Game Predictions & Player Projections - CAR vs BAL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CAR vs BAL

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - CAR vs BAL

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Prediction: CAR 20, BAL 27 (Line: BAL by 3)

Update: Bernard Pierce is healthy again and slated to play but OC Gary Kubiak said that all the running backs were going to play and they thye go with the hot hand if one develops. That likely means either all three cancel each other out or Taliaferro steps up. In any case, all three around to play some role making them all a risk to rely on. I also failed to note that Steve Smith is playing his old team and that deserves a bump up for him. Steve Smith with a chip on his shoulder? I’d start him every time. Jonathan Stewart remains a very long shot to play and only managed limited work on Friday.

The only certain thing here is that there should not be a lot of points scored. The 2-1 Panthers come off a shocking beatdown in their own stadium while the 2-1 Ravens get their third home game. The Panthers lost to the Steelers 19-37 but the Ravens beat the Steelers 26-6. Connect the dots but this will not be that easy.

Carolina Panthers

1 @TB 20-14 10 @PHI —–
2 DET 24-7 11 ATL —–
3 PIT 19-37 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 @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 10 250,1
RB Jonathan Stewart
WR Kelvin Benjamin 6-60,1
TE Greg Olsen 5-60
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 2 XP

It was all going so well for the first two weeks but the Steelers came in and undid everything we thought about the Panthers defense. The rushing game is down to only a gimpy DeAngelo Williams and a healthy who-ever. Cam Newton’s ribs are still a factor and limiting him. The Panthers can still turn it around but need to get everyone healthy again – and it has only been three weeks.

QUARTERBACK : Cam Newton threw for only one score per game this year but at least 250 yards in each, Problem is that he has a total of only 26 rushing yards for a quarterback who usually does more in a single game. The team has only one loss but there are plenty of high-powered offense coming on the schedule and Newton has to be more productive than he has been so far. Newton is hooking up with Kelvin Benjamin nicely and that is critical but the Panthers are lacking the quick strike ability to get back in games.

RUNNING BACK : Jonathan Stewart lasted three weeks this time before a severe knee sprain that may keep him out for a month. DeAngelo Williams did not play the last two weeks but is expected to return from his thigh injury. Mike Tolbert injured his leg and is on injured reserve with a designation to return. Williams practiced last week but did not play and should be good to go. He’ll be joined by Fozzy Whitaker if he gets over his own quad injury. Otherwise it will be Darrin Reaves who has never touched the ball in a regular season game. Reaves is an undrafted bruiser from Alabama-Birmingham called up from the practice squad. Any running back with opportunity is worth tracking. But The Panthers haven’t produced a fantasy relevant back in many years.

In the end, this group is marginally relevant only on a good day. They can get worse but they’ll never be that much better.

WIDE RECEIVER : The positive news is that Kelvin Benjamin comes off his first 100-yard effort of his career when he caught eight passes for 115 yards and one impressive touchdown versus the Steelers. Benjamin was held in check by the Lions but in the opener he posted 92 yards and a touchdown on his first ever six catches in the NFL. The negative news is that the rest of the receivers are just as bad as feared. Benjamin already deserves weekly consideration for a fantasy start. That’s more than almost anyone else on the team.

TIGHT END : Greg Olsen scored his second touchdown on the year when he converted five receptions into 69 yards. He’s scored in two of the three games while never falling below his 69 yards of last week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Steelers just lost RCB Ike Taylor but he would have only matched on Jerricho Cotchery anyway.The Ravens are playing solid defense and are at home so that makes only Benjamin and Newton as reasonable starters. The Panthers only scored once on a run this year anyway. The Ravens have given up just two passing touchdowns so expect Newton to remain at his average numbers. Olsen faces a defense that is top notch against tight ends and not allowed any scores or even any game with more than 37 receiving yards.

 

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 8 25 12 12 14 9
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 6 10 25 4 19 5

Baltimore Ravens

1 CIN 16-23 10 TEN —–
2 PIT 26-6 11 BYE —–
3 @CLE 23-21 12 @NO —–
4 CAR —– 13 SD —–
5 @IND —– 14 @MIA —–
6 @TB —– 15 JAC —–
7 ATL —– 16 @HOU —–
8 @CIN —– 17 CLE —–
9 @PIT —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 240,1
RB Justin Forsett 50 4-20
RB Trent Richardson 80,1 1-10
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro 40,1
WR Steve Smith 7-100,1
WR Mike Wallace 6-70,1
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 3 XP

The Ravens open up with a 2-1 mark against their own division and have a few lighter games on the way. But this week should be one of the best defenses that they have yet faced but then again they already beat the Steelers who beat the Panthers. Not much in the way of developments here other than losing Dennis Pitta for the year and still waiting on Bernard Pierce to return.

QUARTERBACK : Same old Joe Flacco. He throws for one score per game and usually for only moderate yardage. Missing Dennis Pitta could be meaningful but Owen Daniels is his replacement and Flacco already hit him with two touchdowns. Flacco is reliable for that one score but much more rarely happens.

RUNNING BACK : Bernard Pierce was out last week with a thigh injury and in his place the rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro started the game He ran for 91 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries while Justin Forsett settled for 63 yards on 11 runs and four catches for only a net of two yards. The rookie is a load to bring down and he’s bought himself playing time even when Pierce returns. Some question if Pierce should come back to a starting job after seeing Taliaferro. Flacco elected to throw a score to fullback Kyle Juszcyk for his first action of the year. Barring the return of Pierce, Taliaferro and Forsett will start again. Pierce seems close to returning so I will track and update as warranted.

WIDE RECEIVER : All Steve Smith has done is log two 100 yard games in his first three weeks as a Raven. Torrey Smith has two 100 yard games as well thought that stretches back through the last 29 games to find. Smith may be getting old but his statistics have not noticed. Torrey Smith still has yet to score or break 50 yards in a game this year. Steve Smith takes all the fantasy value here.

TIGHT END : Dennis Pitta hits injured reserve with a dislocated hip, ending his season. His career may be in doubt as this is his second dislocation in the last two years. Fortunately, OC Gary Kubiak brought Owen Daniels along with him from Houston and he’s already caught two touchdowns. He won’t see as many targets as Pitta would but Daniels has value as a red zone target if nothing else.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The passing game has been tough against the Panthers even last week. No one has thrown for more than two scores on them and Flacco is going to be mediocre regardless. There this game should turn is with rushing since the Panthers just allowed 263 rush yards to the Steelers .Taliaferro and Foster as starts though Pierce may return and ruin that. Expect marginal passing and only Steve Smith has enough upside to merit a fantasy start.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 21 12 26 9 8 30
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 10 24 14 14 7 20

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