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 Josh McCown, TB @CHI 10000027021 ***
McCown has been fantasy relevant in both of his starts since replacing Mike Glennon, and now he gets a revenge game against the Bears. Why not?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB @CHI 4004200000 ***
Sims has done nothing of fantasy note in his two NFL games, and a change in that plan is unlikely in Chicago this week.
Update: Sims is listed as questionable after closing the week with a couple of limited practice sessions. Like he needs further dings to his fantasy prospectus.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB @CHI 1002200000 ***
Rainey is playing understudy to Charles Sims, and neither has been particularly effective. It's not a favorable matchup, so no reason to reach for him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @CHI 0071101000 ***
Evans is smoking hot right now, with three straight 100-yard games and five touchdowns in that span. No reason to think Chicago has an answer the Redskins, Falcons, and Browns did not.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB @CHI 006900000 ***
The Packers are the only team to produce multiple productive fantasy receivers against Chicago, and Jackson has definitely fallen off to wingman duties in Tampa Bay. He's a fringe fantasy contributor at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB @CHI 004401000 ***
The Bears have surrendered eight TE TDs in just the past four games, and with Seferian-Jenkins taking over as the go-to tight end in Tampa he's definitely a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB @CHI 1122 ***
It's about as favorable a matchup as you'll find--the Bears have given up multiple field goals in five straight and eight of 10 on the year--but Murray has yet to tally a double-digit points game so even with the matchup he's a stretch of a fantasy start.

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 0000027020 ***
Romo has multiple touchdowns in seven straight meetings with the Giants, with at least 250 yards in each game as well. That run includes a 279 and 3 from earlier this year, and there's little reason to think he'll fall much shy of those benchmarks in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL @NYG 10014200000 ****
After a brief hiccup Murray got back in the 100-yard swing of things the last time Dallas took the field. After taking the Giants for 128 and 1 in the earlier meeting, Murray should have little difficulty slapping another hundo on a New York defense that's allowed three 100-yard games (and a 95-yarder) in the past five outings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL @NYG 0071001000 ***
Bryant hasn't scored against the Giants since 2011, but he has three 100-yard games in the past four meetings including 151 earlier this year. He's an every week fantasy starter, and this week is no different.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL @NYG 003500000 ***
The last time both Williams and Dez Bryant were fantasy relevant in the same game was a month ago--when the Cowboys hosted the Giants and Williams scored while Bryant topped 150 yards. Bryant is obviously the better option, but Williams definitely is in play this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL @NYG 004501000 ***
A fortuitous confluence: the Giants have allowed six TE TDs in the past five games, and the Cowboys have rediscovered Witten's role in their offense, with three touchdowns and three games north of 60 yards in the past five outings. It adds up to another quality opportunity for Witten to ring the fantasy bell.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL @NYG 2233 ***
Bailey has single field goals in four straight; maybe his offense has been too good. He should get some PATs again this week, probably enough to keep him fantasy relevant.

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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