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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA

Prediction: STL 10, HOU 31 (Line: HOU by 7)

Players of Interest: Zac Stacy, Garrett Graham

Update: Andre Johnson was called a game time decision though he told reporters that he was going to play. He may not be 100% over his shin injury but the Rams defense has never been 100% at anything this year. Barring any unforeseen pregame problems he should be safe to start. Matt Schaub was reaffirmed as the starter which is sad that he has to be reaffirmed.

Zac Stacy is listed as questionable but has practiced fully and expected to start with no limitation.

The 2-3 Rams are 0-2 on the road and so far have only beaten weak teams that visit St. Louis. The 2-3 Texans are 2-1 at home but are on a three game slide. They have quarterback issues that are now in the NFL record book. The Texans have to win this game. This will be the softest matchup of the year. It won't solve everything by winning, but it will prevent bedlam by not losing. The important thing - NO PICK SIX.

1 ARI 27-24 10 @IND -
2 @ATL 24-31 11 BYE WEEK
3 @DAL 7-31 12 CHI -
4 SF 11-35 13 @SF -
5 JAC 34-20 14 @ARI -
6 @HOU - 15 NO -
7 @CAR - 16 TB -
8 SEA - 17 @SEA -
9 TEN - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL @ HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 180
RB Zac Stacy 50,1
WR Tavon Austin 3-30
WR Chris Givens 3-40
WR Austin Pettis 4-50
TE Jared Cook 2-20
TE Lance Kendricks 2-20
PK Greg Zuerlein 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Hosting the Jaguars was a blessing for the Rams since it made a bad situation seem to be temporarily gone. The offense posted 34 points and the defense held them to only 20 points. Considering that the two previous games were both 24 point losses, the win was welcomed. It is very possibly the last one until week 16 when the Buccaneers show up. There has been no progress made in any aspect of the offense or defense so far.

QUARTERBACKS: Sam Bradford throws a touchdown every week and currently stands at ten on the season against only three interceptions. THe problem is that the passing effort remains average at best unless facing a truly weak defense and it is not nearly enough to keep them in most games. Upgrades made to the passing game have been largely flops. There is no rushing support and the passing offense is either being mismanaged, misdirected or poorly coached.

RUNNING BACKS: Zac Stacy ran for 78 yards on 14 carries against the Jaguars which grants him the primary rushing role this week but even Daryl Richardson gained 48 yards on 13 runs in the same game. The only running back that is now obviously a complete nonfactor is Isaiah Pead. All combined, these runners have never scored a touchdown and Stacy's 78 yards is easily the season high for an individual. Stacy injured his ribs last week but claimed it was more getting the wind knocked out of him. There is scant fantasy value here and running back will be at the top of the needs list in the offseason.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Austin Pettis is just good enough to merit fantasy consideration every week. He's scored four times over the last four games though rarely ends up with more than 50 or 60 yards. Tavon Austin has all but disappeared from the game plan and even versus the Jaguars only caught three passes for 32 yards. This was the eighth overall pick in the draft looking very much like a bust so far. Chris Givens posts some nominal yardage in most games but only Pettis warrants any fantasy attention. He's clearly the favorite receiver for Bradford.

TIGHT ENDS: That pricey addition of Jared Cook looks more and more like a waste of money. He opened the year with a great game but in the four games since he has only averaged 28 yards per game. Lance Kendricks is even less productive but scored in the last two games. The Rams offense is just not clicking. Even against the weak Jaguars, Cook only managed three catches for 26 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Texans may have struggled, but it is less about their defense than it is about their offense. They have only given up one passing score in the last three weeks. No team has topped 200 passing yards against them. None. They have have been softer against the run but the Rams are bringing the #32 dead last ranked set of rushers. The only Ram that has enough upside to merit any consideration this week is Zac Stacy and even that won't likely be any better than a low level flex play.

WHAT TO WATCH: Zac Stacy looked good enough at home against the woeful Jaguars, but he needs to show up in Houston to merit any future consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 16 32 17 6 22 23
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 3 21 1 10 21 31

 

1 @SD 31-28 10 @ARI -
2 TEN 30-24 11 OAK -
3 @BAL 9-30 12 JAC -
4 SEA 20-23 13 NE -
5 @SF 3-34 14 @JAC -
6 STL - 15 @IND -
7 @KC - 16 DEN -
8 BYE WEEK 17 @TEN -
9 IND - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 180
RB Arian Foster 130,1 3-20
WR DeAndre Hopkins 6-80
WR Andre Johnson 5-70,1
TE Garrett Graham 6-60,1
PK Randy Bullock 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Texans are another offense that has taken a somewhat inexplicable downward turn this year and is in a death spiral that only facing the Rams can stop (or the Jaguars). The team started out strong for two weeks but then it all fell apart. They have only scored two touchdowns in the last three weeks while the fantasy value of players have all plummeted. In fairness, they have faced very good defenses in these last three weeks and twice been on the road. At home they nearly beat the Seahawks. The lack of scoring is problematic but they get a week off from that problem with the Rams showing up. Then back into the fire with a trip to Kansas City.

QUARTERBACKS: Matt Schaub threw his fated fourth Pick Six to start the 49ers game and that set the tone for the beat down what was to come. After throwing three interceptions, Schaub was yanked and T.J. Yates finished the game. HC Gary Kubiak has been pounded by the media about Schaub and so far been noncommittal about what his plans are. With the Rams coming to town, now is not the time to switch to a less talented Yates who'll get a great matchup and only appear to be better.

You cannot undervalue too what the impact of all the negativity in Houston is by now. Schaub had fans actually come to his door to berate him. He had others stop by and take pictures of his house. The Houston police and NFL Security are involved but that is how bad it has become in Houston.

RUNNING BACKS: Arian Foster is back to form more in recent weeks and that was against very good defenses. He topped 120 total yards against both the Seahawks and 49ers but so far only scored twice this year and just once as a runner. Ben Tate is settling back into less use with just seven carries in each of the last two weeks. Foster is solid as a runner now, but still has been no where near as effective as he was in the last three seasons. His lack of touchdowns alone is glaring and he ran for over 100 yards just once thanks to 27 carries against the Seahawks (27-102).

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is an area of major failure. The drafting of DeAndre Hopkins with the 1.27 pick was supposed to witness a rebirth of the pass in Houston. For two weeks it seemed to be just that. But since then the wide receivers have been far less productive. Hopkins scored when the Titans visited and gained 117 yards. He has yet to be above 60 yards since and under 30 yards in the last two weeks. Andre Johnson sandwiched a 110 yard game at home with road trips that stayed under 40 yards. The most glaring problem of all - after five weeks all wideouts combined only have the single touchdown by Hopkins. That is all. The tight ends account for six scores. Even Foster has a receiving touchdown. Wideouts? Just one.

TIGHT ENDS: Owen Daniels fractured his fibula and will be out at least four to six weeks. That means Garrett Graham becomes the #1 tight end and shoots up the rankings. Graham already scored three times and should inherit a bigger load since Daniels was getting five or six catches per week..

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams have allowed multiple passing touchdowns to every opponent and healthy yardage to those who cared to take it. This is a game where Schaub has to play. This is the best matchup of the year. Here is where you end his Pick Six streak because the Rams have never intercepted any passes in a road game this year. Foster should roll up his best game of the year as well. Start Foster and Andre Johnson in every game but consider Schaub, Graham and even Hopkins as possible starts as well. It is the visiting Rams. This is about as good as it gets.

WHAT TO WATCH: Garrett Graham gets an easier matchup to take over the #1 tight end spot from Daniels for the next month or two.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 21 11 27 2 27 26
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 17 31 25 14 13 17

WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA


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