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 @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.

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 DAL 0000026011 ***
RG3 threw four TDs in his first game against the Cowboys, back in November 2012; in 57 attempts he hasn't thrown one since, though he did run for one in the back end of the 2012 series. Colt McCoy couldn't crack the Cowboys for a scoring strike (though he did run one in) in the earlier meeting this season; sensing a theme here? RG3 came close to a rushing score in Week 15, but he'll need one to be a fantasy factor this week--and he hasn't had one since that 2012 Week 17 game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS DAL 701000000 ***
Alf has scored in all five of his career meetings with the Cowboys, including a TD in the earlier meeting which, at 18-73-1, was actually his least productive effort against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed seven RB TDs in the past five games, so Alf should have ample opportunity to extend his streak here--unless Darrel Young swipes his scores again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS DAL 0051101000 ****
Jackson dropped 136 yards on the Cowboys in the front end of this season series, but he hasn't caught a touchdown pass against them since December of 2010--and he's been in their division for years. Bank on the yardage--DJax just posted 126 on his former mates from Philadelphia last week--but don't count on a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS DAL 003500000 ***
The last time Roberts had fantasy value was right after the Redskins signed him to start opposite Pierre Garcon. Much has happened since then, none of it beneficial to Roberts' fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS DAL 004500000 ***
Garcon has shown moderate signs of life, but his biggest outing came when DeSean Jackson was out of the lineup so when the Redskins are at full strength he's clearly a second banana. Look for a first banana before settling this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS DAL 005500000 ***
Reed split 67 yards with Niles Paul in the earlier matchup with Dallas, but he's made the tight end position his own over the past month. That makes him the most likely to take advantage of a Dallas defense that's allowed 10 TE TDs on the year as well as six games of 50-plus yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS DAL 2222 ****
Forbath has actually been adequate of late, if you're into something in the eight-point neighborhood. That seems to be the ceiling, however, so you can likely do better elsewhere.

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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