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

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mike Glennon, TB MIN 0000026021 ****
Glennon's posted three straight two-TD games, with at least 249 yards in each and 300-plus yards in two of the three. Minnesota has given up multiple touchdown tosses or at least 273 yards in all four road games, so they're not likely to keep Glennon from his appointed rounds.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB MIN 2011100000 ***
Rainey's the touchdown/fumble guy. Given that the Vikings have allowed at least one RB TD in five of the past six games, there's a chance Rainey reaches fantasy relevancy despite getting fewer touches than Doug Martin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB MIN 5003200000 ***
The Vikings are giving up five yards per carry on the road and have let their last three hosts all rush for better than 100 yards. Martin remains the quantity guy in Tampa Bay, and this provides an opportunity for him to turn back the clock to when he was fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB MIN 005701000 **
Bucs wideouts should be splitting up 160 or so receiving yards this week, which is what the Vikings surrender to wide receivers in a typical road game. As the top target Jackson takes his cut off the top, more than enough to be a fantasy helper.
Update: VJax practiced on a limited basis all week. He's listed as questionable but expected to play, so plan on him as you usually would.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB MIN 003501000 ***
Though he's running second to Vincent Jackson in targets Evans has scored in each of his two previous games. He has a great chance to make it three straight against a Minnesota secondary that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in three straight road games and just got carved up by fellow rookie Sammy Watkins.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Louis Murphy, TB MIN 004300000 **
Tough to dismiss Murphy against a Vikings defense that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in three straight road games, but he's definitely the third wheel behind Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans so he'll have to hope for copious table scraps.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB MIN 003400000 ***
The Vikings have allowed only one TE TD all year and ASJ is still sharing targets with Brandon Myers so keep that breakout game for the rookie on hold for the time being.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB MIN 1133 ***
The Vikings are giving up less than six points per game to opposing kickers, which is great because Murray has scored less than six points in more than half of his games. You can do better elsewhere.

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 WAS 0000028020 ***
Much to like here, both historically--Romo has multiple touchdowns in four of his last five against the Redskins--and recently, as the Redskins have allowed multiple touchdowns in five straight while Romo has thrown multiple scoring strikes in five consecutive as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL WAS 12012100000 *****
The Redskins haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 1 and have surrendered only one RB rushing score all season... but c'mon, Murray just broke a Jim Brown record so this season must be magical. Triple-digit yardage is all but a given, and a TD more likely than those Redskins stats might lead you to believe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL WAS 0061101000 ***
The Redskins aren't really shutting down opposing passing games, so expect Bryant to get his--which at home has meant 100 yards or a touchdown in his last three at Jones Majal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL WAS 005701000 ****
Washington has surrendered touchdowns to multiple receivers in each of the past two games, so even if Dez gets his and DeMarco Murray gets his there should be enough left over for Williams to carve out some fantasy assistance this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL WAS 005500000 ****
Witten's fantasy value is being usurped by Gavin Escobar, who has scored three of the Cowboys' last four TE TDs. It's not a compelling enough matchup to make Witten anything other than a fringe fantasy helper at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL WAS 2244 ***
Bailey has been solid, but just one double-digit points effort in the past month leaves him a bit shy of spectacular. Plan accordingly.

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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