FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: NYG 27, CAR 24 (Line: NYG by 1)

Players to Watch: Andre Brown, David Wilson, Brandon LaFell

Players Updated: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, David Wilson, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle, Jonathan Stewart

The 1-1 Giants won the Superbowl but they lost to the Cowboys and had to squeak out a comeback victory over the visiting Buccaneers. The 1-1 Panthers lost to the same Buccaneers in the season opener but then took down the visiting Saints last week. The Giants are not as playing as well as a reigning champ should and the Panthers are improved but those lines do not cross quite yet.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN -----
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR ----- 12 GB -----
4 @PHI ----- 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE ----- 14 NO -----
6 @SF ----- 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 270,2
RB Peyton Hillis 80,1 3-20
WR Victor Cruz 7-100,1
WR Mario Manningham 3-30
WR Rueben Randle 3-40
TE Kellen Davis 2-20

Pregame Notes: Can't say it wasn't exciting. Eli Manning engineered three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to overtake the Buccaneers last week and in the process Eli Manning passed for 510 yards and three scores to join the 500 Club that only has 13 members. It was the eighth highest passing yardage ever recorded. Almost half of that was thrown in the fourth quarter alone. Eli may have a new interception problem this year, but no denying he can still chuck it with the best of them.

Ahmad Bradshaw jammed his neck against the Buccaneers and early expectations are that he will not have enough time to heal by the Thursday night game. That means Andre Brown would get the start which was echoed by HC Tom Coughlin in his praise for the ex-practice squad back who had his first game action and gained 71 yards and a score on just 13 runs.

David Wilson remains in the doghouse for his week one fumble and week two dropped pass. It is one thing to communicate to players that they need to adhere to a standard. It is another when you affect the confidence of a new player who is obviously an emotional player. Wilson owners can only accept the reality of Tom Coughlin's tough love. On the plus side, maybe Brown makes a mistake as well.

The huge passing stats naturally gave everyone a feast with Hakeem Nicks (10-199, TD) and Victor Cruz (11-179, TD) both having monster games. While those two have been a mainstay for Manning since last year, Martellus Bennett is adding a new dimension to the offense. In just two weeks as a Giant, Bennett has none catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns which makes him the scoring leader among receivers. Those three players make up almost the entirety of the passing game and with 510 yards last week - they are plenty enough.

The Giants have been at home both weeks and now go on the road for the first time. Short weeks usually favor the more talented team since there is limited preparation. That should be just enough to get the win for the Giants who need to try getting a lead and coasting instead of playing from behind so much of the time.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 5 18 1 12 11 19
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 12 30 3 10 21 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG WAS 0000022021 ***
Manning continues to dribble easy matchups down his leg, so no matter that only four teams have given up more passing scores than Washington; Manning's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4005300000 ***
Jennings has been far and away the most productive back on the Raiders' roster; as a thanks for salvaging their ground game following yet another Darren McFadden injury, he got a kick-in-the-teeth score vultured by McFadden last week. No reason to think he'll do anything of note against a Denver defense that's motivated to lock down the top seed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
The Redskins have allowed only two WR TDs in the past month, none to the Giants in the earlier meeting. Between Eli Manning's foibles and the underachieving, injury-depleted Giants receiving corps, the frequently targeted Jernigan might be the best/only fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG WAS 00000000 ***
Randle continues to be frequently targeted, but with the Giants' passing game struggling mightily there just isn't enough here to bank on fantasy help. UPDATE: Randle did not practice Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable. Not enough upside to offset the risk of using him in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 1133 ***
Brown has been all-or-nothing this year: four double-digit games, yet he ranks 30th in kicker scoring. He managed six points against the Redskins a month ago, no reason to expect a significant uptick here.

Carolina Panthers
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 10-16 10 DEN -----
2 NO 35-27 11 TB -----
3 NYG ----- 12 @PHI -----
4 @ATL ----- 13 @KC -----
5 SEA ----- 14 ATL -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @SD -----
7 DAL ----- 16 OAK -----
8 @CHI ----- 17 @NO -----
9 @WAS ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 40,1 260,2
RB Jonathan Stewart 30 1-10
RB DeAngelo Williams 70
WR Jason Avant 5-60
TE Greg Olsen 4-40

Pregame Notes: After a disappointing opening loss to the Buccaneers, the Panthers remain home where they just beat the Saints. After week one saw Cam Newton only rush for four yards on five carries, he turned 13 runs into 71 yards and one touchdown versus the Saints. He only has two passing scores on the year but at least has rediscovered the rushing that made him a fantasy force as a rookie.

Jonathan Stewart returned last week and that mean neatly splitting the workload with DeAngelo Williams so that their 25 runs for 120 yards were only 69 yards for Williams with one score and 51 yards for Stewart who scored one his lone catch in the game. So far the only receptions for running backs have gone to fullback Mike Tolbert just to further destroy what could have been great fantasy value. Oh yes, Tolbert also scored a one-yard touchdown. This mess is just the same as last year.

Steve Smith has opened the year with dual 100+ yard efforts though he still has not scored. Brandon LaFell is taking the next step with games of 65 and 90 yards with the only other passing score so far this season. This is a two man receiving attack and yet three guys run the ball - four if you count Newton and you really should count Newton. Not many teams tout more runners than receivers.

Greg Olsen was considered a candidate for a breakout season but so far that has not remotely happened. He gained 56 yards on six catches in the opener and then fell back to only one catch for 13 yards against the Saints. On the plus side, this team is pretty easy to project because only two guys catch the ball.

The Giants show up and bring a solid rush defense that held Doug Martin to only 66 yards last week. Chances are the Giants are getting over themselves and should show better focus in this first road trip. That will make keeping up tough for the Panthers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 7 14 14 27 29 18
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 22 8 30 5 16 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR @ATL 40100022010 ****
Newton threw for just 247 & 1 in the earlier meeting with Atlanta, but he mixed in a rushing score--a la E.J. Manuel, a la Colin Kaepernick last week. In fact, every quarterback but one that has faced the Falcons has recorded multiple touchdowns; why should a motivated Newton be any different?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR @ATL 601000000 ****
The Falcons have given up 98 and 97 yards to feature backs the past two weeks, that on the heels of four 100-yard games in the two months prior. Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 85 yards in the earlier meeting with Atlanta; with Williams now housing al those carries, he's a solid fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR @ATL 004501000 ****
Cotchery has scored a surprising amount of touchdowns, but he's most definitely the third wheel in this passing game and can't be banked on for fantasy production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @ATL 007801000 *****
Only two teams have allowed more TE TDs than the Falcons. Olsen scored on them in the earlier matchup and is set up for another solid fantasy outing here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @ATL 1133 ****
No team has given up more points to kickers than the Falcons. Graham tallied 10 in the earlier meeting, and with Carolina still in the postseason hunt he'll get plenty of opportunity to swing the leg here.

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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