

The Cardinals rise to 1-1 with their win over the visiting Lions but now hit the road again where they rarely play as well. Add in they are visiting the 2-0 Saints who beat the Falcons in their only home game and this looks like a definite Saints win. The defense in New Orleans isn't great but it is also no longer the worst in the league. We can still hope for a shootout, or at least a Saints bombing of the Cardinals who then have to throw every play to try to get back into the game.

1 @STL 24-27 10 HOU -
2 DET 25-21 11 @JAC -
3 @NO - 12 IND -
4 @TB - 13 @PHI -
5 CAR - 14 STL -
6 @SF - 15 @TEN -
7 SEA - 16 @SEA -
8 ATL - 17 SF -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 270,2
RB Andre Ellington 30 4-40
RB Rashard Mendenhall 50 2-20
WR Larry Fitzgerald 4-50,1
WR Michael Floyd 5-80
WR Ted Ginn Jr. 2-30
TE Rob Housler 2-20
PK Jay Feely 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cards pick up their first win thanks to being able to stop every one besides Calvin Johnson and learning that they can win games without Larry Fitzgerald. The looming schedule is pretty brutal with three of four weeks on the road and potentially not having a healthy Larry Fitzgerald will make a bigger difference away from home.

QUARTERBACKS: Back at home, Carson Palmer only threw for 248 yards and one score against the Lions. With road games coming up, Palmer is certain to be throwing a lot this month and making use of all the wideouts. If Fitzgerald is ailing, Palmer can still generate the passing yards. He managed to throw 300 yard games in Oakland with a far lesser cast.

RUNNING BACKS: Rashard Mendenhall ran 15 times for 66 yards and one score on the Lions and he added two catches for 28 more. Easily his best effort, he'll be up against much more challenging defenses in the coming weeks away from home. After using Alfonso Smith for ten carries in the opener, the Cards went with Andre Ellington for four runs that covered 20 yards and the rookie added two receptions for 42 yards with the lone receiving touchdown. It appears that Ellington is becoming the new third down back in Arizona and given the rough schedule looming, that could play into more reps and bigger stats.

WIDE RECEIVERS: While Larry Fitzgerald did not finish the game against the Lions, it was not because he re-injured his hamstring rather he wanted to prevent that very thing as it was starting to act up. He'll probably rest all week and be a game time decision again which is unfortunate since facing the Saints would likely be a feast if only for him. Both Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd were quieter last week but will also come into play more in those coming road games. Both Roberts and Floyd receive roughly equal targets and this offense moves using just the wide receivers with only minimal help from the running backs.

TIGHT ENDS: Palmer used Jim Dray for five catches last week but that is unusual and he only gained 31 yards anyway. Plus Robert Housler is expected back this week from his high ankle sprain. There still is no reason to expect any fantasy value from this position.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Saints were great defensively against the Buccaneers but that was more on the Bucs who elected to run the ball and nearly beat them anyway. The Saints still have a soft rushing defense for as long as the Cards can afford to run the ball. Consider Palmer a must start here and Mendenhall, Roberts and Floyd have promise - more depending on what Fitzgerald can do. Figure on another week of not being sure what you can get out of Fitz. Shame too - he would tear it up if he was healthy.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Andre Ellington's apparent move up the depth chart is worth monitoring since he looked good in his heavier workload last week and Mendenhall is not the most durable back in the league. What we want to see is when the Cards fall behind the Saints, that they continue to use Ellington as a receiver.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 19 16 12 24 5 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 9 14 8 9 5 26

 

1 ATL 23-17 10 DAL -
2 @TB 16-14 11 SF -
3 ARI - 12 @ATL -
4 MIA - 13 @SEA -
5 @CHI - 14 CAR -
6 @NE - 15 @STL -
7 BYE WEEK 16 @CAR -
8 BUF - 17 TB -
9 @NYJ - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 320,3
RB Mark Ingram 30
RB Pierre Thomas 30 3-20
WR Marques Colston 4-50
WR Kenny Stills 2-50,1
TE Jimmy Graham 8-110,2

Pregame Notes: The Saints have already won two games this year and taken a lead in the NFC South in the process. Odder still, they have only averaged 19 points per game. Odder than odder still, their defense has only given up about 16 points per game. That's just wrong. The defense that everyone feasted on last year has at least improved. Going against divisional foes is always a different affair anyway and this week will indicate just how much better the defense really is.

QUARTERBACKS: While Drew Brees has thrown for over 320 yards in his first two games, it is a little disappointing that there have only been a total of three passing touchdowns. And three interceptions. He's been sacked six times this year as well. It is not that the rushing game has done so well that he is throwing more and there have been no rushing touchdowns so far. The Saints have a tough schedule coming up as well with this week being the easiest matchup for the next month.

RUNNING BACKS: Each year the Saints talk about wanting to run more and better. And every year that never happens. They insist that Mark Ingram is the best runner and touted him as the best he has ever looked this year and healthy for the first time. But two weeks in and Ingram has only 31 yards on 17 carries. And no catches. There is no reason to consider him as a fantasy start and having owned him on my dynasty team since his rookie season, I am convinced he is likely cursing your team. I know he has mine. I plan on a Santeria-style ritual when I release him to the waiver wire so that my team can once again thrive.

Pierre Thomas is more productive though he gets fewer carries. He still is no better than a low grade bye week filler unless Ingram gets injured. Darren Sproles remains good for six catches per week with very little rushing yards each week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The wideouts have always been only semi-productive thanks to Jimmy Graham but they are even farther off the mark so far this year. Marques Colston has at least marginal value with 60 yards per week and one total touchdown. Lance Moore has yet to exceed 25 yards in a game or score. Kenny Stills has the top wideout game so far when he gained 86 yards on just two catches in the opener but then was limited to one catch against the Buccaneers who opted to stick Darrelle Revis on him most of the game.

Colston remains a solid weekly play but so far never more than a WR2 at best. Moore has yet to merit a fantasy start.

TIGHT ENDS: Jimmy Graham was shockingly little used in the opener but that was all rectified last week with ten catches for 179 yards and his second score on the year. Graham is the only part of the entire offense that has proven to be reliable after only two games.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cardinals have been very good against the run so even less reason to consider Thomas or Ingram this week. So far the least anyone has thrown for has been 278 yards and two scores so safe enough bet that Brees has a decent game if not his first big one. There have only been two players that have turned in good games on the Cardinals and that was both Jared Cook and Calvin Johnson who each had two scores and over 100 yards. The question here is who CB Patrick Peterson will cover. His matchup should be on Colston though they could have him help on Graham. Figure on Colston the more likely.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Back at home against the Cardinals, the Saints are going to try to run more. It would be nice to see them back off making Ingram the primary but that hasn't happened yet. So far this is all the Graham and Colston show.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 15 10 28 2 2 19
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 22 10 11 28 21 24

WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)


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