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
WR Louis Murphy 3-40
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 NO 0000025011 **
Mike Glennon posted a decent 249 and 2 against the Saints back in Week 5; McCown has hit those numbers just once in the past month, but the Saints secondary hasn't been particularly good down the stretch so a repeat of those good-not-great numbers isn't hard to fathom.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB NO 5002100000 ***
There's an opportunity here against a defense that's allowed Jeremy Hill (152), Justin Forsett (182 & 2), and Jonathan Stewart (155 & 1) to run roughshod on them in the past month and a half. Martin's best effort to date is a 14-96 against the Panthers; if he hadn't laid a 10-for-17 egg last week against the Packers we'd be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB NO 1003300000 ***
The Saints have allowed a couple 100-yard RB receivers already this year, but Sims has yet to live up to the hype so the odds of him becoming the third are slim.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB NO 004501000 ***
The Saints missed Evans earlier in the year; they may not know what they're in for. At minimum Evans is a touchdown threat against a Saints secondary that's allowed 19 WR TDs on the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB NO 0061000000 ****
Jackson posted 8-144 against the Saints earlier this year, though Mike Evans missed that game so he was the go-to guy. he's been a yardage hound of late, with games of 117, 159, 70 and 60 over the past month. Even in Evans' shadow he's a viable performance league option, just know that he hasn't seen the end zone since Week 4.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB NO 2211 ****
We have 15 games of evidence that Murray isn't going to provide a fantasy helper. Why start now?

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 @DEN 0000023022 ***
Carr threw for 192 and 2 in the earlier meeting with Denver. He's had multiple TDs in two of his last three games but the yardage has been substandard and facing a Broncos team looking to lock down a first-round bye won't help his prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @DEN 6002200000 ***
The Raiders hadn't gotten around to using Murray the last time they faced Denver; he saw just two of the teams 13 rushing attempts. Now he's the 20-plus carry lead dog, and all four 20-carry backs have all either scored or topped 100 yards against the Broncos. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @DEN 3001100000 ***
Wouldn't it be fitting if McFadden got hurt in his Raiders' swan song? One more trip through the training room, getting nostalgic with the whirlpool, all while watching Latavius Murray highlights on the TV.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @DEN 006401000 **
Jones has scored in back-to-back games, though his catches dwindled from eight to one last week. At that rate his prospects for this week don't look particularly good.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @DEN 003300000 ***
No Raiders receiver topped 30 yards the last time they faced the Broncos, and only two have topped 60 in Denver's last seven. Holmes might be the most frequently targeted Raider, but the ceiling is pretty low for his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @DEN 006501000 ****
Rivera might be the best (only?) fantasy play to emerge from the Oakland passing game this weekend. He scored in the previous meeting with Denver (part of a 6-64-1 showing), has 15-153-1 the past three games, and faces a Broncos defense that's given up TE TDs in back-to-back games and seven of their nine TE scores in the second half of the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @DEN 1122 ***
SeaBass goes 14 games without a fantasy helper, then drops 14 on an unsuspecting Buffalo defense. The Broncos aren't likely to be as friendly; they held Janikowski to something closer to his usual, five points in the earlier meeting, and are a good bet to do so again.

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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