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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 10
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday
Bye Week
Sunday Late
NYG, HOU
*updated

Prediction: NO 37, STL 10

Late Update: Colston practiced again and is over his flu bug.

Early Update: Marques Colston had the flu and missed practice on Wednesday but returned on Thursday and is fine. Lance Moore remains out with his ankle injury and Robert Meachem continues to fill his spot.

The Saints have fallen behind by two scores in each of the last two games but still end up - 'yawn' - winning by ten points or more. At 8-0 they already have a three game lead over the Falcons and are sort of the polar opposite from the 1-7 Rams. There is no reason for the Saints to be caught looking ahead since only a game in Tampa Bay is waiting on the other side. This could be a trap game but only if Steven Jackson has... no... not even then.

New Orleans Saints (8-0)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 45-27 -13.5 49
2 @PHI 48-22 +3 46.5
3 @BUF 27-7 -5.5 52.5
4 NYJ 24-10 -6.5 46
5 BYE - - -
6 NYG 48-27 -3 47
7 @MIA 46-34 -6 48
8 ATL 35-27 -10 54
9 CAR 30-20 -14 52
10 @STL - -13.5 50
11 @TB - - -
12 NE - - -
13 @WAS - - -
14 @ATL - - -
15 DAL - - -
16 TB - - -
17 @CAR - - -
NO at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     320,2
RB Pierre Thomas 70,1 20  
RB Reggie Bush 20 20  
TE Jeremy Shockey   60  
WR Marques Colston   100,1  
WR Devery Henderson   50  
WR Robert Meachem   60,1  
PK John Carney 3 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Saints look like a team that is getting tired of winning but cannot decide where they want to allow a loss to happen. Twice now they have started slowly only to make up in a furious "you know it is going to happen" comeback that makes the final score nothing like the game started out being. The reality here is that the Saints are going to be favored in each of their remaining game and literally do have a shot at an undefeated season. Judging by the sloppy opening play of the last couple of weeks, they'll trip up sooner or later.

So far the Saints are the only team that can fall behind by 14 points and all you think is "isn't that cute?"

I like a defensive score this week

Quarterback: After not scoring or having more than 190 yards for two straight games, Drew Brees has been back to his highly productive ways for the last four weeks with never less than 298 yards and a score in each game. He has 17 touchdowns on the season though ten of those came in just two games. He remains a lock to be a top passer almost every week and even though he has thrown for lesser scores lately, he still has the yardage to keep his fantasy value high.

The Rams have given up as many as three passing scores in a game on two occasions and Brees should have that as his starting point unless the rushing game catches fire and depresses the need for the pass - always a fear when facing the Rams. No matter - Brees is a automatic start anyway.

Running Backs: Mike Bell still has minimal fantasy value but that seems to be slipping and he has not scored in the last three games and was down to only five carries for 17 yards last week. Pierre Thomas has scored in each of the last two games and had healthy yardage in each. If you had to start one runner from this team, Thomas would be the guy. Reggie Bush has a small role now though he had scored in three straight games ending with last week but he has not gained more than 17 rushing yards in the last four weeks and doesn't supply the role as a receiver nearly as much this year.

The Rams are one of the worst teams against the run and have allowed ten rushing scores already. As always the split in workload affects the Saints runners but expect more of the same with Thomas turning in a touchdown and solid yardage and the other two not quite good enough to warrant a fantasy start.

Wide Receivers: With Lance Moore out, Robert Meachem stepped up and had a season high game of five receptions for 98 yards and one score versus the Panthers on Sunday. Devery Henderson also had 93 yards on three catches in that game but he has not scored since week one and remains just a possession player. Marques Colston saw his three game scoring streak end when he had a very uncharacteristic one catch for 45 yards for his worst effort of the year.

Against the Rams, these receivers should follow a more normal pattern with Colston taking center stage again and scoring at least once and Meachem could have another touchdown as well. Henderson is never quite reliable enough to merit a fantasy start but should have at least a decent showing here.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey comes off his worst showing of the year with only 26 yards against the Panthers but he's bee hanging around 50 in most other games with the upside for more in any given week. The Rams are about average against tight ends and have faced several top players. Shockey has about a 50/50 chance of a score here and is a decent play since he usually has better stats in road games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 2 7 13 4 1
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 24 28 14 26 12 29


St. Louis Rams (1-7)
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 17-36 +6.5 41
4 @SF 0-35 +10 37.5
5 MIN 10-38 +10 41
6 @JAC 20-23 +9.5 43
7 IND 6-42 +14 45
8 @DET 17-10 +3.5 43.5
9 BYE - - -
10 NO - +13.5 50
11 ARI - - -
12 SEA - - -
13 @CHI - - -
14 @TEN - - -
15 HOU - - -
16 @ARI - - -
17 SF - - -
STL vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     190
RB Steven Jackson 80,1 30  
TE Randy McMichael   20  
WR Donnie Avery   60  
WR Keenan Burton   40  
WR Danny Amendola   30  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: All it took was a strip to the Lions to get that elusive first win and the Rams have been basking in the glory for two weeks thanks to their bye. There have been no shake-ups in the offense largely because there are no suitable replacements anyway and this team still has scored more than 17 points only one this year. That will be a problem this week against the Rams.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger remains the starter though there are growing calls for him to give way to Kyle Boller or basically anyone else. Bulger has only passed for three touchdowns and has a season high of only 213 yards in a game. He's a shell of the quarterback who replaced Kurt Warner and much of it is not his fault given the constant turmoil and lack of talent that surrounds him.

The Saints have only allowed five passing scores this season and the notion that Bulger is going to add to that is wildly optimistic. He will need to throw, but that doesn't mean he will do it well.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson has taken the team on his back and tried to single-handedly save the season. On a bad offense with little blocking and no passing game of note, Jackson has still rushed for over 100 yards in four games including the last two. His role as a receiver actually expands in the easier games and decreases in the tougher matchups.

The Saints are weaker against the run and the Rams are at home. No doubt that Jackson receives a large chunk of the offensive plays and the Saints have given up ten rushing touchdowns. Look for a score and decent total yardage for Jackson.

Wide Receivers: Danny Amendola has been cleared to resume playing after suffering a concussion in Week 8 but his role has been minimal like the other wideouts on this team. Donnie Avery has played much better at home this year though never better than 87 yards in game. Keenan Burton remains scoreless and is purely a possession receiver.

The Saints are only average against the wideouts thanks to rolling up scores and forcing opponents to throw more to their wide receivers. But only Avery provides marginal consistency and production which should be down a little this week.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value beyond two or three catches for minimal yards every week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 29 29 25 17 31 28
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 6 21 17 5 23 18

The Huddle
WEEK 10
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday
Bye Week
Sunday Late
NYG, HOU
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
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