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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN * SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB * IND at NO * SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA * KC at OAK * STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
*UPDATED GB at MIN * PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

Prediction: WAS 17, CAR 23

The Skins remain in the hunt for the NFC East even though the offense is struggling and ranks 8th worst in the league for scoring. The Panthers come off their first loss where they just were never really in it but back at home should be in the perfect spot to get that second win.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NYG 28-14 10 @MIA -
2 ARI 22-21 11 DAL -
3 @DAL 16-18 12 @SEA -
4 @STL 17-10 13 NYJ -
5 Bye - 14 NE -
6 PHI 13-20 15 @NYG -
7 @CAR - 16 MIN -
8 @BUF - 17 @PHI -
9 SF -      
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB John Beck - - 180,1
RB Ryan Torain 70,1 10 -
TE Fred Davis - 40,1 -
WR Santana Moss - 60 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 60 -
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: It is not enough that the Redskins are not scoring many points, or even that their backfield rotation is random, but now they even cannot decide which quarterback to use despite Shanahan knowing each very intimately. When change is the only constant, consistency disappears. The Skins had a nice opportunity to get the rushing game going and win in the division and instead got whipped by the Eagles. That does not bode well hitting the road for two weeks.

QUARTERBACK: After Rex Grossman threw his fourth interception against the Eagles, he was benched so that John Beck could direct the offense and in his defense, he did have a touchdown drive that he rushed in himself to eliminate all fantasy value from the Redskins. Now HC Mike Shanahan is not saying who the starter will be as if it matters and as if he does not know both well enough to make a snap decision. I am assuming that Beck gets the start because if he just puts Grossman back in, it makes Shanahan look wrong and not looking stupid is his guiding light.

The Panthers secondary is battle-tested after facing the Packers and Saints and holding each to only two touchdown passes. Sure the yardage was high because it is Brees and Rodgers but the Panthers secondary one of the better units. That should be enough to hold the Skins to a moderate game with one passing score.

Before you consider Beck, realize that Grossman could end up playing later on in the game.

RUNNING BACKS: Tim Hightower is still being held out because of his shoulder sprain but could pop back up at any time in a Shanahan offense. Ryan Torain went from being the surprise of week four (19-135, TD) to being the bust in week six (10-22) despite playing at home against the soft Eagles rushing defense.Roy Helu acted as the third down back with nearly no production at all.

I am projecting for Torain again but it will never be a lock guarantee that the backfield rotation never changes without notice. The Panthers have been bad against the run - ranking last currently - but at home they are better. They have only allowed two rushing touchdowns to a running back there as opposed to five on the road. Torain faced a weak run unit last week at home and did nearly nothing. Consider this a high risk.

WIDE RECEIVERS: When Beck took over in the fourth quarter, he completed two passes for 38 yards to Santana Moss and threw three incompletions to Jabbar Gaffney with one catch for 10 yards. There is no way of knowing how he will react in Carolina against a very adept set of defensive backs but the Panthers have only allowed one touchdown pass to a wideout in the last four games. Neither receiver is an attractive play this week against a solid secondary and with a second-string quarterback.

TIGHT ENDS: Chris Cooley may be placed on injured reserve soon since he needs surgery to his fractured left index finger and already has a chronic problem with his knee. That leaves Fred Davis completely alone and free to continue to be a big factor in the passing equation. He has been best at home though where he always has 85+ yards but on the road, Davis has been less successful. Still, he is the slightly better favorite to catch the touchdown this week and had four passes thrown to him in the final quarter last week when Beck played.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 21 17 27 10 17 13
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 9 32 6 11 21 23


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 16-10 12 @IND -
4 @CHI 29-34 13 @TB -
5 NO 27-30 14 ATL -
6 @ATL 17-31 15 @HOU -
7 WAS - 16 TB -
8 MIN - 17 @NO -
9 Bye -      
Panthers Report | Statistics | Roster
CAROLINA vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 40,1 - 230,1
RB DeAngelo Williams 60 - -
RB Jonathan Stewart 30 20 -
TE Greg Olsen - 30,1 -
TE Jeremy Shockey - 30 -
WR Brandon LaFell - 20 -
WR Steve Smith - 90 -
WR Legedu Naanee - 30 -
PK Olindo Mare 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Panthers return home after finally just outright losing a game though they did lead entering the fourth quarter and had an interception in the end zone. Cam Newton finally was mortal but the Panthers have spun through a very tough schedule and always remained competitive. These next two home games - WAS and MIN - are very winnable and while this season may not result in any postseason play, the Panthers are very much on the rise.

QUARTERBACK: It had to happen eventually. Cam Newton finally did not pass for any touchdowns and he only had 237 passing yards. Sure, he had 50 rushing yards and one score on the ground but that's more automatic than the scoreboard. Newton at home has been even better and should make amends for his lackluster Atlanta showing.

The Redskins rank highly against quarterbacks and have not allowed more than 268 passing yards or two scores. They have only given up four passing scores all year so expect another more moderate showing by Newton who should, of course, run in a score as well.

RUNNING BACKS: Cam Newton has just about stripped all value from the running backs. With carries roughly split in two, neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart receives more than a dozen carries if even that much. Both backs have one touchdown on the year (Newton has six) and while Williams usually gets a few more carries, Stewart normally gets a few passes. One back would be great here but dividing the work into two and removing all the touchdowns makes this a fantasy tease at best.

The Skins have been statistically good against the run though three backs had 90+ yards as a runner on them and four backs have scored. There could be a touchdown here but flip a coin which one gets it. No wait - here comes Cam. Never mind.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Smith comes off a lower game with only 66 yards in Atlanta though he was thrown an end zone pass that was intercepted. That was his lowest game not held during a monsoon. Smith has three scores on the year and three monster games to his credit. Legedu Naanee has never scored and chugs along with a few possession catches per week and never more than 63 yards in any game. Brandon LaFell was the promising newcomer but has since cooled significantly with only six receptions for 74 yards total over the most recent four games.

The only question here each week is will Smith score and have a big game? He has a chance of scoring though the Skins have allowed just two touchdowns to the position this year. But they have also allowed 100+ yard games to Hakeem Nicks, Larry Fitzgerald and Jeremy Maclin. Consider Smith a good start this week with upside for a score.

TIGHT ENDS: Jeremy Shockey comes off a season best 60 yards on four catches in Atlanta but has been more around 40 yards in games and still has yet to record a touchdown. Greg Olsen is the more common target and has three touchdowns to his credit along with moderate yardage. Olsen is slightly more likely to score this week and even that is a risk to rely on. This should be a more defensive game with ball control and that will depress passing stats.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 2 25 16 6 21 30
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 8 8 10 13 13 15

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB IND at NO SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA KC at OAK STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
  GB at MIN PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

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