Game Predictions & Player Projections - DAL vs STL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - DAL vs STL

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - DAL vs STL

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Prediction: DAL 23, STL 17 (Line: DAL by 1)

UPDATE: Tavon Austin has been limited in practices but is not expected to play. Dez Bryant is also questionable but is expected to start and play without limitation.

The Cowboys were yet another team with a role reversal last week as they looked sharp winning in Tennessee. The Rams also made amends for losing their home opener by winning in Tampa Bay. Both teams are inconsistent but only one has much offensive firepower.

The Rams lost 7-31 in Dallas last year.

Dallas Cowboys

1 SF 17-28 10 @JAC —–
2 @TEN 26-10 11 BYE —–
3 @STL —– 12 @NYG —–
4 NO —– 13 PHI —–
5 HOU —– 14 @CHI —–
6 @SEA —– 15 @PHI —–
7 NYG —– 16 IND —–
8 WAS —– 17 @WAS —–
9 ARI —–  
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vs Rush Catch Pass

The Cowboys are 1-1 but this is clearly the soft part of the schedule and they have to take advantage before it all goes bad in the second half. There are only two road games over the next seven weeks and a chance to roll up some wins at home where usually they play much better. The Cowboys have had the Rams number for several years for some reason and in particular DeMarco Murray. A road win here could potentially propel the Cowboys to an impressive record by their week 11 bye.

QUARTERBACK : No arguing that Tony Romo looked rusty in the season opener when he passed for only one score but had three interceptions. He wasn’t that much better in Tennessee with only 176 passing yards and just one touchdown but made no mistakes and the rushing effort is carrying the team for now. All those upcoming home games should help Romo get back his groove before the eventual December slide into oblivion.

Romo passed for 210 yards and three scores on the Rams in 2013.

RUNNING BACK : Joseph Randle suffered a concussion last week but he’s a nonfactor now. DeMarco Murray has never been better. He leads the NFL with 51 runs for 285 yards and a 5.6 yard rushing average. He’s scored once a game so far though has minimal involvement as a receiver. The newer scheme is not using any tailback much as a receiver. Murray lost a fumble in both games but there is no need to replace him to teach a lesson since he’ll miss a couple of games eventually. Lance Dunbar only shows up for relief so far but would be the primary when the need arises.

Murray rushed for 175 yards and one touchdown versus the Rams last year. He gained 253 yards in the other prior meeting in 2011.

WIDE RECEIVER : Dez Bryant bounced back from a mediocre opener and caught ten passes for 103 yards and a score in Tennessee. He was the only receiver with more than 32 yards in the game. Terrance Williams scored in the opener but has not been called on much so far. The more Romo gets back to form, the more other receivers will see an uptick in production.

Dez Bryant (4-38) and Dwayne Harris (1-24) both scored on the Rams last season.

TIGHT END : One of the troublesome areas is Jason Witten who has been Romo’s security blanket and go-to guy on third downs but so far has only a total of six catches for 46 yards over the two weeks. The success rushing by Murray has really decreased the passing numbers and Witten is not immune.

Witten ended with 67 yards on five catches against the Rams last year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This will be interesting. The Rams have only faced offenses of the Vikings and Buccaneers. Both teams passed for just 170 yards though Cassel scored twice. Josh McCown ran in two scores. While Adrian Peterson was held to 75 yards, Bobby Rainey went nuts for 144 yards on only 22 carries. Murray has been deadly against the Rams if no one else. Romo is hard to recommend for a start as is Witten given two straight low weeks. Bryant and Murray are must starts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 28 8 5 28 8 23
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 13 8 20 9 14 28

St. Louis Rams

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

The Rams managed an improbable win in Tampa Bay considering that over two games they only one one touchdown.The week four bye is coming up but the offense is nearly devoid of firepower in the passing game as it has for the last few years. But Zac Stacy cannot do it all and even with a decent defense, the Rams can not stay on the field long enough for the offense to matter much. This week will be a good test but this is shaping up to be one of the worst offenses in the NFL this year.

QUARTERBACK : Completely devoid of fantasy interest or significance, the Rams went with Austin Davis last week though Shaun Hill could have been used in an emergency. It really doesn’t matter – the results are the same with either player.

The Rams only passed for 240 yards and one score in Dallas last year.

RUNNING BACK : Zac Stacy scored the lone touchdown for the Rams this year and he is running well enough considering there is nothing else for the defense to be concerned about. He gained 71 yards on 19 runs and scored in Tampa Bay. He ran for 43 yards on 11 carries in the opener but that is the problem – how many carries will he get each week? He almost never catches the ball.

Stacy was injured last year when they faced the Cowboys. The Rams only totaled ten runs for 36 yards then.

WIDE RECEIVER : Tavon Austin should miss this week with a sprained MCL not that his 34 receiving yards so far has mattered. Brian Quick continues to be the only working part of the passing game with seven catches in both games and an average of around 85 yards in each. That more than doubles what anyone else has done. So far Kenny Britt’s second chance in the NFL has resulted in just one catch.

TIGHT END : At least Jared Cook is consistent. Both games saw him catch four passes for around 50 yards each.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cowboys defense is nothing special but the offense here is so bad that it may make Dallas look far better than they are. Stacy is the only fantasy play here and he should remain good for just moderate rushing yardage. There is no reliability in any other part of this offense. It is notable that the Cowboys have allowed three passing touchdowns and all three went to tight ends. That could spell a decent game for Cooks but even that is a risk.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 32 29 19 14 7 31
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 11 3 2 32 4 31

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