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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week

Prediction: BUF 31, STL 13

Update: Roscoe Parrish is out this week with an injured right thumb and will be replaced by James Hardy who makes a very nice play this week facing the Rams defense. I have removed Parrish and added James to the projections.

This appears to be a mismatch of a 3-0 team and a 0-3 team because it is. The Rams can lay claim to being the worse team in the NFL currently because not only have they not won a game yet, they have not even come within 24 points of winning. The Bills barely escaped the Raiders with a win but this week should not have such problems. The Rams are in decline and have already switched the quarterback so as to look like they are still trying to figure out what is wrong. So horribly wrong.

Buffalo Bills (3-0)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SEA 34-10 -1 39
2 @JAX 20-16 +6 38
3 OAK 24-23 -9.5 36.5
4 @STL - -8 41.5
5 @ARZ - - -
6 BYE - - -
7 SD - - -
8 @MIA - - -
9 NYJ - - -
10 @NE - - -
11 CLE - - -
12 @KC - - -
13 SF - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 @NYJ - - -
16 @DEN - - -
17 NE - - -
BUF at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     210,2
RB Marshawn Lynch 110,2 20  
TE Robert Royal   20  
WR Lee Evans   90,1  
WR Josh Reed   30  
WR James Hardy   40,1  
WR Roscoe Parrish 40,1
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 4 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bills have certainly earned their 3-0 mark but struggling against the visiting Raiders last week makes one wonder just how good this team really is. We won't really know anything more after this week thanks to playing the Rams but so far the Bills have been impressive and are now all alone atop the AFC East. And they may be there for a while longer.

Quarterback: Three weeks into the season and Trent Edwards is getting a little better every week. He's thrown one touchdown in each game so far and started out with 215 yards against the Seahawks and now comes off 279 yards against the Raiders. Edwards threw his first interception of the season last week but has fumbled in each of the last two games. Edwards is developing well and has relied on Lee Evans the most but has spread the ball around to different receivers each week.

Running Backs: While Marshawn Lynch has yet to gain more than 83 yards in a game this year, he also has not failed to score at least one touchdown each week. He had two against the Raiders and scored once in Jacksonville in the only road trip so far this year. Chances are good that Lynch will see that first century mark this weekend in St. Louis.

Fred Jackson has purely a relief role so far but had seven catches for 83 yards in Jacksonville. The Bills won't likely be pressed into those formations this week though.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans has not scored yet this season but at least Edwards has been hitting him at least four times per game and never less than 65 receiving yards. James Hardy has one score but was blanked last week and Roscoe Parrish has the other wideout score this year that came just last week with his season high three catches for 42 yards. Edwards has been distributing the ball differently every week so far and adding in tight ends and running backs has meant that only Evans has any fantasy value so far this year - and that is only marginal since he hasn't scored yet.

Again - that could happen this week in St. Louis.

Tight Ends: While the tight ends have had a minor role this year, they had almost no work in the lone road game. And while Robert Royal had a big opening week, he had no catches in week two. Not much consistency here.

Match Against the Defense: So far this year facing the Rams is the NFL's version of an "E" ticket for an offense. It just doesn't get any better and so far it has not resulted in less than 37 points scored. The Bills - and any other team really - could beat the Rams in many different ways but this is where Lynch should have his first 100 yard game and score at least once - maybe twice against a team with six rushing touchdowns allowed already.

Edwards should manage two passing scores here because anyone who tries usually ends up with three. Evans need a score here and the other could go anywhere. It is "start your Bills" week.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 15 13 14 16 16 11
Preventing Fantasy Points    STL 30 32 31 15 31 22

St. Louis Rams (0-3)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PHI 3-38 +7 44
2 NYG 13-41 +8.5 41.5
3 @SEA 13-37 +10 44
4 BUF - +8 41.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @WAS - - -
7 DAL - - -
8 @NE - - -
9 ARZ - - -
10 @NYJ - - -
11 @SF - - -
12 CHI - - -
13 MIA - - -
14 @ARZ - - -
15 SEA - - -
16 SF - - -
17 @ATL - - -
STL vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green     180,1
RB Steven Jackson 50 40  
TE Randy McMichael   30  
WR Torry Holt   50,1  
WR Donnie Avery   30  
WR Dante Hall   20  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Rams are fighting a free fall and not doing a great job. Marc Bulger who passed for 4301 yards in his last healthy season has been benched for Trent Green who is one concussion away from wearing a robe and carrying a spit cup. HC Scott Linehan not only is on a short leash, there is rampant speculation that he may not make it out of the season. The new Al Saunders offense has failed to make any difference other than taking an offense that was drifting into mediocrity and kicking down into near futility.

Quarterback: Trent Green has been named the starter and while he likely will not do any worse than Marc Bulger has, there is no reason to expect him to do better and of a bigger concern is his health. Bulger was already sacked 11 times this year and the Bills are going to bring the heat as well. This mostly smacks of a sense of desperation since Green is no long-term answer and may not even be the short-term solution. This offense only has two passing scores this and never more than 184 yards in any game.

Running Backs: While the rest of the offense has been stripped of fantasy value, at least Steven Jackson has not disappeared. Jackson has not scored a touchdown yet and and he has not rushed for more than 66 yards in a game but has supplemented his rushing with around four or five receptions each week and has averaged around 90 total yards per game. It is not worthy of his draft slot this summer but he is miles ahead of any other Ram in terms of fantasy value.

Wide Receivers: For a team that was once the Greatest Show on Turf, this is sickeningly sad. Torry Holt has one score on the year and a total of 11 catches for 122 yards. That's all. And yet that is far better than any other wideout on this team. The rookie Donnie Avery is starting to get playing time and comes off a three catch game for 24 yards in his debut last week. But what little passing has been happening has largely gone to Steven Jackson. Even Holt is a risky fantasy start now with two games under 40 yards this season. Changing quarterbacks is not likely to improve the chemistry here.

Tight Ends: Along with all things Rams, Randy McMichael started the year with five catches for 77 yards and has been on the decline since. The last two weeks has only seen him catch two passes.

Match Against the Defense: Unfortunately, the Rams have one of the worst rushing attacks that is made tolerable only because just one player - Jackson - gets everything. But the Bills are a top 5 defense against running backs and no one has rushed for more than 55 yards against them including McFadden or Jones-Drew. Expect a down game by Jackson with some receptions to save his fantasy value.

Green is a wildcard but this passing attack is unlikely to take off. Look for one passing score here and moderate yardage at best. That score has to favor Holt the most though the Bills will be smothering him.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 28 32 26 22 24 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 9 5 14 5 20 10
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