FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

Prediction: TB 24, OAK 26 (Line: OAK by 1)

Players to Watch: Doug Martin, Darren McFadden

The 3-4 Buccaneers come off their biggest win of the year when they beat the Vikings in Minnesota but are still 1-2 on the road. Notable here is that the Buccaneers have scored 28+ points in each of their last three games. The 3-4 Raiders are 2-1 at home

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 22-24 13 @DEN -----
5 BYE ----- 14 PHI -----
6 KC 38-10 15 @NO -----
7 NO 28-35 16 STL -----
8 @MIN 36-17 17 @ATL -----
9 @OAK ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Doug Martin 80,1 3-40
WR Vincent Jackson 5-90,1
TE Brandon Myers 4-50

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers come off their best effort of the season when they took down the Vikings with a balanced offensive effort. At 3-4 they still lag the better playoff contenders but have one of the better schedules left to play and have already seen their toughest matchups go by. Two more games versus the Falcons will be major challenges as well as the tilt in Denver but otherwise the Bucs should prove very competitive in all other games.

Josh Freeman has been scary good for the last three weeks and while home stands against the Chiefs and Saints were expected to be easy, posting 262 yards and three touchdowns in Minnesota was impressive. Freeman passed for nine scores over the last three games with just one interception. He has 14 scores on the year and is enjoying improved rushing support. The addition of Vincent Jackson that has helped open up the entire passing effort.

Doug Martin was generally decent in most games with around 100 or so total yards in most. But he had never produced a 100 yard rushing effort until playing in Minnesota in what might been his toughest defense and venue. He ran for 135 yards and one score and added 79 yards and a second touchdown on his three receptions last Thursday. He scored on a 64-yard reception and broke off a 41-yard run in the game. LeGarrette Blount was allowed eight carries in Minny but only gained 16 yards and he was not used at the goal line last week. Blount failed to score on four tries in the Saints game.

Vincent Jackson was held to 40 yards by the Vikings but already notched three games over 100 yards and scored five times this season. He can be shut down by a really good corner but then excels against below average secondaries. His presence has really allowed Mike Williams to rekindle a career that seemed to have peaked as a rookie. Williams scored four times this year and has two efforts topping 100 yards. No other receivers matter here though Dallas Clark is getting a few more looks in recent games.

The Raiders always allow at least one passing score and most turn in decent yardage as well. At home they have only given up one rushing score and they just shut down Jamaal Charles sort of. There is nothing special about the Raiders defense normally and they have spun through mostly teams with marginal rushing attacks anyway. This week will show if the Minnesota game was just a freak high for Martin.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 8 6 29 11 15
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 22 21 14 22 31 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Josh McCown, TB @ATL 0000022011 ***
The Falcons have held a pair of talented quarterbacks in relative check--one TD each to Drew Brees and Andy Dalton--while McCown has yet to hit the 200-yard mark in pewter. Tough to see him getting on track enough here to warrant serious fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB @ATL 9013200000 ***
Rainey has more upside than erstwhile starter Doug Martin: he's healthier, and he's coming off a game in which he rolled up 174 yards from scrimmage. No team has surrendered more RB TDs or combo yards to RBs than the Falcons, so while Martin is the riskier share of this split backfield Rainey appears to be the better fantasy option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @ATL 00000000 *
Lots of "ifs" here, with little time to answer them before a Thursday kickoff. Even if Martin plays in an extremely favorable matchup he'll be sharing touches with Bobby Rainey. Is a partial, hobbled Martin worth it against a Falcons D that's allowed more RB combo yardage and RB TDs than any other team this year? Probably not.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB @ATL 005701000 ****
Subdued Josh McCown numbers have kept a lid on VJax's productivity thus far this season, but he certainly knows his way around the Atlanta secondary--10-165-1 and 10-138-2 in the two-game set last season. Through two games this year Falcons have already allowed three different receivers to score and/or top 75 yards; even with McCown struggling those feel like baseline numbers for Jackson this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @ATL 005600000 ***
It's been a slow build for the rookie, who has yet to score or top 50 yards as a pro. A date with a Falcons' secondary that's allowed multiple wideouts to turn one or both of those tricks in each of the first two games this season could be just what the doctor ordered to get Evans onto the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brandon Myers, TB @ATL 004300000 ***
Myers has filled in admirably while Austin Seferian-Jenkins adjusts to the NFL lifestyle and grapples with injury issues. Admirable, however, doesn't quite cut it for your fantasy lineup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB @ATL 2222 ****
The Falcons have allowed multiple field goal attempts in five of their last six, including both games this season, and last year they let Rian Lindell try three treys in each end of the home-and-home series. That should provide Murray with ample opportunity to build on his one career NFL field goal.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL -----
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO -----
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN -----
4 @DEN 6-37 13 CLE -----
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN -----
6 @ATL 20-23 15 KC -----
7 JAC 26-23 16 @CAR -----
8 @KC 26-16 17 @SD -----
9 TB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
OAK vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub 250,2
RB Darren McFadden 50,1 4-30
WR James Jones 5-70,1
WR Denarius Moore 6-100,1
PK Sebastian Janikowski 4 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raiders come off a dominating win over the sinking Chiefs for their first back-to-back wins of the year. The defense has improved at least marginally since the start of the season and now the offense is slowly beginning to find a rhythm at least when facing weaker defenses which happens again this week. With the Bucs showing up now and the Saints coming in two weeks later, the Raiders offense will at least look much improved. Throw in remaining home games versus the Browns and Chiefs and owning a few Raiders can help a fantasy team reach their championship.

Carson Palmer throws a score in nearly every game but rarely more than one. His yardage tends to fluctuate but half of his efforts have been around 300 yards or more. With nine touchdowns on the season against five interceptions, Palmer isn't winning you any league championship but if used judiciously he has the occasional spot start in him. This week could be one of those weeks.

Darren McFadden comes off his best game of the year with 114 rushing yards that required 29 carries in Kansas City and he added his typical four receptions for 23 yards. Oddly enough, his only two touchdowns went against the Steelers and Falcons - clearly his toughest matchups so far. Mike Goodson is hampered by a turf toe he just picked up which should ensure that McFadden continues to see a heavy load when possible.

Brandon Myers is a wonderfully consistent tight end with 40 to 60 yards each week and never a touchdown. He's reliable but only for moderate stats each week.

Denarius Moore has finally emerged as the clear #1 wideout with a score in each of the last three weeks and usually in excess of 70 yards. He's good for eight or more targets in every game and has become the most reliable receiver for Palmer. Darrius Heyward-Bey scored last week as well but on his only catch. None of the other receivers matter and only Rod Streater has ever scored besides the two starters.

The Buccaneers bring in a soft secondary and give up a rushing touchdown to every road opponent. This will be a decent game for McFadden but were it last year, the expectations would be for a monster effort. Getting good from McFadden is success enough this season.

The Buccaneers also vary greatly in what they allow passers though it is almost always high yardage. Facing Drew Brees and Eli Manning ruined their ranking as they generally allow yards and few scores.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 17 16 24 15 4 26
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 25 15 30 12 13 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK @NE 0000020013 ***
Carr has been meh through his first two games, and aside from garbage time there's no reason to expect him to outperform Matt Cassel (202 & 1) or Ryan Tannehill (178 & 2) against the Patriots.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @NE 4003200000 ***
McFadden's best bet, assuming he gets the snaps because Maurice Jones-Drew and his bum hand can't go, is some sort of receiving score; the Pats have allowed RB receiving TDs in back-to-back contests. Otherwise, nothing compelling about McFadden's ground potential against the Pats this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @NE 005501000 ***
Jones has scored in each of his games as a Raider, but all that means is Darrelle Revis will be acutely aware of where Jones is at all times. Nothing says you have to start a Raider this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Denarius Moore, OAK @NE 003400000 ***
Moore is clinging to the fringe of fantasy relevancy as he battles Andre Holmes and Rod Streater for looks in Oakland's unproductive passing game. If you're using him here you're playing the "not being covered by Revis" card. Good luck with that.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @NE 003300000 ***
Rivera has posted matching 31-yard performances thus far, so if 31 yards gets you bonus points in your fantasy league... he's your guy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @NE 1111 ***
No kicker has fewer fantasy points; 30 have more. You can do better.

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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