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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

Projections by Team
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WEEK 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL *NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
*NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF *SD at HOU *IND at PHI SF, STL
*Updated *NYJ at DET *ARI at MIN *DAL at GB TEN, WAS

Prediction: NO 23, CAR 9

Update: DeAngelo Williams has not practiced and will miss another week. Pierre Thomas is still out indefinitely. An earlier report had Drew Brees with a torn meniscus but he adamantly claimed he had no injury.

The Saints already won 16-14 when the Panthers visited in week four but nothing is a lock with the Saints who have not won or loss two straight since week two. The win mean last week suggests a loss is in order here but the Panthers have only won one game and are even more banged up. It has been a topsy-turvey season to be sure and yet this would be a major upset.

New Orleans Saints (5-3)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN W 14-9 10 Bye -
2 @SF W 25-22 11 SEA --
3 ATL L 24-27 12 @DAL --
4 CAR W 16-14 13 @CIN --
5 @ARI L 20-30 14 STL --
6 @TB W 31-6 15 @BAL --
7 CLE L 17-30 16 @ATL --
8 PIT W 20-10 17 TB --
9 @CAR -- - - -
Saints Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ORLEANS at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees - - 260,2
RB Chris Ivory 80 - -
RB Julius Jones 30 20 -
TE Jeremy Shockey - 30 -
WR Marques Colston - 60 -
WR Lance Moore - 40,1 -
WR Devery Henderson - 50,1 -
WR Robert Meachem - 30 -
PK Garrett Hartley 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The win over the Steelers made up a bit for the humbling loss to the visiting Browns and at 5-3 the Saints are only a half game behind in the AFC South with a recuperative bye waiting on the other side of this game. The Saints only have three more home games left to play so winning on the road is going to be imperative from here on out.

QUARTERBACK: Fantasy owners are going to hate week 10 when Drew Brees has his bye because he's been money every week. His 17 passing touchdowns lead the league and he's passed for more than 250 yards in every game since week one. His lowest fantasy game of that stretch was actually the first meeting with the Panthers when he only threw for 275 yards and a rare one touchdown game.

The Panthers rank highly against the pass because most teams just run all over them. But the Saints are a bit short on healthy backs and Brees has been on fire in recent games. He's likely due for a cool down this week since the Panthers have decent corners and no run-stopping ability. His 275 yards last time is the season high they have given up.

RUNNING BACKS: Reggie Bush remains out with his broken leg and he is expected to be back in week 11 after the bye. Pierre Thomas is still with the team, assumedly, and is "out indefinitely" with the world's most nagging ankle sprain. Chris Ivory has filled in but he received a mild concussion last week though it is not expected to be an issue on Sunday.

Ivory gained 67 yards on 12 carries in the last meeting with the Panthers in his first game of any significance. Ladell Betts ran for 47 yards on 13 carries in that game but has since been replaced by Julius Jones who was given seven carries and three passes against the Steelers.

The Panthers are much weaker against the run but it is hard to rely on a Saints runner with the constant change in rotation. Ivory should make for a decent start this week and could have a big game depending on how they mix in Jones.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Panthers typically do a nice job against starting wideouts but there are four on the Saints who will be used in varying rotations. In the last meeting, Marques Colston was held to only 36 yards on four catches and Devery Henderson turned in six receptions for 59 yards as the starters. But Lance Moore scored once on his five catches for 37 yards and Robert Meachem was held to only two catches.

The passing scores are going to end up with this group but to which player is pretty much a coin flip. Colston has been hot lately with a score in each of the last two games but the Panthers usually contain him (if only him). It is all speculative anyway since none of the receivers have ever had a big yardage game this year.

TIGHT ENDS: Jeremy Shockey turned in one of his better games of the year in the last meeting with the Panthers when he caught six passes for 58 yards. He has not topped 30 yards in any of the four games since the matchup.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 7 16 9 8 15 27
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 4 24 3 13 28 28
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NO -3 8 -6 5 13 1


Carolina Panthers (1-6)
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 L 10-20 17 @ATL --
9 NO --   - -
Panthers Report | Statistics | Roster
CAROLINA vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Moore - - 180
RB Jonathan Stewart 60 - -
WR Brandon LaFell - 60 -
WR Steve Smith - 40 -
WR David Gettis - 50 -
PK John Kasay 3 FG - -

Pregame Notes: The win over the 49ers in week seven was huge to end the losing streak but the Panthers still look as weak as any team in the league. To the defense's credit, no opponent has scored more than 23 points since the first week. Then again, the offense has not produced more than 14 points other than the one win. All this team can hope for is a trap game and yet the Saints are too familiar with the Panthers to allow that to happen.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Moore will be the starter in this matchup and try to improve on the 146 yards and one score that Jimmy Clausen produced in week four in New Orleans. Moore has thrown for at last one score in each of his starts and is usually limited by his interceptions. He has five touchdowns on the season but that goes against ten interceptions.

The Saints have allowed more than one score just once and have only given up six touchdowns on the season to quarterbacks. There is nothing attractive about starting Matt Moore this week.

RUNNING BACKS: DeAngelo Williams remains out with a bad ankle but Jonathan Stewart did little with his chance to be the starting running back. Against what should have been a softer Rams defense, Stewart was held to only 30 yards on 14 carries which was almost exactly his same stats from the 49ers win the previous week. Stewart wisely blamed his offensive line for his lack of production.

Williams ran for 86 yards and a score in the first meeting with the Saints but the Panthers are worse and missing RT Jeff Otah. Stewart has to be considered a marginal play at best even at home.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Smith had a season high nine catches for 85 yards in St. Louis but still has not scored since week two and has lost a fumble for two weeks in a row. Smith was the subject of 15 pass targets and yet have a couple of drops. David Gettis followed up his big 125 yard, two touchdown effort against the 49ers with zero catches on three passes last week. Brandon LaFell had the score with only four receptions for 40 yards. This unit is all about Steve Smith and yet he only managed two catches for 11 yards in the first meeting (though with Clausen as the starting quarterback).

The bad news here is that the Saints have allowed only two passing scores to wide receivers and they have already blanketed Smith once. Expect little from this group and history says even Smith is not a worthy fantasy start.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 31 22 28 29 30 22
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 2 20 1 23 9 26
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CAR -29 -2 -27 -6 -21 4

WEEK 9
2010
TB at ATL MIA at BAL NYG at SEA PIT at CIN
NO at CAR NE at CLE KC at OAK DEN, JAC
CHI at BUF SD at HOU IND at PHI SF, STL
  NYJ at DET ARI at MIN DAL at GB TEN, WAS
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