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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF* CIN at CLE* IND at JAC* CHI at NYG
SEA at STL* BAL at PIT* HOU at OAK* NE at MIA*
CAR at NO* DEN at TEN* WAS at PHI DAL, KC
*updated DET at GB* SF at ATL ARI at SD* MIN, TB

Prediction: SEA 16, STL 20

Update: Mike Williams has practiced and is apparently quickly over his shoulder injury but I am not adding him to the projections with such minimal play these last two weeks. Steven Jackson has not practiced yet this week and while he remains a game time decision, even Jackson has admitted that he may need to miss this week to get his groin healthy again.

Update #2 - Jackson returned to limited work on Friday but is not a safe start this week and stands a good chance of missing it. Check on his status on Sunday if you have no other options but even in the best case, Jackson would be limited if he even plays. Laurent Robinson remains doubtful and is not expected to play.

This would normally be another blow out and the Seahawks opened the 2009 season with a shutout over the Rams 28-0 and later won 27-17 in St. Louis. But the Seahawks have not won on the road yet and the Rams are much different - both with a quarterback and an improved defense. Coin flip game that the line slightly favors the Seahawks but even with Jackson ailing, there's more now in St. Louis to keep the offense moving.

Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF W 31-6 10 @ARI --
2 @DEN L 14-31 11 @NO --
3 SD W 27-20 12 KC --
4 @STL -- 13 CAR --
5 Bye - 14 @SF --
6 @CHI -- 15 ATL --
7 ARI -- 16 @TB --
8 @OAK -- 17 STL --
9 NYG -- - - -
Seahawks Report | Statistics | Roster
SEATTLE at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 230,1
RB Justin Forsett 60 30 -
TE John Carlson - 40 -
WR Golden Tate - 50 -
WR Deon Butler - 40 -
WR Deion Branch - 60,1 -
PK Olindo Mare 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Seahawks have been two very different teams depending on where they are playing. At home they beat two quality opponents. On the road, they were slaughtered by the Broncos. With only a bye week on the other side of this game, a win would be nice before entering into the meatier portion of the schedule but these Seahawks are starting to resemble the teams that were kings at home and pawns on the road. The special teams produced two touchdowns by Leon Washington last week. Now if he can do that away from home...

QUARTERBACK: Matt Hasselbeck has been very consistent each week with a touchdown pass or two and even rushing in a score twice already. He has been more challenged away from Seattle as indicated when he tossed three interceptions in Denver. Hasselbeck only passed for 102 yards in St. Louis last year though he opened the year with 279 yards and three touchdowns when the Rams visited.

The Rams have not allowed more than one passing score per opponent and decent yardage that should see a standard sort of Hasselbeck effort here.

RUNNING BACKS: With Leon Washington busy tying NFL records with two kickoff return touchdowns, Justin Forsett was given the heavy load last week and gained 63 yards on 17 carries and added three runs for 31 yards. That was much more work than the first two weeks and hopefully sets the stage for more heavy use. Julius Jones never had a carry and what was there to get belonged to Forsett.

Forsett ran for 130 yards and two scores on 22 carries in St. Louis last year.

The Rams are much tougher against the run this year and even more so when at home. No runner has gained more than 54 rushing yards in St. Louis and none have scored. I like Forsett to combine rushes and receptions to have a decent game here and not likely score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mike Williams injured his shoulder last Sunday and he's been a non factor since week one anyway. Deion Branch has been the best wideout but only marginally. The Seahawks just signed Brandon Stokley but he'll be just depth behind the youngsters Golden Tate and Deon Butler . I am considering that Williams cannot play since he has both ankle and shoulder injuries and that should let Golden Tate get some playing time along with Deon Butler who was blanked last week. The biggest weakness of the Rams secondary is against wide receivers.

I'll favor Deion Branch in this one but all three wideouts should have at least marginal play if not a decent game.

TIGHT ENDS: John Carlson continues to be the only consistent factor in the passing game and now has a score after catching five passes for 61 yards against the Chargers. The Rams have been good against the position so only expect moderate yardage here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 10 32 16 17 19 2
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 19 18 24 3 27 18
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SEA 9 -14 8 -14 8 16


St. Louis Rams (1-2)
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 W 30-16 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 SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 260,2
RB Kenneth Darby 60 10 -
TE Daniel Fells - 30 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 30 -
WR Danny Amendola - 70,1 -
WR Mark Clayton - 100,1 -
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: After two close losses, Sam Bradford finally gets a taste of victory in the NFL despite losing Steven Jackson during the game. The Rams have not allowed more than 17 points to an opponent and currently sport a much improved defense. Between Bradford playing like a veteran and that defense, the Rams are competitive again and at home, maybe a bit too much for most teams.

QUARTERBACK: It isn't that he has no games without an interception or that he has yet to throw for more than 253 yards. But the rookie Sam Bradford has scored in every game if not twice and is making do with a set of receivers that would be practice squad fare on other teams. When he loses the star running back, the offense still chugs along.

Boller was the starter when the Seahawks visited in 2009 and he passed for 282 yards and one score.

The Seahawks have allowed over 300 yards and two scores in each of the last two games so expect a nice showing here by Bradford who is learning to play within what he has to work with.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson is now "day to day" with a strained groin but at least there was no tear and he could be back as early as this week. I will consider him out and update as warranted. The Rams used undrafted rookie Keith Toston but he only totaled 11 carries for 22 yards against the Redskins and played through a sprained AC joint in his shoulder.

Kenneth Darby remains the primary backup and he was effective when running for 49 yards and a score on 14 carries. He'll get the bulk of work if not all should Jackson remain out and Toston cannot play.

Jackson gained 89 yards on 23 carries and scored once against the Seahawks in St. Louis. He added five receptions for 27 yards.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mark Clayton continues to be a preferred outlet for Bradford and he has a team high 17 catches for 238 yards and two scores on the season. Danny Amendola has quietly been a minor factor with at least four catches each week but never more than 67 yards. Laurent Robinson has been a complete nonfactor and only had one catch last week.

The Seahawks were weak against the wideouts in the one road game so far and Bradford is improving by leaps and bounds. Start Clayton as the most likely to score but even Amendola could turn in enough yardage to warrant a WR3 in a deep league with bye week problems.

TIGHT ENDS: This unit is little used but Daniel Fells had a score last week on his three catches for 22 yards and Billy Bajema plays a minor role as well. Hard to predict a score here for the second week in a row but some minor yardage should happen.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 20 20 13 19 11 15
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 25 13 25 28 11 17
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) STL 5 -7 12 9 0 2

WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF CIN at CLE IND at JAC CHI at NYG
SEA at STL BAL at PIT HOU at OAK NE at MIA
CAR at NO DEN at TEN WAS at PHI DAL, KC
  DET at GB SF at ATL ARI at SD MIN, TB
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