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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN * SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB * IND at NO * SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA * KC at OAK * STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
*UPDATED GB at MIN * PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

Prediction: PIT 23, ARI 20

Players to Watch: None

Update: Todd Heap has not practiced this week because of a hamstring strain and is removed from the projections.

This is a very interesting game that pits the 4-2 Steelers against the 1-4 Cardinals. But the Steelers are only 1-2 on the road and could only beat the 0-6 Colts. The Cardinals are 1-1 at home and nearly beat the Giants when they visited. Overall this looks like an easier win for the Steelers but should be tougher than that given that it is in Arizona.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 7-35 10 @CIN -
2 SEA 24-0 11 Bye -
3 @IND 23-20 12 @KC -
4 @HOU 10-17 13 CIN -
5 TEN 38-17 14 CLE -
6 JAC 17-13 15 @SF -
7 @ARI - 16 STL -
8 NE - 17 @CLE -
9 BAL -      
Steelers Report | Statistics | Roster
PITTSBURGH at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger - - 300,1
RB Rashard Mendenhall 50,1 10 -
TE Heath Miller - 30 -
WR Antonio Brown - 30 -
WR Hines Ward - 40 -
WR Emmanuel Sanders - 30 -
WR Mike Wallace - 130,1 -
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Steelers cannot look ahead this week with a tougher Cardinals team at home but the next four weeks will likely define the Steelers season with games of @ARI, NE, BAL and @CIN before their bye. The schedule turns far easier for the rest of the way with @KC, CIN, CLE, @SF and STL. Troy Polamalu left the game with an apparent concussion against the Jags but has since been completely cleared.

QUARTERBACK: So far there are two versions of Ben Roethlisberger. One has him throwing one score and decent yardage every week. And almost always the touchdown goes to Mike Wallace. The other which only showed up against the visiting Titans had him pass for five touchdowns. Big Ben has played in three road games (BAL, IND, HOU) and only scored twice. He remains a risk to expect anything more than the one score and decent yardage.

The Cardinals usually allow two passing scores by opposing quarterbacks but that's not the trend that Big Ben has followed so far. There should be nice passing yardage here though with the two previous visitors (CAR, NYG) both passing for more than 300 yards.

RUNNING BACKS: Rashard Mendenhall finally had a breakout game despite nursing a hamstring strain. He gained 146 yards on 23 runs versus the Jaguars and scored once without any further harm to his hamstring. That makes three of the last four games scoring once though the yardage has been lagging until last week. Mendenhall had topped out at only 66 yards previously thought injuries to the offensive line were partially to blame and are now being corrected and compensated.

The Cardinals were destroyed by Adrian Peterson last week but at home held the Panthers to only 56 rushing yards and the Giants gained just 57 yards though both had rushing touchdowns. The passing is easier against the Cards too which means only two runners have ever had more than 12 carries against them. Figure on another moderate yardage game for Mendenhall but a nice shot at a touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Although Mike Wallace is dealing with a minor hamstring strain, he has continued to play and has scored in four of the last five games and never been worse than 76 yards in any game. He's a lock for good stats and always has a chance for a big game. Hines Ward had his two touchdown showing against the Texans but went back under the nonfactor rock again last week. He hangs on to provide around 30 or 40 yards in most games. This unit is Wallace and the other three chipping in marginal stats in almost every game.

The Cards just lost a safety to injury and gave up monster games to the two previous visitors - Steve Smith (8-172, 2 TD) and Hakeem Nicks (10-162, TD). Expect a nice game here by Wallace that could be a monster.

TIGHT ENDS: Heath Miller only has one touchdown on the season and is only reliable for some yardage each week. He remains below fantasy consideration though he has his role in the passing game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 17 19 3 18 26 27
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 22 20 18 17 5 20


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 10-13 12 @STL -
4 NYG 27-31 13 DAL -
5 @MIN 10-34 14 SF -
6 Bye - 15 CLE -
7 PIT - 16 @CIN -
8 @BAL - 17 SEA -
9 STL - - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA vs PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Kevin Kolb - - 160,1
RB Beanie Wells 100,1 - -
TE Todd Heap - 40 -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 60 -
WR Andre Roberts - 30 -
WR Early Doucet - 40,1 -
PK Jay Feely 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals have not gotten the bounce from adding Kevin Kolb that was hoped for but at least the rushing game has finally come to fruition just when most had given up on it. Apparently the way to get a back to have a great year is to draft a really good back who then gets injured for the year before the season starts and then suddenly the old back turns into a stud. Works so far. The Cards come off their bye but the schedule is pretty brutal and this team is just not up to it.

QUARTERBACK: Kevin Kolb started the season well enough with two scores against both the Panthers and at the Redskins and he had 309 and 251 yards in those games respectively. But in week three he only had one touchdown with 252 yards and then no scores for the last two games and only around 230 yards in each. Kolb is losing production to Beanie Wells who is running better than expected and he's just been figured out by opposing defenses by now, That is not going to be any better with this week against the Vikings and then playing in Baltimore.

The Steelers have been great against quarterbacks and only allowed three touchdowns over the last five games and minimal yardage. Figure Kolb to be lucky if he gets one touchdown.

RUNNING BACKS: One of the more surprising players this season has been Beanie Wells who has scored at least once in every game and has six touchdowns over his four matchups. He rushed for more than 90 yards in all but the Steelers game (60 yards) and averages 95 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. His success is going to be tested in a big way these next two weeks facing the Steelers and then playing in Baltimore.

The Steelers are much softer against the run when on the road and the Cards will be using Wells as much as they can. Hard as it is to say, expect that Wells scores for the fifth straight game and turn in at least decent yardage if not a very nice game. Foster gained 155 yards on this defense.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Larry Fitzgerald tries yard to hold onto his fantasy value and has managed to turn in at least 62 yards each week but he has only exceeded 65 yards twice this year and scored just twice on the season. Kolb is starting to connect with him like the turnstile at quarterback last year. Early Doucet gained 92 yards on eight receptions in his last game and has stepped up to be at least a minor player in this offense. That is more than what Andre Roberts has done. There have only been three touchdowns thrown to this unit so far this year.

The Steelers are the best at stopping wide receivers this year and about all there is here is Fitzgerald, There have only been three touchdowns thrown to the position this year. I like the Cards to have one passing touchdown and that is not likely to go to the heavily covered Fitzgerald. Consider Doucet more of a place holder - none of these wideouts are attractive against the #1 defense against the position.

TIGHT ENDS: Todd Heap missed the last game with a bad hamstring but may be able to play this week. He was up to 61 yards in a game before he was injured and Jeff King had five catches for 35 yards replacing him. The tight ends are being used marginally more this year but not yet with any real fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 25 18 15 14 31 20
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 2 17 1 12 2 24

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB IND at NO SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA KC at OAK STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
  GB at MIN PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

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