Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs STL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs STL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs STL

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Prediction: ARI 13, STL 24 (Line: STL by 3.5)

This is the Thursday night game and a replay of week ten when the Cardinals won 31-14 in Arizona. The Rams are playing better while the Cardinals are trying to hang on while compensating for missing players.

Arizona Cardinals

1 SD 18-17 10 STL 31-14
2 @NYG 25-14 11 DET 14-6
3 SF 23-14 12 @SEA 3-19
4 BYE —— 13 @ATL 18-29
5 @DEN 20-41 14 KC 17-14
6 WAS 30-20 15 @STL —–
7 @OAK 24-13 16 SEA —–
8 PHI 24-20 17 @SF —–
9 @DAL 29-17  
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Pregame Notes: The Cardinals pulled off a win over the Chiefs to sustain their place in the standings but these next three weeks are going to be brutal. They beat the Rams by 17 points five weeks ago in the home meeting but then lost in Seattle by 16 points just three weeks ago. Playing in San Francisco no longer is as intimidating as it once was but two losses could drop the Cardinals from the division title and potentially from a wild card bid. That final game is most likely to determine a wild card bid.

QUARTERBACK : It was the previous Rams game when Carson Palmer was lost for the year and Drew Stanton stepped in to start. The Cardinals would throw for a total of 326 yards that day but only score once and it was a long 48-yard touchdown catch that helped the stats. Stanton has been stuck at one touchdown efforts lately.

RUNNING BACK : HC Bruce Arians said Stepfan Taylor remains the Cardinals’ starting running back, and that the team would continue to rotate the backs. That seems surprising since Taylor only gained 19 yards on six carries and Marion Grice was held to just six yards on three runs. But Kerwynn Williams was activated from the practice squad last Friday and the first action of his three year career netted him 100 yards on 19 runs in the win over the Chiefs.

With such disparity, I will only project for Williams but that will remain a risk given to the whims of the coaching staff. In week ten, Andre Ellington was held to only 23 yards on 18 runs at home versus the Rams though he scored once and added five catches for 19 yards.

WIDE RECEIVER : Back in week ten, John Brown caught a 48-yard touchdown and ended with five catches for 73 yards while Larry Fitzgerald snared nine passes for 112 yards. Michael Floyd was held to only one catch for 11 yards. But those were with Palmer there for almost all the passing and in recent weeks since Fitzgerald has failed to tally more than 35 yards in a game. Jaron Brown is the only wideout with a touchdown catch from Stanton recently and he’s the #4 receiver.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value. John Carlson totaled two catches for 33 yards in the previous meeting and the Cardinal tight ends have a total of one touchdown all year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams defense has really come to life since that last meeting and they come off consecutive shutouts over the Raiders and Redskins. This is away from Arizona and the Cards are without Ellington and Palmer this time. The Rams have held their last seven opponents to no more than one passing score. They have only allowed one rushing touchdown in St. Louis to an opposing running back. Fitzgerald is the only likely start here and even he will be hard pressed to repeat week ten with a different quarterback and on the road.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 23 19 15 28 20 5
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 13 9 27 8 7 31

St. Louis Rams

1 MIN 6-34 10 @ARI 14-31
2 @TB 19-17 11 DEN 22-7
3 DAL 31-34 12 @SD 24-27
4 BYE —– 13 OAK 52-0
5 @PHI 28-34 14 @WAS 24-0
6 SF 17-31 15 ARI —–
7 SEA 28-26 16 NYG —–
8 @KC 7-34 17 @SEA —–
9 @SF 13-10  
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vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: Nothing like a two game span where you outscore your opponents 76-0. The Rams defense has really stepped up in recent weeks and even held the Broncos to just seven points in week 11. Like the Cardinals, they are usually far better at home than on the road. These next two weeks at home versus the Cards and Giants won’t be enough to generate a playoff spot but at least will let the team end the season on a strong note before spending the spring deciding, yet again, who their quarterback will be in 2015.

QUARTERBACK : Austin Davis was the starter in week ten and only threw for 216 yards and one score while getting sacked six times and throwing two interceptions. He even lost a fumble. Shaun Hill became the starter the following week and has thrown a score in every game if not two while only throwing two interceptions in four games and none when at home. Hill is not throwing for more than average yardage but he is making fewer mistakes.

RUNNING BACK : Tre Mason was held to only 48 yards on 14 runs in Arizona but he added four catches for 33 yards. He’s been much better in successive games including breaking 100 yards twice as a runner in the last two home games. Benny Cunningham hawked a touchdown in the previous meeting with the Cardinals.

WIDE RECEIVER : None of the wideouts did much in the last meeting and Stedman Bailey was held to no catches, Kenny Britt led the crew with only three receptions for 31 yards. There has never been any reliable fantasy points in this group and less so against a defense as good as the Cardinals. Notable is that Tavon Austin scored in each of the last three games but two were on a run and one was a punt return.

TIGHT END : Jared Cook only mattered in two games all year. Last week when he had four catches for 61 yards and two scores in Washington and then in week ten when he caught two passes for 84 yards and one score in Arizona. His 59-yard touchdown was a career best. Cook’s last home game was when he had one pass and zero catches so consistency is hardly a strength.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cardinals are one of those teams that play far better at home than on the road. The defense is still good, just not as dominating. Austin Davis is likely to remain at the one score standard and it is still likely to end up with a tight end since the Cards biggest weakness is at that position. But Mason should have a better showing this time against a defense that just allowed Steven Jackson to run for 101 yards. The only real fantasy play here would be Mason and Cook only as a desperation play since he has some upside this week. Otherwise the Rams defense is the only remaining worthy start.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 28 20 29 10 24 3
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 16 3 20 28 16 4

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