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
WR Doug Baldwin 1-10
WR Devin Hester Sr. 2-20
TE Jimmy Graham 7-100,1
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 @SF 10000028020 ***
Wilson was banged up in the Week 3 game, so holding his 16.5-point day against him is unfair. San Francisco, though, is weaker against the run than the pass, which is where many teams choose to exploit this group.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA @SF 8012100000 *
Rawls' status is up in the air at this time. Return Friday for a clearer picture.

Update: Rawls was removed from the injury report and should see a healthy workload against the Niners. He could lose some work to Alex Collins, but Rawls is a sound fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, SEA @SF 4003200000 **
The matchup couldn't be much better for the hard-charging rookie. Collins could be the surprise player of the week in fantasy if Thomas Rawls cannot play. The Niners have given up a TD every 15.2 carries and 16.8 offensive touches since Week 11. That is a full two scores per game.

Update: Rawls has been removed from the report, but Collins could have enough of a role to be used as a flex play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @SF 0061001000 ***
Baldwin exceed all expectations last week and owned the Cardinals' secondary. San Francisco is another easy test, and Baldwin worked them for 164 yards and a score on eight catches in Week 3.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @SF 004600000 ***
Kearse would be nothing more than a shot in the dark for deep leaguers looking for an off-the-beaten-path flier. San Francisco has given up 161.6 yards per game to receivers since Week 11, which is the 11th highest average.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Paul Richardson, SEA @SF 002300000 ***
Even with the loss of Tyler Lockett, Richardson should not be utilized in any format as such a low-volume player.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA @SF 005701000 ***
Graham enjoyed a 22-point fantasy showing in Week 3's meeting, and he came to life last week after a quiet spell. Make sure he is in all lineups this time around.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @SF 3333 ***
TDs are easy to come by against San Fran, so field goal chances are low as a result. This is a midrange matchup overall.

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
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 @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 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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