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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week

Prediction: STL 10, JAC 24

Here's the sort of game that shows why fantasy football is important - who else would watch this besides die-hard fans? The Rams are 0-5 with two shut outs already. The Jaguars are 2-3 and come off their own shutout. In fact, both teams were shutout by Seattle who has only two wins this year - against these teams. The Jags are at home so have to be the favorite here, particularly since the Rams have given up at least 35 points to each of their last three opponents.

St. Louis Rams (0-5)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 0-28 +7.5 37
2 @WAS 7-9 +10 37
3 GB 17-36 +6.5 41
4 @SF 0-35 +10 37.5
5 MIN 10-38 +10 41
6 @JAC - +10 41.5
7 IND - - -
8 @DET - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 NO - - -
11 ARI - - -
12 SEA - - -
13 @CHI - - -
14 @TEN - - -
15 HOU - - -
16 @ARI - - -
17 SF - - -
STL at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     190,1
RB Steven Jackson 70 20  
TE Randy McMichael   40  
WR Donnie Avery   60,1  
WR Keenan Burton   40  
WR Danny Amendola   30  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: This is a long season for the Rams and not getting any better. The losing margin for the last three weeks is 27 points per game. Even if the offense could somehow fix their general lack of talent it would not matter with a defense that has lost players and declined. Even the easiest matchups of Detroit and Tennessee come in road games. Steven Jackson continues to offer some fantasy value but the rest of this crew is very hard to rely on.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller was knocked out of the game last week and Marc Bulger filled in after he had missed a week with a bruised rotator cuff. Bulger is expected to play this week This offense has only produced four passing scores this year and only once had over 200 passing yards.

This week he faces a secondary that has allowed at least one passing score every week and as many as four touchdowns like the Seahawks just had last Sunday. Every one of their opponents have thrown for at least 240 yards as well. The Rams are the weakest offense to face them so far and won't challenge any high marks but should manage at least mediocre passing numbers this week which means this is maybe the best week ever to start Bulger.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson has gained around four yards per carry this year and that is remarkable considering he is a marked man by every defense. He still has yet to score a touchdown but has turned in around 100 total yards or more in most games. His role as a receiver has yet to take form and generally he only two or three catches for marginal yardage.

This week he faces a defense that has been tougher against the run than most. Only two runners have rushed in a score and Jackson is never near the goal line anyway. The best any runner has managed against the Jags is 83 yards. Look for Jackson to get near 100 total yards and not score yet again.

Wide Receivers: Donnie Avery had his season high game with 87 yards on five catches and one touchdown against the Vikings and that was the first touchdown scored by by a wideout other than Laurent Robinson who was lost two weeks ago. Keenan Burton was questionable but was able to play and he too had a career best 42 yards on five receptions. This is a highly unproductive group made even worse when Robinson was lost for the year. Ruvell Martin was hoped to play last week but his hamstring kept him out of the game. Danny Amendola had five catches and finally had more than one catch in a game.

The Jaguars are very weak against wideouts but that doesn't mean that Avery or Burton is going to have an easy game. This is on the road as well which lowers expectations even further. I like one passing score in this game but it could go anywhere. I will attribute it to Avery but you should not consider it in your starting decisions.

Tight Ends: The Rams have been using both tight ends with Daniel Fells and Randy McMichael but neither have gained more than 45 yards and Fells has scored in only one game. No reliable fantasy value here.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 29 30 27 17 32 31
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 29 12 31 9 10 19

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 12-14 +6.5 44.5
2 ARI 17-31 -3 43
3 @HOU 31-24 +4 46.5
4 TEN 37-17 +3 41.5
5 @SEA 0-41 -3 40
6 STL - -10 41.5
7 BYE - - -
8 @TEN - - -
9 KC - - -
10 @NYJ - - -
11 BUF - - -
12 @SF - - -
13 HOU - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 IND - - -
16 @NE - - -
17 @CLE - - -
JAX vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     250,2
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 80,1 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis   50,1  
WR Torry Holt   50  
WR Mike Sims-Walker   80,1  
WR Mike Thomas   20  
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: With wins over the Texans and Tennessee, it seemed the Jaguars were on the verge of digging out of the hole that a 0-2 start created. Last week in Seattle, the Jags dived headfirst back into the hole with a humbling 0-41 shutout. Mike Sims-Walker was a surprise inactive for disciplinary reasons and on the road the team fell apart. Back in Jacksonville, this week should provide the best chance for a win on the remaining schedule.

Quarterback: On the plus side, at least David Garrard is not hard to figure out. In two home games, he passed for at least 280 yards and two scores. In three road games, he has never scored and only once had more than 188 yards. Fortunately, he is at home this week and against a weak defense.

The Rams have allowed four of five opponents to pass for a score and most have at least two touchdowns. The question here is how well the ground game will perform and what the pass attack needs to worry about. The Jaguars have a bye week waiting and have to be more focused after last week's spanking by Seattle. Figure on Garrard passing for at least average yardage and a score and there is a chance for more.

Running Backs: It was a very disappointing showing by Maurice Jones-Drew last week when he could only gain 34 yards on 12 carries in Seattle when the game quickly abandoned the run. Other than a token carry or two for Rashad Jennings, Jones-Drew gets all the rushing work and this week against the Rams should bounce back.

The Rams have given up six touchdowns to running backs this year but no one has had a really huge game against them because often the defense and passing game also score. Pencil Jones-Drew in for at least a decent game with a good chance for a score if not two.

Wide Receivers: Last week many fantasy team owners were shocked to discover that Mike Sims-Walker was a healthy scratch because he violated "the team itinerary" while in Seattle. Assumedly the unnamed violation was significant since his absence was a big part of the worst beat down on the Jaguars in many years. Sims-Walker is the only wideout on the team who has scored a touchdown and he has three. He is the only receiver with more than 100 yards in a game. Torry Holt had a heavy workload without Sims-Walker and caught a season high seven receptions for 95 yards and yet did not score. Mike Thomas replaced Sims-Walker and only had one catch like he normally would.

The Rams have only allowed three wideouts to score a touchdown and other than when the Packers played them, most wideouts have only average games since the rushing game works well enough and there is no need to have a shootout when the Rams play. Safest bet is that Sims-Walker has at least a decent yardage game and could score. I am crediting the score to the tight end Lewis as well but Sims-Walker is an attractive start this week. He should be extra motivated after getting a time-out in Seattle.

Tight Ends: Have to love the trend. Marcedes Lewis has only had two games with more than 23 yards and those were the only two home games - 3 catches for 62 yards and a score against the visiting Cardinals and 4 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown when the Titans came to Jacksonville. I like one passing score at least and Lewis is the best bet.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 17 20 18 16 18 28
Preventing Fantasy Points    STL 25 24 17 29 27 31

The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
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