FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15 SD at DEN (THU) CIN at PIT NE at MIA SEA at NYG
ARI at TEN GB at DAL NO at STL SF at TB
BUF at JAC HOU at IND NYJ at CAR WAS at ATL
*UPDATED CHI at CLE KC at OAK PHI at MIN BAL at DET (MON)

Prediction: ARI 24, TEN 23 (Line: ARI by 2.5)

Update: Michael Floyd is questionable because of his ankle but is expected to play.

The 8-5 Cardinals are one game back of the Panthers and 49ers for the second wild card and are only 2-4 on the road. The 5-8 Titans are just 2-4 in home games and on a two game losing streak. This is a coin toss but at least the Cardinals play for a theoretical playoff spot.

1 @STL 24-27 10 HOU 27-24
2 DET 25-21 11 @JAC 27-14
3 @NO 7-31 12 IND 40-11
4 @TB 13-10 13 @PHI 21-24
5 CAR 22-6 14 STL 30-10
6 @SF 20-32 15 @TEN -
7 SEA 22-34 16 @SEA -
8 ATL 27-13 17 SF -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 260,1
RB Andre Ellington 50,1 2-20
WR Larry Fitzgerald 5-50,1
WR Michael Floyd 5-60
WR Ted Ginn 3-50,1
TE John Carlson
TE Rob Housler 4-50

Pregame Notes: The schedule is not going to end well with road games to play the Titans and Seahawks and even the season finale against the 49ers might have them playing for a postseason berth well after the Cardinals are out of the running. But the Cardinals offense is in better shape the second half of the season when all but one game was at least 27 points. The first half never saw them score more than 25 in any game.

QUARTERBACKS: While he started on a down note, Carson Palmer finally become comfortable in the offense around midseason and his yardage and scoring has been sharply up in the last month or so. He already has 20 touchdowns on the year with 12 of them in the most recent six games. The rushing effort here remains pedestrian at best but at least Palmer is able to get the receivers working.

RUNNING BACKS: The only saving grace to the rushing effort is that Rashard Mendenhall has scored six very short touchdowns while spending nearly every week trying to reach 50 rushing yards in a game. He has no role as a receiver and all but one of those came at home. Andre Ellington was able to play in week 14 and ran for 46 yards and one score while catching a standard two passes for 17 yards. Ellington is not above a very bad game but he also has been much more productive than Mendenhall per carry. The Cardinals just do not believe the diminutive Ellington can hold up to more than part-time work.

WIDE RECEIVERS: It took a while but Larry Fitzgerald is back in form with a score in six of the last eight games and four straight heading into this week, He's topped 100 yards only once and usually settles for around 60 yards or so but his ten scores on the year is already better than his last four seasons. Michael Floyd was on a nice run with three straight 99+ yard games but rolled his ankle last week. I will assume he can return this week and update as needed. Fitzgerald and Floyd are finally making a formidable tandem even if it is too late to matter this year.

TIGHT ENDS: One touchdown all year and rarely more than 40 yards says Rob Housler is just another irrelevant Cardinals tight end.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Titans are outstanding against the pass when at home where they have only allowed two passing scores total over six games played. And none since week four. Anything more than one passing touchdown would be a major success here. One reason why the passing is so low is because the rushing defense is so bad. The Titans allowed 17 touchdowns to running backs already this year along with 70+ rushing yards to eight different runners. This doesn't match up that well with the Cardinals strengths and weaknesses but at least the Titans are among the very worse at stopping the run. That has to help the backfield.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 24 20 12 26 16 9
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 4 30 1 20 23 21

 

1 @PIT 16-9 10 JAC 27-29
2 @HOU 24-30 11 IND 27-30
3 SD 20-17 12 @OAK 23-19
4 NYJ 38-13 13 @IND 14-22
5 KC 17-26 14 @DEN 28-51
6 @SEA 13-20 15 ARI -
7 SF 17-31 16 @JAC -
8 BYE WEEK 17 HOU -
9 @STL 28-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Shonn Greene 30
WR Justin Hunter 2-40
WR Nate Washington 4-50
WR Kendall Wright 5-50
TE Delanie Walker 6-70,1

Pregame Notes: The Titans finally reach the soft part of their schedule but at 5-8 it is too late. Home games against the Cardinals and Texans and a trip to Jacksonville should be the easiest games and yet the Cards are favored this week and the Jaguars are suddenly a team again. This team will be much different in 2014 since there is already speculation that Chris Johnson will be released and Jake Locker is no lock to remain.

QUARTERBACKS: Ryan Fitzpatrick is good enough to score in all but one game and he remains above 200 yards in most but he's just a backup quarterback riding out the season replacing the injured starter. Fitzpatrick surprised with three rushing scores so far but he's been average at best and never a difference maker.

RUNNING BACKS: Chris Johnson manages to roll up 70+ total yards in almost every game this year and he scored eight times but he's never been better than "good" and has just one game over 100 rushing yards. He's rushed as a full-time back often enough to make his lack of production a glaring problem. Worse yet, Shonn Greene was given about ten runs in the last two games and ran in two scores against the Broncos. There isn't enough production here for one player let alone two.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Kendall Wright is the only consistently good receiver here and even he has just two scores on the year and topped 100 yards only once. But he accounts for six or more catches in games and that dwarfs all others. He should end right around 1000 yards this year. The rookie Justin Hunter is making progress with 100 yard efforts with a score in two of the last three weeks but he sandwiched a one catch for nine yard effort. Wright is currently nursing both ankle and shoulder injuries which explains his drop to only 17 yards in Denver.

TIGHT ENDS: Delanie Walker was held out last week because of a concussion but there is optimism that he will pass the tests this week and play. Walker is a much used weapon in home games where he scored the last three times the Titans played in Tennessee.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cardinals defense just lost Tyrann Mathieu (AKA Honey Badger) to injured reserve which should help the passing cause of the Titans. The Cardinals always allow a passing score on the road but the Titans are below average in all categories for offense. Patrick Peterson will line up on Wright most likely and that removes the only consistent receiver for the Titans. THe Cardinals are also outstanding against the run allowing only four rushing scores on the entire season. There is no strong play here and Chris Johnson makes nothing more than a flex. The Cardinals are the worst against tight ends who have already scored 14 times on them. Delanie Walker is a must start if he can play.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 8 22 20 21 23 14
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 18 2 6 32 6 14

WEEK 15 SD at DEN (THU) CIN at PIT NE at MIA SEA at NYG
ARI at TEN GB at DAL NO at STL SF at TB
BUF at JAC HOU at IND NYJ at CAR WAS at ATL
*UPDATED CHI at CLE KC at OAK PHI at MIN BAL at DET (MON)


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