FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: TB 16, DAL 34 (Line: DAL by 7)

Players to Watch: Dallas Clark

Both teams come off losses - the Cowboys in Seattle reversed all progress while the Buccaneers barely lost in New York after leading most of the game. We know the Buccaneers are better than 2011 but the Cowboys are no worse and usually plays much better at home against average teams. Plus this is the home opener.

The Cowboys won 31-15 at Tampa Bay last year in week 15.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 16-10 10 SD -----
2 @NYG 34-41 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 60 2-10
WR Vincent Jackson 5-70
WR Louis Murphy 2-30
TE Brandon Myers 6-60

Pregame Notes: Only two weeks in and with just a 1-1 record but the Buccaneers have to be pretty happy about where they are at. The defense intercepted Eli Manning three times and scored on one return last Sunday. They lost CB Eric Wright which hurt at the end but overall there are plenty of reasons to expect a far better season than 2011.

Josh Freeman was just a game manager in the opener but passed for 243 yards and two scores in New York and finally made good use of Vincent Jackson who ended with four catches of 19+ yards and a total of 128 yards and one score on five receptions. That makes two straight weeks that Jackson was thrown ten targets and both were double any other receiver. Freeman continues to work on his chemistry with Jackson and already has encouraging results.

Mike Williams has scored in both games though he has yet to catch more than three passes in either game. No other receivers here have any fantasy value much less NFL value. Dallas Clark got a little hype in camp but has 33 yards in each of the first two games. Williams and Jackson both have plenty of room to grow and Williams still needs a breakout game this year. That will be easier if Jackson gets more defensive scrutiny from turning in big games.

Doug Martin was less effective against the Giants but recorded his first rushing touchdown and his 20 carries for 66 yards helped control the ball. Bothersome was that he did not get any receptions in the game despite the passing at the end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 27 17 18 32 12 9
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 4 19 6 25 11 12

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI -----
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE -----
3 TB ----- 12 WAS -----
4 CHI ----- 13 PHI -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN -----
6 @BAL ----- 15 PIT -----
7 @CAR ----- 16 NO -----
8 NYG ----- 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 320,3
QB Brandon Weeden 10 260,1
RB DeMarco Murray 110,1 2-20
RB Ryan Williams 30 3-20
WR Dez Bryant 5-90,1
TE Jason Witten 6-70,1
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: As it so often is, the Cowboys are a tale of two teams. The first one looked like a contender as they crushed the Superbowl champs in their stadium. Then they played in Seattle where it appeared the 11 days off from the opener were spent at a Gentlemen's Club wondering when Dez Bryant was going to show up. And they are still waiting for him to show up.

Tony Romo went from deadly to just average when he only ended with 251 yards and one score in Seattle. He was out of synch and plagued to receiver drops including Jason Witten who normally never drops a pass. The Cowboys rushing attack was great in New York but then only produced 44 yards on 12 runs against a very good Seattle defense. Game situation meant DeMarco Murray just never had enough carries to get into any groove.

Oddly enough, Miles Austin has been the only receiver with fantasy reward in both weeks and he has been good for 60+ yards and a score both times. Dez Bryant has disappeared again and almost always when the Cowboys need him the most. Kevin Ogletree went from week one start to only having one catch for 26 yards. Guess which week is going to be more like the others?

Back at Dallas for the home opener should go well against a Buccaneers team that may have improved to average but on the road will struggle more. In the up and down nature of the Cowboys, all signs point to this week being a good one.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 8 23 4 22 32 27
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 28 3 32 21 22 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tony Romo, DAL NYG 0000025020 ****
Since getting knocked out of the front end of the 2010 Giants-Cowboys series Romo has owned Big Blue, averaging 311 yards and two-plus TDs in six subsequent meetings. Even with the Cowboys' newfound commitment to the ground game Romo has multiple TD tosses in four straight; no reason to think his dominance doesn't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL NYG 12015300000 *****
Since taking over as the Cowboys' feature back Murray has tallied at least 125 yards from scrimmage in each subsequent meeting with the Giants. That suggests his streak of 100-yard rushing games should be safe. What Murray has yet to do is find the end zone against the Giants, but a New York defense that's allowed four RB TDs in the past three games--not to mention Murray's six scores in as many games this year--should bring that particular streak to a halt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL NYG 006701000 ****
Dez hasn't scored on the Giants since the front end of the 2011 series, though he's reached triple-digit yardage twice against them since then. A score is no lock here against a New York secondary that hasn't allowed a WR1 to score since Megatron in the season opener, but Bryant is heavily targeted enough to more than compensate with yardage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL NYG 005701000 ****
Secondary receivers have done minimal yardage damage to the Giants, though the two most recent WR TDs they've surrendered have gone to alternate targets. If the New York focus is too intense on Dez, Williams is more than capable of making them pay.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL NYG 005600000 ***
Deuces are wild: Witten scored twice in each end of last season's series with the Giants, the Cowboys scored two TE TDs last week and the Giants surrendered two tight end touchdowns in their loss to Philly. That's more than enough to warrant Witten being in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL NYG 1144 ****
Bailey has at least eight points in five straight games, averaging better than 10 points per contest over that span. No reason to think a home date with the Giants sends him into a slump.

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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