FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

Prediction: CAR 20, SD 25 (Line: SD by 3 )

Players to Watch: Cam Newton, Ryan Mathews

The 4-9 Panthers come off their game of the year when they beat the Falcons but are only 2-4 in road games. The 5-8 Chargers are fresh from their own upset winning in Pittsburgh last week and are only 2-4 at home. Neither team is as good as they played last week but that makes this game more of a coin toss. This week will depend on how well the Chargers can run and how well the Panthers can pass.

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 21-27
5 SEA 12-16 14 ATL 30-20
6 BYE ----- 15 @SD -----
7 DAL 14-19 16 OAK -----
8 @CHI 22-23 17 @NO -----
9 @WAS 21-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR @ SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 60,1 230,1
RB Jonathan Stewart
TE Greg Olsen 4-50,1
PK Graham Gano 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: You cannot say that Cam Newton is not earning his money lately. Once again he provided almost all the offense needed to win a game and after struggling in the first half of the season, he's come on well for the last three weeks and is ending the season on a higher note.

Newton's previous big games came at the expense of inferior teams but winning against the Falcons was impressive, trap game or not. He matches well with them since he posted two passing scores and a rushing touchdown in both meetings with the Falcons. He also comes off a season best 116 rush yards on nine runs and has done more to add the run back into his repertoire in recent weeks. Of course facing the Eagles and Chiefs hardly pitted him against elite teams. This week is back against a weaker team though it will be on the road. With only the Raiders and the Saints left on the schedule, Newton is bound to finish strongly.

Jonathan Stewart remains out with a high ankle sprain but DeAngelo Williams has been nothing special despite getting a heavier load. He comes off a season high 17 carries for 56 yards and scored on his two catches for 56 yards. But his 53-yard catch for a touchdown was an exception to the extreme. Williams only totaled 48 receiving yards in his entire season up until that one catch. Even at home against soft opponents, Williams has never rushed for more than 69 yards this year and ran in a score just once in the last nine games.

Brandon LaFell remains out with a chipped bone in his foot and turf toe though he should be back soon. Steve Smith posted seven catches for 109 yards versus Atlanta which makes it two consecutive games over the 100 yard mark. Louis Murphy fills in for LaFell but offers little. Greg Olsen scored against the Falcons which now makes two of his games with a touchdown going against the Falcons. He also scored last week in Kansas City but it was on his only catch in that game.

This should be another decent game for Newton against a defense that has not faced a running quarterback all year. This is less likely a big game for Smith since only one receiver broke 100 yards as a visitor and no wideout scored there in the last three games. Olsen is a better bet given that three of the last four visitors to San Diego scored via a pass to their primary tight end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 6 29 22 10 32 12
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 18 14 18 7 3 25

  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.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @OAK 22-14 10 @TB 24-34
2 TEN 38-10 11 @DEN 23-30
3 ATL 3-27 12 BAL 13-16
4 @KC 37-20 13 CIN 13-20
5 @NO 24-31 14 @PIT 34-24
6 DEN 24-35 15 CAR -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @NYJ -----
8 @CLE 6-7 17 OAK -----
9 KC 31-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 230,1
RB Ronnie Hillman 20 1-10
RB Dexter McCluster 6-50
RB Danny Woodhead 10 5-30
WR Stevie Johnson 6-80,1
TE Jeff Cumberland 5-50
TE Antonio Gates 4-40

Pregame Notes: The win in Pittsburgh ended a four game losing streak but that's not nearly enough to save Norv Turner's job the moment the offseason starts. Last week was an exception to just about everything the Chargers are about this year. With two home games against the Panthers and Raiders left to play, the winning is not over and the Chargers can find a little redemption in ending strongly before the team is torn apart and put back together in the spring.

Philip Rivers threw for three touchdowns in Pittsburgh to add to the general twilight zone quality of the game but he only managed 200 passing yards and continues to struggle to find receivers besides Danario Alexander. Even with the big win, RIvers was only 21 of 41 in passing completions. The entire season, he has never been any better than the defense allows anyone to be until last week and even then it was more about key defenders being out for the Steelers.

Ryan Mathews comes off a season high 25 carries for 65 yards and finally had the sort of workload that the offense needs. For whatever reason, Norv Turner waited until the 13th game of the season and in the very worst of all spots to play but at least Mathews gutted out not having decent blocking and both did not fumble and remained healthy. Facing one of the worst defenses this week should be far more profitable assuming the Chargers don't suddenly decide they need to throw more or use Ronnie Brown instead. That's highly unlikely but given the history of this year just because something seems reasonable does not mean it will be followed. Brown's role has been shrinking in recent weeks and he's been given six or fewer touches for the last five games. He had just three last week and no longer warrants projecting.

Antonio Gates is done. He only managed three catches for 31 yards in Pittsburgh and has been without fantasy merit for the last four games now. He's no longer reliable for more than a few carries and mediocre yardage with no scores.

Danario Alexander continues to amaze. He comes off an 88-yard effort on seven catches with two touchdowns and has yet to turn in less than 74 yards in any of the last five games while scoring five times over that span. Compared to all other receivers for the Chargers, that's astronomic and exactly what River's had been missing all year. Vincent Brown is not going to play this year so Alexander is as good as it will ever get. And that's pretty good.

Michael Spurlock caught seven passes for 64 yards as the replacement slot receiver last week since Eddie Royal remains out but that was his first game of the year and is not the start of anything significant.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 22 17 27 16 21 6
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 11 27 5 21 32 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD TB 0000032031 ***
Rivers has a wonderful matchup, as Tampa has given up the ninth most fantasy points, on average, since Week 7. This defense has allowed two TD passes and 290.2 yards per outing. This, in part, translates to 25.9 fantasy points per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Melvin Gordon, SD TB 7015400000 ***
Of the last 99 rushing attempts against the Bucs, zero have found the end zone. Gordon is due. The Matchup is negative for the most part, but Tampa Bay has allowed the 16th most offensive yards per game over the past five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD TB 007801000 ***
Inman stands to benefit the most from Travis Benjamin's knee injury and whatever may become of Tyrell Williams, as he is dealing with a shoulder injury of his own. Tampa Bay has allowed averages of 14 grabs (7th), 176 yards (8th) and a TD every 14 receptions (23rd) since Week 7.

Update: Williams (QUE, limited practice) is a game-time decision. Inman becomes a top target for Philip Rivers but also for the defense. He's a risky but worthy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyrell Williams, SD TB 004501000 *
Return Friday for a clearer picture of Williams' status. If he plays, there is some risk but a good deal of upside because of the matchup. Tampa Bay has allowed a touchdown per game to receivers over the last five weeks.

Update: Williams is questionable and was a limited participant Friday. Starting him is a huge risk in fantasy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, SD TB 003400000 ***
Still recovering from a PCL sprain, Benjamin won't be right for a few more weeks. Keep him on the bench in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD TB 004501000 ***
The Buccaneers have given up the seventh most yards and fantasy points per game to tight ends over the last five weeks. Gates disappeared last week, but this is a great matchup for him to contribute to gamers' lineups..
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Hunter Henry, SD TB 002300000 ***
It's a great matchup, but Henry isn't a sure thing in terms of involvement from a week-to-week basis. Play him if you must or disagree, as Tampa has given up the seventh most PPR points to tight ends since Week 7.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD TB 1144 ***
Lambo has a negative-leaning matchup with the Buccaneers, but that could be irrelevant if the surging Bucs struggle on the road all the way across the nation.

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t