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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
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 @SEA 20100024011 ***
Seattle has has given up two rushing touchdowns in its last five games. Overall, this is a neutral matchup for quarterbacks. The position has thrown a touchdown every 20.2 completions, while Seattle has logged an interception a game over that five-week window.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR @SEA 6001100000 ***
Seattle has given up the 12th highest average of offensive yards per game and a matching 12th in fantasy points (PPR) to running backs over the last five weeks. J-Stew is a weak RB2 or acceptable flex choice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Funchess, CAR @SEA 002401000 ***
The attention paid to Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen should clear Funchess for a decent shot at finding the end zone. Seattle has permitted one touchdown per contest to receivers over the last five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @SEA 004500000 ***
This is arguably the weakest Seattle's secondary has played in several seasons, and Earl Thomas' status remains up in the air. Wideouts have scored once per game over the last five weeks, and Seattle has surrendered the 16th most fantasy points, on average, over this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, Jr., CAR @SEA 004500000 ***
Seattle has not allowed many big plays to receivers since Week 7, and Ginn is a hit-or-miss player because of his deep-threat nature. Keep him in reserve, unless you want to make a wild gamble.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @SEA 005600000 ***
Seattle gives up a lot of catches -- the sixth most per game since Week 7 -- but really doesn't struggle vs. TEs otherwise. In fact, only one team has done a better job in this time at holding the position out of the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @SEA 2222 ***
Four teams have allowed fewer fantasy points on a per-game basis over the last five weeks. The Seahawks have allowed the third fewest combined kicking opportunities in this time frame.

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
KC vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 180
RB Jamaal Charles 100,1 6-40
WR Jeremy Maclin 6-60

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 @ATL 10000028020 ***
This is the eighth most exploitable fantasy defense for quarterbacks when using data from the past five weeks. Signal callers have scored 2.5 passing TDs per game, while the Falcons have one pick in the last four games and lost its best defensive back in Desmond Trufant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Spencer Ware, KC @ATL 6003200000 ***
Ware hasn't scored a rushing TD since Week 6, and he has seen a remarkably consistent workload since returning from a concussion. Unfortunately, it has not translated to fantasy points. The Falcons present one of the best matchups over the last five weeks' data usage, but can you trust Ware?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC @ATL 005601000 ***
This should be a good outing for the explosive Hill, who faces fantasy's seventh best opportunity for points. The Falcons have allowed receivers to score every 10.8 catches, which is the fourth softest defense of the position.

Update: Hill could see fewer looks if Jeremy Maclin indeed starts (GTD).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC @ATL 004500000 **
Update: Maclin is a game-time decision after being limited all three days in practice. The matchup is good, but starting him is awfully risky.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Conley, KC @ATL 003300000 ***
Conley has a fine matchup, so maybe he is playable for brazen DFS gamers ... otherwise, no chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @ATL 0071001000 ***
Atlanta has not allowed many catches or yards in the last five weeks, but giving up two scores in the past four games helps suggest Kelce could be in for a strong showing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @ATL 3322 ***
Data from the past five weeks says this is a neutral matchup that leans negative, but game flow will matter oh so much with a capable defense traveling to a high-flying offense.

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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