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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 Derek Anderson, CAR CLE 0000023011 ***
Anderson threw for 277 and 1 against the Bucs, a significantly inferior pass defense to the Browns. If he replaces Cam Newton again, no reason to think his numbers will be any better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR CLE 8011100000 ***
You can run on the Brownies; see Cincy's 241 yards and three TDs last week. And with little to no DeAngelo Williams and quite likely no Cam Newton culturing, it'll be another 20-tote day for Stewart. He's produced 228 yards and a touchdown with his last two 20-carry outings; have to like him here as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR CLE 200000000 ***
Williams hasn't played for two weeks and hasn't seen more than 14 carries in a year. All he's doing is harshing Jonathan Stewart's mellow.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR CLE 005600000 **
Joe Haden is not infallible. He also hasn't had a great deal of success with bigger receivers, especially tandems: Mike Evans went for 7-124-6 (or Vincent Jackson had 6-86, take your pick); DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson split 148 yards; and Julio Jones scored (with 68 yards to boot) while Roddy White tallied 96. Benjamin doesn't have nearly as high-profile a running mate, but he's still a solid bet to see his usual volume of targets and provide fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR CLE 004500000 ***
You could play the "not covered by Joe Haden" card here, but Kelvin Benjamin's dramatic size advantage over Haden likely puts that matchup in favor of the receiver, negating the need to lean any more heavily on Cotchery than usual.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR CLE 007801000 **
Cleveland has been pretty good against tight ends--except for Jimmy Graham, whom they misguidedly tried to defend with the much smaller Joe Haden. Unlikely that the Browns sic Haden on Olsen, which should free him up to do his usual damage.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR CLE 3322 ***
Gano is heating up at just the right time; with multiple treys in three straight and double-digit points in back-to-back tilts, it's fortuitous that he bumps into a Browns defense that has served up multiple field goals in three straight and double-digit kicker points in three of its last five.

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 PHI 30000026021 ***
If there were any team Jay Gruden were forced to play RG3 against, the Eagles might be the best possible option. In four career meetings RG3 has thrown multiple TDs four times, a total of 10 touchdowns against four INTs, averaging 272 yards per game with another 40 rushing yards per game to boot. You'd take those numbers from RG3, right? He wasn't that far off last week against the Giants with 236 & 1 plus 46 rushing, and with Philly as the second-most fantasy friendly defense against quarterbacks an uptick is to be expected. RG3 is playing for somebody's job, be it in DC or elsewhere, and the Eagles are a perfect foil for him to make some noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS PHI 8001100000 ***
The Redskins have gotten away from running Morris 20 times a game, perhaps because they've dropped the last three games by an average of 18 points per game. He carried 23 times for 77 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly and you have to think the game plan calls for heavy doses of Alf. As an added bonus, any read options carry the threat of an RG3 run, which in the past has opened lanes for Morris. Think of those previous game numbers as a baseline, with room to move upwards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS PHI 005901000 **
You think DJax is motivated? Now even his own coach is talking smack about him. He put up 117 and a touch on the Eagles in the earlier meeting, and with RG3 throwing deep he should get a few extra chances to put the torch to his former squad. Revenge is a dish best served in the fantasy bowl.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS PHI 005701000 **
Garcon seems to be more of a Colt McCoy favorite than an RG3 favorite, though after seeing what Garcon did to the Eagles back in Week 3 (11-138-1) maybe he'll reconsider. It's a risk, as Garcon has been a bit player most of the season, but there's some upside if RG3 is willing to reacquaint himself with Pierre.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS PHI 005500000 ***
Philly has allowed only one TE TD on the year, but two tight ends have topped 100 yards and another two--including Niles Paul back in Week 3, before Reed was back from injury--topped 65 yards. He'd be more of a yardage play than a TD play, but there's some upside to Reed this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS PHI 2111 ***
Blame RG3: With other quarterbacks Forbath is averaging better than seven points per game; in games in which RG3 took the bulk of the snaps, he's averaging 4.6. He tallied 10 for the Kirk Cousins-led Redskins against Philly earlier this year, but don't get your hopes up for the rematch.

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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