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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: BAL 27, STL 16

Players to Watch: Mike Sims-Walker

Update: Lee Evans is already called out this week because of his ankle. Steven Jackson is a game time decision so I am lowering his projections and playing against the Ravens would be tough anyway.

The Ravens came off their impressive opener against the Steelers and then laid an egg in Tennessee where suddenly it all went as wrong as it did right the previous week. Who are these Ravens? We'll know more after this game. The Rams are 0-2 and not picking up that Josh McDaniels offense very quickly. Worse yet is that that the receivers all have a case of the drops and Steven Jackson has been out.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 35-7 10 @SEA -
2 @TEN 13-26 11 CIN -
3 @STL - 12 SF -
4 NYJ - 13 @CLE -
5 Bye - 14 IND -
6 HOU - 15 @SD -
7 @JAC - 16 CLE -
8 ARI - 17 @CIN -
9 @PIT -   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 200,2
RB Ray Rice 100,1 30,1 -
TE Ed Dickson - 30 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 70,1 -
WR Lee Evans - 30 -
WR Torrey Smith - 10 -
PK Billy Cundiff 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Perhaps this week will better answer who the Ravens are this year. Certainly the Jets game next weekend will be another measuring spot. After dismantling the Steelers, the Ravens just could not get anything going in their first road game. The Titans are nothing special so the expectation is that they just had a flat showing after an emotional win over the Steelers and will bounce back. This being on the road again makes it a bit less certain but it should help define the team whatever transpires.

QUARTERBACK: An impressive Joe Flacco went against the always tough Steelers and passed for 224 yards and three touchdowns. And then an unimpressive Flacco only managed 197 yards and one score in Tennessee with two interceptions. Flacco faces a secondary that has allowed two scores per opposing quarterback along with being softer against running backs. This should be a slightly better game for Flacco who is never going to post a big game unless the Ravens get into an unlikely shootout.

RUNNING BACKS: After his impressive 149 total yards over the Steelers with two scores, it was a let down to see Ray Rice only posting 43 yards on 13 carries in Tennessee though he added 53 yards and a score on five receptions to salvage his fantasy value. Rice is an every week starter anyway and one of the elite backs in the league thanks to his dual threat role.

The Rams have already allowed one score and over 100 rushing yards to each opponent so far so expect a nice showing by Rice.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Ravens rookie Torrey Smith is the starting slot receiver but so far he has a total of one target and no catches in his first two games. Lee Evans is hampered by a lingering ankle injury and has not been a factor in either game. He may be held out this week to let it rest but until that is known I will assume he will play again and be limited. Anquan Boldin started with 74 yards and a score in the opener but only turned in three catches for 46 yards last week thanks to dancing with CB Cortland Finnegan most of the game.

Boldin should bounce back this week against a secondary that is weaker and that has allowed three touchdowns to wideouts already this year. Boldin is a must start each week but not performing much better than a WR2 in games.

TIGHT ENDS: The Ravens continue to mix in both Ed Dickson and Dennis Pita for at least 50 yards per week but neither is consistent enough to warrant much fantasy consideration beyond perhaps covering a bye week. Even then they split the workload so that around 20 yards is the only lock for either per week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 22 7 30 11 12 5
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 20 27 19 2 8 30


St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 13-31 10 @CLE -
2 @NYG 16-28 11 SEA -
3 BAL - 12 ARI -
4 WAS - 13 @SF -
5 Bye - 14 @SEA -
6 @GB - 15 CIN -
7 @DAL - 16 @PIT -
8 NO - 17 SF -
9 @ARI -      
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 270,1
RB Steven Jackson 40 10 -
TE Lance Kendricks - 30 -
WR Mike Sims-Walker - 90,1 -
WR Brandon Gibson - 50 -
WR Danario Alexander - 70 -
PK Josh Brown 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Rams have stumbled out of the gate so far but that is mostly due to the loss of Steven Jackson and the fact that the receivers believe they are playing volleyball. The Rams defense has done them no favors either though in fairness they have been faced with so many bad field positions to defend it is not unexpected to have fallen short. The Rams had a brutal opening of the season that is not over but the visiting Skins next weekend could be the key. After the week five bye it just all gets brutal again for the next month.

QUARTERBACK: As the current Offensive Rookie of the Year, Sam Bradford is not carrying his crown very high. He has just one touchdown so far and has lost two fumbles while getting sacked six times. Much of his woes are not his fault with receivers still learning the new scheme and developing a really bad case of the drops. Losing his safety blanket Danny Amendola has not helped either.

Bradford faces a Ravens secondary that has allowed 280+ pass yards per opponent and yet only one touchdown each week against four interceptions. That falls right into the current trend for Bradford.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson tried warming up on Monday night but was unable to play because of his quadriceps but expects to be back in the lineup for this game. Carnell Williams struggled in New York with only 36 yards on 13 carries but Jackson returns to face the Ravens who have held Mendenhall to only 45 rush yards and Chris Johnson to just 53 yards. Anything beyond a moderate showing this week would be a surprise for Jackson.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The passing game was better last week though it only produced one touchdown by Danario Alexander who ended with 122 yards on three catches. Alexander still has more knee surgeries than NFL touchdowns so don't get too excited about him. He'll be on the sideline icing down a knee soon enough and cannot be relied on. Mike Sims-Walker stepped up to replace Danny Amendola and had a nice game of 92 yards on six catches. Brandon Gibson was targeted eight times but only caught four for 52 yards. Gibson had a problem with drops all night.

The Ravens secondary has been the most victimized part of their defense but with this crew it is hard to expect a low risk showing by another of them. Sims-Walker should be the most targeted and is the more talented as the lowest risk. Gibson has upside if he could just hold on to the ball. Alexander is always a threat. But of the group, Sims-Walker seems the best play and even he is a big risk.

TIGHT ENDS: The hot rookie tight end Lance Kendricks has only caught one pass per game with no scores though he has been good for at least 18 yards on the single catch. He is one to consider for the future but is plagues with dropped passes so far.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 27 22 15 22 11 22
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 15 7 25 9 18 11

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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