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 @PIT 0000022021 ***
Manning faces a Steelers defense that has allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points per game since Week 7. The Steelers have allowed a TD once every 16.8 completions, which rates as the 10th toughest defense in this metric.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @PIT 5002100000 ***
Jennings goes up against the Steelers, a defense that has allowed only 19.6 total PPR points per game. The bulk of that comes from giving up a TD every 32.3 offensive touches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Paul Perkins, NYG @PIT 2002100000 ***
Pittsburgh has given up 17 receptions, 167 yards and one touchdown in the last four games. Perkins shouldn't be trusted in any fantasy format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG @PIT 005701000 ***
Over the past five weeks, the Steelers have allowed three TDs on 47 catches, which is greatly in their favor. Beckham is a rare talent and can find ways to win that others haven't in this time. Pittsburgh has given up the 12th most yards per game, though, so there's some silver lining if he cannot score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG @PIT 005601000 ***
The matchup is not ideal, but Shepard could benefit from all of the attention paid to OBJ. Plus, there is a shot this game could require points to be scored if the Steelers can pile on the points.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG @PIT 001300000 ***
Cruz has meant more to the Giants than fantasy gamers for most of the season. Keep him out of lineups and off of rosters in most conventional setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Will Tye, NYG @PIT 002100000 ***
New York does not involve the position enough in its offense to consider starting Tye.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, NYG @PIT 1122 ***
Gould faces the second worst matchup in terms of overall kicking chances in Pittsburgh. The position has attempted only three total kicks per contest over the last five weeks vs. the Steelers.

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 @SEA 20100024011 ***
Seattle has has given up two rushing touchdowns in its last five games. Overall, this is a neutral matchup for quarterbacks. The position has thrown a touchdown every 20.2 completions, while Seattle has logged an interception a game over that five-week window.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR @SEA 6001100000 ***
Seattle has given up the 12th highest average of offensive yards per game and a matching 12th in fantasy points (PPR) to running backs over the last five weeks. J-Stew is a weak RB2 or acceptable flex choice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Funchess, CAR @SEA 002401000 ***
The attention paid to Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen should clear Funchess for a decent shot at finding the end zone. Seattle has permitted one touchdown per contest to receivers over the last five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @SEA 004500000 ***
This is arguably the weakest Seattle's secondary has played in several seasons, and Earl Thomas' status remains up in the air. Wideouts have scored once per game over the last five weeks, and Seattle has surrendered the 16th most fantasy points, on average, over this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, Jr., CAR @SEA 004500000 ***
Seattle has not allowed many big plays to receivers since Week 7, and Ginn is a hit-or-miss player because of his deep-threat nature. Keep him in reserve, unless you want to make a wild gamble.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @SEA 005600000 ***
Seattle gives up a lot of catches -- the sixth most per game since Week 7 -- but really doesn't struggle vs. TEs otherwise. In fact, only one team has done a better job in this time at holding the position out of the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @SEA 2222 ***
Four teams have allowed fewer fantasy points on a per-game basis over the last five weeks. The Seahawks have allowed the third fewest combined kicking opportunities in this time frame.

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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