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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
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 Jameis Winston, TB CAR 20000027011 ***
Carolina has given up seven touchdowns while picking off six balls in the last five games. This is a neutral matchup using data from that window. Winston managed only 219 yards and a TD in the Week 5 game vs. the Panthers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB CAR 10000023011 ***
The Bills have allowed the third lowest per-game yardage figure (207) over the past five games, and quarterbacks have averaged 19.0 points in standard fantasy scoring. Fitzpatrick is not worth relying on in traditional setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TB CAR 9015400000 ***
Carolina has been a good place to find success for fantasy backs. In the last five games, the position has averaged a rushing TD per game and the second most receptions (6.8).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB CAR 0061001000 ***
He posted a 6-89-1 line in Week 5's meeting, and after a few quiet games, Evans was a help to gamers last week with 22.7 PPR points. The Panthers have given up a lot of yards and catches to receivers of late, but this is the second stingiest defense for allowing TDs. Evans should change that trend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, TB CAR 0061001000 ***
Jackson has been as hot as anyone entering this one, and he did some damage the first time around, too, with a 5-96-1 line. New York has nothing at stake and could rest key defenders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB CAR 004500000 ***
Humphries is a wildcard most any week, and the Panthers provide a top-10 matchup to exploit. You could do worse if the thought is finding a flex flier.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Roberto Aguayo, TB CAR 3322 ***
The rookie has been pretty darn good over the last five weeks in comparison to his early-season woes. Carolina gave up the most field goal chances per game in the last five weeks, which helps propel this to being Week 17's best matchup for kickers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, TB CAR 2222 ***
Buffalo is a solid matchup for Folk. The Bills have given up 9-for-10 on FGAs and 14-for-14 on XPAs in the last five weeks.

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 @WAS 0000020010 *
Washington has surrendered the fifth most points per game to QBs since Week 11, giving up 286.4 yards, on average, and a TD every 13.8 completions. Eli posted 350 yards, a touchdown and two picks in the Week 3 battle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Paul Perkins, NYG @WAS 6002100000 **
Washington is a top-five matchup in PPR, and the Giants may want to get a good look at Perkins to see what he can do with a healthy dosage of touches. Or, it all could blow up and amount to nothing in what is a meaningless game for the Giants.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shaun Draughn, NYG @WAS 4005300000 *
Seattle presents the fifth toughest matchup to Draughn in Week 17. Play him for no other reason than to be a contrarian in DFS, but realize it could easily blow up in your face.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG @WAS 004701000 **
Shepard herded five passes into his hands for 73 yards and a score in Week 3's meeting. The playmaking rookie is a strong choice in any format against the 11th softest defense of his position in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG @WAS 004500000 *
There is no need to risk it with Beckham from the Giants' perspective, but he will play some ... hard to say how much, and trusting coach speak is hardly a sure thing. The Redskins have permitted the 11th most PPR points to wide receivers since Week 11. Beckham caught seven balls for 121 yards in Week 3's matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, NYG @WAS 004400000 ***
Marshall caught six passes for 101 yards in Week 2's meeting, but he has been awfully quiet on the field lately. The veteran has an outside shot at a TD given how Buffalo has handed them away like Christmas presents.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Will Tye, NYG @WAS 003300000 **
No Giants tight end is worth playing in any circumstance at this point. They simply do not use the position enough or properly for fantasy returns.

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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