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
TE Tony Moeaki 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

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA STL 60100021010 ***
Eli Manning's 391 and 3 last week against the Rams was the first multiple touchdown game St. Louis had allowed since... well, since Wilson turned the trick with 313 and 2 back in Week 7. Wilson added 106 rushing yards and a rushing score as well, yielding a fantasy line not unlike last week's against Arizona. Can lightning strike again? Given the way Wilson is augmenting his passing numbers with a consistent dose of rushing stats, odds are it's a yes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA STL 10011100000 ****
The Rams just let Andre Williams run over them for 110 yards in their house; what chance do they have against Lynch in his, where he's averaging 85 yards and almost 1.5 touchdowns per game? St. Louis slowed him in the front end of the season series (18-53), but so did Arizona and Lynch burned them with 113 and 2 in the rematch. So, advantage Skittles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA STL 006800000 ***
While it's tough to identify which nameless face will step up at any given time to represent the Seattle receivers, you can make a compelling case for Baldwin this week. He had 7-123-1 in the earlier meeting with St. Louis and comes off 7-113 last week. Those games represent the only 100-yard games by Seattle receivers this year, so if it's going to happen again he's the most likely candidate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, SEA STL 006700000 ***
Richardson saw the second-most targets last week against Arizona, but he's far too inconsistent a fantasy contributor to be banked on this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA STL 002301000 *
The Rams have allowed only two TE TDs all season--but one went to Cooper Helfet in the earlier meeting between these clubs, and Wilson shredded the Cardinals last week with 139 yards and a pair of scores. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA STL 1144 ***
If you can get over Hauschka's oh-fer last week, it's a genuine opportunity. The Rams have given up 34 kicker points the past three games, suggesting Hauschka has a chance to upgrade on the eight points he scored in the earlier meeting in St. Louis.

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
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 @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 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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