Game Predictions & Player Projections - CAR vs MIN

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CAR vs MIN


Game Predictions & Player Projections - CAR vs MIN


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Prediction: CAR 17, MIN 31 (Line: MIN by 3)

UPDATE: Jerick McKinnon is not expected to play and has been removed from the projections. He will probably be replaced by both Matt Asiata and though Ben Tate and Joe Banyard could figure in. It is unclear and therefore better to be avoided.

The 3-7-1 Panthers are on a five game losing nose-dive and have just one road win this year. The 4-7 Vikings are on their own two game losing streak and are 2-3 at home. The Panthers won 35-10 in Minnesota last year.

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 —–
5 CHI 31-24 14 @NO —–
6 @CIN 37-37 15 TB —–
7 @GB 17-38 16 CLE —–
8 SEA 9-13 17 @ATL —–
9 NO 10-29  
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 40 250,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 30,1 3-20
WR Kelvin Benjamin 6-80,1
TE Greg Olsen 5-60
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 2 XP

The only problem with the Panthers offense is that it revolves around just one player – Kelvin Benjamin – and features the leagues worst rushing unit. Oh, and the defense that was so good has gone sour and has averaged 31 points per game allowed since week two. The Panthers ending schedule is actually one of the lightest in the NFL but nothing has suggested that they are up to the task of taking advantage of it and even less so in a road game.

QUARTERBACK : Facing weak defenses these last two weeks have allowed Cam Newton to throw two scores in each and gain around 300 yards in both. That did come at the cost of five interceptions and 11 sacks though. And the two previous home games had no passing scores and fewer than 175 yards in both games. Newton passed for 242 yards and three scores in Minnesota last year. were he to repeat that it would be the first time all season with so many touchdowns.

RUNNING BACK : Not only is this the lowest scoring fantasy running backs in the entire NFL, but Mike Tolbert is coming off of injured reserve – designated to return and may be able to play this week making the unproductive split even worse though at #32 what does it matter? Hard to say it but there is no fantasy value here. Chris Ogbonnaya and Foswhitt Whittaker both have more touchdowns than DeAngelo Williams (who has none).

The Panthers rushed for 91 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries last year in Minnesota.

WIDE RECEIVER : By this point of the season, there is no more change. This is a group that is Kelvin Benjamin and four others who do not matter and have either one or no scores. The rookie Benjamin already totals eight touchdowns on the year including three over the last two weeks thanks to the Falcons and Eagles. He’s not above the odd bad game but holds the only reliable and consistent production on the entire team. That makes his production all the more amazing because defenses key on him and he’s spending his first season getting coverage usually reserved for veteran studs.

TIGHT END : Greg Olsen doesn’t score much and his five touchdowns all came before midseason. But he has been very good at producing 60+ yard games nearly every week. He is usually the second most used target behind Benjamin.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Vikings are only average on defense but will be at home and the Panthers are hardly bringing a powerhouse offense to the party. Most all teams score via a pass on the Vikings though the yardage is only moderate and Newton is not likely to suddenly start tossing big passing games. None of the rushing offense merits a fantasy start – ever – and yet Benjamin is worth the risk since he’s been so consistently good. Newton is most likely to end up with just moderate yardage and the one score.

Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 10 32 19 8 21 20
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 10 25 14 6 5 17

Minnesota Vikings

1 @STL 34-6 10 BYE —–
2 NE 7-30 11 @CHI 13-21
3 @NO 9-20 12 GB 21-24
4 ATL 41-28 13 CAR —–
5 @GB 10-42 14 NYJ —–
6 DET 3-17 15 @DET —–
7 @BUF 16-17 16 @MIA —–
8 @TB 19-13 17 CHI —–
9 WAS 29-26  
News | Statistics | Roster
MIN vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Teddy Bridgewater 260,2
QB Shaun Hill 210,1
RB Matt Asiata 30,1 1-10
WR Charles Johnson 5-90,1
WR Cordarrelle Patterson 2-30
TE Kyle Rudolph 6-70
PK Blair Walsh 1 FG 4 XP

The Vikings are losing games but have been competitive and are making progress with the offense if only incrementally. Teddy Bridgewater is growing into the position and the defense has improved as well. WIth three remaining home games – the Panthers, Jets and Bears – there should be better fantasy stats coming out of the passing game. There is plenty of room for improvement all over this offense but at least the first year of Norv Turner’s offense is starting to look better.

QUARTERBACK : After four straight games with one touchdown pass, Teddy Bridgewater finally comes off a two-touchdown effort against the visiting Packers and he’s remaining above 200 yards at least in home games. He’s also returning to the run a bit more with 20+ yards in the last two home games.

RUNNING BACK : No changes here to a unit that was never supposed to be without Adrian Peterson. Jerick McKinnon has never scored but did break 100 rush yards twice already and is getting three or four receptions each week that helps him maintain his moderate fantasy value at least in reception point leagues. Matt Asiata either does nothing each week – and that is the norm – or he scores three touchdowns which he’s down twice and both were in home games and accounted for all rushing touchdowns by running backs. But the Vikings have rushed in a score in just two games.

WIDE RECEIVER : The lack of passing yardage prevents anyone here from being a fantasy starter but there has been some progress made. While Jarius Wright and Cordarrelle Patterson have just never stepped up, Charles Johnson is becoming a factor and after posting 87 yards on six catches in Chicago, he added three receptions for 52 yards and a score versus the Packers just last week. Greg Jennings also scored in that game for only the third time this year. Jennings is playing with sore ribs but has not missed a game. Johnson provides a tall target for Bridgewater who has never been able to connect with Patterson. The chance that any player can step up into consistent production is exciting in this offense.

TIGHT END : Kyle Rudolph is back to full health and and turned in 50 yards on three catches last week. He’s scored just once in his four games played and that was back in the season opened. But it is encouraging that his first game back – and first with Bridgewater – ended with 50 yards. Chase Ford had two 60-yard weeks with the rookie quarterback and now Rudolph stands to benefit.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Bridgewater should benefit from the Panthers who have never allowed fewer than two passing touchdowns in a road game and most opponents have produced over 300 pass yards on them. The rushing defense is nothing special either and has give up eight touchdowns to running backs over the five road venues this year. This is a good chance for a touchdown but McKinnon would have to run it in from far out since Asiata replaces him at the goal line. There is risk all over this offense but Bridgewater, McKinnon, Jennings, Johnson and Rudolph all deserve some consideration this week from a favorable situation.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 31 25 30 18 19 15
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 27 23 28 13 22 27

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