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 @STL 0000019012 ***
Carr has one real fantasy helper to his NFL credit; a second is not likely forthcoming against a St. Louis defense that's given up just four passing scores in the past five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @STL 6003200000 **
If Murray is cleared from his concussion he's an intriguing play against a Rams' defense that's allowed five of its six RB TDs in the past five games and just let Ryan Mathews top the 100-yard mark. He was back at practice and is a significantly better option than other Raider backs, so expect him to go--and give you a fantasy boost.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @STL 3004300000 ***
At this point any carry the Raiders give to someone other than Latavius Murray is wasted--not to mention no fantasy help whatsoever.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @STL 007601000 ****
Jones is the veteran option to Andre Holmes, a guy who's essentially splitting the Raiders' WR targets. He's as good a fantasy option as Holmes, with maybe a tinge less upside, but both are still borderline bets at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @STL 004500000 **
A Rams secondary that's given up four 100-yard efforts in the past three games, and Holmes getting the bulk of the targets for the Raiders; he's the best fantasy option of a relatively bad situation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @STL 004300000 ***
Rivera hasn't been nearly as much of a fantasy factor the past two weeks, and a date with a St. Louis defense that's allowed just one TE TD in the past 10 games isn't likely to change that course.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @STL 1122 ***
If you're into six or seven points in a game, you're in luck; after a slow start that's what SeaBass is averaging over the mast six games. If you're looking for upside, however, you'll want to look elsewhere.

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 @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.

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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