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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12 NO at ATL (THU) DEN at NE NYJ at BAL TEN at OAK
CHI at STL IND at ARI PIT at CLE SF at WAS (MON)
CAR at MIA JAC at HOU SD at KC On Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at NYG MIN at GB TB at DET BUF, CIN, PHI, SEA

Prediction: CAR 24, MIA 16 (Line: CAR by 3.5)

The 7-3 Panthers are on a six game winning streak and nipping at the Saints heels. The 5-5 Dolphins are 3-2 at home and come off a win over the visiting Chargers. The Panthers are on a short week after beating the Patriots on Monday.

1 SEA 7-12 10 @SF 10-9
2 @BUF 23-24 11 NE 24-20
3 NYG 38-0 12 @MIA -
4 BYE WEEK 13 TB -
5 @ARI 6-22 14 @NO -
6 @MIN 35-10 15 NYJ -
7 STL 30-15 16 NO -
8 @TB 31-13 17 @ATL -
9 ATL 34-10 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 30,1 230,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 40 3-20
RB Mike Tolbert 20,1 2-20
RB DeAngelo Williams 50 2-10
WR Jerricho Cotchery 4-50,1
WR Tiquan Underwood 3-50
TE Greg Olsen 5-50,1
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Panthers were rolling along winning every week because they were facing a mostly soft schedule and had a very good defense. Taking down the Patriots on the national stage showed the world that they can generate offense as well. The Panthers are one game behind the Saints with both meetings left to play. There is still no room for error so games such as this one need to be won but those Saints matchups are going to define the playoffs for the Panthers.

QUARTERBACKS: While Cam Newton may have scored more points in previous games, he was perhaps never more impressive than when he passed for 209 yards and three scores on the Patriots. He added a season high 62 yards on seven runs and never turned over the ball. The reality is that Newton has a fairly mediocre team around him but was making it work. That will give him a well deserved boost of confidence while worrying opposing defensive coordinators a bit more.

RUNNING BACKS: The Panthers now mix in all three backs and even the totals are not that great. DeAngelo Williams only gained 14 yards on six runs against the Patriots and his days of double digit carries appears over. Jonathan Stewart only gained 10 yards on four runs on Monday while Michael Tolbert ran six times for 17 yards. That is a great illustration what a cluster of inconsistency this backfield is generating. Add in Newton running and scoring and there is no reason to rely on a back here unless you were very, very late to the waiver wire.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Smith is apparently incapable of breaking 70 yards in any game. And yet he's topped 50 yards seven times and always has "something". It is just never a lot and he has not scored since week seven. Brandon LaFell has been only good for moderate yardage but on Monday turned in seven catches for 59 yards and one score and made several rather impressive catches. He's still never more than a very low end WR3 with more risk than reward but for at least one week he showed up to play. Even Ted Ginn Jr. scored on the Patriots on his only catch in the game. This remains a very mediocre group that never generates a big game.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen is contributing more in recent weeks and scored in three of the last four games. His yardage tends to remain low regardless but at least he's an option for the diverse and moderate passing attack of the Panthers. He's bound to matter again this week against a defense that is great versus wideouts and yet bad versus tight ends.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Dolphins at home have been outstanding against the pass with only three touchdowns allowed over five games. The Panthers won't win this one in the air and the Dolphins weakness against the run is going to be their problem. They've already allowed a dozen scores to running backs. OF course this will all be split into three pieces for the Panthers which will water down what any individual runner can accomplish let alone make it easy to predict. Newton is a good start here as is Olsen but the others are too inconsistent to consider. Steve Smith will still get 60 yards. Nothing more. Nothing less.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 8 21 20 19 22 7
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 7 29 4 29 28 24

 

1 @CLE 23-10 10 @TB 19-22
2 @IND 24-20 11 SD 20-16
3 ATL 27-23 12 CAR -
4 @NO 17-38 13 @NYJ -
5 BAL 23-26 14 @PIT -
6 BYE WEEK 15 NE -
7 BUF 21-23 16 @BUF -
8 @NE 17-27 17 NYJ -
9 CIN 22-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 220,1
RB Lamar Miller 40 2-20
RB Knowshon Moreno 50,1 6-50
RB Daniel Thomas 30 1-10
WR Brian Hartline 4-30
WR Rishard Matthews 4-50
WR Mike Wallace 3-40
TE Charles Clay 4-50,1
PK Caleb Sturgis 3 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins remain in contention for at least a wildcard thanks to the rampant parity in the AFC this season. But the 5-5 record may be about as good as it gets considering three of the next four games are on the road sandwiching a home stand against the Patriots. Adding the Panthers this week and breaking .500 will be a chore for the Dolphins who continue to live mainly by their defense.

QUARTERBACKS: Ryan Tannehill is little more than a game manager able to throw for around 220 yards in most weeks with one or two scores. He's thrown for more than 250 yards only twice in the last eight games and now is about to face the better defenses on their schedule. So far Tannehill is not losing games, but he's not really why they win when they do.

RUNNING BACKS: This game should be dedicated to running back committees. The Dolphins only use the two but even then the roles and ratios change from game to game. Daniel Thomas was the primary last week and even scored once on his ten runs for 57 yards but his production has been all over the map from as good as 60 yards to as bad as just one yard. Lamar Miller is usually the superior back but the Fins want to go with "the hot hand" which apparently means Thomas if you wait long enough and cut off Miller at only four runs. Bottom line - bad situation to buy into for a fantasy start.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mike Wallace continues to disappoint with only 30 yards against the Chargers and only one touchdown on the season. Wallace is still the primary receiver but this is a lackluster passing attack that only occasionally relies on the wide receivers with any success. Rishard Matthews replaced Brandon Gibson when he went on injured reserve and posted a career high 11 catches for 120 yards and two scores on the Buccaneers. Last week he still managed 52 yards on four catches in the win over the Chargers. Brian Hartline is consistently average and turns in around 60 yards every week without scoring. This is not going to change this week against one of the top rated pass defenses in the league.

TIGHT ENDS: After three straight weeks of minimal production, Charles Clay ended up with as season best game of 90 yards and a score on six receptions. That gives him four touchdowns in the year and further proof that he can contribute well in the right situation.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is the best defense against quarterbacks. The Panthers only allow one touchdown per opponent if that much and have only give up eight scores in the 10 games so far. The yardage also tends to be lower for all but the best passers and that is not what the Fins are bringing to the party. There has been only one wide receiver to score on this defense this season. If there is any passing touchdown, it would almost have to end up with Clay. The Panthers are also tough against the run and allowed just three rushing scores. There is no Dolphin player that carries enough promise here to outweigh the risk of getting nearly nothing from your player.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 20 30 15 12 17 14
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 1 7 2 14 6 7

WEEK 12 NO at ATL (THU) DEN at NE NYJ at BAL TEN at OAK
CHI at STL IND at ARI PIT at CLE SF at WAS (MON)
CAR at MIA JAC at HOU SD at KC On Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at NYG MIN at GB TB at DET BUF, CIN, PHI, SEA


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