FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK

Prediction: SEA 20, ARI 17 (Line: SEA by 6.5)

The Cardinals drop to 3-3 with their loss in San Francisco but are back at home where they are 2-0 and where they won 20-16 in the season opener against the Seahawks last year. They were waxed 58-0 in the rematch in Seattle in week 14. The Seahawks lead the division by a game over the 49ers and have the first tie breaker anyway. Notable is that the Seahawks play far worse on the road than they do at home. This is the Thursday game and the national stage seems to prefer the Seahawks.

1 @CAR 12-7 10 @ATL -
2 SF 29-3 11 MIN -
3 JAC 45-17 12 BYE WEEK
4 @HOU 23-20 13 NO -
5 @IND 28-34 14 @SF -
6 TEN 20-13 15 @NYG -
7 @ARI - 16 ARI -
8 @STL - 17 STL -
9 TB - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA @ ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 60 230,2
RB Marshawn Lynch 70 3-40
WR Doug Baldwin 5-60
WR Jermaine Kearse 1-20,1
TE Zach Miller 3-20,1
PK Steven Hauschka 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are nicely positioned now with a 5-1 record and a week 12 bye to get rested before the final push for the playoffs. Though they have three road games before reaching that bye, there is no doubt that they'll be favored in each and won't likely face a winning record until week 13. That's not provides a great lead in the NFC West, chances are very good already that the NFC Championship is going to go through Seattle. The record and the team are joining forces in this case.

QUARTERBACKS: On the plus side, Russell Wilson is adding over 60 rushing yards in each of the last three weeks. But those games featured two without any scores and his eight touchdowns on the season saw four of them happen in just one home game against the Jaguars. Wilson was never big on passing yardage in 2012 but at least was good for touchdowns every week and normally more than one. This year? Getting one is lucky enough.

Wilson passed for just 153 yards and one touchdown in Arizona last year.

RUNNING BACKS: Marshawn Lynch is one of the top running backs even though he has topped 100 rushing yards only once. But he is also doubling as a receiver particularly in games against the best defenses and comes off a season high 78 yards on four catches against the Titans when he ran for 77 yards and two scores on 21 carries. It seems counter-intuitive, but Lynch is at his best when the Seahawks are facing their toughest opponents.

Lynch rushed for 85 yards in Arizona for 2012.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Seahawk receivers have combined for six touchdown catches this season but no one has more than two and the most successful receiver each week is a somewhat random selection between Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Jermaine Kearse and Sidney Rice. There is not enough consistency from any of them to merit a fantasy start. And to make matters even worse, Percy Harvin is coming off PUP soon and may be ready as early as week eight to mix it up even more. There are moderate yardage and scores from this unit but guessing which one might be even average is close to impossible. No wideout has topped 100 yards in a game this year.

TIGHT ENDS: There is no reliable fantasy value here as well. Zach Miller is expected back from a hamstring strain but he had fantasy value in only one game all year - home versus the Jaguars. Otherwise there is nothing here of any note.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cardinals have been great against the run with no running back gaining more than 39 yards in Arizona and last week in San Francisco was the first time any back scored on them. Lynch is best in the tougher games but was held to moderate stats in Arizona last year. His role as a receiver will once again come into play. Wilson gets to face a secondary that should allow for a better thanan average game. The Cards allow around two scores to most opposing quarterbacks and healthy yardage to those who have the firepower. The Seahawks have been less effective away from home this year (like last) so Lynch is the only strong play. Wilson is in a good situation for at least moderate numbers especially with his rushing stats in recent games.

Miller is slightly interesting this week. He is little used but the Cardinals have already allowed six touchdowns to the position and monster games to Jared Cook, Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis. Miller is no equal to them but could score. Fortunately there is no stud wideout for Patrick Peterson to shut down.

WHAT TO WATCH: There are no recent developments here and the only changes expected in the near future is the introduction of Percy Harvin to the offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 10 11 21 26 5 3
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 20 12 3 32 15 26

 

1 @STL 24-27 10 HOU -
2 DET 25-21 11 @JAC -
3 @NO 7-31 12 IND -
4 @TB 13-10 13 @PHI -
5 CAR 22-6 14 STL -
6 @SF 20-32 15 @TEN -
7 SEA - 16 @SEA -
8 ATL - 17 SF -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 200,1
RB Andre Ellington 40 5-40
RB Rashard Mendenhall 30,1 1-10
WR Larry Fitzgerald 6-50
WR Michael Floyd 5-50
WR Ted Ginn 3-40,1
TE Rob Housler 2-20
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals are 3-3 but the only road game won was barely clipping the Buccaneers 13-10. At home the defense plays much better and took down both the Lions and Panthers. That defense is going to need to come up even bigger this week since the offense has been of only marginal help in most games. A win would be huge for the playoff hopes of the Cardinals and they should be competitive but the Seahawks won't take a divisional matchup lightly.

QUARTERBACKS: Carson Palmer comes off his best game since the opener and passed for 298 yards and two scores in San Francisco. But that was propped up by the 75-yard touchdown catch by Larry Fitzgerald and otherwise was just another very average game by a quarterback who has just seven touchdowns on the season against 11 interceptions. Ends up Palmer is good, but not good enough to make the offense perform any better beyond whatever Larry Fitzgerald can accomplish.

RUNNING BACKS: Andre Ellington is limited to around ten to 12 touches per week but makes the most of the small volume. He's topped 80 total yards in the last two weeks and even ran in a score in San Francisco. Rashard Mendenhall remains the primary rusher but he's been unable to gain over 43 rush yards for the last four games. The Cards are not going to step up Ellington's use because of his size and feared durability problems. That limits this offense with one of the least effective backfields in the NFL.

WIDE RECEIVERS: By all reports, Larry Fitzgerald was only 50/50 to play last week and though his hamstring was still an issue, he was able to catch and dash to a 75-yard touchdown and ended with six catches for 117 yards. That was easily his most productive game since the season opener. But Fitzgerald may be in trouble this week with an early game on Thursday and his hamstring flaring up during and after the game. Information is always tough to get in a Thursday game but at least he will be at home and practice reports start early. I will project for a limited Fitzgerald but his status may be unclear up until game time.

Michael Floyd caught his first touchdown of the year when he left San Francisco with 44 yards on five catches. His expected improvement this year has just not been evident even with a better quarterback. Andre Roberts has not gained more than six yards on one catch over the last four weeks. This offense still is limited to Fitzgerald and he's banged up.

TIGHT ENDS: One touchdown all year and never more than 32 yards in any game means no fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Seahawks are dominating at home but on the road every opponent passed for at last one score and usually two. That won't likely translate into big stats for Palmer unless he gets another 75-yard touchdown. He's still a poor start this week and even one touchdown score will be success enough. The rushing effort won't do much because it never amounts to anything significant but Ellington is worth a flex play in a reception point league. The more banged up Fitzgerald is, the more Ellington as the dump off matters.

WHAT TO WATCH: Sadly there is not much development here despite best efforts. The Cardinals are already stagnating and offer no reason to expect for improvement.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 30 12 15 29 25 9
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 3 5 4 7 5 14

WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK


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