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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: CAR 24, KC 13 (LINE: CAR by 3)

Players to Watch: Cam Newton

The 3-8 Panthers come off a rare road win in Philly looking to string together two victories. The 1-10 Chiefs have not scored a touchdown in two weeks and have lost eight straight. The Chiefs are playing opponents nearly even not because they are that good, but because everyone knows they are going to win anyway so why try so hard? Playing the Chiefs is like a partial bye week.

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 30-22
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 @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 50,1 250,2
RB Jonathan Stewart
RB Mike Tolbert 30 2-10
RB DeAngelo Williams 50 4-30
TE Greg Olsen 5-50,1
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to imagine but the Panthers may actually win not only two consecutive games, but two consecutive road games. Right now the Eagles and Chiefs both are waving the white flag and the Panthers stand to benefit. There's been no real progress made this year with Cam Newton but that's partially the fault of his receivers and the scheme he is in. What is starting to brew is the speculation that HC Ron Rivera will be dumped in the offseason and that any new coach is going to have to on board with Newton and his different style of play. And yes, shades of Michael Vick...

Newton almost always scores in every game and yet never has passed for more than two scores. His yardage has been better in recent weeks and he took advantage of the Eagles last week when he passed for two touchdowns and rushed in two more. Of course that only serves to completely neuter one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL but by now there is no fantasy value in the running backs anyway.

Johnathan Stewart suffered a high-ankle sprain and he been nursing an older one since back in August.This ankle that Stewart injured is not the same as the one from this summer. Of course that calls into question why you would make that person be the primary back, but by now the Panthers have zero confidence in DeAngelo Williams which he justified by rushing for 21 yards on 11 carries in the Philly win. For once it doesn't even matter who is injured - no one is going to offer reliable productivity from the running back position in terms of fantasy points.

While Steve Smith still commands most of the coverage Brandon LaFell has been far more productive in the last month with a touchdown and at least 70 yards in each of the last two games. Smith has only scored once all year and is currently stuck at a ceiling of around 60 yards per game. He's only marginally better than the tight end Greg Olsen.

Playing the Chiefs usually cures whatever ails you. But their weakness against running backs is not as glaring this week with nothing more than DeAngelo Williams coming to town. The Panthers should win this game but there's not likely to be much fantasy value in any of the players outside of Newton and the starting two wide receivers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 8 29 23 13 32 9
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 21 23 15 12 27 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR DET 10000023021 ***
After tapping out in Week 1, Cam makes his 2014 debut against a Lions defense that just stymied Eli Manning. Okay, so that's not overly impressive. But they do have guys up front who won't be shy about hammering Cam's ribs so this may have to be an air show rather than a run fest. That's a matchup Cam can win as well, making him eminently startable here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR DET 6003200000 ***
It's a three-way job share against a defense that held the Giants to 55 RB rushing yards; none of that smacks of fantasy potential.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR DET 00000000 *
In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, and in the land of Carolina backs Williams at present is getting the most carries. Doesn't mean he warrants a fantasy start, however.
Update: Williams did not practice all week due to a thigh injury. He's listed as questionable and doesn't offer enough upside in his role in Carolina to offset the risk of not playing here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR DET 005801000 ***
Hard to get a read on the Lions' secondary, as they were barely tested by the Giants in Week 1. But Benjamin has clearly vaulted to the top of the Panthers' receiver depth chart; now he needs to get on the same page with Cam Newton and magic is sure to ensue.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR DET 003400000 ***
You may not have noticed but the Panthers line up some other guys at wide receiver besides Kelvin Benjamin. Cam Newton hasn't noticed much beyond one go-to guy in the past, no reason to think that will change here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR DET 007801000 ****
The Lions made Larry Donnell look like a Pro Bowler last week; does that mean an actual talented tight end like Olsen will look like a Hall of Famer against them? Quite possibly, yes.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR DET 3322 ***
The Giants couldn't get close enough to attempt a field goal last week against Detroit, but the Panthers shouldn't have a similar dilemma so go ahead and go with Gano.

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 24-40 10 @PIT 13-16
2 @BUF 17-35 11 CIN 6-28
3 @NO 27-24 12 DEN 9-17
4 SD 20-37 13 CAR -----
5 BAL 6-9 14 @CLE -----
6 @TB 10-38 15 @OAK -----
7 BYE ----- 16 IND -----
8 OAK 16-26 17 @DEN -----
9 @SD 13-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Jamaal Charles 100,1 6-40
WR Donnie Avery 2-30
WR Dwayne Bowe 4-50
TE Anthony Fasano 2-20

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs offense has declined so badly that they have not score more than one touchdown in any of the last seven games and three failed to record any. This was a bad team before the switch to Brady Quinn. Now it cannot even score double digits.the last two weeks. Aside from Jamal Charles, this team has the look of one that either completely gave up or never had the talent to be competitive.

Quinn comes off his second start of the year and still no touchdowns or more than 180 yards in either game. To his credit he only threw one interception and did not make many mistakes but then again - he did not do much of anything. This week he is going against a top ten secondary. He has ruined the fantasy value of Dwayne Bowe and is dragging the offense into the gutter for the stretch run. It gets painful to watch.

Dexter McCluster suffered a concussion last week and will have to clear his tests but he has no history of them and it did not appear to be more than a mild one. McCluster has been providing Quinn with a passing outlet three or four times per game.

Jamaal Charles should be getting half of everyone else's paychecks. On this offense with minimal other talent, Charles is still running yard and comes off 107 yards on 23 carries against the Broncos. He's topped 100 yards four times and is still playing hard even if no one else seems to be. Whatever good the offense can produce will be almost entirely because of Charles who should be productive for the rest of the fantasy season with games against CAR, CLE, OAK and IND remaining.

The passing situation is so dire now that Steve Breaston is being inactive for games. Jon Baldwin has declined until he finally reached no catches last week. Dwayne Bowe did just get 12 targets last week but only ended up with four catches for 41 yards and he was blanked by the Bengals the previous week.

Aside from Charles, there is no fantasy plays left on this team. They have gone into full bore implosion and the only thing left to happen is for the defense to finally give up and allow the floodgates for opponent's scores to open.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 32 3 32 30 21 27
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 10 26 6 17 32 19

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, KC @DEN 20000024022 ***
Smith had two of his better fantasy games playing catch-up to Peyton Manning last season. On the heels of a putrid performance against the Titans it would be tough to bank on him for a reprise; then again, garbage time stats count the same.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @DEN 6015300000 ***
With a paltry workload the likes of which he hadn't seen since Week 8 of 2012, Charles was a non-fantasy factor in Week 1. Expect Andy Reid to correct that error, with expectations set somewhere between the 72 and 120 yards from scrimmage he generated in last season's home-and-home. Hey, it's better than last week's crapola, that's for sure.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC @DEN 005500000 ***
After sitting out a one-game suspension Bowe is primed to make his 2014 debut. He posted similar stat lines against the Broncos last season, 4-57-1 and 3-56. There's no question he's the go-to guy in this passing game, but that didn't prove to be enough last year and you'll have to cross your fingers and bank on the touchdown for him to have significant fantasy value here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Junior Hemingway, KC @DEN 002400000 ***
In theory the Chiefs will have to throw to keep pace with Peyton Manning & Co. and secondary targets such as Hemingway should have value. However, in last season's series with Denver--under those exact circumstances--only Dwayne Bowe scored or topped 50 yards. So, theory disproved.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @DEN 004501000 **
Despite one less target than Anthony Fasano last week, Kelce produced more yardage; he just didn't get the touchdown. It's a coin flip between the two tight ends, but Kelce is the young up-and-comer so he calls "tails" this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Anthony Fasano, KC @DEN 003300000 **
Fasano scored in both ends of the season series with Denver last year, plus he scored last week. And the Broncos gave up a TE TD while facing the talented Indy tandem of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener last week. So we're sayin' there's a chance; we're just sayin' we prefer Kelce's chances this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @DEN 0022 ***
The Brazilian went 50/50 on last week's attempts, and given that you don't keep pace with Peyton Manning by settling for field goals he's unlikely to see a dramatic enough uptick in chances or productivity to warrant fantasy consideration here.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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