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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU* CIN at CAR* SD at SEA*
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC* IND at DEN*
DET at MIN* TEN at NYG WAS at STL* NYJ at MIA
*updated CLE at BAL* PIT at TB* OAK at ARI* GB at CHI

Prediction: WAS 17, STL 20

Update: Laurent Robinson was limited on Wednesday because of his foot and then was held out on Thursday. He's no lock to play at all let alone play well. The Rams intend on using the rookie Mardy Gilyard more so I am going to add him into the projections and lower Robinson who may end up on the sideline anyway. Steven Jackson was limited in practice as well but that's a normal event every week and he is expected to play.

Anthony Armstrong has been held out of practice with a groin injury and has been removed from the projections.

Update #2 - Clinton Portis is listed as questionable because of his wrist but he practiced fully every day. I am not changing the projections since there has been nothing to indicate he will miss the game but be aware of the surprise injury listing. It is an early game so in the unlikely event he cannot play you can make other arrangements.

The Skins just missed beating the Texans and now hit the road for the first time this year. They were only 1-7 when away from Washington in 2009. The Rams are 0-2 as expected but losing games by slim margins and showing much more defense than anyone in the fantasy football world cares to admit. This is a coin flip game because the Rams are better than their record and the Skins are away from home for the first time.

The Redskins beat the visiting Rams 9-7 during week two of last year.

Washington Redskins (1-1)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL W 13-7 10 PHI --
2 HOU L 27-30 11 @TEN --
3 @STL -- 12 MIN --
4 @PHI -- 13 @NYG --
5 GB -- 14 TB --
6 IND -- 15 @DAL --
7 @CHI -- 16 @JAC --
8 @DET -- 17 NYG --
9 Bye - - - -
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb - - 260,1
RB Clinton Portis 70,1 10 -
TE Chris Cooley - 60,1 -
WR Santana Moss - 80 -
WR Anthony Armstrong - 30 -
WR Joey Galloway - 60 -
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Tough loss to the Texans but the offense started clicking in the passing game even as the defensive secondary fell apart. But the new schemes are being installed and there has already been some success - when was the last time the Redskins had 426 passing yards in a game? This week will be about as soft as the schedule gets other than a trip to Detroit later on. Taking the show on the road for the first time will be a bigger challenge without the largest stadium in the country cheering them on.

QUARTERBACK: Donovan McNabb struggled with the new offense and only managed 171 yards in the season opener but he was on fire with 426 yards and one score against the Texans. But even within that - he has only passed for one touchdown this year and predictably to Chris Cooley. McNabb has not had a turnover yet though and continues to improve in Shanahan's new offense.

The Redskins passed for 242 yards and no scores against the Rams last year.

The Rams are playing much tougher pass defense than before and only allowed one passing score per opponent. Expect a better than average yardage game for McNabb but more than one score is optimistic.

RUNNING BACKS: The Redskins released Larry Johnson on Tuesday and will go with Keiland Williams as the primary backup who should be a waiver wire darling this week since no one expects Clinton Portis to make it through the entire season. Portis did score twice against the Texans but has totaled 31 carries for only 96 rushing yards and a 3.1 YPC. And that was at home.

Portis gained 79 yards on 19 carries versus the Rams in 2009. The Rams should keep Portis below 100 rush yards but he could score once.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The wide receiver numbers have been on the upswing this year if only last week when there was 426 yards to divvy up. Joey Galloway had one long catch and ended with 88 yards on three catches after being blanked in the opener. Santana Moss had16 catches for 166 yards as the primary receiver and has been good in both games. It will be interesting to see if Moss can translate that into road games. No Redskins wideout has scored this year.

No wideout had more than 41 yards against the Rams last year. Expect that to improve for Moss.

TIGHT ENDS: Chris Cooley recorded his first touchdown catch on Sunday when he caught three passes for 64 yards. While Santana Moss has been showing chemistry with McNabb, Cooley remains a big component of the passing game and McNabb's preferred target in the endzone.

Cooley led all receivers when he gained 83 yards on seven receptions against the Rams last season. He should post a nice game here as well and is the best bet for a passing score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 16 24 21 3 9 10
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 20 24 28 5 22 20


St. Louis Rams (0-2)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ARI L 13-17 10 @SF --
2 @OAK L 14-16 11 ATL --
3 WAS -- 12 @DEN --
4 SEA -- 13 @ARI --
5 @DET -- 14 @NO --
6 SD -- 15 KC --
7 @TB -- 16 SF --
8 CAR -- 17 @SEA --
9 Bye - - - -
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 250,2
RB Steven Jackson 90 40 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 30 -
WR Mardy Gilyard - 30 -
WR Danny Amendola - 50,1 -
WR Mark Clayton - 90,1 -
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Rams are 0-2 but only by four points or less in each - one play away from a win. Sam Bradford remains impressive and more importantly the defense has been much improved this year and not allowed more than 17 points in a game. The Rams are still likely to remain in the cellar but the pieces are starting to work together and the next three weeks should be the easiest games of the year.

QUARTERBACK: Considering the lack of quality wideouts, Sam Bradford has been thoroughly impressive throwing three touchdowns on the season with just four interceptions. There's still a great deal of work to do on this offense but Bradford seems ready to be the guy at the wheel. For only two starts on this team, Bradford probably could not have done better.

The Rams only passed for 125 yards and one score against the Skins last year.

But these Redskins allowed 280+ yards to their first two opponents and four passing scores. Granted - Bradford is not yet Tony Romo or Matt Schaub. But he is at home and the Skins on the road for the first time. I like Bradford to throw for moderate yardage and at least one touchdown if not two.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson is having another standard year - good but not great yardage and no touchdowns. He opened with 81 rush yards against the Cardinals and then was limited to 75 yards on 19 carries in Oakland. But Bradford used him for four receptions that gained 50 yards which is a good sign both for Jackson and the offense as a whole.

Jackson rushed for 104 yards on 17 carries and added four receptions for 15 versus the Redskins last year. That would be much more than what the Skins have allowed so far but they have been playing at home and are in a dome.

WIDE RECEIVERS: So far Bradford has been successful with Mark Clayton only since he had the 119 yard game to open the year and in Oakland he caught two passes for 24 yards and both were touchdowns. Laurent Robinson had a score in the opener but almost no catches or yards and Danny Amendola has been good for around 50 yards per week. Nothing special here but the Rams are facing the Redskins who are currently ranked #32 against wide receivers. That won't translate into monster games by these receiver but they should see an increase in production and both scores are likely to end up in his unit. Clayton is a marginal fantasy starter so far but he's more likely to get better than worse as the season progresses.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 21 31 11 22 21 9
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 31 8 32 11 19 2

WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU CIN at CAR SD at SEA
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC IND at DEN
DET at MIN TEN at NYG WAS at STL NYJ at MIA
  CLE at BAL PIT at TB OAK at ARI GB at CHI
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