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 Josh Freeman 20 210,1
QB Eli Manning 270,2
RB Peyton Hillis 80,1 3-20
RB Chris Ogbonnaya 3-20
WR Victor Cruz 7-100,1
WR Kevin Ogletree 2-40
WR Rueben Randle 3-40

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 PHI 0000026021 ***
The last time Manning saw the Eagles it didn't go so well. In fact, he hasn't thrown a touchdown against Philly in either of his two previous meetings. With nothing for either team to play for except pride, expect Manning to have a game more in line with his last two home dates with the Eagles: 334 and 2, 208 and 5.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG PHI 5011100000 ***
No reason for the Giants to risk the banged-up Rashad Jennings here, and Williams is coming off an impressive 26-110 showing against the Rams last week. He handled the load the last time the Giants met Philly, rushing for 58 yards on 16 carries; expect an uptick against a defense that's allowed at least 80 to three straight feature backs.
Update: Turns out Williams is also banged up, as he was limited in practice all week by a shoulder injury. If he can't go, the Giants may just throw all game--or give meaningful carries to Orleans Darkwa.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG PHI 00101202000 ***
Beckham's lone dog during his remarkable rookie season came in Philly back in Week 6. Now he's sporting a three-game streak of 100-yard games, an eight-game streak of 90-yard games, and a three-game scoring streak with six TDs in that span. You gotta think he'll bounce back against an Eagles secondary that's given up more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other team in the league.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG PHI 003500000 ***
Not since the Packers in Week 11 have multiple receivers posted fantasy helpers against the Eagles; it's been pretty much one guy each week doing the bulk of the damage. And in New York, that one guy is Odell Beckham Jr.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Preston Parker, NYG PHI 003300000 ***
Parker's the third wheel in a Giants' passing game that's somewhere between unicycle and one of those old-fashioned bicycles with the hugh front tire and the much smaller rear tire. In other words, look for fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG PHI 003200000 ***
Giants tight ends amassed 75 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly, but only six of them went to Donnell. Also working against Larry this week: the Eagles have allowed only one TE TD all year, none in their past 13 games. You're bound to find more favorable trends elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG PHI 1133 ***
Brown didn't even swing the leg in the earlier meeting with Philly, and he has just two field goals in five NFC East contests this season. Get your fantasy kicks elsewhere.

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
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 40000026021 ***
Cam has multiple touchdowns in his last six against Atlanta, as well as multiple touchdowns in his last two sandwiched around his car crash. Most importantly, he's had a dozen rushes in each of those games, with 83 and 63 yards and a TD in each. And if he mixes in some passing stats against an Atlanta secondary that's allowed three straight 300 yard games--and 290-plus in eight straight--that's more than enough to be a significant fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR @ATL 8001100000 ***
Stewart has had three straight games of 20-plus carries, topping 120 rushing yards in two of them. He was the junior partner to DeAngelo Williams in the earlier meeting with Atlanta, but now he should be the primary ball-carrier against a defense that's allowed nine RB TDs in the past five games. And that, in turn, should yield fantasy production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @ATL 0081102000 ***
Benjamin is the most heavily targeted Panther, with seven games of double-digit looks including four of the last five. And that stretch includes 9-109-1 against the Falcons, who don't seem any more able to shut him down than they did a month ago.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR @ATL 004400000 ***
Being the number 2 to Kelvin Benjamin is like being Andrew Ridgley in Wham. Go ahead, Google it.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Philly Brown, CAR @ATL 002200000 ***
Only two secondary receivers have scored in the same game in which that team's WR1 also scored--and Brown is one of them. That said, his standard three targets per game make him an extreme fantasy risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @ATL 007800000 ***
Olsen's 5-61 in the earlier meeting with Atlanta was the first time in six meetings with the Falcons in which he failed to find the end zone. He remains an every-week starter, but last week he didn't get his usual double-digit targets and the Falcons have allowed only three TE TDs all year so the matchup isn't doing him any favors.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @ATL 2222 ***
Gano has multiple field goal attempts in five straight, and even converted multiple field goals in three of those five. He mustered just five points in the earlier meeting with the Falcons, however, so keep those expectations in check.

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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