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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
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
WR Rod Streater 4-60
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 @DEN 0000023022 ***
Carr threw for 192 and 2 in the earlier meeting with Denver. He's had multiple TDs in two of his last three games but the yardage has been substandard and facing a Broncos team looking to lock down a first-round bye won't help his prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @DEN 6002200000 ***
The Raiders hadn't gotten around to using Murray the last time they faced Denver; he saw just two of the teams 13 rushing attempts. Now he's the 20-plus carry lead dog, and all four 20-carry backs have all either scored or topped 100 yards against the Broncos. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @DEN 3001100000 ***
Wouldn't it be fitting if McFadden got hurt in his Raiders' swan song? One more trip through the training room, getting nostalgic with the whirlpool, all while watching Latavius Murray highlights on the TV.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @DEN 006401000 **
Jones has scored in back-to-back games, though his catches dwindled from eight to one last week. At that rate his prospects for this week don't look particularly good.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @DEN 003300000 ***
No Raiders receiver topped 30 yards the last time they faced the Broncos, and only two have topped 60 in Denver's last seven. Holmes might be the most frequently targeted Raider, but the ceiling is pretty low for his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @DEN 006501000 ****
Rivera might be the best (only?) fantasy play to emerge from the Oakland passing game this weekend. He scored in the previous meeting with Denver (part of a 6-64-1 showing), has 15-153-1 the past three games, and faces a Broncos defense that's given up TE TDs in back-to-back games and seven of their nine TE scores in the second half of the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @DEN 1122 ***
SeaBass goes 14 games without a fantasy helper, then drops 14 on an unsuspecting Buffalo defense. The Broncos aren't likely to be as friendly; they held Janikowski to something closer to his usual, five points in the earlier meeting, and are a good bet to do so again.

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 @ATL 40000026021 ***
Cam has multiple touchdowns in his last six against Atlanta, as well as multiple touchdowns in his last two sandwiched around his car crash. Most importantly, he's had a dozen rushes in each of those games, with 83 and 63 yards and a TD in each. And if he mixes in some passing stats against an Atlanta secondary that's allowed three straight 300 yard games--and 290-plus in eight straight--that's more than enough to be a significant fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR @ATL 8001100000 ***
Stewart has had three straight games of 20-plus carries, topping 120 rushing yards in two of them. He was the junior partner to DeAngelo Williams in the earlier meeting with Atlanta, but now he should be the primary ball-carrier against a defense that's allowed nine RB TDs in the past five games. And that, in turn, should yield fantasy production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR @ATL 0081102000 ***
Benjamin is the most heavily targeted Panther, with seven games of double-digit looks including four of the last five. And that stretch includes 9-109-1 against the Falcons, who don't seem any more able to shut him down than they did a month ago.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerricho Cotchery, CAR @ATL 004400000 ***
Being the number 2 to Kelvin Benjamin is like being Andrew Ridgley in Wham. Go ahead, Google it.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Philly Brown, CAR @ATL 002200000 ***
Only two secondary receivers have scored in the same game in which that team's WR1 also scored--and Brown is one of them. That said, his standard three targets per game make him an extreme fantasy risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR @ATL 007800000 ***
Olsen's 5-61 in the earlier meeting with Atlanta was the first time in six meetings with the Falcons in which he failed to find the end zone. He remains an every-week starter, but last week he didn't get his usual double-digit targets and the Falcons have allowed only three TE TDs all year so the matchup isn't doing him any favors.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR @ATL 2222 ***
Gano has multiple field goal attempts in five straight, and even converted multiple field goals in three of those five. He mustered just five points in the earlier meeting with the Falcons, however, so keep those expectations in check.

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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