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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA * DET at MIN * KC at SD NYJ at OAK
* ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE * PIT at IND
* BAL at STL * HOU at NO NE at BUF * SF at CIN
* UPDATED DEN at TEN JAC at CAR * NYG at PHI * WAS at DAL (mon)

Prediction: ARI 20, SEA 16

Players to Watch: Jeff King

Update: Beanie Wells pulled a hamstring in practice this week and is a game time decision though the Cardinals are expecting him to play, I am lowering his projections and be aware he may not be 100% if he does play. Check the pregame inactives.

The Cardinals came within one point of starting the season 2-0 but there are still reasons to celebrate in Phoenix where an actual offense is once again taking shape. The Seahawks are struggling in a big way and already have become the favored team for the worst record in the league. and #1 draft pick in April. The Cards brought in better players in the offseason. The Seahawks just brought in players.

The Seahawks swept the Cardinals last year, winning 22-10 at Seattle and later 36-18 at Arizona.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 28-21 10 @PHI -
2 @WAS 21-22 11 @SF -
3 @SEA - 12 @STL -
4 NYG - 13 DAL -
5 @MIN - 14 SF -
6 Bye - 15 CLE -
7 PIT - 16 @CIN -
8 @BAL - 17 SEA -
9 STL - - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kevin Kolb - - 250,2
RB Beanie Wells 50 10 -
TE Jeff King - 40,1 -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 90,1 -
WR Andre Roberts - 30 -
WR Early Doucet - 40 -
PK Jay Feely 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: While the offense is not quite back to "Warner-Fitzgerald-Boldin" strength, strides have been made since the disaster that was 2010. Kevin Kolb has been an obvious upgrade at quarterback and better passing seems to have spawned better rushing. The Seahawks swept the Cards last year like everyone else but the Cardinals used to regularly beat the Seahawks.

QUARTERBACK: Kevin Kolb has already scored twice in both games so far while turning in 309 and 251 passing yards. He has been feeding Larry Fitzgerald regularly but has been successful with more than him and actually has made the tight end a position of note on the offense - and that is a first.

The Cards only passed for 132 yards using multiple quarterbacks last year in this matchup.

The Seahawks have only allowed one passing score to Big Ben but were wiped in that game and he did not need to pass. Expect moderate passing stats in Seattle this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Hard to believe but Beanie Wells has been a nice surprise. After opening with 90 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers, he used 14 carries to gain 93 yards and a touchdown in Washington against a very good defense. Wells is running with much better authority this season and is enjoying the improved passing game that now makes the defense respect it instead of just stacking the line.

Wells gained 54 yards on 14 carries and scored once in Seattle last season.

The Seahawks at home are usually good against the run but have allowed two rushing scores just last week in Pittsburgh. Consider Wells a low-end fantasy starter this week with risk and yet apparently a bit of upside.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Larry Fitzgerald comes off a nice seven catch, 133 yard effort in Washington with one score and he's already connected well with Kolb. No other wideout has done much other than Early Doucet scoring on a 70-yard bomb. Fitzgerald is the only consistently productive receiver and apparently there is not going to be a notable #2. So far Andre Roberts only catches two or three passes each week for minimal yardage.

No wideout had more than 40 yards in this matchup last year.

With Kolb at the helm, Fitzgerald is always a must start and this week is no exception. Mike Wallace just laid down eight receptions for 126 yards and one score on these Seahawks.

TIGHT ENDS: Jeff King has been a major surprise. Todd Heap is the lead tight end but King has scored in each of the first two games and had two catches for 36 or 61 yards in them. For now, he is worthy of projection but his consistency is something still needs to be proven. If he continues to show up this well, we have to rethink the Cardinals offense and their use of tight ends really for the first time.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 15 21 13 6 28 12
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 8 14 13 6 30 32


Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SF 17-33 10 BAL -
2 @PIT 0-24 11 @STL -
3 ARI - 12 WAS -
4 ATL - 13 PHI -
5 @NYG - 14 STL -
6 Bye - 15 @CHI -
7 @CLE - 16 SF -
8 CIN - 17 @ARI -
9 @DAL -      
Seahawks Report | Statistics | Roster
SEATTLE vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson - - 200,1
RB Justin Forsett 20 10 -
RB Marshawn Lynch 40 10 -
TE Zach Miller - 20 -
WR Sidney Rice - 40 -
WR Mike Williams - 50,1 -
WR Ben Obamanu - 40 -
PK Steven Hauschka 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Maybe playing at home will do the trick. The Seahawks were 5-3 at home in 2010 but then again there is a new offense with no quarterback now. After losing in San Francisco, the Seahawks were predictably crushed by the Steelers and this game is probably as easy as it will get until week 16 when the 49ers visit. But the Cards are better this season and Seattle continues to struggle to find any rhythm on offense.

QUARTERBACK: Tarvaris Jackson doesn't seem to be getting any better but then again playing in Pittsburgh was never going to be any help. Jackson only managed 159 passing yards and no scores and he's been sacked five times in each game. Playing back at home against the Cardinals should be a big help since so far opponents have all had 290+ yards and two scores on the secondary but then again - they have not faced Jackson yet.

The Seahawks passed for 192 yards and one score on the visiting Cards last year. That seems more in line with what this season is producing for the Seahawks.

RUNNING BACKS: This is the worst running back unit in the league currently. And it is not even close. All combined through two games, Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett have gained 57 yards on 27 carries. That is all. And it is split between two players. There is no fantasy value here at all so far and very limited expectations that there will be any time soon.

Both Forsett and Lynch combined for 130 rushing yards but no scores on the visiting Cardinals last time.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is a good chance that Sidney Rice is allowed to practice this week and he has a chance at playing. I will pencil him as playing but being limited and update as warranted. The receivers need someone - anyone - to help out Mike Williams is a shell of his 2010 self and no one else is stepping up to make any difference. There certainly is no reliable fantasy value here.

Mike Williams dwarfed all other receivers when he caught 11 passes for 87 yards against the visiting Cards last season.

TIGHT ENDS: So far acquiring Zach Miller has yet to net more than 20 yards in a game but that is in keeping with the depressing stats across the board for the Seahawks. No reason to expect him to catch fire this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 28 32 23 27 31 32
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 29 11 27 29 13 14

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA DET at MIN KC at SD NYJ at OAK
ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE PIT at IND
BAL at STL HOU at NO NE at BUF SF at CIN
  DEN at TEN JAC at CAR NYG at PHI WAS at DAL (mon)

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