Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs CAR

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs CAR


Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs CAR

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Prediction: CLE 10, CAR 23 (Line: CAR by 4)

UPDATE: Cam Newton is listed as probable and will start this week.

The 7-7 Browns are already out of contention and the debut of Johnny Manziel could have gone better. The Browns are only 3-3 on the road and face the 5-8-1 Panthers who of course is just a half game behind the Saints and 3-4 at home. This has to lean towards the Panthers if only until Manziel shows he is more than hype. So far, so not so good.

Cleveland Browns

1 @PIT 27-30 10 @CIN 24-3
2 NO 26-24 11 HOU 7-23
3 BAL 21-23 12 @ATL 26-24
4 BYE —– 13 @BUF 10-26
5 @TEN 29-28 14 IND 24-25
6 PIT 31-10 15 CIN 0-30
7 @JAC 6-24 16 @CAR —–
8 OAK 23-13 17 @BAL —–
9 TB 22-17  
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 30 260,2
QB Josh McCown 250,2
RB Isaiah Crowell 40,1 10
WR Josh Gordon 5-60
WR Andrew Hawkins 4-40

Pregame Notes: The Browns were shutout by the same team that they beat 24-3 five weeks prior but the Manziel era is underway if only for a limited three week career. The Browns had plenty go wrong in fairness to the rookie and the Bengals were much more prepared that meeting. Now on the road for the final two weeks, the Browns still have a chance for a winning record. Or at least .500. At this point, just a touchdown would be a step in the right direction.

QUARTERBACK : Johnny Manziel’s debut had him throw for only 80 yards with two interceptions and three sacks while running for only 13 yards. It was everything that his detractors wanted to see. He’ll face a less formidable secondary this week but has a long way to go to be respectable.

RUNNING BACK : Isaiah Crowell is playing through his hip injury but only managed 17 yards on seven carries against the Bengals. Terrance West ran for 23 yards on five rushes in that game. This remains a split backfield and with Manziel playing and drawing defenders up to keep him contained, it will not help the rushing effort until he starts connecting better downfield.

WIDE RECEIVER : Meager passing yards mean nothing is certain yet. Josh Gordon led receivers with three catches for 48 yards and that was on four targets. Even under Brian Hoyer the wide receivers did little and the switch to Manziel was done in part hoping to get deeper throws to Gordon.

TIGHT END : Jury is still out. Jordan Cameron has largely been a bust this year anyway and only had one catch last week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Panthers always give up a passing score if not more and in home games allowed three different quarterbacks to run in a score. Considering Manziel or even Gordon is not prudent in what is likely a fantasy championship. The Panthers are weak against the run though and could yield production to Crowell if he is healthy enough. Bottom line – all of these players are risks.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 32 15 18 22 22 7
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 24 20 22 12 19 20

Carolina Panthers

1 @TB 20-14 10 @PHI 21-45
2 DET 24-7 11 ATL 17-19
3 PIT 19-37 12 BYE —-
4 @BAL 10-38 13 @MIN 13-31
5 CHI 31-24 14 @NO 41-10
6 @CIN 37-37 15 TB 19-17
7 @GB 17-38 16 CLE —–
8 SEA 9-13 17 @ATL —–
9 NO 10-29  
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 10 250,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 80,1 1-10
WR Kelvin Benjamin 5-60
TE Greg Olsen 7-80,1
PK Graham Gano 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: If you could reverse the wins and losses in the NFC South, then it would look more like a standard race to win the division. But the Saints (6-8), Panthers (5-8-1) and Falcons (5-9) are all in contention to be beaten in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers can beat the Browns this week and then if they win in Atlanta, then they only have to hope that the Saints fall to the Buccaneers or the Falcons. In this division you cannot rule out anything besides the winner loses in round one.

QUARTERBACK : Cam Newton remains out with his fractured back but will be evaluated during the week. Derek Anderson will want to play here against his old team and he passed for 277 yards and one score in the win over the Buccaneers.

I will assume Anderson starts again and update if needed.

RUNNING BACK : With DeAngelo Williams out, Jonathan Stewart has been surprisingly effective with over 70 yards in the each of the last three games and 155 yards and one score in New Orleans. Williams may return this week though but to what role is not clear. He’s been out with a hand injury and Stewart is running better than he has in years. I will assume a limited Williams returns to a small role and Stewart remains the primary back.

WIDE RECEIVER : It was only against the visiting Buccaneers but Kelvin Benjamin racked up eight receptions for 104 yards last week. That gives him 90+ yards in three of the last four home games. The rookie leads the team with nine touchdowns on the season, Last week Jerricho Cotchery ended with 47 yards on five catches and scored his first touchdown of the year. The switch to Anderson was not a negative so far.

TIGHT END : Greg Olsen not only caught ten passes for the second week in a row, he gained 110 yards for his third 100 yard effort for 2014. Anderson targeted him a season high 13 times.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Browns have a very good secondary and should hold the Panthers to just one passing touchdown and moderate yardage at best. CB Joe Haden injured his shoulder last week but is hoped to return and likely shadow Benjamin as the only wideout of any note for the Panthers. The Browns bigger weakness is against the run. There is no big performance brewing here but Stewart, Olsen and Benjamin deserve some consideration this week if only as a deeper starter or a flex play.

Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 9 29 20 7 14 22
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 6 22 13 8 21 8

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