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
WR Victor Cruz 7-100,1
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 3 XP

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 0000020010 *
Washington has surrendered the fifth most points per game to QBs since Week 11, giving up 286.4 yards, on average, and a TD every 13.8 completions. Eli posted 350 yards, a touchdown and two picks in the Week 3 battle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Paul Perkins, NYG @WAS 6002100000 **
Washington is a top-five matchup in PPR, and the Giants may want to get a good look at Perkins to see what he can do with a healthy dosage of touches. Or, it all could blow up and amount to nothing in what is a meaningless game for the Giants.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @WAS 5003200000 *
New York has nothing to play for this week, and even if it did, recommending Jennings would require a special set of circumstances. Avoid him in all setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG @WAS 004701000 **
Shepard herded five passes into his hands for 73 yards and a score in Week 3's meeting. The playmaking rookie is a strong choice in any format against the 11th softest defense of his position in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG @WAS 005500000 **
Cruz went for 70 yards on three catches in the Week 3 version of this game, but he has fallen off the radar until awakening with eight catches in Week 16. This one is too dicey to chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG @WAS 004500000 *
There is no need to risk it with Beckham from the Giants' perspective, but he will play some ... hard to say how much, and trusting coach speak is hardly a sure thing. The Redskins have permitted the 11th most PPR points to wide receivers since Week 11. Beckham caught seven balls for 121 yards in Week 3's matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Will Tye, NYG @WAS 003300000 **
No Giants tight end is worth playing in any circumstance at this point. They simply do not use the position enough or properly for fantasy returns.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, NYG @WAS 2211 *
Washington gives up a lot of chances -- 5.2 combined a game in the last five -- but only 88.5 of those kicks have cleared. That's still good for being the 11th best matchup of the week.

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
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 @TB 30000023021 ***
The Bucs have allowed only three aerial strikes to seven interceptions since Week 11. One of the 20 carries by QBs against has scored. Overall, this is a negative-leaning matchup, but Tampa has stumbled two straight weeks. Newton missed the Week 5 contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR @TB 5001100000 ***
Tampa is a neutral matchup, having given up an offensive score per game in the last five to the position. Stewart missed the earlier contest with the Bucs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @TB 005601000 ***
KB landed five of nine targets for 70 yards in Week 5. The big man has been mostly quiet this year, but he has a touch of upside in Week 17. Think WR2 area in PPR vs. the Bucs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, Jr., CAR @TB 004501000 ***
Ginn is a weekly flex flier, and the last time he played Tampa illustrates his risky ways. The veteran landed only one ball for five yards. Play him only if you are struggling to find a clearer path to points.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @TB 006700000 ***
Going back to Week 5 against the Bucs, Olsen creamed them with nine catches on 13 targets for 181 yards. The Tampa defense of his position hasn't allowed a score on the last 28 receptions faced.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @TB 1122 ***
The Buccaneers have allowed 14 field goal attempts (11 made) since Week 11, which is the fourth highest on a weekly tally. The position has kicked only seven extra points in the last five games versus the Bucs.

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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