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
PK Connor Barth 3 FG 1 XP

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

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jameis Winston, TB @CAR 20000020012 ***
Volume begats at least modest success against Carolina's pass D, as the last four QBs with 40 or more attempts have all thrown multiple TDs as well. Winston threw for 287 and 2 on 43 attempts in the previous meeting, but he's only been in the 40s or higher twice all season so temper expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB @CAR 2004301000 ***
Sims scored a receiving TD in the earlier meeting with Carolina as Bucs RBs compiled 67 receiving yards. And the Panthers are just a couple weeks removed from Shane Vereen's 8-43-1 receiving line against them. Sims tallied a receiving score last week and has 12-158 receiving over the past three games, so there's PPR and performance upside in this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @CAR 5001100000 ***
Martin rushed for 106 yards and a TD in the earlier meeting with Carolina, and as he's still very much in contention for the rushing title he'll get plenty of carries. Asking for another hundo is optimistic, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @CAR 003300000 ***
Evans mustered 3-32 against Josh Norman and the Panthers in the earlier meeting while Vincent Jackson went off for 10-147-1 on 15 targets. No VJax this week means more Norman for Evans; he still might be force-fed targets, but the upside is limited by Carolina's pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB @CAR 002300000 ***
The upside would be Humphries capitalizing on Carolina's focus on Mike Evans and having the kind of day Vincent Jackson had (10-147-1) against the Panthers. The more likely outcome is another non-fantasy helper for a tertiary Tampa Bay target.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donteea Dye, TB @CAR 001300000 ***
While Vincent Jackson's absence opens a door, Dye has yet to top one catch in a game so he's not rushing through that opening any time soon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB @CAR 002200000 ***
ASJ was absent for the earlier meeting with Carolina; now he's back, with 22 targets in the past month and touchdowns in each of the past two games. The Panthers haven't given up as much as 50 yards to a TE since Week 10, only two TE TDs in that span, so lower expectations accordingly.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, TB @CAR 3311 ***
Kickers average
Four points per game vs. Panthers
last two months; stay away!

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
RB Darren McFadden 40 5-40
RB Alfred Morris 90,1
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 Kellen Moore, DAL WAS 0000019011 ***
Matt Cassel threw for 222 yards and zero TDs in the earlier meeting with Washington, and we've seen nothing from Moore to make us think things will be any better here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, DAL WAS 10011100000 *
McFadden has 35 carries for 199 yards in two Kellen Moore starts and is averaging seven yards per carry with 310 rushing yards over the previous three games. The Cowboys will have to lean on him once again, moreso than the 14-53-1 he saw in Washington a month ago. Given the way he's running, he's a solid bet for more.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, DAL WAS 7011100000 ***
With Matt Jones sidelined Morris has a clearer path to carries; against a Cowboys defense that's given up 426 rushing yards the past three games--at better than five yards a carry--that volume leads to fantasy opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL WAS 005401000 **
Beasley has the most recent TD by an active Cowboys receiver--and it came back in Week 12. He's third among active wideouts in targets from Kellen Moore, making him an afterthought in a low-octane passing game; that's a tough role to create fantasy value from.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL WAS 003500000 **
With no Dez Bryant it's Williams' time to shine. However, with Kellen Moore at QB it'll be tough for him to capitalize against a Washington defense that's allowed WR1s to score and top 100 yards in three straight and four of the last five--the only exception being the earlier Cowboys/Redskins tilt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL WAS 004400000 **
Witten is averaging a shade over 30 yards per game with Kellen Moore at the helm, and he still hasn't scored since Week 1. No reason to expect that slump to end here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL WAS 1111 ***
Four treys vs. Redskins
with Cassel at quarterback
You trust Kellen Moore?

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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