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 @SEA 0000017012 ****
Carr's had a couple of decent fantasy efforts during his rookie campaign; asking him to go to Seattle and pull one off... well, that's a bit too aggressive.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @SEA 4004200000 ***
McFadden is unlikely to dent the Seahawks on the ground, but he could salvage fantasy value via the air against a Seattle defense that's allowing almost 50 RB receiving yards per game over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, OAK @SEA 40130000 ***
MJD's last two game have seen him carry the ball nine times for 14 yards. Ugh.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @SEA 005600000 **
Holmes will get his targets; the key will be holding on to them. Not enough upside here to warrant a start against a secondary that could very well throttle the life out of Oakland's passing game without blinking an eye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @SEA 003400000 ***
The Seahawks haven't allowed a WR TD since Week 5 or a WR TD at home since the season opener. Oakland's cast of characters doesn't feel like the group that's going to crack that code.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenbrell Thompkins, OAK @SEA 002300000 ***
If you were wondering where Kenbrell Thompkins ended up... well, here he is. He saw eight targets last week, but given this matchup with Seattle's secondary that number--as well as what Thompkins can do with those catches--is likely to dwindle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @SEA 003201000 *
Maybe the Raiders' best hope for fantasy value this week comes in the form of Rivera, who posted 7-83 on nine targets last week. He'll have a chance to exploit the lone fantasy weakness in this defense, an inability to defend tight ends. Seattle has surrendered eight TE TDs already this season; if Oakland is to get one, Rivera's probably the best bet.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @SEA 1111 ***
Seabass has yet to hit double-digit points, and Seattle seems like an unlikely venue for him to reach that milestone.

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
WR Jason Avant 4-50
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 NO 30000025020 ***
The Saints have held Newton in relative check--single touchdown, sub-250 passing yards, sub-50 rushing yards check--the past three meetings, and Cam's coming off a subpar performance against the Seahawks last week. But New Orleans is a different animal outdoors, so we're putting a little more stock in a Newton bounceback effort here--especially considering the Saints have allowed multiple QB TDs in four straight games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, CAR NO 5011100000 **
The last time both Williams and Jonathan Stewart played in the same game for the Panthers it was a 14-9 split on carries (and 14-12 on touches) in favor of Williams. He's also scored in four of the last five meetings with New Orleans where both he and Stewart have suited up. So odds are he's the lead dog here, though if his share of the workload is still in the 15-touch range it'll be tough to bank on him for much of a fantasy contribution.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR NO 3001100000 **
In the last five times both Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have suited up against the Saints--and you have to go back five years to come up with those five games--Williams has scored in four of them and Stewart in just one. The last time both were available this season Stewart was on the short end of a 14-12 split in touches. So if Williams truly is back this week, Stewart isn't likely to be much of a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR NO 0051002000 ***
In the last three games alone the Saints have allowed five WR TDs and three 100-yard games. Since Benjamin is the Carolina WR most likely to (insert just about anything here), he's the best bet to take the helpful cut of those stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR NO 006601000 **
Olsen hasn't scored on the Saints since October of 2011 and has never topped 50 yards against them. Seattle, notoriously soft against tight ends, provided a blue print for covering him last week in holding him to one catch for 16 yards, and the Saints haven't allowed a TE TD since Week 1. He's still an every-week starter in TE-mandatory leagues based on his role in the Carolina offense, but there isn't much to like about this particular matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR NO 22332 ***
Gano's been a solid point provider, averaging around eight points per game, and the Saints are surrendering around nine points per game. You could do worse for a kicking option this week.

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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