Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* 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
  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
PK Connor Barth 1 FG 2 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.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 29 12 31 31 12 14
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 30 11 32 8 9 14

QB Jameis Winston, TB @IND 0000026021 ***
Winston snapped out of his slump with a five-TD performance against Philly; an Indy secondary that's allowed multiple touchdown tosses in three straight offers another opportunity for a fantasy helper.
RB Doug Martin, TB @IND 7001100000 ***
Martin rolls in after a monster 27-235 outing against the Eagles, his fourth game in the past seven with at least 140 yards from scrimmage. Indy has been better of late, but there are multiple ways this goes right for Martin: on the ground, combo-wise, or via the score against a Colts D that's surrendered a dozen RB TDs this season.
RB Charles Sims, TB @IND 2003200000 ***
Even as Martin blew up last week Sims was carving out 69 yards of his own, with a touchdown catch to boot. Indy gave up two RB receiving TDs last week, suggesting there could be a healthy helping of leftovers for Sims again this week.
WR Mike Evans, TB @IND 006901000 ***
The return of Vincent Jackson cut into Evans' ridiculous target totals, but he still found the end zone and did enough yardage damage to be a strong fantasy helper. Tough to see him getting big targets if Vontae Davis is shadowing him, but he's still a matchup problem and a huge red zone threat--more than enough to keep him fantasy relevant even against a tough cover corner.
WR Vincent Jackson, TB @IND 004601000 **
Jackson scored in his first game back from injury, and now he'll face an Indy D that's allowed a dozen WR TDs--two thirds of them to secondary receivers. Bodes well for another strong showing from VJax this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, TB @IND 3222 ***
Barth's hot start with the Bucs has slowed, with single field goals each of the past two games. A Colts D that's given up one or fewer three-pointers in three of the last four doesn't project to offer much help.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
  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
WR Hakeem Nicks 5-70,1

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.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 24 20 25 12 25 24
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 13 2 25 15 4 5

QB Eli Manning, NYG @WAS 0000029020 ***
Eli has multiple touchdowns in three straight against the 'Skins and three straight overall, while Washington has allowed multiple passing scores in five straight. Feels like the 279 and two Eli posted in the earlier meeting is a baseline here.
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @WAS 4002200000 ***
Jennings continues to lead Giants backs in rushing attempts... and he continues to do absolutely nothing of fantasy note with them. No reason to think that changes this week against the Redskins.
RB Shane Vereen, NYG @WAS 2004300000 ***
Vereen is the best of a bad fantasy lot, with receiving scores in two of the last three games making him more relevant than the rest of the Giants' horde of backs.
WR Odell Beckham, NYG @WAS 0061001000 ***
Beckham was overshadowed by Rueben Randle's 7-116-1 in the earlier meeting with Washington, but he's topped 100 yards in three straight coming into this tilt and should be Eli's top target yet again--with his own 7-79-1 from the previous matchup a baseline.
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @WAS 005501000 **
Randle's success in the previous meeting with Washington and his status as the Giants' WR2 make him a viable fantasy option against a Redskins' secondary that's allowed multiple receivers to score in three of the last five games.
WR Dwayne Harris, NYG @WAS 003400000 ***
Harris has scored three times in the past three games, and this week will face a Washington secondary that has given up at least 50 receiving yards to the past dozen NFC East receives to catch a pass against them. It's a streak that dates back to last season, but already this year the Redskins surrendered four 50-yard games to the Eagles and two to the Giants%u2014with multiple WR TDs in each. In the earlier tilt Rueben Randle (7-116-1) got his even with Odell Beckham Jr. catching 7-79-1 of his own so there's room for more than just OBJ. Harris' nine targets (leading to 6-82-1) against the Patriots was twice the attention Randle saw, but as Washington's secondary has demonstrated the more the merrier.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @WAS 4422 ***
Brown has back-to-back 14-point games and tallied a dozen the last time he faced Washington. The Redskins are a little less gregarious at home, but this is still a solid opportunity for Brown.

* 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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