FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: SEA 17, CAR 20 (Line: CAR by 2.5)

Players to Watch: Russell Wilson

The 2-2 Seahawks hit the road where they are 0-2 and have never scored more than one touchdown. The 1-3 Panthers are at home after nearly beating the Falcons last week. This could go in a number of ways but the Seahawks are sticking with Russell Wilson and the Panthers are at home with a far different sort of offense for the Seahawks to defend.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR ----- 14 ARI -----
6 NE ----- 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF ----- 16 SF -----
8 @DET ----- 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 20 150,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 120,1 3-20
WR Doug Baldwin 1-10
WR Percy Harvin 20 7-80,1
TE Zach Miller 3-30
PK Steven Hauschka 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Russell Wilson is once again the subject of talk and HC Pete Carroll has said he is sticking with the rookie "for now". Wilson has been there for both of the Seahawks wins but it may be a stretch to say he had a lot to do with them. Wilson has not shown the running skills that were expected and his passing has been marginal at best.

After four weeks, Wilson has averaged only 149 passing yards per game with never more than 160 yards or less than 130 yards. He has four touchdowns and four interceptions. On the plus side he is easy to predict. On the negative - that is Blaine Gabbert numbers. That is worse than Blaine Gabbert which as of last year we did not think could survive as a starting quarterback. But it does. For now.

Matt Flynn could get the call if Seattle loses more games and Russell just chugs along with his 150-1 no matter what is happening in the game. With NE and @SF up next, Flynn might just grab a helmet in the near future. The Pats and 49ers are not going to allow the run to control the game.

The minimal passing stats obviously strips all fantasy value from the receivers and truly the only single passing play of any consequence after four weeks was when Golden Tate caught M.D. Jennings who was holding the ball in the end zone at the end of the Packers games. Otherwise no receiver has more than 43 yards in any game.

Marshawn Lynch has largely carried the team to two victories and has never failed to gain at least 85 yards as a runner. He almost never catches the ball though and has only two touchdowns on the year. Robert Turbin ended up with six runs in St. Louis and gained 45 yards but this still remains not only Lynch's offense but Lynch's team.

It seems a dream match-up for Lynch to face the #32 defense against running backs and indeed it should be a profitable day but realize too that the Panthers gave up yards to runners who were a part of big time passers like Eli Manning, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. And only two runners have actually scored a rushing touchdowns on them. The yardage should be there since four runners turned in 95+ yards but do not underestimate the effect of a team being on the road with no passing game to fear.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 32 19 31 25 23 24
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 22 32 5 17 32 18

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 7-36 12 @PHI -----
4 @ATL 28-30 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 SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 60,1 220,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 30 3-20
RB DeAngelo Williams 40 2-10
WR Jason Avant 2-20
TE Ed Dickson 2-20
TE Greg Olsen 6-70,1

Pregame Notes: Losing to the Falcons was a tough one since the Panthers were ahead in the game until the final seconds and gave up a field goal only after Cam Newton fumbled on third down and forced a punt. There was plenty of other factors in play as well (ie. 59-yard completion to Roddy White with 59 seconds left to play). But Newton already was taking the Giants loss hard and once again had to deal with the emotional realities of being a quarterback.

The reason the Panthers were in the game against a very tough opponent in their stadium was because Newton rushed for 86 yards and a score and passed for 215 yards and two more touchdowns. That only gives Newton four touchdowns on the season against five interceptions but he has three running scores as well. Newton has been passing for solid yardage every week but he has yet to have a truly big passing day.

The rushing game chugs along unchecked. Jonathan Stewart was back from his toe injury and had no setbacks while gaining 40 yards on ten carries. He and DeAngelo Williams split the carries so neatly that they almost mirror each other in yardage. Unfortunately, that ends up to be a decent game divided by two which equals not a decent game.

Greg Olsen is still the one to watch in the receiving offense. He has about 90 yards in each of the last two weeks and scored in Atlanta for the first time this season. No other receiver has that sort of production. Steve Smith still has not scored this year and since opening with two 100+ yard efforts, he has declined to only 52 yards on three receptions in Atlanta. Brandon LaFell was held to no catches and Kealoha Pilares scored a 36-yard touchdown because defenders thought he was there for the Hawaiian theme half-time show. Ends up he is a second-year wide receiver now with two career catches. The passing game has been off in recent weeks while the Panthers have faced two good defenses.

The Seahawks have been outstanding - #1 even - against quarterbacks though they have not yet faced one that can run. The Seattle rushing defense has been great too but that was facing Beanie Wells, a visiting Demarco Murray who only had 12 carries, Cedric Benson and Steven Jackson nursing a sore groin. This game works out better for the Panthers than it may seem.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 5 20 24 18 32 21
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 1 9 13 5 10 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR @BAL 10000025012 ***
Cam needs the rushing stats to push him from fringe fantasy contributor to viable fantasy option--and the past two weeks he's set and then re-established career lows for rushing attempts in a game. Nothing special here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR @BAL 3002200000 ***
The Panthers hope Williams will be able to shoulder the load in their injury-ravaged backfield, but even if he's healthy and flying solo he's looking at an upside well shy of 100 yards and an outside chance at a score.
Update: Williams is probable while fellow feature back Jonathan Stewart is questionable, so Williams at least will see the bulk of the touches. What he'll do with them, on the other hand...
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darrin Reaves, CAR @BAL 300000000 ***
Reaves could wind up being the last man standing in the Carolina backfield. That's hardly enough to warrant a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR @BAL 00000000 *
Update: Stewart officially lists as questionable, but since he's expected to miss about a month with his current knee injury that seems optimistic.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @BAL 006601000 ****
Talented and targeted receivers have had success against the Ravens, and Benjamin is both.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR @BAL 004500000 ***
Cotchery missed last week's game with an injury, but he should return to his usual pedestrian production this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @BAL 005600000 ***
Olsen will see his targets and put up his yardage as essentially the number two target in this offense, but don't expect much more against a Baltimore defense that has surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points to the position this season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @BAL 1122 ***
Baltimore has allowed multiple field goal attempts in every game thus far; Gano has kicked multiple treys in each game this season. It's a match made in fantasy football heaven.

WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

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