Game Predictions & Player Projections - PIT , CAR

Game Predictions & Player Projections - PIT , CAR

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - PIT , CAR

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Prediction: PIT 13, CAR 24 (Line: CAR by 3)

UPDATE: DeAngelo Williams is listed as questionable but is expected to play according to HC Ron Rivera. Jerricho Cotchery is also questionable with a thigh strain and is a game time decision.

The 1-1 Steelers come off a bad road loss in Baltimore fraught with errors and turnovers and are on the road again. The 2-0 Panthers easily handled the Lions last week and remain at home. The Steelers cannot make mistakes here or it will be another very long afternoon. Kelvin Benjamin has been in full practices and is good to go.

Pittsburgh Steelers

1 CLE 30-27 10 @NYJ —–
2 @BAL 6-26 11 @TEN —–
3 @CAR —– 12 BYE —–
4 TB —– 13 NO —–
5 @JAC —– 14 @CIN —–
6 @CLE —– 15 @ATL —–
7 HOU —– 16 KC —–
8 IND —– 17 CIN —–
9 BAL —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 230,1
RB Le’Veon Bell 50 6-50
RB DeAngelo Williams 80
WR Antonio Brown 6-80
WR Markus Wheaton 5-40
TE Heath Miller 4-30
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG 1 XP

The Steelers barley nipped the Browns in the home opener and the offense still looks problematic outside of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown who have provided nearly all the production for the offense. This will probably be the toughest game of the year playing in Carolina and the offensive problems are not going to improve in this venue. Home against the Buccaneers the following week will likely help, but owning a 1-2 record already makes it uphill for the Steelers.

QUARTERBACK : Ben Roethlisberger passes for 365 yards and one score in the opener but then was held to only 217 yards and no scores in the only other road game. He’s thrown a pick in both games and been sacked five times. The planned move to more no-huddle plays have not made a difference. Facing a defense that has three interceptions and seven sacks already won’t improve anything.

RUNNING BACK : Le’Veon Bell is the rock in this offense and plays even better than last year. After racking up 197 total yards and a score on the Browns, he still gained 59 yards on 11 runs and 48 more yards on five catches in the loss in Baltimore. LeGarrette Blount is merely relief. Bell is getting the job done – his only downside is the Steelers need to feed him 20 carries each week but their offense is not in a position to just run the ball that much.

WIDE RECEIVER : Lance Moore has been out with an injured groin but is expected to return this week. He’ll carry no fantasy value for now. Antonio Brown is clearly the biggest concern for the secondaries but he still is averaging over 100 yards per game and scored in the opener. He left Baltimore with seven catches for 90 yards but received 12 targets. Marcus Wheaton opened with six catches for 97 yards but then only managed five receptions for 38 yards. There has only been one passing touchdown this year so only Brown has merited fantasy consideration.

TIGHT END : Heath Miller is good for around 30 yards per week and rarely much more.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Take away the one long gainer by Jorvorskie Lane and the Panthers have only allowed 2.7 yards per carry and never more than 36 rush yards to any runner. Roethlisberger faces one of the better pass rushes and secondaries so he’ll do well enough to post even average stats. Calvin Johnson gained 83 yards here but no other wideout had more than 57 yards. Bell is a must start but will be limited here and the same for Brown who should at least net moderate yardage if only from a volume of passes. No other Steeler is appealing this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 25 9 7 27 11 32
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 15 20 10 17 2 7

Carolina Panthers

1 @TB 20-14 10 @PHI —–
2 DET 24-7 11 ATL —–
3 PIT —– 12 BYE —–
4 @BAL —– 13 @MIN —–
5 CHI —– 14 @NO —–
6 @CIN —– 15 TB —–
7 @GB —– 16 CLE —–
8 SEA —– 17 @ATL —–
9 NO —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 40,1 240,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 30 2-10
WR Kelvin Benjamin 5-80
TE Greg Olsen 7-80,1
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 3 XP

The offense has not done much this year but the defense holds opponents to around 10 points each so it doesn’t matter. This 2-0 team is playing lights out on defense and in this case, that is enough in most games. Particularly at home. There are plenty of challenging games on the schedule where defense alone is not enough to win but this week is probably not one of them. When they host the Seahawks in week eight, that will be a most interesting matchup that may end up 3-0.

QUARTERBACK : Cam Newton is not running much this year – only 19 yards versus the Lions last week. But he passed for 281 yards and one score. He was also sacked five times but the Panthers have yet to turn the ball over. Newton is still feeling out all his new receivers after just one game played.

RUNNING BACK : DeAngelo Williams is expected to return this week from his bruised thigh after missing the Lions win. Williams ran for 72 yards on just 14 runs against the Buccaneers. Jonathan Stewart was able to score in the Lions game when he was the sole tailback but he only gained 37 yards on 15 carries. This is no different than the last two years except no one is scoring many rushing touchdowns. There hasn’t been much fantasy value here in years.

WIDE RECEIVER : Kelvin Benjamin is the leading wideout with eight receptions for 138 yard and a touchdown on the season but the Panthers are alarmed with all the drops by their rookie phenom. Jason Avant scored once last week on his five catches for 54 yards and Jerricho Cotchery throws in 40 yards or so per week. But this is already the Benjamin show, drops or not.

TIGHT END : Greg Olsen is the lone consistency here. He followed up his 8-83-1 stat line in the opener with 6-72-0 versus the Lions. No matter which quarterback is playing, Olsen is the preferred target.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Steelers have held opponent to lower passing totals since only Brian Hoyer and Joe Flacco have faced the Steelers. But Pittsburgh game up 173 rush yards to the Browns and 152 yards to the Ravens. Expect Newton, Williams and Benjamin to be moderate plays this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 12 24 14 11 9 3
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 6 22 6 25 31 24

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