FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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
TB @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 10 260,2
RB Doug Martin 90,1 4-30
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 3-20
WR DeSean Jackson 5-80,1
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP

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 Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB @MIA 0000025010 ***
Fitz once again starts in place of the injured Jameis Winston. Miami was whacked in Week 10 and presents an interesting matchup. Quarterbacks have averaged only 226.4 passing yards, which is the 10th fewest, but have thrown a touchdown once every 8.7 completions -- the second-softest clip in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @MIA 500000000 ***
Despite a great matchup, Martin isn't a top candidate for fantasy success. Say he has a better game than expected, the floor is awfully low and the ceiling is relatively low, as well. Miami is a much better opponent for gamers in non-PPR scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB @MIA 1003200000 ***
In the last five games, Miami has given up just 19 receptions (28th) and 31.8 yards (26th) per game. One of those catches scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @MIA 004701000 ***
A one-game break is over, and Evans will return from his suspension for a blindside hit two weeks ago. The Buccaneers remain without Jameis Winston (shoulder). Miami should be a reasonable opponent for exploitation purposes. While the reception volume is low against this defense, wideouts have found the end zone at the highest clip in football when facing Miami.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, TB @MIA 004500000 ***
Mike Evans returns this week and pushes D-Jax back into sitting shotgun. The Dolphins have surrendered wide receiver touchdowns at the highest rate of any team, which is interesting since this is the fifth-best defense at limiting catches. Sounds exactly like a matchup for Jackson to exploit, so there is at least some upside to this conservative projection.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB @MIA 003300000 ***
Humphries will continue to work out of the slot and have a minor role in the offense. Playing him is asking for trouble. Miami has given up only 9.6 receptions per contest to wideouts, although one in 6.9 have scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Cameron Brate, TB @MIA 004500000 *
Tight ends have posted healthy numbers when facing Miami. The position has averaged 5.6 snares for 57.8 yards and a score every 9.3 receptions -- all top-12 figures.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB @MIA 3311 ***
A 3.8 XPA-per-game average is tops in football. Allowing just six of the eight field goals, spread over five games, is far from encouraging, though.

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
WR Brandon Marshall 8-110,1

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 KC 0000024021 ***
KC actually stinks against quarterbacks, which could lead to a decent day for Manning. The Chiefs return from vacation for a trip to the tri-state area. This defense has yielded 279 yards through the sky (5th) and a passing score every 12.3 completions (9th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Orleans Darkwa, NYG KC 6001100000 ***
Darkwa could accrue some yardage of note against the second-softest defense in this area. KC has granted a rushing score per game, or once every 28 attempts. Gamers could do worse looking for a body this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Wayne Gallman, NYG KC 300000000 ***
Regardless of the matchup, Gallman's role is too limited to matter in fantasy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NYG KC 1003200000 ***
This is an awful matchup for Vereen. The Chiefs, coming off of a bye week, have given up only 15 catches for 90 yards and no scores in their last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG KC 0071001000 ***
Shepard is dynamic enough to make some noise, and the Giants are likely to move him around to avoid Marcus Peters as much as realistically possible. The Chiefs have given up the most receptions per game (14.8), fourth-most yards (210) and 1.5 WR touchdowns per contest, or one every 9.8 catches (6th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavarres King, NYG KC 002301000 **
King doesn't warrant a fantasy lineup spot in any situation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roger Lewis, NYG KC 003300000 ***
Lewis has extremely limited appeal based on the matchup and slight chance for a score. KC has been generally poor vs. wideouts in 2017 and currently sit as the third-best matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Evan Engram, NYG KC 005600000 ***
Tight ends have averaged a pathetic 3.0 catches, 46.5 yards and a TD every fourth game against the Chiefs. Engram may work the field a little, and he has proven to be a capable weapon in the red zone, so there is at least a bit of upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Aldrick Rosas, NYG KC 0022 ***
Most of the damage against the Chiefs came via point-afters. KC has given up only 1.5 field goal tries and a lone make per game. With a bye week of prep, KC should have no problem corralling the little bit of offense left in New York.

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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