FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL

Prediction: STL 3, SEA 27 (Line: SEA by 10)

Update: Tavon Austin is a game time decision because of his ankle. I am lowering his projections but be aware that he may not even play.

This is a replay of week eight when the Seahawks won 14-9 in St. Louis. The Seahawks were undefeated at home until last week when the Cardinals pulled an upset. Now the Seahawks need this game to ensure the #1 seed over Carolina. But the Seahawks will already know what happened with the Panthers when this game happens. They should beat the Falcons though and make this game matter. And the Rams are only 2-5 on the road anyway.

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 27-16
7 @CAR 15-30 16 TB 23-13
8 SEA 9-14 17 @SEA -
9 TEN 21-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Case Keenum 100
RB Zac Stacy 70 2-10
WR Tavon Austin 20 3-40
TE Jared Cook 3-40
PK Greg Zuerlein 1 FG

Pregame Notes: The Rams will remain under .500 assuming that they lose this game. The season was already at 3-4 when Sam Bradford was placed on injured reserve and the Rams would go on to win mostly just trap games against better opponents like the Colts, Bears and Saints.The defense is definitely better than past years. The offense had plenty of work done on it but little actually happened.

Zac Stacy became the starting running back in week five and never looked back. He's been an upgrade over the final years of Steven Jackson and the lone part of the offense that the Rams can only hope remains as good in 2014. Stacy scored eight times on the year and in six of the last seven games. He's become the only consistently productive player on the offense. Stacy ran for a season high 134 yards on 26 carries against the Seahawks this year.

Kellen Clemens is just a place holder for Sam Bradford next year though even he is no lock to return to the same role. Clemens passed for only 158 yards and no scores in the first meeting with the Seahawks.

The speedy Jared Cook exploded in week one for 141 yards and two scores. And then he was snuffed out the rest of the way. He would only score twice more and only once ever top 50 yards in a game. Against the Seahawks, he was held to only 31 yards on three catches.

The wideouts initially seemed like a formidable group but potential was never touched. Austin Pettis was the favorite of Bradford's but since week five has been only reliable for about 20 yards per week. Chris Givens never scored and only once ever topped 55 yards. Tavon Austin was the first wideout taken in the NFL draft but was limited to literally about four great runs and nothing else. Austin only managed to catch two passes for nine yards against the Seahawks. Since week five when Bradford left, there have only been three touchdowns thrown to a wideout and two of those came in the same game to Austin who was held to no catches just the previous week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams struggled against the Seahawks in St. Louis back when Sam Bradford was still playing. Now the Seahawks have to win this week and make amends for blowing the Cardinals game. Stacy is the only player mildly interesting for fantasy purposes and even then you are hoping for something to happen in late game trash time. The Rams on the road were bad all year and now play in one of the toughest venues in the league. The Seahawks only gave up four rushing scores this year. Stacy will have to settle for yardage gained rushing when the team should really be passing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 27 24 28 6 22 2
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 1 4 1 8 4 5

 

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 34-7
5 @IND 28-34 14 @SF 17-19
6 TEN 20-13 15 @NYG 23-0
7 @ARI 34-22 16 ARI 10-17
8 @STL 14-9 17 STL -
9 TB 27-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 20 160,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 70,1 2-10
WR Doug Baldwin 5-60
TE Zach Miller 4,30

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks stumbled last week to a team they beat by 12 points in their stadium. It was a trap game of sorts but forces the Seahawks to not mail in this week which would have happened. No one wants to play in Seattle in the playoffs.

The problem this year in fantasy terms is that the defense was so good in Seattle that the offense rarely had to come up with many points to win a game. That depressed what the offense could do in nearly every week. Russell Wilson followed the same route as 2012 when he passed for a healthy 25 touchdowns but only passed for 3185 yards to get there. He's thrown eight games with two or more touchdowns but topped 250 yards only twice all year.

Marshawn Lynch was a disappointment as well. After running for 1590 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, he was held to only 1160 rush yards this year though he again scored 11 times. At least he turned in a career best 35 catches for 312 yards and two more scores this season. He fell from eleven 100 rushing yard games to only three this season and none in the last five games.

The depressed passing yardage meant the receivers were all rarely worth any fantasy consideration and acquiring Percy Harvin and his hip injury so far has been a complete waste. He may return in the playoffs but so far he's just another uniform to buy and locker to dust. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin made it through the whole year without the nuisance of a big game though Baldwin became a bit consistent with four touchdowns over the most recent six games.

This team survives on a defense that allows the offense to just not make mistakes and take the points given to them. The Seahawks rarely scored more than 24 points and usually won close games.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Wilson passed for 139 yards and two scores in St. Louis. Lynch rushed for only 23 yards on eight carries in a game that the Rams played good defense. That's a bit surprising considering how almost every other team ran almost at will against them. The Rams are only 29th against running back fantasy points. The only certain plays here are Lynch who is still risky and then Baldwin in a pinch. This game smacks of a decisive win by a motivated and home bound Seahawk defense. The Seahawks defense should also show up nicely this week as well. The Rams can surprise but the Seahawks situation is really slanted towards a solid victory.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 5 15 19 22 3 6
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 14 29 19 3 3 17

WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL


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