FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)

Prediction: NYG 27, CAR 23 (Line: CAR by 1.5)

Players of Interest: Cam Newton, Not David Wilson

The Giants slip to 0-2 on the heels of losing the Manning Bowl while the Panthers are also 0-2 but at least are the home team this week. The Giants won 36-7 in Carolina last year. This could go either way but the Giants dropping to 0-3 would make Tom Coughlin's head explode. This game is decided more by the mistakes than the great plays.

1 @DAL 31-36 10 OAK -
2 DEN 23-41 11 GB -
3 @CAR - 12 DAL -
4 @KC - 13 @WAS -
5 PHI - 14 @SD -
6 @CHI - 15 SEA -
7 MIN - 16 @DET -
8 @PHI - 17 WAS -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 350,2
RB David Wilson 30
WR Victor Cruz 8-100,1
WR Rueben Randle 5-80,1
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: There are no new receivers for the Giants this year other than tight end Brandon Myers - hardly a big downgrade. And yet Eli Manning has thrown seven interceptions on the year while David Wilson lost two fumbles. The Giants cannot get out of their own way. The passing effort has been plenty productive but has richly rewarded both teams. Tom Coughlin is not done belittling David Wilson so far and this team is in serious need of some wheel alignment.

QUARTERBACKS: Eli Manning has been prolific in passing with 812 passing yards in just two games. That trails Aaron Rodgers for the top spot in the NFL by one yard though Rodgers has thrown six fewer interceptions than Manning. And the picks are plentiful enough to share among all parties - batted balls, missed assignments and the occasional bad throw.

Manning passed for 288 yards and one score in Carolina last season.

RUNNING BACKS: David Wilson continues to be marginalized. He has exactly seven carries in each game and no catches. Now Da'Rel Scott has been promoted to third down back where he ends up with more touches than Wilson even though Scott only gained two yards on five carries last week. He did score on his two receptions for 30 yards. Brandon Jacobs is not only back, but he had as many carries as any back (7) and gained only four yards. He punched in one short score. Wilson is by far the fastest and best option among the running backs but the lesser talented Scott assumed a third down role and the lumbering Jacobs is astonishingly been given as much work as the other backs.

It seems only prudent that Wilson gets more playing time this week but then again the same was true last Sunday. The Giants have no rushing offense to speak of which leads to Manning throwing 40 to 50 times every week. When Brandon Jacobs is the best option on any play, you have pretty much ran out of options.

The Giants ran for 113 yards and two scores on the Panthers last time,

WIDE RECEIVERS: The only bright spot is here since the receivers are feasting on all the passing every week. Victor Cruz has back-to-back games with 118 yards and scored three times in the opener. Hakeem Nicks caught nine passed for 197 yards on the year so far. Even Rueben Randle opened with 101 yards before going quiet last week. Nicks suffered a dislocated finger in the Denver game but played through it and should not have any problems from it on Sunday.

Nicks was out in 2012 when they faced the Panthers. Ramses Barden caught nine passes for 138 yards then while Cruz was held to only 42 yards on six receptions.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Myers injured his ribs last week but is expected to be good to go for this week. Myers has also been solid with stat lines of 7-66-1 and 6-74-0 in the first two games respectively.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Panthers held Marshawn Lynch to only 43 rush yards on 17 carries in the opener and that doesn't bode well for a Giants backfield that has no idea who should be doing what. They just make sure that everyone gets enough to leave them all with no fantasy value. Until he shows up with a decent game, you cannot rely on Wilson. The Panthers have allowed around 300 yards and a score to both the Seahawks and Bills via the pass and that greatly favors what the Giants will be bringing to the party. The only question here is how many Manning passes are caught by guys with cats on their helmet. Nicks and Cruz are obvious starts along with Manning. Randle carries more risk but did have his one big game in the previous road matchup.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: It should be David Wilson. It seems insane that it is not David Wilson. But apparently it is not David Wilson.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 5 23 4 5 10 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 15 28 22 5 20 13

 

1 SEA 7-12 10 @SF -
2 @BUF 23-24 11 NE -
3 NYG - 12 @MIA -
4 BYE WEEK 13 TB -
5 @ARI - 14 @NO -
6 @MIN - 15 NYJ -
7 STL - 16 NO -
8 @TB - 17 @ATL -
9 ATL - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 40 230,2
RB DeAngelo Williams 90
WR Jerricho Cotchery 4-40
TE Greg Olsen 8-80,1
PK Graham Gano 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The oddity here is that the Panthers are getting more from their running effort than usual and yet are still losing games. Never a good road team, the Panthers gave the Seahawks all they could handle in week one but then could not hold off the Bills despite their starting a rookie quarterback. With a bye to follow and then two road trips, the season may be in jeopardy for the Panthers and it is only week three.

QUARTERBACKS: The biggest difference for this year is that Cam Newton is staying in the pocket more often. He ran only nine times for 53 yards over the first two games while passing for no more than 229 yards. He was sacked six times in Buffalo. The passing effort has been lagging for a while anyway with only Steve Smith around but without Newton adding in rushing yards and scores, the Panthers offense has been sluggish at best.

Newton only threw for 242 yards and three interception against the Giants last year. He scored once on a run but only totaled six rushing yards on six attempts.

RUNNING BACKS: DeAngelo Williams has yet to score and is still below average but turning in games of 76 and 85 rushing yards is genuinely surprising given last season. He has 38 runs for 161 yards for a 4.2 YPC average. He has almost no role as a receiver though and again - with no chances for a touchdown and at most around 20 carries per game his fantasy value barely ranks as a deep flex play. But that exceeds expectations. And finally the Panthers leading rusher is an actual running back.

Williams ran for 50 yards on 11 carries versus the Giants last time.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Smith seemed locked in at around 50 yards per week but he scored once in the last home game. Ted Ginn Jr. scored last week for the first time since 2010. Brandon LaFell (4-13) might as well not play. Outside of tight end, the passing game is in shambles here.

Smith gained 86 yards on four catches against the Giants last season.

TIGHT ENDS: The lone bright spot if only be comparison is Greg Olsen. He has 12 catches on the year for 140 yards which is double any other Panthers receiver. He and Smith account for almost all the action in the passing game.

Olsen led the team with seven catches for 98 yards on the Giants.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Giants have been soft against the run and that should benefit Williams and maybe even Newton since only pocket passers have gone against the Giants. The secondary has been hit up for a couple of scores each week but Newton is hardly the passer that Romo and Peyton Manning are. The only startable players here are Smith because you paid too much for him, Newton because you probably have no one better, Williams if you can live with like 80 rush yards and no score and definitely Olsen who alone should have a good game here against a team that has already allowed three scores to tight ends.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Newton either has to figure out how to connect with the wideouts or just start running more.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 25 28 25 12 21 26
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 20 25 18 31 32 32

WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)


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