Game Predictions & Player Projections - SEA vs. STL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - SEA vs. STL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - SEA vs. STL

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Prediction: SEA 23, STL 13 (Line: SEA by 3.5)

Update: Todd Gurley is already out this week. Tre Mason is listed as questionable though he has not practiced because of his thigh. Benny Cunningham will get action this week and could be the primary back if Mason does not play or is very limited.

Injury Report:
Wednesday – (Did Not Practice) Tre Mason (Limited Practice) – Todd Gurley
Thursday – (Did Not Practice) Tre Mason (thigh) , (Limited Practice) – Todd Gurley (knee), Marshawn Lynch (non-injury)
Friday (Did Not Practice) Tre Mason (thigh), (Limited Practice) – Todd Gurley (knee)

The Seahawks went 12-4 last year but were only 5-3 on the road. They came within one play of winning their second Super Bowl. They not only return largely intact, but they’ve added Jimmy Graham and a third round rookie who appears to be the next coming of Devin Hester as a returner. The Rams ended 6-10 last season including losing their final three games. The last game that they played was when the Seahawks won 20-6 in week 17, The Rams pulled off an upset by winning at home 28-26 in week 7.

Seattle Seahawks

1 @STL —— 10 ARI ——
2 @GB —— 11 SF ——
3 CHI —— 12 PIT ——
4 DET —— 13 @MIN ——
5 @CIN —— 14 @BAL ——
6 CAR —— 15 CLE ——
7 @SF —— 16 STL ——
8 @DAL —— 17 @ARI ——
9 BYE ——  
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vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Super Bowl loss was excruciating since the game was seemingly won until Russell Wilson threw that ill-fated pass. But overall, the Seahawks enjoyed another banner year and have added Jimmy Graham to what has always been an under-performing set of receivers. Special teams appears to get a boost from Tyler Lockett who has already scored on a punt and a kick return this summer. Strong safety Kam Chancellor’s holdout would hurt the defense though but opening against a familiar opponent with a questionable passing game will help this week.

QUARTERBACK : Russell Wilson actually had a worse year as a passer in 2014. He did throw for a career best 3475 yards but only tossed 20 touchdowns. His value – even more so in fantasy – was that he ran for 849 yards and six scores. Adding Jimmy Graham can only help Wilson but it won’t suddenly make him into a passing leader. The offense doesn’t need him to be that and Wilson’s running could be just as good this year now that Graham has given the defense someone to actually cover.

Wilson threw for 313 yards and two scores in the meeting in St. Louis last year. He also added 106 rushing yards and one score. The meaningless season finale against St. Louis only saw him throw for 239 yards and no scores while only rushing for seven yards.

RUNNING BACK : Marshawn Lynch turned 29 years old but is still just as productive as ever. He ran for a 4.7 yard average last year and not only scored 13 touchdowns as a rusher, he added four more as a receiver. The presence of Jimmy Graham could reduce that but then again – maybe it won’t. Lynch is one of the most reliable workhorses in the NFL.

Newly acquired Fred Jackson is the backup but will need time to digest the Seahawks playbook, which is likely to keep Lynch on the field even more in the season opener.

Lynch gained just 53 yards on 18 carries in St. Louis last year and added just 18 yards on two catches with no scores. He would later run for 60 yards and one score in the home meeting and added 36 yards on three catches.

WIDE RECEIVER: This crew has been lack luster for years and Doug Baldwin remains the best of the bunch with only 825 yards and three scores in 2014. There are no other wideouts here that merit any fantasy consideration though the speedy rookie Tyler Lockett could change that. He’ll open the year possibly as the #3 in an offense that almost never throws to the #3 but he’s been exciting so far on a team that doesn’t historically generate many sparks when they pass. For the opening week, I will only project for Baldwin. Jermaine Kearse will be the #2.

Baldwin went off for 123 yards on seven receptions with one score in St. Louis last year.

TIGHT END : All new. The team that ranked near the bottom for tight ends every year now should rank close to the top. Jimmy Graham was the biggest trade in the offseason and one that really shook up the perceived fantasy value for both the Seahawks and Saints. The expectation is that his volume of catches is sure to decrease given that he’s had over 125 targets in each of the last four seasons. But his touchdown totals may be fine since Wilson has been good at throwing touchdowns in the past, even if his yardage totals are lacking.

Cooper Helfet was the only receiving tight end in the previous meeting in St. Louis and he turned in three catches for 61 yards and one score.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is a divisional game and the Seahawks come to town with a better offense. The Rams are tough to run on at home and that will depress what Lynch does since it always has. But the passing stats should be better and Wilson is a must start every week anyway. Baldwin generally does well versus the Rams and Graham is a must play each week. Not only are those the best bets for fantasy starts, but the Seattle defense could fare well here. The Rams have a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback. That’s a positive for the Seahawk’s defense.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 5 5 31 18 5 26
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 7 10 27 5 14 31

St. Louis Rams

1 SEA —— 10 CHI ——
2 @WAS —— 11 @BAL ——
3 PIT —— 12 @CIN ——
4 @ARI —— 13 ARI ——
5 @GB —— 14 DET ——
6 BYE —— 15 TB ——
7 CLE —— 16 @SEA ——
8 SF —— 17 @SF ——
9 @MIN ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: Yet another bad season passes for the Rams who are relying on the promoted QB coach Frank Cignetti to replace Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator. The only real changes to the offense were losing Zac Stacy and drafting Todd Gurley as the first back taken in 2014. Also major was finally giving up on oft-injured Sam Bradford in a trade that netted Nick Foles from the Eagles. The receivers were left alone in the hope that Foles could generate more for the team this year. A good defense remains the strength of the team and Gurley offers the specter of a better offense to come.

QUARTERBACK : Nick Foles arrives to help a team that sputtered badly in the passing game in 2014 when Sam Bradford missed the season and Austin Davis and Shaun Hill spent the year proving they were only supposed to be back-ups. The Rams lost ten games and were normally in a situation that needed to pass but were unable to find any reliable answer at quarterback. Foles will be better than anything last year though that bar is rather low. Foles has never thrown for more than 2900 yards in a season but did toll 27 touchdowns in 2013 for the Eagles.

The Rams only threw for 155 yards against the visiting Seahawks last year but scored twice via the pass.

RUNNING BACK : Todd Gurley was the 1.10 pick by the Rams and the earliest any running back has been taken since Trent Richardson stumbled in from Alabama in 2012 (which we can hope is their only similarity). The surprising part about the pick was that Gurley tore his ACL last November and still is not practicing fully. The plan is to ease him to the pro game over a period of time. That made him a risky draft pick this summer for fantasy leaguers but one that hopefully will pay off if only in the second half of the year when your team is probably already out of contention.

Making this worse, not only has Gurley been ruled out for week one but Tre Mason has a hamstring strain and may be questionable to play. That would conjure up Benny Cunningham to the rescue if only for one week. I’ll assume that all backs are available to play and update as warranted when the injury report is finally released. Opening against the Seahawks with a new OC and quarterback doesn’t scream opportunity for the rushing effort anyway.

Tre Mason gained 85 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries versus the visiting Seahawks last year.

WIDE RECEIVER : There have been no changes to the unit that ranked 30th in catches (157) and 31st in yardage (2077) among all NFL wide receiver crews. Kenny Britt was best of the bunch with just 48-748-3 last year though traditionally most Rams’ receivers end up injured at least temporarily every year. This remains a unit that seemingly may have some talent in it with Brian Quick and Steadman Bailey but one that never delivers. Foles could make a big difference but no need to buy into that until there is some proof.

No Rams’ wideout gained more than 38 yards versus the Seahawks in either meeting last year.

TIGHT END: The Rams actually ranked just inside the top ten for tight ends last year but that was splitting it up between Jared Cook who usually has one eye-popping game per year and Lance Kendricks who never has much yardage but who sprinkles in touchdowns in a random fashion and scored six times in 2014. Still no reason to expect anything different this year.

Kendricks managed a touchdown on his two catches for 17 yards in the home stand against the Seahawks but no tight end ever gained more than 38 yards in either meeting.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams surprised the Seahawks last season but that won’t happen again. Almost the exact same Seahawks come to town and even the absence of Kam Chancellor should not impact this game much. The rushing effort looks to be bad with Cunningham and possibly Mason if he can play. New quarterback Nick Foles could not ask for a worse matchup right out of the game while he is playing in his first ever game with the new play book and receivers. There is no obvious fantasy play here.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 28 23 28 9 23 23
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 1 8 1 18 3 8

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