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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN *NE at CHI *TB at WAS *KC at SD
*CIN at PIT *CLE at BUF *SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR *NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
*Updated GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ *BAL at HOU

Prediction: STL 17, NO 34

The Saints are 9-3 and have won five in a row but the Rams are 6-6 which currently qualifies them for first place in the NFC West. The Rams have won their last two road games but the Saints are more back to form and almost all back to health.

The Saints won 28-23 in St. Louis last year.

St. Louis Rams (6-6)
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 W 36-33
4 SEA W 20-3 13 @ARI W 19-6
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 NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 210,1
RB Steven Jackson 70,1 10 -
TE Daniel Fells - 30,1 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 20 -
WR Danny Amendola - 30 -
WR Brandon Gibson - 50 -
WR Danario Alexander - 40 -
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Two road wins help the cause a lot for the Rams who have to get through the next two weeks. After that should be a win at home and then a game in Seattle for likely the NFC West crown. The Rams already beat the Seahawks back in week four, so any wins before the final week are crucial to keep the Rams ahead of the Seahawks.

QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford comes off only his second game ever without a touchdown pass and he had 308 yards and three scores the previous week in Denver. Bradford passed for 17 touchdowns so far and had only two interceptions in the last seven games. But his two games without a score came in road venues and worse yet he will be facing the #1 defense against quarterbacks and wide receivers so lower your expectations this week. Bradford tweaked his ankle in the last game but that is not expected to be an issue.

The Rams passed for 298 yards and two scores on the Saints last season. But the Saints have only allowed five passing scores to visitors this year so anything above one score and moderate yardage would be a surprise.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson comes off one of his best games of the year when he gained 102 yards and a score in Arizona. He's running strong though his role as a receiver has been impacted by his injured finger and he has not added more than 13 yards via receptions for the last three weeks. Oddly enough, Jackson has been better in recent road games than when at home and the Saints are much more weaker against the position than any other. Jackson could really add to his value as a receiver here but he's just not been used in that capacity much since the finger surgery.

Jackson gained 131 yards and one score against the visiting Saints last year. He added nine catches for 45 yards.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Danario Alexander only had two catches for 20 yards last week in Arizona despite having a season high seven targets. Alexander still has promise in this offense - health willing - but he is no immediate savior. Danny Amendola has been on a decline for three weeks while Brandon Gibson bangs around 50 to 60 yards in most games and rarely scores. The Saints have only allowed two scores by a visiting wideout all year so expect more of the same marginal yardage from the wideouts here. Alexander is probably the better bet but even he has been marginal in half of his games.

TIGHT ENDS: With Michael Hoomanawanui gone for the rest of the year, both Billy Bajema (2-39) and Daniel Fells (3-18) figured in and yet made no real difference. They both had four targets and should be a bigger factor this week against the Saints who are #1 against wideouts and yet only #20 against tight ends. I'll credit Fells with the score but it could be Bajema just as easily.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 23 28 22 12 6 22
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 1 17 1 17 13 22
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) STL -22 -11 -21 5 7 0


New Orleans Saints (9-3)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN W 14-9 10 Bye -
2 @SF W 25-22 11 SEA W 34-19
3 ATL L 24-27 12 @DAL W 30-27
4 CAR W 16-14 13 @CIN W 34-30
5 @ARI L 20-30 14 STL --
6 @TB W 31-6 15 @BAL --
7 CLE L 17-30 16 @ATL --
8 PIT W 20-10 17 TB --
9 @CAR W 34-3 - - -
Saints Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ORLEANS vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees - - 310,2
RB Chris Ivory 80,1 - -
TE Jimmy Graham - 50 -
WR Marques Colston - 90,1 -
WR Lance Moore - 50,1 -
WR Devery Henderson - 30 -
WR Robert Meachem - 60 -
PK Garrett Hartley 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Saints struggled earlier in the year largely because of injuries but they have been on the right track with a five game winning streak that started by beating the Steelers and now has extended into four straight games with 30+ points scored. With two road trips looming to BAL and ATL, this game needs to be won because it won't get any easier than this one.

I like a defensive score in this game.

QUARTERBACK: No need to over think this one. Drew Brees has passed for over 300 yards in each of the last three games and six times in total for the year. Brees has scored 25 times already. The Rams always allow a passing score and as many as three per opponent.

Brees only passed for 223 yards and two scores in St. Louis last year. That would be a big disappointment to fantasy owners who should see more like 300 yards and two scores again this week.

RUNNING BACKS: This week could be when Pierre Thomas finally shows back up in the backfield after being gone since week three. He should have a full week of practice and he should be able to play. But HC Sean Payton is plenty pleased with Chris Ivory lately no doubt because he scored five times in just the last three games. Ivory brings size and attitude to the position and Payton said he does not want to change the workload for him.

Reggie Bush is back but two games have only produced 27 rushing yards and 12 receptions. He is being slowly integrated back in and until he has a game of any significance I will not project for him. Given that even if Thomas plays he will be brought back slowly, there is no need to project for him as well even though both runners should produce at least some stats.

The only notable runner in the last meeting with the Rams was Bush who gained 83 yards on six runs and scored one and added two receptions for 15 yards and a second touchdown.

The Rams are decent against the run and the Saints will probably have a three way split. I still like Ivory to score again for the fourth week in a row.

WIDE RECEIVERS: All four wideouts continue to have good games but only Marques Colston has been consistent. Colston has scored five times in the last five games and had at least 65 yards in each. Devery Henderson had been doing almost nothing, then had 97 yards two weeks ago in Dallas and then had one catch for no yards last week. Lance Moore and Robert Meachem are both productive but never two weeks in a row. They literally seem to take turns lately scoring.

The Rams have most often allowed the opposing #1 wideout to score in road games and that is Colston here. I'll credit Moore with the second score only because "it is his turn" but really the reliability of any wideout here besides Colston is pretty spotty.

TIGHT ENDS: Jeremy Shockey returned last week but only had two catches for 28 yards while Jimmy Graham continued his hot streak and gained 72 yards on three catches. Shockey will figure in but Graham makes more sense to project stats for at least until Shockey again gets more passes. The Rams allow yardage to tight ends but only two scores. Expect just yardage again this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 5 15 4 6 7 25
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 13 11 19 4 28 8
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NO 8 -4 15 -2 21 -17

WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN NE at CHI TB at WAS KC at SD
CIN at PIT CLE at BUF SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
  GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ BAL at HOU
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