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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 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 NO 10000029020 ***
New Orleans ranks evenly against quarterbacks as a neutral matchup in the last five weeks. Sure, Matt Stafford beat them down last week, so there's hope Winston does similar damage. The Bucs don't have the same weapons, but they are not far behind.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB NO 6003200000 **
Strangely, the Saints are a good run defense against fantasy backs. Martin just isn't right and has struggled. Nevertheless, he deserves a low-end lineup spot this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TB NO 2001100000 *
Quizz has returned to health but could lose touches if Charles Sims goes this week. Either way, he shouldn't be counted on for playoff leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB NO 007801000 ***
Evans was held in check last week against the Bolts, but that shouldn't be a sign of things to come. New Orleans has given up six TDs in this last five games to receivers, plus the 11th most fantasy points, on average, in this period.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Freddie Martino, TB NO 004600000 **
Martino was the surprise hero a week ago. With such a limited track record, gamers may want to err on the side of caution. The Saints at least present a top-12 matchup for those few brave owners.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Russell Shepard, TB NO 005500000 ***
The Saints are a fine matchup if you want to take the chance, but there is no justifiable reason in which Shepard should meet your starting lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB NO 00000000 *
Check back Friday for an update of Humphries' status for Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Cameron Brate, TB NO 005601000 ***
Brate faces a Saints defense that has yielded averages of 4.6 catches, 65.6 yards and a touchdown every 11.5 snares. Brate continues to have a red zone presence and can corral a touchdown with the attention paid to Mike Evans.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Roberto Aguayo, TB NO 4322 ***
This is the best matchup a kicker can face in Week 14 when using data over the last five weeks. The downside comes with Aguayo's erratic accuracy.

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
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP

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 DAL 0000030031 ***
No team has allowed more yards per game than Dallas' 316.4 in the last five weeks. The Cowboys have not picked off a pass in this time, giving up nine TD passes. Eli posted a 207-3-1 line in Week 1.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG DAL 6004200000 ***
Dallas has given up the fifth most points per play to running backs, which largely comes from surrendering a touchdown every 26.6 offensive touches over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Paul Perkins, NYG DAL 3002100000 ***
Perkins continues to see scant work and return even less for gamers ... there is some dude name Shane Vereen waiting to be activated, as well, so stay away from the rook.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG DAL 0081002000 ***
Beckham posted only a 4-73-0 line in Week 1 versus the Cowboys, but now Dallas is without its two best secondary members. The defense has fallen all the way to being the sixth worst against receivers over the last five weeks, giving up the second most per-game catches and fifth highest average yardage figure.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG DAL 005601000 ***
Giving up the second most receptions and fifth most yards per game over the last five weeks helps create the sixth best matchup for exploitation by wideouts. Dallas allowed Shepard to score in his NFL debut.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG DAL 002500000 ***
Despite the matchup, Cruz doesn't make enough plays to warrant a fantasy lineup spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Will Tye, NYG DAL 002200000 ***
Tye has no value in any format for Week 14 and should be left for the waiver wire.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, NYG DAL 2133 ***
Dallas has allowed the sixth most field goal attempts per game in the last five weeks. Conversely, kickers have made only five extra points in that time.

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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