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 @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.

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 Kirk Cousins, WAS NYG 0000027021 ***
Cousins continues to thrive in Jay Gruden's offense. Don't be frightened away by a defense that has padded its resume by limiting Drew Stanton and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS NYG 901000000 ***
Morris has been solid thus far this year and that should continue against a Giants defense that has yet to have a back carry more than 15 times against them yet has still allowed games of 91, 78, and 51 yards to opposing feature backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS NYG 006901000 ***
After a one-week adjustment period Cousins figured out where to find Garcon and went to him again and again and again. He's the volume guy in this passing game, and seeing more than enough volume to be a solid fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS NYG 005701000 ***
Jackson probably shouldn't have played against his former team last week, and while he scored a long TD he may have aggravated his injury enough to prevent him from playing Thursday night against the Giants. Even if he's active it's a short turnaround and a bit of a risk for reinjury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS NYG 004400000 ***
Roberts has real fantasy value only if DeSean Jackson is out; much like Harry Douglas last week when Roddy White was scratched, if Jackson is inactive you could plug in Roberts and get some sneaky fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS NYG 006700000 ***
The Giants haven't seen much in the way of tight ends to defend; in fact, Washington's TEs have seen almost twice the targets Giants opponents have. Paul is the beneficiary of the bulk of those targets and remains a reliable fantasy option--with benefits if DeSean Jackson can't go.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS NYG 2233 ****
Forbath's opportunities to swing the leg are on the uptick with Kirk Cousins at the helm--maybe even enough to make him a viable fantasy option.

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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