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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: CAR 24, PHI 20 (Line: PHI by 3)

Players Updated: Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown

Players to Watch: PHI QB and RB

Here's a bitter loss for one team. The 2-8 Panthers have lost six games by a touchdown or less and are 1-3 on the road. The 3-7 Eagles are on a six game losing streak and lost their last four by at least 13 points each. One team will win this and gain a temporary reprieve from being a terrible football team. One won't. This one is hard to call with the status of both Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy uncertain. What's worse is that this is the Monday night game and waiting may mean you have no alternatives.

Carolina Panthers
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 10-16 10 DEN 14-36
2 NO 35-27 11 TB 21-27
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 @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 40,1 240,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 20 2-10
TE Ed Dickson 4-30
TE Greg Olsen 5-50
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Panthers are hallmarks of consistency this year. No matter what - high score or low score - they are never quite good enough. It is getting to be like the older brother holding something right above the little brother's reach. Somehow the NFL's best rushing offense a few years back has evolved into one of the very worst and one that has shockingly little fantasy value.

Cam Newton hasn't really taken the next step this year and to some it appears he's gone backwards. He does score in almost every game though rarely more than once and his rushing yardage and scores are sharply off from last year. This is central to the theme - Cam is not showing any real improvement and maybe "he is what he is" already. His remarkable season last year was really on the wane later in the season anyway.

The running backs have lost all fantasy value and while Jonathan Stewart rushed in a touchdown last week, it was his first this season. No running back for the Panthers has yet topped the 69 yards gained by DeAngelo Williams back in week two. Even combined these runners do not amount to more than a very mediocre attack.

The only fantasy plays here are Newton in a big league, Greg Olsen and Steve Smith. Olsen is just a play for about 40 yards per week and he's had just one good game in the last six weeks. He is a starter value in a big league while Steve Smith still merits a WR3 start if only from his potential. Smith scored only once this year and has been held to around 60 yards ort less in most recent games. Brandon LaFell has been marginally better than Smith in recent games but has far too many clunkers to consider him viable for a start.

To their credit, the Panthers have not quit. Perhaps it was about coming into the season with far lower expectations than the Eagles, but Carolina remains competitive in most weeks because they still give it their best.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 11 28 31 15 32 10
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 20 13 13 9 27 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR NO 20000027020 ***
This should be the week in which Newton shakes off the rust. He'll be without his trusted tight end, so finding other weapons for short-area passing is a must. Last year, he posted 30.2 points in Week 6 at the Saints and then just 14.3 in the Week 11 follow-up.

Update: Both CBs Marshon Lattimore and Sterling Moore have been ruled out for the Saints. Panthers center Ryan Kalil also is out, and Newton is listed as questionable. He was limited Friday but should be fine to play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR NO 5005401000 ***
Look for more targets with Greg Olsen out. McCaffrey had a wide-open TD pass that Cam Newton overthrew. The Saints have allowed 19 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown to the position so far in 2017.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR NO 6012200000 ***
Look for Carolina to pound the ball as much as possible to keep Drew Brees on the sideline. The Panthers' veteran rushed four three TDs in two games last year facing the Saints, including a 20.5-point fantasy day in Week 6.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR NO 0061001000 ***
No Greg Olsen should get KB involved more this week. Assuming Cam Newton doesn't struggle delivering the ball again, Benjamin should have no trouble exploiting the worst pass defense in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Funchess, CAR NO 005600000 ***
The Saints have allowed three WR touchdowns in two games, in addition to yielding a league-worst 461 yards on 28 catches. Funchess, though, is a flier until he shows more consistency.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Russell Shepard, CAR NO 002300000 ***
Shepard is presented with a stellar matchup that conceivably makes him a deep flier for DFS action.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Ed Dickson, CAR NO 003200000 ***
Don't rely on Dickson to replace Greg Olsen. The veteran tight end has had plenty of chances to show he is just a bit player.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR NO 2233 ***
Two teams have permitted more fantasy kicker points in 2017 than the Saints, and that includes two missing point-after tries.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL 23-38
2 BAL 24-23 11 @WAS 6-31
3 @ARI 6-27 12 CAR -----
4 NYG 19-17 13 @DAL -----
5 @PIT 14-16 14 @TB -----
6 DET 23-26 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL 17-30 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO 13-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 250,1
RB Darren Sproles 10 5-30
WR Torrey Smith 5-70,1
TE Brent Celek 5-50

Pregame Notes: Well. That wasn't pretty. Michael Vick sat out last week with his concussion and watched as the fans got what they wanted - not Michael Vick. It came in the form of the rookie Nick Foles and with him optimism and a chance to turn the season around. Didn't happen. Ends up all the Eagles woes are not directly connected to Michael Vick.

Foles was only able to complete 21 of 46 passes for 204 yards and two interceptions while also being sacked four times. This came against arguably the worst secondary in the league that had doled out 300 yards and a few scores to pretty much every single opponent. Now, suddenly, it seems that Vick may be feeling better and could be ready by this week potentially.

HC Andy Reid sounds like he wants Vick back ASAP but he has not passed his baseline tests early in the week. Foles has to be considered the most likely to start but he's already not the answer either. Week 13 looms as a tough passing matchup in Dallas as well.

Making this horrific slide of the Eagles even more complete was LeSean McCoy getting a concussion at the end of the blowout loss. He too will need to pass tests this week in order to play though it prompts the question - why rush him back to play in a lost season? Bryce Brown will take his place if he cannot play which has to be the assumption until he can practice. Again - he may end up a game time decision in a Monday night affair and unless you own Brown as well it is not advisable to hope for the best and leave yourself no options.

Brown has not been given more than five carries in any game and generally they were short yardage plays. He did gain 35 yards on five runs versus the Skins last week.

There is much that could change here depending on Vick and McCoy.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 15 22 16 13 24 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 13 27 10 21 32 25

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Wentz, PHI NYG 0000027011 ***
New York's defense is banged up but should get back some of the ailing players. Wentz is a fringe starter, regardless, and had a 1:3 TD-to-interception ratio last year in his two matches with NYG.

Update: Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins is a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI NYG 5005400000 ***
Sproles draws New York's strong defense of pass-catching types. This unit has given up only eight catches for 53 yards in two contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, PHI NYG 200000000 *
No score, no fantasy worth. That pretty well sums up Blount's contributions at this stage. NYG is among the 10 toughest defenses of the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, PHI NYG 005700000 ***
New York has allowed wideouts only one score on 18 catches thus far, and that is without top cover-corner Janoris Jenkins in one of the games. The Giants rated as the second-harshest matchup in 2016. Jeffery is a lineup liability this weekend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, PHI NYG 002400000 ***
Smith doesn't deserve a roster spot at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI NYG 003200000 ***
Agholor has two TDs in as many games this year. The second one happened to be his lone catch of Week 2, and now he draws the dominant Giants' pass defense. This isn't a good week to tempt fate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI NYG 007701000 ***
Ertz has been on fire so far, and he is a must-play until he proves otherwise. The Giants have been abused by the position, surrendering an average of 16.9 PPR points. This stems from a two-game line of 13-104-2.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jake Elliott, PHI NYG 3322 ***
The Giants have permitted five field goals and four extra points on the young year, which translates to 9.5 fantasy points against.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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