FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 @MIN 40000025012 ****
Cam's had his way with the Vikings in two previous meetings, totaling 532 passing yards, six passing TDs, 83 rushing yards and another rushing score. He's posted a pair of multiple-TD games with at least 292 yards in each and catches a Vikings D fresh off allowing 539 and 5 the past two games. That's about as good as it can get for Newton this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR @MIN 3013200000 **
With the split backfield and Cam Newton swiping goal line looks there's not a fantasy relevant game to be had in the Carolina backfield.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR @MIN 3002100000 ****
Williams has out-touched Jonathan Stewart each game since returning to the lineup, but he hasn't even approached fantasy relevancy. No reason to think that changes here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @MIN 006801000 ***
Expect Benjamin to give the Vikings the same fits fellow big targets Brandon Marshall (7-90-2) and Alshon Jeffery (11-135-1) have given them in recent weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @MIN 005600000 ****
The Vikings have allowed two TE TDs in the past four games, and with Olsen heavily targeted he's at minimum on the fantasy radar.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @MIN 1122 ***
The Vikings have given up seven field goals in their past nine games, so this isn't a particularly inviting opportunity for Gano to break out of the five-points-per-game rut he's been in for the past month.

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 20000025010 ***
The Broncos shut out Smith the last time they played; in fact, Smith has barely registered on the fantasy radar this year. He could surprise and throw a 248 & 3 game at Denver like he did to the Patriots earlier this year... but probably not, so don't bank on it.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC DEN 9014400000 ***
Charles has just one TD in his last six meetings with the Broncos. You can't bench him here, as he's too big a part of the KC offense, but you have to lower your expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC DEN 005700000 ***
Since blowing up the Broncos for 13-186-2 in the first meeting of the 2010 series with Denver, Bowe has faced the Broncos six times without topping 100 yards--and with just one TD in those six contests. He's the only wideout on the Kansas City roster worthy of fantasy consideration, but this week--like most--he's at best a fringe option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC DEN 005601000 **
Kelce is getting the targets, but he's losing the occasional TD to Anthony Fasano. Still, after 4-81 in the front end of the season series, and with no real WR2 stepping up in KC, he's as good a bet as any to carve out some fantasy goodness from Alex Smith's meager stat line.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC DEN 2222 ***
Santos has been solid but not spectacular, and a battle with Peyton Manning isn't likely to turn into a kicking festival.

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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