FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 SEA 30100024020 ***
Seattle has allowed multiple passing scores in five straight games. While they don't appear to offer Cam much room to run, he should account for enough via the air to be on the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR SEA 4003200000 ****
Well, the Seahawks HAVE allowed RB TDs in back to back weeks and 85-plus yards to Tre Mason and DeMarco Murray, so... nope, can't say it with a straight face. Ol' Iron Horse Stewart is a reach at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR SEA 005501000 **
Only once all year have two wideouts scored in the same game against Seattle, and no tandem has topped double-digit fantasy points against the Seahawks this season. Cotchery isn't about to buck that trend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR SEA 003400000 ****
Benjamin will get the looks--from both Cam Newton and Richard Sherman. The latter makes it difficult to bank on Benjamin as a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR SEA 008901000 ****
The Seahawks' defensive Achilles' heel also happens to be the Panthers' strength. Expect Olsen to add his name to the list of eight TE TDs Seattle has given up already this season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR SEA 2233 ***
Gano has kicked multiple field goals just once in the past four games, and Seattle's defense isn't likely to suddenly afford him bountiful opportunities.

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 Colt McCoy, WAS @DAL 0000020012 ***
McCoy's last fantasy-relevant start came... well, guess it depends on your definition of "fantasy-relevant". 151 and 2 back on November 27, 2011? 215 and 2 in October of that same season, or 350 and 1 the week before that? Suffice it to say it's been a while and the options are few. No reason to think McCoy offers much to fantasy owners this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @DAL 500000000 ****
Morris has faced the Cowboys four times, producing at least 80 yards and a touchdown in each matchup. Different offense, though with Colt McCoy at the helm you can expect the Redskins to lean heavily on their ground game. That worked well for Arian Foster against the Cowboys but not so much for any other back they've faced, so chill your expectations accordingly for Morris.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @DAL 005600000 **
Colt McCoy's presence under center likely flips the Redskins' receiving corps from long ball to possession game, which plays to Pierre's strengths. Of course, it may not even matter against a Dallas defense that's allowed just two WR TDs over the past month--both to Odell Beckham last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @DAL 004500000 **
Jackson is a deep threat without a deep ball quarterback, which makes him an extremely risky fantasy start in what is already a difficult matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @DAL 004400000 **
Roberts' lone advantage would come as a possession type if the Redskins use DeSean Jackson to stretch the field. Given the tough matchup and change at quarterback, you can find more compelling fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @DAL 007801000 **
Reed should see plenty of love from short-armed quarterback Colt McCoy in what looks to be a favorable matchup against a Dallas D that's already allowed seven TE TDs and four different tight ends to top 75 yards against them. So long as Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen don't steal too many targets, Reed remains a safe and solid fantasy option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @DAL 3311 **
Forbath had double-digit points in both ends of last season's series, but this is an improved Dallas defense--and an offense with Colt McCoy at the helm.

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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