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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: DEN 30, CAR 17 (Line: DEN by 4)

Players to Watch: Willis McGahee, Cam Newton

The 5-3 Broncos are on a three game winning streak but are only 2-2 on the road. The 2-6 Panthers finally broke their five game losing steak playing the Redskins last week but are only 1-3 at home. This could be a trap game since the Broncos defense is bad against the run and that's about all the Panthers know how to do. But the Broncos have never scored less than 21 points and are on a 30+ point streak. Only four teams have fewer total points than the Panthers.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 31-19 10 @CAR -----
2 @ATL 21-27 11 SD -----
3 HOU 25-31 12 @KC -----
4 OAK 37-6 13 TB -----
5 @NE 21-31 14 @OAK -----
6 @SD 35-24 15 @BAL -----
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE -----
8 NO 34-14 17 KC -----
9 @CIN 31-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Emmanuel Sanders 4-60
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-80,1

Pregame Notes: Peyton Manning not only has the ship sailing in the right direction, the waters look incredibly calm from here on out. Only the road trip to Baltimore in week 15 looks tricky and even them the Broncos may be favored. Peyton's getting the credit but the entire team has played better and the defense in particular has come through. Of course it all seems to work better when your Hall of Fame quarterback is roasting every opponent.

Missed it by that much...

Manning set a record when he threw four games in a row with 300 yards and three touchdowns. last week in Cincinnati, he fell all the way down to 291 yards and three scores. What a slacker. Manning already has thrown 20 touchdowns and is on a pace to score 40 on the season which would be his second best year ever. He is worth starting. Probably wish you could start him twice.

Willis McGahee has dropped off rather sharply. While he did rush for over 100 yards and scored in three different games, only one of those was on the road - week two in Atlanta. In the three road games since, McGahee never scored and hasn't rushed for more than 66 yards. His role as a receiver has dipped a bit as well when he only caught one pass in Cincy last Sunday. This would be more concerning if the Panthers weren't already weak against the run. But it does draw a reason why Manning has been throwing so many passes in the last six weeks.

Joel Dreessen caught his fourth touchdown of the year but his production is rarely over 30 yards and he was blanked against the Saints. He is a red zone target but never accounts for many catches.

The wideouts continue to be the engine that drives this offense. Eric Decker scored in each of the last five games and twice in the last two. His seven touchdowns lead the Broncos though he remains lighter on yardage with only one effort exceeding 100 yards. Demaryius Thomas scored just four times but topped 100 yards four times. Brandon Stokley adds in a score on occasion but is a definite #3 in this offense.

The Panthers rank great against wideouts but not to worry. When good quarterbacks show up, their best receivers still end up with good games even in Carolina. Most team just run against them which is why the passing is lower but McGahee has been less effective in road games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 6 19 2 4 21 3
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 10 27 2 14 31 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Case Keenum, DEN @WAS 20000026020 ***
The journeyman has two TD throws in each of his last four games and fewer than 20 fantasy points in one of his last seven. The Week 6 matchup with the Pack wasn't one of his finest outings (17.5 points), and this time around it is in Green Bay. The positive: He faces the No. 2 matchup of the week against a defense giving up a TD every 8.3 completions since Week 10 for the worst rate in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devontae Booker, DEN @WAS 3001100000 ***
While Booker has a fine matchup, Anderson quickly could steal the show once again. Washington is the fifth-best matchup in non-PPR and No. 12 in the reception-rewarding format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @WAS 003300000 **
Sanders has struggled mightily of late while trying to play through an ankle injury, and now he is likely to have another quarterback change to Paxton Lynch. The matchup is daunting. Washington has conceded only 9.8 receptions (27th) for 146.8 yards (16th) and a score every 24.5 snags (28th) in the past five weeks.

Update: Sanders is questionable and a gametime call. He sat the first two days of practice but gave it a limited go in Friday's session. It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @WAS 003200000 ***
The matchup is awful, and it looks like Paxton Lynch will start. The only Broncos wideout with a hint of upside is Thomas, though he must overcome fantasy's fifth-worst match up of the week.

Update: It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @WAS 3311 ***
Washington offers the second-best matchup of the week, primarily due to yielding the second-most field goal attempts (14-for-14) per game over the last five weeks.

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 21-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 40 240,1
WR Torrey Smith 5-80,1
TE Greg Olsen 6-60,1

Pregame Notes: The Panthers mercifully won a game to end the losing streak but it's probably just going to start all over again. This is still an offense with only one decent receiver ("Champ, this is Steve. Steve, this is Champ") and a running game that still ranks among the worst in the league. HC Ron Rivera already had his talk this week with the owner about the need to actually win games and what happens when you do not. The team needs to show "progress" in order to qualify for another Rivera year. Probably not going to happen.

Cam Newton is one reason why. The offensive rookie of the year from 2011 has fallen on hard times not unlike the offensive rookie of the year from 2010 Sam Bradford. Newton's passed for only six touchdowns this year against eight interceptions. His rushing touchdowns also stopped after week four other than last week against the Redskins who can stop no one. Newton has not thrown a touchdown in two consecutive games since week two and he just scored once on the Redskins.

That whole change to Jonathan Stewart as the primary back has meant nothing so far. He still has yet to gain more than 51 yards in any game or run in a score. He rushed more than 11 times in only one game. Basically, he ends with 40 to 50 total yards in games and that just sad for a primary back on a team that once sported one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL. DeAngelo Williams was demoted but he still gets half a dozen carries or more and scored his third rushing touchdown on the year last week. This is just a marginal unit that splits up meager production to ensure no one is really worth any fantasy consideration.

Kick returner and sometimes wideout Kealoha Pilares was placed on injured reserve this week with a shoulder injury that requires surgery. Only Steve Smith matters from the wideouts and yet his first touchdown of the year was just last week when he only gained 41 yards on three catches against the Redskins and their horrible secondary. Smith is worth a fantasy start each week but is not above having a bad game every so often and his scoring is now up to "one". The only receiver of any note remains tight end Greg Olsen who also scored only once this year and usually ends up with just 30 or 40 yards in most games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 10 27 27 19 32 7
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 15 16 8 29 11 16

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR TB 60100017010 ***
Cam was lousy in the Week 8 contest at Tampa. This go-around, he has thrown just one pick since that contest and has a pair of four-TD games mixed in with a pair of outings in which he failed to throw a scoring strike. Tampa Bay has permitted 271.8 yards (4th) per outing but also has the fifth-strongest defense for touchdown efficiency.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR TB 6015300000 ***
Tampa is not a great matchup on paper for receiving backs (30th in receptions), though it is the best place to find a rushing score. The rookie has a spot in all lineups this week, even though he was good for just 9.8 PPR points in the last match with Tampa. This time around, the Bucs are facing several key injuries on defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Anderson, CAR TB 701000000 **
Only the Colts have yielded more rushing yards a game than the Redskins in the past five weeks, and it is by the nose of the football ... maybe even an index card's width. Anderson gashed those very Colts last week and could shine again in the title round. This is the 19th-best matchup for a ground score, and Paxton Lynch figures to start, so there's a little bit of risk.

Update: It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Funchess, CAR TB 003501000 ***
Funchess (shoulder) is playing hurt but has remained productive-ish with two TDs in his last three games on only eight catches. In Week 8, he went for a 2-11-0 line on six looks vs. Tampa. The Buccaneers have given up 202.2 yards on 15 receptions per game (both No. 2 in the league) since Week 10, allowing a TD every 12.5 snags (14th).

Update: Funchess sat Wednesday and Thursday before returning to a limited session Friday. He probably will play, but gamers should check the inactives to be safe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, CAR TB 001200000 ***
Smith has not been enough of a factor to consider him as anything more than the wildest of flex gambles for deeeeeeep leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR TB 005600000 ***
Olsen proved he was healthy in Week 14 by playing 92 percent of the offensive snaps, and he was no worse for wear during the week. In Week 15, he put it together for a 26.6-point PPR day. The veteran missed the earlier meeting and was good for 12 catches, 203 yards and no scores in two games last season. Furthermore, the Bucs are beaten up on defense right now.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR TB 1144 ***
This is a top-five matchup for extra point chances but only 15th for the more valuable three-point attempts. Kickers have averaged a moderate 7.6 fantasy points a game vs. the Bucs.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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