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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

Prediction: CAR 20, WAS 24 (Line: WAS by 3)

Players Updated: Brandon LaFell

Players to Watch: Jonathan Stewart, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III

At least someone gets to be happy after this game. The 1-6 Panthers are on a five game losing streak, are 0-3 on the road and yet their last four losses were by never more than four five points. A bit frustrating. The 3-5 Redskins are on a two game losing streak themselves and are only 1-2 at home. How great is this game? It's like Cam Newton Sr. vs. Cam Newton Jr.. The Panthers have played it close lately because opponents are not taking them as seriously because they know they can win the game. And they did. Four times in a row.

The Panthers won 33-20 when the Skins visited in 2011.

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 12-16 14 ATL -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @SD -----
7 DAL 14-19 16 OAK -----
8 @CHI 22-23 17 @NO -----
9 @WAS ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR @ WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 50 260,2
RB Jonathan Stewart 40 3-20
RB DeAngelo Williams 20
TE Greg Olsen 5-40,1

Pregame Notes: Cam Newton is the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year but he's not getting the same level of respect that he did at the start of the season. The losing streak usually points back at him and he's not dealing with it as well as the media believes he should. In 2011, he was a tremendous draft pick and a game changer. By now, he's another mediocre quarterback who cannot mount any comeback and maybe does take off on a run too early at times.

Newton's thrown only five touchdowns this year and just one over the last three games. He was scoring as a runner but that too has stopped in the last three weeks. He just passed for 314 yards in Chicago but never scored and threw two interceptions. He currently at eight interceptions on the season. To his benefit, he will be facing one of the absolute worse secondaries in the NFL this week so this will be his softest matchup of the season as a passer.

The shift to Jonathan Stewart as the starting running back hasn't looked any different so far with only 42 yards on 17 runs while DeAngelo Williams still ran 11 times for 33 yards and even Michael Tolbert still plays a minor role. Halfway through the season and Stewart still has not rushed for more than 51 yards in any game or scored a rushing touchdown. There were plenty of rumors that Williams would be traded before the Tuesday deadline but it did not happen. One of the reasons that the GM was recently fired was because he gave Williams a $43 million contract.

The success passing - even if it was in a trap game of sorts - let Steve Smith gain 118 yards in Chicago for his first effort over the century mark since week two. Smith still has yet to score a touchdown. Brandon LaFell also produced a surprising 88 yards last week but as always no other receivers mattered, not even Greg Olsen who spent the last three games with fewer than 40 yards in each week.

The good news is that the Skins secondary is nothing short of terrible. They have already allowed 18 rushing touchdowns and every opponent passed for 299+ yards until the Steelers last week. The one strength that their defense has is rush defense, particularly at home.

Problem too is that the Skins are not nearly good enough to take anyone lightly.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 12 29 26 22 32 7
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 31 12 31 31 22 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR DET 10000023021 ***
After tapping out in Week 1, Cam makes his 2014 debut against a Lions defense that just stymied Eli Manning. Okay, so that's not overly impressive. But they do have guys up front who won't be shy about hammering Cam's ribs so this may have to be an air show rather than a run fest. That's a matchup Cam can win as well, making him eminently startable here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR DET 6003200000 ***
It's a three-way job share against a defense that held the Giants to 55 RB rushing yards; none of that smacks of fantasy potential.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR DET 00000000 *
In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, and in the land of Carolina backs Williams at present is getting the most carries. Doesn't mean he warrants a fantasy start, however.
Update: Williams did not practice all week due to a thigh injury. He's listed as questionable and doesn't offer enough upside in his role in Carolina to offset the risk of not playing here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR DET 005801000 ***
Hard to get a read on the Lions' secondary, as they were barely tested by the Giants in Week 1. But Benjamin has clearly vaulted to the top of the Panthers' receiver depth chart; now he needs to get on the same page with Cam Newton and magic is sure to ensue.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR DET 003400000 ***
You may not have noticed but the Panthers line up some other guys at wide receiver besides Kelvin Benjamin. Cam Newton hasn't noticed much beyond one go-to guy in the past, no reason to think that will change here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR DET 007801000 ****
The Lions made Larry Donnell look like a Pro Bowler last week; does that mean an actual talented tight end like Olsen will look like a Hall of Famer against them? Quite possibly, yes.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR DET 3322 ***
The Giants couldn't get close enough to attempt a field goal last week against Detroit, but the Panthers shouldn't have a similar dilemma so go ahead and go with Gano.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG -----
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL -----
6 MIN 38-26 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG 23-27 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT 12-27 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 80,1 200,1
RB Alfred Morris 80,1
WR Leonard Hankerson 2-30
WR DeSean Jackson 6-110,1
WR Santana Moss 4-40,1
WR Andre Roberts 5-60
TE Logan Paulsen 3-40
PK Kai Forbath 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The media has been fawning over Robert Griffin III just as they did Cam Newton last year though the prevailing wisdom is that Griffin is a better passer. The Skins need a win here since they have a bye the following week and at 4-5 they can still pretend to have a shot at the playoffs. Griffin gets to prove himself and likely win the Offensive Rookie of the Year when he faces five of his six divisional match-ups over the final seven games.

Griffin scores in every game he finishes but over the last five weeks only passed for four touchdowns. His rushing touchdowns spiked in week six when he ran in two against the visiting Vikings but last week only ran six times. This week the Panthers show up and they have never failed to allow at least one passing score to every opponent and healthy yardage to those who want to throw more than 30 passes. Better yet, Griffin is the first time they will face a running quarterback.

Alfred Morris comes off his worst game of the year when he was limited to 59 yards in Pittsburgh but that was on just 13 carries and Morris has always either scored or rushed a 100 yard game when at home. The Panthers defense is nothing special particularly on the road and Morris may get a slight bump this week facing a weaker defense while at home.

Chris Cooley already suited up and played but was thrown only one pass which was incomplete. Logan Paulsen was the most productive tight end with four receptions for 43 yards but that's still not fantasy relevant and no Redskins tight end has scored any touchdown this entire year. Paulsen is the best bet but only for marginal yardage.

None of the wideouts have any fantasy reliability here though Santana Moss scored three times over the last two weeks. But he did that only only seven total catches for 88 yards so yardage is not a part and relying on a touchdown from a lesser used receiver rarely pays off. Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson hang around for a few catches each week but rarely anything of note. Moss is the leading scorer with five touchdowns on the season though he averages only 39 yards per game. Pierre Garcon remains out at least until week ten after the bye.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 20 17 20 14 4
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 10 23 6 17 32 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Robert Griffin III, WAS JAC 0000027011 ***
In theory this is a great offensive fit for RG3. And, in theory, this is an extremely favorable matchup against a defense that just gave up 322 and 2 to Philly. There's not a recent enough meeting between Gruden's Cincy offense and a Bradley-led Jaguars D to get another read on this matchup, so if you're a theory kind of gal you might like Griffin's fantasy upside this week. Hopefully you have a safer alternative.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS JAC 1101000000 ****
Alf certainly wasn't bad in his debut in the new offense, he just didn't get the volume of touches that made him a fantasy stud. Against a defense that let LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles split 145 yards and a score last week, he may not need that volume.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Roy Helu, WAS JAC 2003200000 ***
Once the bye weeks Helu's role as the Redskins change of pace guy will have fantasy value. Right now, however, only in deeper leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS JAC 008901000 ***
Fears of a drop in Garçon's targets appear to have been premature; he carved out value in Week 1 and should do the same against a Jacksonville secondary that couldn't contain Jeremy Maclin last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS JAC 006700000 ***
The good news is that DJax was targeted almost as frequently as Pierre Garçon; the bad news is, we expected him to do more explosive things with those touches. He'll get another chance against a Jaguars D that let Jeremy Maclin get behind them, so no need to hit the panic button just yet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS JAC 004400000 ***
Paul may be listed as a wide receiver in some circles, but he'll be the Redskins' pass-catching tight end while Jordan Reed recovers from his latest injury. Paul's 4-86 in the opener led all Washington pass-catchers; you have to like his chances against Jaguars D fresh off surrendering 92 & 1 to Philly TEs.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS JAC 2222 ***
An offense that can't find the end zone isn't necessarily a bad thing, though Forbath and his fantasy owners wish the Redskins would get close a little more frequently.

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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