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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 6
2010
*CLE at PIT *BAL at NE *SEA at CHI *IND at WAS
*NO at TB KC at HOU *OAK at SF *TEN at JAC
*MIA at GB *DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
*Updated *SD at STL ATL at PHI *DAL at MIN CAR, CIN

Prediction: SD 23, STL 17

Update: Ryan Mathews was held out of practice to rest on Wednesday but was back to work on Thursday and will get more work this week. Legedu Naanee has not practiced yet this week because of his hamstring and is not a safe play. He has not been ruled out yet but I am pulling him from the projections to be safe. Buster Davis has been resting his ribs and not practiced but should have a better chance to play.

Update #2: Legedu Naanee is doubtful and will not be active. Both Craig Davis and Ryan Mathews had full practices the last two days and are probable on the injury report. Both will play and Mathews should see a heavier load this week.

The Charger come off a mortifying end to their domination over the Raiders and the loss drops them to 2-3 along with all the rest of the AFC West other than the Chiefs. The Rams return home after getting stomped in Detroit and losing their best receiver. The Chargers are struggling to find their defense again while the Rams are hoping to hold onto the new offense that was just starting to work. The Chargers are also looking for their first road win.

San Diego Chargers (2-3)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC L 14-21 10 Bye -
2 JAC W 38-13 11 DEN --
3 @SEA L 20-27 12 @IND --
4 ARI W 41-10 13 OAK --
5 @OAK L 27-35 14 KC --
6 @STL -- 15 SF --
7 NE -- 16 @CIN --
8 TEN -- 17 @DEN --
9 @HOU -- - - -
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 300,2
RB Mike Tolbert 30 20 -
RB Ryan Mathews 60 10 -
TE Antonio Gates - 70,1 -
WR Malcom Floyd - 110,1 -
WR Buster Davis - 20 -
WR Legedu Naanee - 40 -
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers have been fairly snake bit this year and are proving the importance of special teams after every opponent slaps them around in some manner. The 0-3 road mark is also troublesome but at least they bring back LT Marcus McNeill this week. Philip Rivers has been sacked 11 times and the upgrade is very welcomed. The Chargers are still in a decent place at 2-3 but it all needs to come together for a stretch run.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers remains prolific as a passer with no less than two scores in every game and four of the five weeks posting 300+ passing yards. Rivers has tougher matchups in the future to be sure and has been able to take advantage of some of the softer secondaries but still - the Chargers are 2-3. It hasn't been Rivers fault, but he hasn't be able to lock down a road win either.

RUNNING BACKS: The Chargers are still slowly bringing Ryan Mathews back as the starter after his high ankle sprain but he's already clearly better than Mike Tolbert. Against the Raiders, Tolbert only had 12 carries that gained 11 yards and most of that was to start the game. Tolbert did score once later on a four yard run after Mathews brought the ball down inside the five yard line. Mathew rushed for 59 yards on nine carries and he had 55 yards and a score on nine runs the previous week.

The Chargers are very slowly bringing him back but it already doesn't matter since he is so clearly a better runner than Tolbert and likely to out gain him despite Tolbert's starting the game.

The Rams have been very good against the run and only allowed one runner to score a touchdown. Only one runner has managed more than 67 yards against the Rams and this backfield continues to split the workload. On the road, expect just moderate rushing yards from Mathews and no score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Legedu Naanee left the game in Oakland with a hamstring strain but is expected to make it back for this week. I will project for him as being healthy and adjust as needed. Naanee has been little used in recent weeks anyway. Malcom Floyd has evolved into the new "Vincent Jackson" and his eight catch, 213 yard game begs the question "how much of Vincent Jackson was Vincent Jackson and how much was just "Player A" catching passes from Philip Rivers?

Floyd has scored in three of the last four games and gained at least 95 yards in each of those games.

The Rams have been weak against wideouts with six touchdowns allowed and four big yardage efforts happening while never once facing a quarterback as good as Rivers. Expect a nice game here by Floyd.

TIGHT ENDS: For nine consecutive games, Antonio Gates has scored a touchdown, Sometimes it is two but it is never zero. Gates has been on fire this season and is on a pace for 1529 yards and 22 touchdowns. As a tight end. He's worth a start this week and every week for the last nine games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 1 2 6 1 19 7
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 16 8 25 7 27 24
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SD 15 6 19 6 8 17


St. Louis Rams (2-3)
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 W 20-3 13 @ARI --
5 @DET L 6-44 14 @NO --
6 SD -- 15 KC --
7 @TB -- 16 SF --
8 CAR -- 17 @SEA --
9 Bye - - - -
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 230,1
RB Steven Jackson 70 40 -
WR Mardy Gilyard - 30 -
WR Danny Amendola - 70,1 -
WR Brandon Gibson - 40 -
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Rams come limping home after being being demolished in Detroit and the loss of Mark Clayton is one that Sam Bradford is going to have to quickly fill. Steven Jackson still is not 100% healthy but is still playing at a fairly high level and the Rams will be getting the rookie tight end Mike Hoomanawanui back this week as well.

I like the Rams to score on defense or special teams because the Chargers are like a touchdown ATM machine when someone is going to kick something.

QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford had his string of games with a score finally end in Detroit where he was limited to 215 yards passing and two interceptions. The loss of Mark Clayton was filled in with Danny Amendola in that game with decent results and more than anything it was a case of the Lions finally coming together and catching the visiting Rams under prepared. Bradford is still a big success story but by now he's logged eight interceptions against six touchdowns.

The Chargers have been very good against the pass and only allowed three passing scores on them this year and no more than one per opponent if that much. No one has passed for more than 220 yards on the Chargers though they have yet to face even an average quarterback. Figure on just one score and the normal moderate yardage for Bradford.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson is still not completely over his groin injury and like 2009, he apparently is never going to score a touchdown more than once per month. But he comes off a 114 yard effort in Detroit for his first game over the century mark. Jackson is clearly not his normal productive self but he's still better than most of the others out there.

The Chargers have been good against the run only allowing two rushing scores this year and last week was the first 100 yard game thanks to Michael Bush. But that was a surreal game and in other weeks the Chargers have been great against the rushers. Expect a standard no score game from Jackson and hope he is able to catch some passes.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Rams placed Mark Clayton on injured reserve with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee and Laurent Robinson is ailing with a foot injury that is slow to heal. That leaves Danny Amendola who popped up with 12 catches for 95 yards in Detroit as the most likely heir in workload. The rookie Mardy Gilyard gets a step up on the depth chart to starter but only has five catches on the season. Brandon Gibson can step in as well but he's never been worth more than three catches in a game.

This will get sorted out in quick order and for now, Amendola looks to be the prime recipient of the Clayton passes. The Chargers have been very good against wideouts though and only allowed one touchdown to the position on the season. Keep expectations low but watch to see the dynamics now that Clayton is gone.

TIGHT ENDS: The Rams have rarely used the tight end this year and Daniel Fells has only been good for around 20 or 30 yards per week. But Michael Hoomanawanui is returning from his high ankle sprain. He is the player that had four catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots in week three of the preseason. He's worth keeping an eye on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 23 19 14 25 18 20
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 2 4 2 26 15 32
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) STL -21 -15 -12 1 -3 12

WEEK 6
2010
CLE at PIT BAL at NE SEA at CHI IND at WAS
NO at TB KC at HOU OAK at SF TEN at JAC
MIA at GB DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
  SD at STL ATL at PHI DAL at MIN CAR, CIN
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