FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: WAS 24, TB 20 (Line: TB by 3)

Players to Watch: Fred Davis

Players Updated: Pierre Garcon

The 1-2 Redskins have been a boon to the fantasy world with 59+ total points in each of their games. The 1-2 Buccaneers have followed the same pattern as the Skins only without all those points. One of these teams will have lost three games in a row which is just about spinning out of control. With the way both teams have played, this is a coin flip game that may end up with 25 total points or 75 total points.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB ----- 13 NYG -----
5 ATL ----- 14 BAL -----
6 MIN ----- 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 30,1 270,2
RB Alfred Morris 70
WR Pierre Garcon
WR Leonard Hankerson 6-90,1
WR DeSean Jackson 4-70
WR Santana Moss 3-40
WR Andre Roberts 4-50
WR Aldrick Robinson 2-40

Pregame Notes: That win in week one is a little less impressive now that the Saints are 0-3 but losing to the Rams and the Bengals are troublesome since no one knew the Rams had an offense. You cannot fault the Skins offense that has posted 28 points or more in every game. But the Redskins have allowed 101 points and cannot stop the bleeding. The Rams and the Bengals?

Robert Griffin III had been more effective as a runner than a passer in recent games though he has always thrown for at least one touchdown per game and never gained fewer than 206 passing yards. Griffin has three rushing touchdowns on the season and ran for over 80 yards in the last two losses.

Alfred Morris still has fantasy value as the primary back but slipped to 78 yards on 17 runs last week with one touchdown. Morris has not caught any passes so far. What works in his favor this week is that Evan Royster has a strained patellar tendon and Roy Helu has turf toe so Morris should get no less of a load and possibly all the carries this week.

Pierre Garcon remains out with his foot injury and HC Mike Shanahan is not interested in clearing up when Garcon will be back. I will assume he is out until he gets a full practice. Leonard Hankerson has earned a starting role and has been the most productive wide receiver for the last two weeks. Aldrick Robinson has faded to only one catch last Sunday and Santana Moss has been little used. The only development here is that Fred Davis was finally a big part of the passing equation when he caught seven passes for 90 yards. With Garcon out, Davis should continue to be the main target for Griffin.

How this game plays out will be interesting since Cam Newton passed for 303 yards there in the season opener and yet had no rushing success. Eli Manning passed for 510 yards and three scores but then Tony Romo was unable to score on the Buccaneers. The Bucs defense has been good against the run and horrible against the pass - for the most part.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 1 14 12 19 12 3
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 22 6 31 9 25 11

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Robert Griffin III, WAS @SF 0000020012 ***
Still waiting for RG3 to take to this offense; a date with a San Francisco defense that's getting players back and held all quarterbacks not named Brees or Manning to one TD toss over the past two months... well, that's not going to help matters much.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @SF 6002200000 ***
Mark Ingram proved you can grind it out against the Niners, and Morris will get ample opportunity to do the same--though don't look for a TD against a defense that's allowed only five RB TDs all year, just one of them in San Francisco.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Roy Helu, WAS @SF 2003200000 ***
Helu continues to be a PPR helper with three of five north of 40 receiving yards, including each of the past two. That's enough to make him a fringe fantasy contributor in performance based scoring systems.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @SF 005700000 ****
The theory remains sound: Jackson's speed is the perfect fit for RG3's deep shots. It worked a couple weeks back in Minnesota, and it could work again--assuming RG3 keeps the starting gig long enough. Right now all the inconsistency does is makes DJax a fringe fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @SF 003300000 ***
Garcon appears to have become an afterthought with RG3 at the helm; tough to trust an afterthought with a fantasy start at this juncture of the season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @SF 002200000 ***
Right now the Redskins' receiver rotation isn't seeing enough productivity for three fantasy options to emerge, and Roberts is most definitely queued up behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS @SF 004300000 ***
Update: With Jordan Reed out, look for Paul to step up his looks. It's a somewhat favorable matchup against a 49ers defense that's struggled of late against tight ends, so there's some upside to Paul as a plug-in fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @SF 00000000 *
A healthy Reed definitely comes into play against a 49ers defenses that's allowed three TE TDs in the past two games. Whether or not Reed is healthy, however, remains to be seen.
Update: We can answer the "Is Reed healthy?" questions with an emphatic "no", as he has been ruled out for this week. Expect Niles Paul to see an uptick of looks in Reed's stead.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @SF 1111 ***
Wanna blame RG3 for something else? Forbath has a total of nine points in three RG3 starts, less than half his average in non-RG3 starts. So if RG3 is at the helm again this week, get your kicks elsewhere.

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 10-16 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 80 3-20
WR Vincent Jackson 7-110,1
TE Brandon Myers 5-50,1

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers should see a spike in scoring this week since they cannot get much lower. In Dallas they were held to only one touchdown and Josh Freeman has two games with fewer than 140 passing yards. But he has scored at least once each week. Freeman scored four times against three interceptions and has almost no rushing yardage this year.

Doug Martin is struggling behind a poor offensive line and currently has rushed for 214 yards on 63 carries for only a 3.4 yard average. But he is often met at the line by defenders and has looked sharp if only in brief moments when he breaks free. Martin has only a marginal role as a receiver since the Buccaneers offense just do not employ backs as pass catchers much.

The tight end spot has not evaporated with Dallas Clark gaining no yardage on his one catch against the Cowboys. Luke Stocker scored in Dallas but it was his only catch of the year.

After recording a touchdown in each of his first two games, Mike Williams was blanketed by the Cowboys as was Vincent Jackson who had just one catch in that game after gaining 128 yards and a touchdown in New York. Martin has the running back spot locked up but has not been able to make it very productive yet. The receivers still revolve almost entirely around Jackson and Williams.

The Skins have been good against the run and bad against the pass. This is a good chance for Freeman to get in some better yardage and scoring. The Skins have been allowing over 30 points per opponent but that's hard to expect from an offense that has sputtered twice this year. This week should be the start of a very nice stretch of an easy schedule, at least for the passing game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 31 23 28 30 18 5
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 32 8 32 30 18 8

  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.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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