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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16 ARI at SEA DEN at HOU NE at BAL PIT at GB
CHI at PHI IND at KC NO at CAR TB at STL
CLE at NYJ MIN at CIN NYG at DET TEN at JAC
*UPDATED DAL at WAS MIA at BUF OAK at SD ATL at SF (MON)

Prediction: NO 17, CAR 27 (Line: CAR by 3)

Update: There could be heavy thunderstorms during the game.

Time to distribute all the marbles in the NFC South. Both the Saints and Panthers are 10-4 with the Saints winning 31-13 just two weeks ago in New Orleans. A Saints win here nails the division. A loss and the tiebreakers will come into play with the loser not getting a bye or a homefield in the second round.

1 ATL 23-17 10 DAL 49-17
2 @TB 16-14 11 SF 23-20
3 ARI 31-7 12 @ATL 17-13
4 MIA 38-17 13 @SEA 7-34
5 @CHI 26-18 14 CAR 31-13
6 @NE 27-30 15 @STL 16-27
7 BYE WEEK 16 @CAR -
8 BUF 35-17 17 TB -
9 @NYJ 20-26 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 270,2
RB Mark Ingram 20
RB Pierre Thomas 20 5-30
WR Marques Colston 4-60,1
WR Kenny Stills 3-50
TE Jimmy Graham 5-60,1
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Saints just waived Garrett Hartley after he missed a 26-yard kick in St. Louis and signed Shayne Graham. But the Saints have problems bigger than their kicker. They are dominating on defense and high scoring on offense... when at home. On the road they have dropped their last two and almost los to the Falcons before that. The next previous road game was the loss to the Jets. No question that the Saints throttled the Panthers two weeks ago. But away from New Orleans, these are never the same Saints.

QUARTERBACKS: Drew Brees injured his hand last week but played anyway and claims it won't be an issue on Sunday. But what is at issue is how Brees acts in away games. Consider that at home for seven games, Brees has thrown 23 touchdowns. In seven road games, he only managed 11 scores. He's failed to throw for 300 yards in only four games - all of them on the road.

Brees passed for 313 yards and four scores versus the Panthers two weeks ago.

RUNNING BACKS: All combined the running backs here total good yardage almost every week. But that involves three or even four different runners. Against the Panthers, Mark Ingram only ran for four yards on three carries. Darren Sproles ran once for 38 yards and added three catches for 23 yards. Finally Pierre Thomas ran seven times for only 14 yards and caught four passes for 14 more yards. That was at home in a game the Saints won by 18 points.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Marques Colston had done very little all season and only really had one decent game when the Cowboys visited. But he blew up for 125 yards and nine receptions with two touchdowns on the Panthers. Last week he caught eight passes for 92 yards and one score as well. No other wideout really matters here other than Kenny Stills when the opponent is really weak and the visitor. Lance Moore only caught three passes for 40 yards in the last meeting with the Panthers. Colston was having a very forgettable year until the last two weeks.

TIGHT ENDS: Jimmy Graham only caught two passes for 25 yards on St. Louis last week but he brought in six receptions for 58 yards and two scores in the last meeting with the Panthers. Graham was on a three game scoring streak until the loss to the Rams.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Saints are already the only team to throw for more than one touchdown on the Panthers who have only allowed five passing scores over their seven home games. Brees already stops at two scores in every other road trip and the Panthers have the best defense of them all. The Saints were completely unable to run even in the big home win and the Panthers are even better in Carolina where only one runner scored and none have gained more than 63 yards. Tight ends are a bigger weakness for this otherwise dominating defense. Colston was great at home but the Panthers have only allowed one visiting wideout to score on them and that was in the season opener. No wideout has topped 100 yards in Carolina.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 3 27 1 13 29
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 2 4 6 16 7 5

 

1 SEA 7-12 10 @SF 10-9
2 @BUF 23-24 11 NE 24-20
3 NYG 38-0 12 @MIA 20-16
4 BYE WEEK 13 TB 27-6
5 @ARI 6-22 14 @NO 13-31
6 @MIN 35-10 15 NYJ 30-20
7 STL 30-15 16 NO -
8 @TB 31-13 17 @ATL -
9 ATL 34-10 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 50,1 240,2
RB DeAngelo Williams 70 2-10
WR Jerricho Cotchery 4-30
WR Tiquan Underwood 3-50
TE Greg Olsen 6-60,1
PK Graham Gano 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Panthers stumbled against the Saints two weeks ago but that was their only loss in the last ten games. At home, the Panthers outscored their opponents 160-83 and get a chance to get revenge for that humbling loss in New Orleans. Now that the Panthers know what is coming, that defense can once again lead the offense to a victory.

QUARTERBACKS: Cam Newton was held to only 160 yards and one score in New Orleans but he still ran for 48 yards on six scrambles. Like Brees, he's distinctively better in home games and already had a season best rushing total when he played them. Newton always remains above 200 yards when in Carolina.

RUNNING BACKS: Jonathan Stewart remains out with his torn MCL and last week DeAngelo Williams turned in a 72-yard scoring catch while running for 81 yards on 15 runs. Williams rushed 13 times for 52 yards in the first meeting with the Saints. This is a weak rushing attack that has only rushed in six touchdowns this season. But it is notable that Williams gained 4.0 yards per carry in New Orleans.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The passing effort was marginal in that first meeting but at least Steve Smith scored his first touchdown since week seven when he ended with six receptions for 49 yards. He's a lock to end up around 50 to 60 yards. He is also a lock to never go higher than 70 yards so far. Brandon LaFell only managed two catches for 22 yards in that meeting. Ted Ginn usually shows up in home games and was held to only five yards on two catches in that game.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen turned in a season high eight catches for 40 yards in that last meeting with the Saints which was sandwiched by 80 yard efforts at home on either side. Olsen is always good for at least five receptions in all recent games.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is a replay of just two weeks ago but there is a significant difference in the way both teams play when they are home or away. The Saints allowed a total of five passing scores over the last two road games between Russell Wilson and Kellen Clemens. They allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in just the last two road venues. Newton is a must start but both Williams, Smith and Olsen deserve some consideration this week since their performances at home should be markedly better than they were on the road just a couple of weekends ago.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 7 25 23 17 19 13
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 5 9 8 7 6 6

WEEK 16 ARI at SEA DEN at HOU NE at BAL PIT at GB
CHI at PHI IND at KC NO at CAR TB at STL
CLE at NYJ MIN at CIN NYG at DET TEN at JAC
*UPDATED DAL at WAS MIA at BUF OAK at SD ATL at SF (MON)


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