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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
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Michael Crabtree 5-80,1
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 0000026020 ***
Providing the 12th highest chance for success has translated into being the sixth worst defense of quarterbacks for the Bills since Week 7. The position has the sixth fewest yards per game figure against Buffalo, yet passers have thrown a touchdown every 8.8 completions, which is the second most efficient stat in this time. Carr's twice-dislocated pinkie shouldn't be an issue.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK BUF 5014400000 ***
Basically, the only bright spot for running backs against the Bills is via the rushing touchdown. This is the ninth weakest group in that category over the past five weeks. Otherwise, it's a low-end matchup across the board.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jalen Richard, OAK BUF 2003200000 ***
This is too tough of a matchup for receiving backs to consider risking a lineup spot on Richard.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Seth Roberts, OAK BUF 003301000 **
Roberts is a good place to look if you are desperate for any kind of lineup-worthy production because of his penchant to score TDs. The Bills have given up a TD every 7.2 catches, which is the third best opportunity for him to find the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK BUF 006700000 ***
The Bills have given up the eighth most points per reception but the fourth fewest catches, so there's a big trade-off to weigh. This is the third most easily exploited defense for scoring TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Amari Cooper, OAK BUF 005600000 ***
The Bills have done a great job of shutting down receivers in catches and yards, but wideouts have scored a touchdown every 7.2 grabs -- the third most generous clip in fantasy since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK BUF 002101000 **
Oakland often involves the position near the end zone, but it's a weekly guessing game. The Bills at least have allowed TEs to score at the third highest clip, which gives some confidence in Rivera's chances.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clive Walford, OAK BUF 002300000 ***
Walford is finally healthy and seeing an uptick in his involvement. The Bills are atrocious at stopping tight ends from scoring touchdowns, so there is a glimmer of hope for Walford in cavernous setups.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK BUF 1133 ***
Buffalo has allowed 14 XPAs but just three field goal tries in its last five weeks, which is one of the more lopsided defensive efforts against the position. It fits Oakland's offensive design, though.

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
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 @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.

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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