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: NO 24, STL 20 (Line: NO by 5.5)

Update: Tavon Austin was held out of all practices this week and is likely to not play. I am removing him from the pojections.

The 10-3 Saints made up for their embarrassment in Seattle by demolishing the Panthers in a much more important game. The Saints are only 3-3 in road games but the 5-8 Rams are just 3-3 at home and on a two game losing streak.

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 7-34
5 @CHI 26-18 14 CAR 31-13
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 @ STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 270,2
RB Mark Ingram 40
RB Pierre Thomas 70,1 5-40
WR Marques Colston 4-50
WR Kenny Stills 2-40
TE Jimmy Graham 5-50,1

Pregame Notes: The Saints hold their fortunes in their own hands and only need to win out to ensure the #2 seed at worst. Of course even that will just end up back in Seattle but they'll be battle tested more when they get there. Winding down in St. Louis is no gimmee when placed right before the all-important road game to Carolina. If the Saints can get two wins on the road, they can make week 17 meaningless.

QUARTERBACKS: Drew Brees bounced back from his bad game in Seattle with another 313 yard, four touchdown performance against the once-vaunted Panthers secondary. One caveat here - Brees has never thrown for more than two scores in any road game this year.

RUNNING BACKS: After six very productive weeks, Pierre Thomas was held to minimal yardage only by both the Seahawks and Panthers. He remains the most productive of the committee that includes Mark Ingram who had the one game against the Cowboys and then nothing more that a string of 20 and 30 yard games without any scores. Darren Sproles is another back with marginal value in all games other than the Dallas tilt. If any back is going to produce fantasy relevant stats, it will be Thomas first.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Marques Colston struggled through a bad year and had only one decent game before last week - against the Cowboys when he had his only 100 yard game and a score. Colston turned in a season best nine catches for 125 yards and two scores versus the Panthers and nearly had a third touchdown. He's logged five games with fewer than 40 yards this year and has been too risky to merit a start but he's not dead yet. None of the other wideouts mattered last week because they almost never matter in any game.

TIGHT ENDS: The Panthers tried to shut Jimmy Graham down and had early success but he still ended with six catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns. That's 14 touchdowns on the season and he's had just the one bad game on the road in New England. Otherwise he always scores or at least gains 100 yards in road venues.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: No reason to shy away from Drew Brees or Jimmy Graham this week. The Rams are only average against the pass and really worse considering the lack of talent served up by their schedule. Four teams posted 300 yard games on them and none were as good as the Saints. Where this should be better is for Thomas and even Sproles against one of the worst defenses against running backs. The Rams have already allowed 16 touchdowns to running backs and numerous monster yardage games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 2 29 1 10 28
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 13 29 17 3 4 10

 

1 ARI 27-24 10 @IND 38-8
2 @ATL 24-31 11 BYE WEEK
3 @DAL 7-31 12 CHI 42-21
4 SF 11-35 13 @SF 13-23
5 JAC 34-20 14 @ARI 10-30
6 @HOU 38-13 15 NO -
7 @CAR 15-30 16 TB -
8 SEA 9-14 17 @SEA -
9 TEN 21-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Case Keenum 10,1 200,1
RB Zac Stacy 90,1 1-10
WR Tavon Austin
TE Jared Cook 4-50
PK Greg Zuerlein 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams end their season with a tough stretch and end in Seattle where they have to hope the Seahawks no longer care. The defense has improved during the season but the offense without Sam Bradford is still a problem and all those highly drafted rookie have not paid off yet - though there is promise for the future. So far the only development all year that should stick is Zac Stacy at tailback.

QUARTERBACKS: Kellen Clemens is just filling the spot for the rest of the season and will hand the reins back to Sam Bradford - at least assumedly. Bradford was good enough to post several nice games against the weakest of opponents but was never enough facing a good defense. Clemens is stuck at one touchdown games with marginal yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: Zac Stacy was finally contained last week by the Cardinals but even though he only ran for 25 yards, he still scored once. He's been a lock for 70+ yards in all other games and his best efforts come at home. He shares the ball little so whatever is there to get belongs to Stacy.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This was a lackluster group when Bradford was playing and has taken a big step down with Clemens at the helm. There is no fantasy value here anymore though Austin Pettis was a Bradford favorite. Tavon Austin has about four plays to separate him from being a colossal rookie bust but he has impressed if only on the rare occasion. He's still too inconsistent to consider for a fantasy start but will likely take a step up next year. So far - this is a fantasy wasteland.

TIGHT ENDS: Jared Cook is marginally better in recent games with around 50 yards in each and a score in each of the last two home games. He's been mostly a disappointment since his breakout game in the season opener.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: No reason to expect more from Clemens and the receivers against a better defense. The only reasonable fantasy play here is always just Stacy who goes against a defense that allows a score in road games to running backs and healthy yardage. Expect a decent showing from Stacy but no other players merit consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 25 26 24 5 21 2
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 6 12 10 8 5 6

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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