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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: TB 17, NYG 24 (Line: NYG by 8)

Players to watch: Doug Martin, Martellus Bennett

Players Updated: Hakeem Nicks

The Buccaneers squeaked out a win over the visiting Panthers using a shockingly good defensive effort from a unit that was among the worst in 2011. The Giants remain at home after being handed a big loss to the Cowboys in the league opener last Wednesday. The Giants had 11 days to prepare for this but after facing a surprisingly good Dallas defense, the Buccaneers show up after limiting the #1 rushing team to only ten yards on 13 carries. Be an interesting game between two teams that need more definition.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 16-10 10 SD -----
2 @NYG ----- 11 @CAR -----
3 @DAL ----- 12 ATL -----
4 WAS ----- 13 @DEN -----
5 BYE ----- 14 PHI -----
6 KC ----- 15 @NO -----
7 NO ----- 16 STL -----
8 @MIN ----- 17 @ATL -----
9 @OAK ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Doug Martin 90,1 4-30
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 3-20
WR Vincent Jackson 6-90,1
WR Louis Murphy 2-30
WR Cecil Shorts 2-20
TE Brandon Myers 2-20

Pregame Notes: Really? In 2011, the Panthers showed up in Tampa Bay during week 13 and then rushed for a collective 163 yards on 39 carries with four touchdowns. This year? No player gained more than five rushing yards IN TOTAL. And the best runner was the wideout Kealoha Pilares (1-5). Interdivisional games can always be odd and unlike the rest but it was a great start to the season for the Buccaneers defense.

Josh Freeman only passed for 138 yards and one score but had no turnovers and merely managed the game. The rookie Doug Martin was the difference maker with 95 yards on 24 carries and four receptions for 23 more yards. He was a stick mover and kept the drives alive. This will be a big test for him going to New York though they coughed up 131 yards to DeMarco Murray last week. The Buccaneers do not have the same passing game as the Cowboys so that's unlikely to happen but Martin looked good in his debut, unlike say Trent Richardson.

Vincent Jackson is the new toy for Freeman and he was thrown ten passes - the next best only had four. Jackson ended with just 47 yards on four catches but should improve as he and Freeman get more chemistry. The entire passing game grades out as incomplete so far since Freeman did not throw much last week. That will have to change against the Giants. Mike Williams only caught two short passes against the Panthers but one was the lone touchdown. If Jackson and Williams could meet their potential, the wideouts here could be above average.

Somewhat encouraging was that the lone pass to Dallas Clark went for a 33 yard gain. Clark has been back to health after two seasons getting injured and could really add a much needed dimension to the offense in the coming weeks. He's worth keeping an eye on since the Bucs have a pretty kind schedule this year.

The difference in this game will be how much of the defense was real last week and if Freeman can pass more and keep the opponent from stacking the line against Martin.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 29 12 31 31 12 14
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 30 11 32 8 9 14

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jameis Winston, TB LA 10100024011 ***
Winston was dreadful in Week 2 but should at least look competent against the Rams. Nevertheless, keep him firmly planted on your bench.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB LA 4005300000 ***
An increased workload is expected, but the scat back is best used in PPR formats or as a wild daily flier. The Seahawks came close to getting something going on the ground last week, so there is some hope for Sims owners. He's a flex, at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TB LA 2003200000 ***
Rodgers will be involved in the offense with Doug Martin sidelined. Fantasy owners have no justifiable reason to include the well-traveled vet in fantasy lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB LA 00000000 *
Martin is not expected to play in Week 3.

Update: As expected, Martin has been ruled out of action this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB LA 006601000 ***
Evans was targeted 17 times in Week 2, catching just six of them. He has a solid matchup in Week 3. The Bucs are limited without Doug Martin, and relying on Evans is their best chance at finding success. Play him as usual.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB LA 004500000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB LA 004500000 ***
Jackson could see an uptick in work with Doug Martin sidelined, but the one-trick pony isn't a worthy play in PPR and is best left for DFS formats. The Rams can be exploited, but it's likely to come from Mike Evans.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Cameron Brate, TB LA 005400000 ***
Tampa's starting tight end is a non-factor in fantasy football. Maybe he sees more looks without Doug Martin in the lineup, but that's not enough to warrant him being in yours.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Roberto Aguayo, TB LA 2222 ***
The Rams have shut the door on fantasy kickers so far, allowing only one three-pointer.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN -----
2 TB ----- 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR ----- 12 GB -----
4 @PHI ----- 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE ----- 14 NO -----
6 @SF ----- 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 280,2
RB Rashad Jennings
WR Victor Cruz 6-90,1

Pregame Notes: It wasn't that the Giants had a horrible game when they lost to the Cowboys. It was that all those big plays and Cowboy mistakes and good mojo just never happened. Eli Manning has historically owned the Cowboys but only managed 213 yards and one score. The wideouts were limited by the corner play of the Cowboys and so this week we need to see how much of the loss was just an improved Cowboys and how much was the natural malaise of winning yet another Super Bowl.

Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 78 yards on 17 carries and scored once. He looked vintage good, particularly once David Wilson lost a fumble on his second carry and was yanked from the gameplan. Yes, Wilson appeared to be crying on the sideline but he deeply cares about his job and knows just how much of his contract was incentive based. You fumble? You sit. Fortunately Tiki Barber was a fumbler until HC Tom Coughlin cured him with the "high and tight" method. Wilson has to learn since he was a fumbler in college and once you cough it up, everyone just tackles the ball instead of the player.

How well Bradshaw does will be interesting because the incredible job the Bucs did shutting down the Panthers run game last week. Chances are good that was more about being at home in the opener against a familiar opponent who had been a problem all last year. Bradshaw remains a must start.

This game should be an improvement for both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz who were swallowed up by the Cowboys new cornerbacks. Cruz was held to six catches for 58 yards while Nicks only produced 38 yards on four receptions. That has to change and should with the Buccaneers allowing Steve Smith to gain 106 yards on seven catches. Bradshaw may be slightly risky facing the Bucs but the wideouts should turn it on and win the game.

Martellus Bennett was also a bigger part of the game plan with six targets for four catches and one touchdown against his old employer. It's worth keeping an eye to see if Bennett remains a target equal with the two main wide receivers this week as well.

Giants win this game because they must. A loss here slants the entire season in a bad direction.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 24 20 25 12 25 24
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 13 2 25 15 4 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG WAS 0000033030 ***
In two games versus the Redskins last season, Eli threw for 600 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. The 'Skins are allowing nearly 300 yards and 1.5 TDs per contest thus far. At home, Manning is a fine play -- arguably the best among quarterbacks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NYG WAS 4003300000 ***
Washington hasn't been kind to pass-catching backs, although Vereen is the best of the lot of the weeks under examination. DeAngelo Williams caught six balls in Week 1, so there's hope in PPR as a flier.

Update: Slightly bump Vereen since Rashad Jennings is wearing a cast and won't be used in the passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4001100000 ***
Feeling lucky? Touches based on game flow tend to hamper Jennings' productivity. The matchup is wonderful -- the third best for RBs. Perhaps you can catch lightning in a bottle with Jennings in your flex spot.

Update: A thumb injury has Jennings a limited practice participant Friday and questionable for Week 3. He is expected to play with a cast on his hand, forcing him to carry the ball only with his right hand. Lower him to the unplayable grouping of his positional mates.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG WAS 0061001000 ***
Shepard enjoyed a nice game in Week 2 (8-117-0) and a fine start to his career overall. Doubles for OBJ open up single looks, and Shepard is more than capable of exploiting them as a rookie. Washington has granted receivers three TDs in two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG WAS 005801000 ***
Washington ranks 24th versus PPR wideouts. Cruz has come back to life and is edging closer to weekly WR3 territory. He has played 91.9 percent of New York's snaps this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
Josh Norman reportedly will follow Beckham around (sans the slot), but Norman says this is all news to him. Either way, Beckham cannot be sat down in fantasy. Norman won this battle in 2015. It's a new year, a new team for him, and there's a chance OBJ faces Bashaud Breeland from time to time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG WAS 003400000 ***
Donnell needs more looks to matter, and as long as the Giants' trio of wideouts remain productive, the tight end won't be relevant in fantasy. The position is averaging five catches when facing Washington.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 2233 ***
Midrange play in a divisional match against a team that ranks 15th vs. kickers.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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