FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 

Prediction: NO 20, SEA 31 (Line: SEA by 5.5)

This should be a very good game with the 9-2 Saints bringing their 3-2 road record to face the 10-1 Seahawks who have won six in a row and are 5-0 at home. A win here by Seattle should just about cement the #1 seed. This game has been changed so that it is now the Sunday night showcase as the final game played.

1 ATL 23-17 10 DAL 49-17
2 @TB 16-14 11 SF 23-20
3 ARI 31-7 12 @ATL 17-13
4 MIA 38-17 13 @SEA -
5 @CHI 26-18 14 CAR -
6 @NE 27-30 15 @STL -
7 BYE WEEK 16 @CAR -
8 BUF 35-17 17 TB -
9 @NYJ 20-26 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 270,2
RB Mark Ingram 20
RB Pierre Thomas 40 6-30
WR Marques Colston 5-60
WR Kenny Stills 2-30,1
TE Jimmy Graham 7-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Saints are not a road team this year since their wins away from home have all been close and the losses to New England and the Jets were surprises. Even the wins over the Falcons and Buccaneers were by four and two points respectively. The Saints also have to worry about being just one game ahead of the Panthers with both meetings coming in weeks 14 and 16. What happens this week is less important than what happens in the two meetings with the Panthers.

QUARTERBACKS: Drew Brees is plenty prolific every week but he's never as good on the road as he is at home. In New Orleans he's scored 20 times over six home games but on the road it is just nine over the five away venues. Never more than two scores per matchup and his three games where he failed to reach 300 yards were all away from home.

RUNNING BACKS: Darren Sproles was held out last week with ankle and knee injuries but could be back this week. I will assume he can and adjust later depending on what happens in practice. Sproles is also less effective in road games. All four of his touchdowns came in New Orleans while his four road trips never scored and never topped 76 total yards.

Pierre Thomas remains the main engine for the rushing effort and he's solid enough every week to merit a fantasy start. Thanks to his role as a receiver - as much as Sproles - he's been reasonably close to 100 total yards every week. His biggest games as a receiver have been in away venues unlike Sproles who matters more at home on their own carpet.

Mark Ingram is back but his one big game against the Cowboys was just a one-time event. He's settled down to around 30 yards per week since as a relief player.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The wideouts have been the weakest link in the offense. Marques Colston scored only twice this year and both at home. He's been marginally productive but when on the road he's only averaged 32 yards per game and never more than 63. Robert Meachem and Lance Moore both have just one touchdown each - both at home - and minimal yardage. Kenny Stills showed up for three brief weeks and has disappeared again with only 33 yards total over the last two weeks.

TIGHT ENDS: Jimmy Graham doesn't care where he plays. His last two road games produced 100 yards each and scores in both. Graham was slowed down with his foot injury and his last two home games contained no scores and only moderate yardage.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Seahawks are down two cornerbacks with Brandon Browner suspended for a year and Walter Thurmond III out for four weeks on his own suspension. The Saints use their wideouts very little in road games. Given that, you have to wonder if they stick Richard Sherman on Colston where he would naturally line up - and that makes some sense. Or they could stick the 6'3" cornerback on Graham where he would do more good and would have the height that most defensive backs do not possess. That one change would dramatically change the offense. Aqib Talib shadowed Graham in New England and held him to no catches.

The Seahawks have not allowed more than two passing scores to anyone this year and at home Chad Henne's 235 yards was the only time a visitor passed for more than 200 yards. There have been runners with success in Seattle but they were always attached to bad teams - JAC and TB - when Seattle just mailed in the win. There has been no word about Sherman taking Graham in coverage though it makes a lot of sense. If he does, then Colston becomes a viable start. If Sherman takes Colston, then write him off for the week. So look for depressed numbers from a road game in a very tough venue but the recent suspensions will help the passing effort. The only question is who Sherman focuses on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 1 27 1 5 22
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 1 7 2 12 5 7

 

1 @CAR 12-7 10 @ATL 33-10
2 SF 29-3 11 MIN 41-20
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 34-22 16 ARI -
8 @STL 14-9 17 STL -
9 TB 27-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30,1 230,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 80,2 3-20
WR Doug Baldwin 5-70,1
TE Zach Miller 3-40
PK Steven Hauschka 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks stumbled in Indianapolis but otherwise it has all gone well. Losing Brandon Browner for the year (AKA forever) along with Walter Thurmond for a month decreases the defense but it's still one of the top units and particularly so long as Richard Sherman is there. Percy Harvin showed up last week in a cameo and should be a big boost for the special teams if not receivers.The Seahawks have a tough game here and then the next week in San Francisco should be the biggest game left on the schedule.

QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson is light on yardage almost every week but he's thrown multiple touchdowns in each of the last four games. But he's also been running less and less after starting the year out with three games topping 60 yards as a runner. He's staying more in the 20 to 30 yard range per game now and only ran in a score just once.

RUNNING BACKS: Marshawn Lynch already scored 11 times this year with eight of those coming in home games. He's been in beast mode in every game at Seattle where he either scores once and gains 100+ yards or he scores twice and runs for just under the 100 yards. He's often given up carries in home games that get out of hand but in an important matchup like this week he'll be there for the entire 60 minutes.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Percy Harvin returned last week but only caught one pass in his limited time on the field. That limitation should decline quickly and gone very soon. Golden Tate is the primary wideout who scored four times and each were in road games. Doug Baldwin scored three touchdowns and each of those were at home. The trends are very clear here and when in Seattle, it is mostly about rushing and when they pass it usually goes to Baldwin. When in trouble on the road, it ends up with Tate.

TIGHT ENDS: Zach Miller is highly inconsistent but gets use depending on the matchup. The last two home games had him with 49+ yards in each. He also tends to score only in easier games.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Saints rank well against the pass but have played some really bad offenses along the way. They always allow at least one score per decent opponent and their run defense has been great but only because most games end up with the Saints far ahead and the opponent scraps all hope of running the ball to catch up. Steven Jackson just scored on them. CHris Ivory ran for 139 yards and one score. As always, Lynch is a must start and should have a good game. Moderate stats from Wilson throwing to any number of players.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 6 15 18 28 3 4
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 4 10 8 5 4 2

WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 



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