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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
*updated

Prediction: GB 24, STL 10

The Packers come off an upset by the Bengals and need to get back on track. The Rams were surprisingly tough in Washington as they were in 2008 but came up short because they still have no offense. The Packers take this one very seriously and need the win. The Rams cannot hope to keep up with an actual passing attack like the Packers.

Green Bay Packers (1- 1)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 21-15 -4 46
2 CIN 24-31 -9 42
3 @STL - -6.5 41
4 @MIN - - -
5 BYE - - -
6 DET - - -
7 @CLE - - -
8 MIN - - -
9 @TB - - -
10 DAL - - -
11 SF - - -
12 @DET - - -
13 BAL - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 @PIT - - -
16 SEA - - -
17 @ARI - - -
GB at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     270,2
RB Ryan Grant 70,1 10  
TE Donald Lee   30  
TE Jermichael Finley   50,1  
WR Greg Jennings   90,1  
WR Donald Driver   60  
WR James Jones   10  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Packers loss of both starting safeties were a factor in the loss to the Bengals and one that should not have as big an effect this week. But what is troubling regardless is that Aaron Rodgers has been sacked ten times already and the rushing game still has yet to produce more than 61 yards by a running back. After a stellar season in 2008, Aaron Rodgers has settled back ito being the mediocre quarterback we feared he might last year. This week is a good time to straighten out the kinks before heading to Minny next week.

Quarterback: So far Aaron Rodgers only has two passing scores and one of those came on a lon game-winning completion to Greg Jennings. He has only averaged around 220 yards per week and with his offensive line problems had to become a runner last week with 43 yards on four scrambles. Early struggles against the Bears were expected and they won the game anyway. The visiting Bengals were not expected to play so well and this week will better show if the Packers merely opened with a tougher than expected two game stretch or if everyone holding Packers on their fantasy team should be concerned.

The Rams were exploited for 279 yards and three scores in Seattle and even the Redskins had 242 passing yards. This has to be the week that taking Rodgers pays off with big yardage and multiple scores. Short of facing Detroit in three weeks, it may not get much better than this.

Running Backs: Brandon Jackson has been out with an ankle injury and Ryan Grant has been given all but three carries so far. But that has only resulted in 30 runs for 105 yards for a 3.5 rushing average. Grant has scored in each game and that should continue this week. The Rams are allowing well over four yards per run and Julius Jones scored against them. The Rams will be at home this week for the first time and that is a difference but Grant remains a safe start for at least moderate numbers. He's getting nearly every carry and faces his softest defense so far.

Wide Receivers: One of the most shocking parts about week two in the NFL was that Greg Jennings went without a catch for the first time since he started in the league 47 games ago. That alone should speak to how surprising the Bengals play was last Sunday. Donald Driver filled in fine with 99 yards and a score but this unit is falling well short of 2008. This week needs to show more and the Rams secondary has been statistically pretty good only because they have faced the Redskins with no great receivers and the Seahawk's first game with Hasselbeck back. Even then Nate Burleson had 74 yards and a score.

This will be a bounce back game for the Packers that will see both Jennings and Driver have decent games. If they fall short here - this is a different Packer team from last year and their 2008 outlook needs a major downgrade.

Tight Ends: Second-year tight end Jermichael Finley had a showing last week when he caught four of seven passes for 56 yards. Donald Lee had a decent game as well with four receptions for 28 yards. But the appearance of Finley could be a sign of things to come since the Packers were very pleased with Finley throughout training camp and preseason games. He's not even worthy of being a fantasy bye week filler yet, but he is definitely one to track and hold on to should he be available and you have the roster room. Look for a big game from the tight ends this week against a defense that has given up 7-83 for Chris Cooley and 6-95 and two scores to John Carlson. I am going to award a score to Finley but it could end up with Lee as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 20 22 16 21 18 4
Preventing Fantasy Points    STL 24 18 11 30 15 8


St. Louis Rams (0-2)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 0-28 +7.5 37
2 @WAS 7-9 +10 37
3 GB - +6.5 41
4 @SF - - -
5 MIN - - -
6 @JAC - - -
7 IND - - -
8 @DET - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 NO - - -
11 ARI - - -
12 SEA - - -
13 @CHI - - -
14 @TEN - - -
15 HOU - - -
16 @ARI - - -
17 SF - - -
STL vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     200,1
RB Steven Jackson 90 40  
TE Randy McMichael   20  
WR Donnie Avery   60,1  
WR Keenan Burton   20  
WR Laurent Robinson   70  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: One of the finest games played by a Rams defense in years and yet still a loss - something about not having an offense constantly gets into the way. The Rams have their first home game of the year but unlike the Giants who started the year with young wideouts and are doing just fine, the Rams passing game makes a mockery of what once happened in the Edward Jones Dome. And Bulger was there no less. The Rams have the look of a team relying on trap games for victories. Last week almost worked.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger has to be living out a nightmare scenario for a quarterback who once led the Greatest Show on Turf and now has to settle for sub-200 yard games, the occasional touchdown and plenty of hurry-ups and knockdowns. He has 191 yards as a season best but did manage to throw a touchdown last week for the only points of the entire season (related side note - bad year to draft Josh Brown). While Donnie Avery was supposed to be the closest thing to "stud" for Bulger, he has actually been better connecting with Laurent Robinson so far.

Bulger had treatment on his back after the Redskins game and that's a bad sign for a much battered quarterback who has had back issues in the past.

The opposing defense is less pertinent than the Rams offense futility. Expect 200 yards and a score as the high side. It hasn't been done this year.

Running Backs: Steve Jackson - AKA the only Ram you want to own - actually had 104 rushing yards on 17 carries last week and finally was used as a receiver when he caught four passes for 15 yards. Granted it was not a major breakthrough for fantasy points but it was about twice as good as he was in Seattle. Back at home this week should be an added bonus and the Packers just allowed Cedric Benson to gain 141 yards on 29 carries. The Rams have no passing attack to loosen the defense though so look for a similar game to last week. If the Packers come on blitzes more, it will result in more catches for Jackson.

Wide Receivers: As noted, Laurent Robinson has been the lone receiver of note thus far and his 11 catches for 141 yards on the season is more than double any other player. Donnie Avery cannot shake the coverage and has only seven catches for 50 yards on the year and only one reception last week. The Rams will need to throw in virtually every game but this team is proving that it does not necessarily translate into fantasy gold. Robinson is the only decent play in the passing game so far.

This could be Avery's week since OchoCinco and Hester both scored from the split end spot going against CB Al Harris. It's a huge risk considering the minimal numbers from Avery so far.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael has only a minor role in the passing equation and no fantasy value so far.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 32 29 23 28 32 26
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 27 6 29 5 18 21

The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
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