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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA * DET at MIN * KC at SD NYJ at OAK
* ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE * PIT at IND
* BAL at STL * HOU at NO NE at BUF * SF at CIN
* UPDATED DEN at TEN JAC at CAR * NYG at PHI * WAS at DAL (mon)

Prediction: JAC 13, CAR 24

Players to Watch: Brandon LaFell, Blaine Gabbert

The Jaguars are an enigma with a win over the Titans and then was waxed in New York by the Jets. The Panthers are 0-2 and yet the talk of the league after nearly beating the Packers last week and apparently drafting the next Superman as their quarterback. The Panthers are finally favored in a game and well they should be. We all thought they would be 0-2 now, but the fact they scare everyone is all new.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 TEN 16-14 10 @IND -
2 @NYJ 3-32 11 @CLE -
3 @CAR - 12 HOU -
4 NO - 13 SD -
5 CIN - 14 TB -
6 @PIT - 15 @ATL -
7 BAL - 16 @TEN -
8 @HOU - 17 IND -
9 Bye -      
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
JACKSONVILLE at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert - - 150
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 90,1 10 -
TE Zach Miller - 20 -
WR Cecil Shorts - 30 -
WR Mike Thomas - 60 -
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: What a painful blowout last week that undid whatever good the opening win did. It appears the Luke McCown era will not make it past 14 days in September and the offense needs to find a spark of some kind that has just not appeared. This was going to be one of the easier games before we knew that Cam Newton was going to be that rare exception to the rule. The Jags have a very tough slate of games leading to the week nine bye. If they can secure even two or three wins by then it will be a surprise.

QUARTERBACK: Apparently Luke McCown's effort last week - 6 of 19 for 59 yards and four interceptions - was not that impressive and led to Blaine Gabbert getting his first game reps. This is a copycat league and with Cam Newton doing so well, why not use Gabbert? He's not going to be any worse than McCown and at least the Jags can always point to a rookie quarterback for why they lost games.

HC Jack Del Rio has not named a starter yet. I'll count on Gabbert though because the Jaguars will want to roll out their shiny new quarterback too and hope he does anything near like what Cam Newton has. That makes all projections for the Jaguars a risk to rely on.

The Panthers have allowed 300+ yards in the first two games but that was with Kevin Kolb and Aaron Rodgers.

RUNNING BACKS: For being on a play count and returning from knee surgery, Maurice Jones-Drew has done very well in gaining 185 rushing yards which is the highest total of his career through two games. But MJD has minimal role as a receiver so far and has scored only once. Deji Karim has been used at least six times each game and is planned on resting MJD when he needs it.

The Panthers have allowed a rushing touchdown each week and decent yet never big yardage. The Jags will be running so expect a good game here by Jones-Drew with a very good chance for one touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Whole lot of nothing happening here. No Jaguars wideout has scored or had more than 55 yards in any game. Mike Thomas remains the most talented but he has topped out at 55 yards on eight catches and a rookie quarterback not named Newton means hands off this crew until we know what to expect. This is a slow start for the Jaguars and another step backwards if they do use Gabbert this week. On the plus side, you will be able to grab Thomas off the waiver wire at some point and he could catch on fire later in the year.

TIGHT ENDS: Marcedes Lewis remains out and Zach Miller takes his place but neither player has any fantasy value for now.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 32 16 32 26 25 26
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 25 19 22 26 20 29


Carolina Panthers
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 21-28 10 TEN -
2 GB 23-30 11 @DET -
3 JAC - 12 @IND -
4 @CHI - 13 @TB -
5 NO - 14 ATL -
6 @ATL - 15 @HOU -
7 WAS - 16 TB -
8 MIN - 17 @NO -
9 Bye -      
Panthers Report | Statistics | Roster
CAROLINA vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 30,1 - 290,2
RB DeAngelo Williams 50 10 -
RB Jonathan Stewart 20 30 -
TE Greg Olsen - 50 -
WR Brandon LaFell - 50,1 -
WR Steve Smith - 100,1 -
WR Legedu Naanee - 40 -
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Finally a chance to get a win. The Panthers have a tough schedule and this week is as good as it is going to get all year long. The running game has disappeared and yet the passing game has never looked better. Exactly how a team can reverse their strengths and weaknesses literally overnight is still a bit of a mystery, but the Panthers are one of the most delightfully surprising teams in a long time.

QUARTERBACK: Cam Newton has completely thrown all analysts off by going from his fluke first week to turning in an even better fluke second week. Apparently no one is informing Newton what "fluke' means. After opening the season with 422 yards in Arizona, he piled up 432 yards on the world champion Packers and nearly beat them. He runs for a score each week and is, literally, the lead rusher on the team as well. You half expect the locker room to be silent after every game because even the Panthers are shocked how well they did.

The Jaguars have allowed two passing scores to each opponent thus far and moderate yardage. The Jaguars are also good against the run so expect Newton to have a good game here. If he throws for 400 yards again - we just found the next Peyton Manning in the nick of time.

RUNNING BACKS: The Panthers paid $43 million to DeAngelo Williams to get him back and so far he has 22 touches for 72 yards. He doesn't even figure in as a receiver as much as Jonathan Stewart who rolled up eight receptions for 100 yards on the Packers. The rushing game has been non-existent as opponents load up to stop if very successfully. And while Newton has made them pay as a passer, the Panthers are still 0-2.

The Jaguars have not allowed more than 49 yards to any runner so far so expect a third week of drought for the backfield.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Smith leads the league with 23.9 yards per catch and his 24 receptions for 334 yards and two scores are easily his best opening two games of his career. Smith gets a dozen or so targets every week and has been deadly in long passes. Brandon LaFell mans the #2 and had a score on his four catches for 49 yards last week. LaFell is a a second year player who was drafted with the 3.14 pick of the Panthers in 2010. He was a star at LSU and is starting to figure into the passing game now that Newton has noticed him. He is worth watching to see if he continues to improve. No other receivers matter here.

The Jaguars allowed a monster game to Kenny Britt in the opener. After two weeks, you have to consider Smith a must start again and LaFell is at least getting interesting.

TIGHT ENDS: The Panthers use both Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen in a rotation (or two tight end set) but have not decided which will be the primary (if either). Olsen has five catches for 112 yards and Shockey holds six receptions for 107 yards. Neither have scored and both figure in. Not a quality fantasy start yet.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 2 30 4 10 19 27
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 17 4 16 21 17 21

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA DET at MIN KC at SD NYJ at OAK
ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE PIT at IND
BAL at STL HOU at NO NE at BUF SF at CIN
  DEN at TEN JAC at CAR NYG at PHI WAS at DAL (mon)

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