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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 PIT 40100024010 ***
Cam's 2014 fantasy debut was underwhelming, and he's unlikely to get much of a boost from a Steelers' defense that has allowed a total of 396 passing yards through two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR PIT 800000000 ***
Williams sat out last week and we are awaiting news of his return to work. If he goes it's an extremely favorable matchup, so it's a situation worth monitoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR PIT 3002100000 ***
In a rare confluence of Stewart's good health, a DeAngelo Williams injury, and a favorable matchup with a Pittsburgh run D that's allowed 175 and 152 RB rushing yards the past two games... we have an honest to goodness opportunity to give Stewart a fantasy start. Of course, if Williams returns things could change but for now, revel in the possibilities.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR PIT 005800000 ***
The Steelers haven't surrendered much to opposing wideouts, and last week Cam threw as much to Jason Avant as he did Benjamin. Best wait for a more favorable opportunity to plug the rookie into your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR PIT 004400000 ***
Cam Newton got Cotchery involved last week, but there isn't much to go around and the Steelers will reduce that number even further. It adds up to Cotchery being a risky fantasy play at best this week.
Update: As an added bonus, Cotchery didn't practice on Friday and is listed as questionable. The risk side of the scale is almost touching bottom.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR PIT 007801000 ***
Olsen remains the Panthers' most reliable pass-catcher, and against a Steelers defense that surrendered two TDs to the position last week and 90 yards to tight ends the week before he's as good a bet as any for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR PIT 1133 ***
The Steelers have allowed multiple field goal attempts in each game thus far this season; Gano has attempted multiple field goals in each game as well. It adds up to... well, multiple opportunities for Gano to be a fantasy helper this week.

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 @MIA 40000019012 ***
The Dolphins haven't allowed a fantasy helper at quarterback; Smith has yet to provide one this season. No reason to change those expectations here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knile Davis, KC @MIA 7016300000 *
Davis will get the call--and the bulk of the touches--against a defense that's allowed 250 combo yards to running backs this season. He's proven more than capable in the past, and this matchup tilts towards the favorable as well.
Update: Jamaal Charles is apparently back in the mix, taking a bite out of Davis' potential big weekend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @MIA 00000000 *
High ankle sprains never hear as quickly as the original estimate, which likely means Charles sits this one out.
Update: Either Charles is the world's fastest healer, or the Chiefs misdiagnosed his high ankle sprain. Or maybe they're just desperate. In any event, Charles practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, is officially listed as questionable, and is expected to share the workload with Knile Davis. It's essentially a "no one wins" situation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donnie Avery, KC @MIA 005400000 ***
Avery flashed slightly with Dwayne Bowe out, then returned to his usual supporting role last week. Not much upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC @MIA 003400000 ***
If there's a go-to wideout on this roster--and that's a relatively big "if"--it's Bowe, though targets in his first game back from suspension barely support the theory. Miami has allowed one wide receiver per opponent to have success against them; if KC is to follow that plan, odds are the wideout is Bowe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @MIA 005601000 **
Kelce still has to share with Anthony Fasano, but he's working his way into a more prominent role in the KC passing game. The Dolphins allowed Gronk to score on limited snaps; no reason Kelce can't do the same.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @MIA 0022 ***
The Brazilian has made half of his NFL field goal attempts and remains mired near the bottom of the league in kicker scoring. Maybe he gets an uptick against a Miami D that allowed six field goal attempts last week, but best he do it on fantasy benches.

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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