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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
WR Vincent Jackson 6-90,1
WR Louis Murphy 2-30
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 Mike Glennon, TB @CLE 0000023011 ****
Glennon's run of multiple TD games was snapped last week, and the Browns have held the last three QBs they've faced to one each so it's no guarantee to get kickstarted here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @CLE 6012100000 **
Martin was in a boot at Wednesday's practice, putting his availability for this week's game in jeopardy. It's potentially a favorable matchup, but even if Martin is healthy he's been ineffective enough that he'll likely be sharing carries with one or two teammates. Guess we'll know more by Friday.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB @CLE 2003200000 ****
This could break very well for Rainey, if Doug Martin is too hurt to play and Charles Sims isn't yet healthy enough to return to action. Of course, if Rainey puts the ball on the ground with regularity like he did in his earlier extended action it won't matter.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Louis Murphy, TB @CLE 003401000 **
Murphy might have value if either of Tampa's twin towers can't go, but both appear healthy at the moment and there's no longer a need for Browns opponents to seek out the receiver not being covered by Joe Haden; he's been equally as bad as Buster Skreen, if not worse. Still, Murphy's an afterthought here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB @CLE 005600000 ***
Cleveland's secondary has been shockingly suspect this season, but Jackson's one-catch outing and rumored position on the trading block last week make it a bit tougher to trust him with a fantasy start here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @CLE 004500000 ***
The Bucs clearly love Evans, as there was plenty of talk about them unloading Vincent Jackson prior to the trading deadline. He's been a consistent contributor and should be the largest beneficiary of a favorable matchup with a Cleveland secondary that is struggling to cover anyone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB @CLE 004500000 ***
ASJ scored his first NFL TD last week, and now he'll face a Cleveland secondary that just gave up 83 yards to Mychal Rivera. In a week with six teams off due to the bye, you could do worse in TE-mandatory leagues.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB @CLE 1122 ***
Murray has yet to record a double-digit effort, and the Browns haven't let a kicker hit that mark in a month. You should look elsewhere for your fantasy kicker.

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 Peyton Hillis 30,1 2-10
RB Rashad Jennings
WR Victor Cruz 6-90,1
WR Kevin Ogletree 4-40

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 IND 0000026020 ***
The shutout in Philly is looking more and more like the exception rather than the rule after Eli and the Giants hopped back in the saddle with 248 and 3 in Dallas in Week 7. Considering the once-vaunted Indy D just gave up 522 and six to Ben Roethlisberger, it wouldn't be out of line to expect Eli to come up with half those numbers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG IND 600000000 ***
Doesn't look like Rashad Jennings will be back so it's still Andre's show. Unfortunately Andre hasn't been particularly impressive with additional carries; after scoring the first two times his workload ticked into double digits he's laid a pair of road eggs at a shade over three yards per carry. At least he's back home this week, but keep your expectations low against a Colts defense that has shut out Giovani Bernard and Le'Veon Bell in back-to-back weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG IND 006801000 **
Randle remains the most targeted Giants receiver, and while Indy's overall passing game stats are impressive they did just allow 5-83-2 to similarly sized Martavis Bryant last week so Randle's at least worth a look-see here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG IND 004500000 ***
Beckham has three TDs in as many games since making his NFL debut. With an extra week to acclimate to the offense--and give Ben McAdoo an opportunity to figure out how to take advantage of his skills--there's no reason to think his role reduces. It's not a favorable matchup on paper, but the Steelers showed last week Indy's secondary isn't infallible so Beckham remains in play fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG IND 007801000 ***
Indy's allowed five TE TDs and five games of 70-plus yards to the position already this year; so long as Daniel Fells doesn't keep swiping Larry's scores he's a solid bordering on spectacular fantasy play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG IND 2222 ***
Brown has been in double digits the past two home games, but an Indy D that hasn't allowed a kicker to top 10 points since Week 2 likely holds him in check this week.

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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