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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI *MIA at OAK
NO at DAL *JAC at NYG *MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ *CAR at CLE *GB at ATL *SD at IND
*UPDATED TEN at HOU PIT at BUF *KC at SEA SF at ARI

Prediction: STL 20, DEN 24

The Rams are 4-6 but still just one game out of the lead in the NFC West. The Rams are also 0-4 in road games despite losing three of them by a field goal or less. The Broncos are 3-7 and coming off a pummeling by the Chargers.

St. Louis Rams (4-6)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ARI L 13-17 10 @SF L 20-23
2 @OAK L 14-16 11 ATL L 17-34
3 WAS W 30-16 12 @DEN --
4 SEA W 20-3 13 @ARI --
5 @DET L 6-44 14 @NO --
6 SD W 20-17 15 KC --
7 @TB L 17-18 16 SF --
8 CAR W 20-10 17 @SEA --
9 Bye - - - -
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 230,1
RB Steven Jackson 110,1 20 -
TE M. Hoomanawanui - 30 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 30 -
WR Danny Amendola - 50 -
WR Brandon Gibson - 60,1 -
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Rams have lost three of their last four games and now face a three week stretch of road games that will cement a losing season for them. But progress has been made at quarterback and now the receivers need to be upgraded quickly before Steven Jackson gets too old and falls apart. The defense has been vastly better than recent seasons - Bradford just needs more tools to work with.

QUARTERBACK: Ten weeks into his rookie season and Sam Bradford has scored in all but one game and currently has 14 touchdowns against only nine interceptions - and only one of those picks came in the last five games. Considering the quality of his receivers, Bradford has done near magic with this group and already thrown for multiple scores in half of his games. The problem this week - in four away games he has only scored five times and twice had less than 170 passing yards.

The Broncos have allowed every opposing quarterback to score at least once and half the time give up as many as four touchdowns. This should translate into at least one score for Bradford though his yardage will remain moderate as always.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson is one of the unusual running backs (read "talented") because his performance does not drop when he hits the road. Not only has he maintained decent rushing stats away from home, but his three best performances as a receiver were in road venues as well. Jackson only has three scores on the year and only three 100+ yard games he he rarely has a truly bad game and never on the road.

The Broncos are the weakest team in the league against running backs and have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns and four receiving scores to opposing running backs. Half of their games feature an opposing runner with 100+ yards. Expect a nice bounce back game from Jackson who only had 12 carries last Sunday and a chance for a score. Bottom line - worst defense means must start.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Rams hope to get Danario Alexander back this week but he has only had one decent game so far and plenty of time healing up on the sidelines. Danny Amendola rarely accounts for much yardage but he does have three touchdowns in the last four weeks as the leading scorer among receivers. Brandon Gibson continues to improve if only slowly and comes off his second score on the year. This is a motley group to be sure but it is all that Bradford has and he makes it work.

Champ Bailey can cover any of these players but which one does he bother with? The Broncos give up over one score per game to wideouts on average and both Collie and Bowe scored twice on them. it is a crap shoot to award a score here and no player should be relied on this week.

TIGHT ENDS: The rookie Michael Hoomanawanui comes off his second score and was targeted six times by Bradford for four receptions and 46 yards versus the Falcons. He is still a risk to rely on but a player to hold for next year. I am giving him the second score

WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI *MIA at OAK
NO at DAL JAC at NYG MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ *CAR at CLE *GB at ATL *SD at IND
*UPDATED TEN at HOU PIT at BUF *KC at SEA SF at ARI


Denver Broncos (3-7)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC L 17-24 10 KC W 49-29
2 SEA W 31-14 11 @SD L 14-35
3 IND L 13-27 12 STL --
4 @TEN W 26-20 13 @KC --
5 @BAL L 17-31 14 @ARI --
6 NYJ L 20-24 15 @OAK --
7 OAK L 14-59 16 HOU --
8 @SF L 16-24 17 SD --
9 Bye - - - -
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 280,2
RB Knowshon Moreno 60,1 50 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 50,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 30 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 110,1 -
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Broncos have only won one game in their last six weeks and it speaks to this year when they get bombed at home by the Raiders, then turn around and destroy the visiting Chiefs and then spend last week getting ravaged by the Chargers. The AFC West is not one of those "17-20" kind of divisions. This week and the remaining Houston game in week 16 are both as good as it will get and the Rams may be the only one with no snow.

QUARTERBACK: Kyle Orton scored in every game this year and had more than one touchdown in half of his games. He has been slightly more effective at home but has slowed down in recent games. Orton passed for for 300+ yards in each of his first five games but since has only had one game over the mark.

The Rams bring in a decent secondary but their ranking reflects their schedule - ARI, WAS, CAR, SF and TB has helped keep overall stats lower but Shaun Hill passed for three scores on them and Troy Smith just had 356 yards in week ten when the Rams visited. Expect a decent showing here against a team that does not travel well. High yardage and two scores are likely.

RUNNING BACKS: Knowshon Moreno is healthy again and has been running strong for these last two games along with showing up as a receiver as well. He has scored in three of his last four games and may be turning a corner - long as he doesn't get hurt again. Moreno is now taking all the carries there are.

The Rams have been fairly solid against the position with only four rushing scores allowed and only two players rushing for more than 100 yards against them. The Broncos are not likely to just stick to the run so expect only moderate gains by Moreno but I like the chance for one score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Demaryius Thomas will undergo an MRI on his ankle and is likely to miss at least this week. Eddie Royal comes off his worst game of the season with only 12 yards on two catches but he has not exceeded 40 yards since back in week three. Jabbar Gaffney chugs along with around 50 yards per week and the rare touchdown once a month. But Brandon Lloyd has broken out and become a top receiver in the league. He has seven touchdowns and a league high 1046 yards already even though he has only caught 54 passes. Lloyd has scored in each of the last three weeks and never had less than 78 yards. He currently has five games with over 100 receiving yards.

Lloyd is an automatic start each week and should end up with yardage and a score as always. Gaffney should also come along for the ride for at least decent yardage and one score.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 3 22 1 32 25 31
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 11 10 15 13 29 11
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DEN 8 -12 14 -19 4 -20

WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI MIA at OAK
NO at DAL JAC at NYG MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ CAR at CLE GB at ATL SD at IND
  TEN at HOU PIT at BUF KC at SEA SF at ARI
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