FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: OAK 13, CAR 27 (Line: CAR by 8.5)

Players Updated: Torrey Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw

Players to Watch: DeAngelo Williams, Steve Smith

This is a meaningless game in the sense of the playoffs and the 4-10 Raiders are only 1-5 on the road thanks to playing the Chiefs in Kansas City. The 5-9 Panthers have won their last two games and this will be their final home game.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL 20-55
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO 17-38
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN 10-34
4 @DEN 6-37 13 CLE 17-20
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN 13-26
6 @ATL 20-23 15 KC 15-0
7 JAC 26-23 16 @CAR -----
8 @KC 26-16 17 @SD -----
9 TB 32-42 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
OAK @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub 260,2
RB Maurice Jones-Drew
RB Darren McFadden 60 3-30
WR James Jones 2-30,1
WR Denarius Moore 4-50
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Another bad season for the Raiders and the first year for Dennis Allen looked pretty much like any other for a decade or more. The offense was saddled with a poor rushing effort and that was before Darren McFadden missed his traditional four games. The last five games have seen the Raiders unable to score more than 17 points in any game and now with two road games left to play, it's reasonable to assume a less than stellar effort in these final two weeks.

Terrelle Pryor was finally given a series last week and he only threw one incompletion. But he looms as a problem to Carson Palmer who doesn't have a lot of series he can give away and still retain much fantasy value. Palmer was on a two touchdown streak in six of the last seven until last week when the Raiders just ran and kicked fields goals against the Chiefs. Problem too is that Palmer he his worst efforts come in away games as well.

The Raiders ran the ball 43 times last week but that won't happen again. Darren McFadden gained 110 rushing yards but needed 30 carries against the visiting Chiefs to get there. He added four catches as well while a healthy Mike Goodson finally had some playing time and ran 13 times for 89 yards. It was McFadden's final home game and two of this three 100+ yard rushing games were against the Chiefs.

Brandon Myers has disappeared these last two weeks after his monster 130 yard game against the Browns but he's back on the road this week where he has never scored a touchdown or had more than moderate yardage.

Jon Criner injured his hip last week but none of the receivers here have any real fantasy value anymore. Darrius Heyward-Bey came off his best game of the year - 5-82 and a touchdown - and then had no catches last week. Denarius Moore hasn't gained more than 46 yards in the last five games. Rod Streater has been the most productive wideout for the last three weeks but has only two scores all year.

This is likely to be a bad week. The Raiders season is already over. They are coming off a rare home win and have only two road games left to play knowing they can only beat the Chiefs if they leave Oakland.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 13 17 16 12 13 32
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 8 26 7 23 27 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK BUF 0000017002 ***
This is the defense that tamed Peyton Manning and whitewashed Aaron Rodgers; how do you think they'll do with the rookie Carr?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK BUF 6012100000 **
The Bills are stout against the run, so even the potential of Latavius Murray here isn't enough to raise eyebrows.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK BUF 003300000 ***
Holmes has the most upside of any Raiders receiver, but given the way the Bills have put the kibosh on opponents the suggestion is you just pack up and go.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK BUF 006300000 ***
Jones has the last two WR TDs for the Raiders, though it took five weeks to raise that total to two. And that's about the extent of Jones' upside this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK BUF 003200000 ***
Rivera is an inconsistent producer who can't be banked on for fantasy help at this point in the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK BUF 1111 ****
SeaBass went off script last week with seven points, his first non-six point game in a month. If you're into steady mediocre numbers, Janikowski's your bobo.

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 31-7
7 DAL 14-19 16 OAK -----
8 @CHI 22-23 17 @NO -----
9 @WAS 21-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 70 230,2
RB Mike Tolbert 30,1 2-10
RB DeAngelo Williams 80 3-30
TE Greg Olsen 5-50,1
PK Graham Gano 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: At 5-9 it has been a bad season by any measure but at least the Panthers can feel a sense of progress winning three of their last four (which included losing to the Chiefs if you can wrap your head around that one). Those wins all scored 30 points or more while the defense finally was good enough. The main progress of the season is that Cam Newton has been noticeably better in the last month even though the schedule was kind along the way.

Newton scored at least twice in each of the last four games and has been a fantasy godsend for owners in the playoffs with a three touchdown game against the Chiefs and Falcons recently. He settled down last week versus the Chargers mainly because they were running so well anyway.

With Jonathan Stewart out with a high ankle sprain, DeAngelo Williams has turned in back-to-back big games with a receiving score in each and over 100 total yards. He rushed for a season high 93 yards last 2week while Michael Tolbert ended up with the two short touchdowns - his first since week seven.

Greg Olsen did not score last week but has become a lock for around 50 yards every week with a decent chance for a touchdown. He and Steve Smith remain the only fantasy plays here and Smith in particular has seen an uptick in production in recent weeks with two efforts over 100 yards and two scores in that time.

Chances are good that the rushing effort will be plenty good enough to take this win against the #30 ranked defense against running backs. Hard to imagine that Newton won't try to score once with Smith though since this is the final home game. Newton owners may have struggled earlier in the season but he's ending on a very strong note.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 4 25 24 9 32 15
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 24 30 19 28 31 16

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR CLE 10000025011 ***
Maybe Cam goes this week, but can you trust him to run--key to his fantasy value--with two busted bones in his back? Probably not, which leaves him to his throwing--not nearly enough to warrant a fantasy start in championship week.
Update: Cam is listed as probable and all indications are he'll start this week. Tough to see him running like usual, however, so he'll need to rely on his arm--and specifically on Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen--to carve out fantasy value against a pretty solid Browns secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR CLE 8011100000 ***
You can run on the Brownies; see Cincy's 241 yards and three TDs last week. And with little to no DeAngelo Williams and quite likely no Cam Newton culturing, it'll be another 20-tote day for Stewart. He's produced 228 yards and a touchdown with his last two 20-carry outings; have to like him here as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR CLE 200000000 ***
Williams hasn't played for two weeks and hasn't seen more than 14 carries in a year. All he's doing is harshing Jonathan Stewart's mellow.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR CLE 005600000 **
Joe Haden is not infallible. He also hasn't had a great deal of success with bigger receivers, especially tandems: Mike Evans went for 7-124-6 (or Vincent Jackson had 6-86, take your pick); DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson split 148 yards; and Julio Jones scored (with 68 yards to boot) while Roddy White tallied 96. Benjamin doesn't have nearly as high-profile a running mate, but he's still a solid bet to see his usual volume of targets and provide fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR CLE 004500000 ***
You could play the "not covered by Joe Haden" card here, but Kelvin Benjamin's dramatic size advantage over Haden likely puts that matchup in favor of the receiver, negating the need to lean any more heavily on Cotchery than usual.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR CLE 007801000 **
Cleveland has been pretty good against tight ends--except for Jimmy Graham, whom they misguidedly tried to defend with the much smaller Joe Haden. Unlikely that the Browns sic Haden on Olsen, which should free him up to do his usual damage.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR CLE 3322 ***
Gano is heating up at just the right time; with multiple treys in three straight and double-digit points in back-to-back tilts, it's fortuitous that he bumps into a Browns defense that has served up multiple field goals in three straight and double-digit kicker points in three of its last five.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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