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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 8
2010
*GB at NYJ *CAR at STL *MIN at NE *HOU at IND
*DEN at SF WAS at DET *SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL *BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
*UPDATED MIA at CIN *TEN at SD *PIT at NO NYG, PHI

Prediction: CAR 13, STL 20

Update: Though Steven Jackson has missed two days of practice because of his finger, he's still in line to play on Sunday. DeAngelo Williams has not practiced and will likely be a game time decision. His foot sprain would likely limit him in the best of all cases so I am lower his numbers and boosting Stewart even though the actual roles may not be known until kickoff.

Update #2: Danario Alexander is now out for a few weeks because he needed his knee scoped to repair a torn meniscus. Steven Jackson is listed as questionable but returned for some work on Friday and is expected to play. DeAngelo Williams is considered doubtful to play this week so I am pulling him from the rankings. Mike Goodson should be involved and Stewart steps up to the primary.

The Panthers finally get their first win of the season thanks to the visiting 49ers but now head to St. Louis where the Rams are 3-1 at home. This has been a topsy-turvy year to be sure, but not so much for these teams. Panthers are still bad and the Rams have won their last three games at home.

Carolina Panthers (1-5)
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG L 18-31 10 @TB --
2 TB L 7-20 11 BAL --
3 CIN L 7-20 12 @CLE --
4 @NO L 14-16 13 @SEA --
5 CHI L 6-23 14 ATL --
6 Bye - 15 ARI --
7 SF W 23-20 16 @PIT --
8 @STL -- 17 @ATL --
9 NO --   - -
Panthers Report | Statistics | Roster
CAROLINA at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Moore - - 170,1
RB DeAngelo Williams 30 - -
RB Jonathan Stewart 80 10 -
WR Brandon LaFell - 40 -
WR Steve Smith - 40,1 -
WR David Gettis - 50 -
PK John Kasay 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Panthers were losing every game and switched to the rookie Jimmy Clausen with no success so with the weak 49ers coming for a visit the change back to Moore was made and voila - the Panthers squeak out their first win if for no other reason than knocking Alex Smith out of the game. The rest of the schedule is pretty daunting other than the one home game against the Cardinals but with any luck the Panthers will catch a trap game or two along the way.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Moore had a career best 308 yards and two scores last week after never producing more than 182 yards in any game or having more than one score. Playing at home it seemed that David Gettis emerged as a viable weapon but this week will be a better measure of what to expect.

The Rams have never allowed more than one passing score in St. Louis and the passing yardage has been very average in most games. Moore had a nice game last week but Sunday should be more of the same that got him benched the first time.

RUNNING BACKS: There has been nothing good happening here even when the opponent has been weak. DeAngelo Williams has one touchdown on the season and has gained less than 63 yards in all but one game. Jonathan Stewart generally gained about half what Williams gets. This is the 60/40 split but when there is only about 70 to 80 yards to divide the fantasy value is all gone.

The Rams have allowed only two rushing scores this year and only once has any runner topped 65 rushing yards. This is yet another week of low expectations for the Panthers backfield. Williams injured his foot but it is not believed to be serious so I will assume he is good to go and update if needed. If one of these runners would get injured, then the Panthers might have a running back worthy of a fantasy start each week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Smith returned last week and while he had four catches for 50 yards he was in and out of the lineup with leg cramps and mostly allowed the other receivers to shine. David Gettis has taken over the flanker spot and finally had a breakout game of eight receptions for 125 yards and two scores. Prior to that game, Gettis had never produced more than 40 yards or scored in any game. He'll get the benefit of being across from Steve Smith but even Brandon LaFell had 91 yards on six catches in the 49ers game and he had never been better than 40 yards.

The Rams allowed six passing scores to wideouts and five different receivers have turned in nice yardage games against them but this squad cannot be relied on for more than a moderate showing on the road. Too early to consider LaFell or Gettis as anything more than one week wonders. The one score favors Smith but could go almost anywhere.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy impact.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 32 19 31 29 32 17
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 13 13 23 2 26 23
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CAR -19 -6 -8 -27 -6 6


St. Louis Rams (3-4)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ARI L 13-17 10 @SF --
2 @OAK L 14-16 11 ATL --
3 WAS W 30-16 12 @DEN --
4 SEA W 20-3 13 @ARI --
5 @DET L 6-44 14 @NO --
6 SD W 20-17 15 KC --
7 @TB L 17-18 16 SF --
8 CAR -- 17 @SEA --
9 Bye - - - -
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 200,1
RB Steven Jackson 110,1 10 -
TE M. Hoomanawanui - 20,1 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 30 -
WR Danny Amendola - 50 -
WR Danario Alexander - 30 -
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Rams let one slip through their fingers in Tampa Bay but will be favored in these next two games so that on bye they should be 5-4 which in the NFC West is hardly out of contention. The hunt for a replacement for Mark Clayton continues and Steven Jackson is banged up but these Rams have beaten the last three visitors to St. Louis and each one was a far better team than the Panthers.

QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford has been throwing for less yardage lately but he hasn't thrown an interception in two weeks while passing for three touchdowns in those games. Notable too is that his best yardage efforts have been while at home. The Panthers have been good against the pass but also faced some very poor passing attacks in recent weeks. Bradford is not likely to have a big game here but should manage his average.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson played with a crack in a bone in his left ring finger in Tampa Bay and had surgery on it Monday but so far it is not expected to keep him out this week or even limit him. Jackson is on a string of three straight games of more than 100 rush yards though he only has two touchdowns on the season. His role as a receiver always shrinks when he is at home as well.

The Panthers have been softer against the run with the last two opponents both having big performances from their running backs. Jackson will be the focus of the offense so expect a good game here and a chance for one more touchdown in this home venue.

WIDE RECEIVERS: After Danario Alexander had 72 yards and a touchdown in his debut, his surgically repaired knees where sore afterwards and he was limited to only 12 plays against the Buccaneers which resulted in one catch for six yards. Alexander has always had talent but his history of knee ailments and surgeries is why he was undrafted. Danny Amendola scored in Tampa Bay though he only had 19 yards on three catches. Mardy Gilyard has been out with a hamstring strain but Laurent Robinson played with minimal impact. Brandon Gibson has never been the answer. This offense needs a go-to receiver and other than gimpy Alexander there doesn't appear to be anyone able to make a difference.

The Panthers have only allowed two touchdowns to a wideout in the last five games and no wideout has managed more than 59 yards in those games so leave the Rams wideouts alone again this week.

TIGHT ENDS: Michael Hoomanawanui has been back for two weeks now and in Tampa Bay was thrown five passes for two completions that netted 12 yards and one touchdown. I like Hoomanawanui to rake in the passing score again this week with a bit of more yardage. With no one else stepping up, the rookie tight end could end up with at least a minor possession role.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 23 22 14 27 18 18
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 8 26 7 5 29 28
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) STL -15 4 -7 -22 11 10

WEEK 8
2010
GB at NYJ CAR at STL MIN at NE HOU at IND
DEN at SF WAS at DET SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
  MIA at CIN TEN at SD PIT at NO NYG, PHI
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